Cotton candy from Momi & Toys Harajuku

Best street food and snacks in Harajuku

Eat your way through Tokyo's kawaii capital: rainbow cotton candy, animal ice cream cones, dessert crêpes and more

By Kaila Imada
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With the sheer number of clothing stores, sneaker specialists, souvenir shops, snack stands and cutesy cafés, Harajuku – especially the perennially crowded Takeshita Street – will surely kick your senses into overdrive. Long before the neighbourhood became a major tourist hotspot, Harajuku was, and still is, an incubator for Japanese fashion, be it street style, vintage clothing or niche subcultures such as lolita and gyaru. 

However, Harajuku has more to offer than shopping and quirky fashion, it is also the hub to try out the crazy and inventive desserts, snacks and street food that Tokyo is known for. We know, the options along Takeshita-dori can be overwhelming – so we suggest you skip those lightbulb drinks and over-processed cheesedogs and head straight for some of our favourite (and totally Inta-worthy) bites.

RECOMMENDED: Explore the secret side of Harajuku at these hidden shops 

Get snacking

Le Shiner

Restaurants Harajuku

This shop, originally from Korea, is popular for its Rainbow Cheese Sandwich. Introduced in 2018, this cheesy treat became a big hit on social media due to its psychedelic filling. For the perfect picture, tear apart the sandwich to see 20 centimetres of melted rainbow cheese. If you have a sweet tooth, then go for the colourful soft serve ice cream or galaxy drink. Le Shiner is one of the best spots to start your Harajuku adventure.

Eiswelt Gelato

Shopping Harajuku

For the ultimate cuteness, head straight to Harajuku's Eiwelt Gelato for adorable animal-shaped ice cream. Pick from a trio of options (bunny, pig or bear) and this Los Angeles-born gelateria will craft your cute cone right in front of your eyes. Despite the picture-perfect presentation, quality is not overlooked here as the gelato are all house-made using original recipes. Keep and eye out for Japan-limited ice cream flavours and characters.

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Marion Crêpes

Shopping Harajuku

Japan's longest-running crêpe shop started life as a food truck in 1976 before moving to its current home on Harajuku's Takeshita-dori the following year. For many, a Marion crêpe is still the quintessential Harajuku street food, whether you're having it sweet (try the strawberry, azuki bean and whipped cream version for a sugar overload), or with a savoury filling like tuna and curry sauce.

Croquant Chou Zakuzaku Harajuku
Croquant Chou Zakuzaku Harajuku
Photo: facebook.com/zakuzaku.co.jp

Croquant Chou Zakuzaku Harajuku

Shopping Harajuku

You can't walk through Takeshita-dori and miss the long line outside this popular takeaway shop. Croquant Chou Zakuzaku is well known for its signature almond-coated pastries filled with fresh Hokkaido cream, which also come in seasonal flavours. It's a stick of creamy, crunchy goodness – but there are other options too: soft cream served in a waffle cone or cup and sprinkled with the same sugar-coated almonds that make the Croquant Chou sticks so addictive.

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Momi & Toys

Restaurants Harajuku

Known for both their crêpes and crazy cotton candy, this Harajuku spot is where you can stock up on many street snacks in one go. Aside from the sweets, you'll also find bubble tea drinks as well as savoury food items like taco rice and spicy coconut curry bowls. The oversized cotton candy usually sports a much shorter queue than the opposite Totti Candy Factory. Pick either the simple swirling rainbow or animal shapes including ducks and bunnies.

Cafe No. Harajuku

Restaurants Cafés Harajuku

If you’re a fan of photogenic food, you’ll love this Osaka-born café, which opened a pastel-coloured Tokyo offshoot in Harajuku this past December. We love the marbled Strawberry Milk, an extremely Instagram-friendly concoction composed of strawberry puree, condensed milk and regular milk, poured into a bottle. Make sure to shake it well before drinking.

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Long! Longer!! Longest!!!

Shopping Harajuku

Size does matter at this length-based dessert- and food-shop on Takeshita-dori. The menu is simple: soft cream, 'tornado potato' (a curly fry on a stick), churros and cotton candy, all available in the sizes 'long', 'longer' and 'longest'. In the case of soft cream, you're looking at an ice cream cone that's 30cm, 34cm or 40cm tall. Good luck finishing it before it melts on a warm day. The 'longest' tunnel potato, on the other hand, is 52cm, the churros 55cm, and the cotton candy a whopping 60cm. Now try to walk through the crowd at Takeshita-dori on a weekend without dropping anything...

Gomaya Kuki

Shopping Chocolate and sweets Harajuku

You'll be able to get a super smooth scoop of sesame ice cream at this specialist shop, which uses ingredients from long-standing sesame house Kuki Sangyo in Mie prefecture. Besides crowd favourites like the kuro (black) and shiro (white) versions, they also offer original flavours like goma-shio (sesame salt) and tsubutsubu zakkoku (chunky mixed sesame). To really get into the tasty depths of sesame, try the two different versions of the Kuro and Shiro, defined by their density – you'll be a veritable sesame ice cream expert by the time you've finished them all.

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Restaurants Cafés Harajuku

Round off your eating tour in Harajuku at this laidback café found not too far from Harajuku's ever-crowded Takeshita-dori. The latte is available with flavours like caramel, mocha and honey, but can be made more Instagram-worthy by paying a few extra yen and getting latte artist extraordinaire George to top your cup with an 'illustration' based on a photo of your choosing – remember to bring a pic of your favourite anime character, celebrity or dog to show him. Otherwise, you can also opt for a 3D latte art made from milk foam.

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