1. Koffee Mameya Kakeru
    Photo: Kisa ToyoshimaKoffee Mameya Kakeru
  2. Higuma Doughnuts + Coffee Wrights
    Photo: Keisuke TanigawaHiguma Doughnuts + Coffee Wrights
  3. MIA MIA TOKYO
    写真:なかくきくみこMia Mia Tokyo
  4. Sakurai
    Photo: SakuraiSakurai

50 best cafés in Tokyo

Looking for a relaxing Tokyo café, the perfect cup of coffee or a superb dessert? This is the guide for you

Written by
Mari Hiratsuka
,
Shiori Kotaki
&
Kaila Imada
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Boasting roots that go back at least a century, Tokyo's café culture is a fascinating mix of the old and the new. From old-school kissaten that tenaciously kept the flag flying for good coffee in Tokyo long before anyone had even thought it could become trendy, to the hottest representatives of the 'third wave' coffee movement, you'll find countless cafés, coffee shops, bistros and bars everywhere you go in the city.

This roundup of Tokyo cafés is meant to be a cross-section of the capital's creative caffeinated community, and features a sample of in-demand newcomers, golden oldies and everything in between – we've even included a couple of places where the focus is more on superb desserts than quality coffee. Be it single origin beans, excellent espresso, artisanal green tea, a nostalgic atmosphere or decadent cakes you're looking for, we've got you covered.

RECOMMENDED: Need more options? Check out the most beautiful coffee shops in Tokyo 

The best cafés

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Kiyosumi

Omotesando’s Koffee Mameya has become a mainstay in Tokyo’s coffee scene, serving up excellent brews while also selling coffee beans from around the world. The only downside of the shop, though beautifully designed, is that there is no seating, so you can’t linger over a cuppa.

Good news: Koffee Mameya has finally given its fans the proper café space they’ve been craving with Koffee Mameya Kakeru, a stylish coffee haven nestled amongst the cool cafés in Kiyosumi-Shirakawa, Tokyo’s self-proclaimed coffee town...

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Yanaka
  • price 1 of 4

Upon spotting this charming old house on Yanaka's Kototoi-dori, most passers-by probably wouldn't guess that it's been home to a café for well over 70 years. Constructed in 1916, the building hosted the Kayaba coffee shop from 1938 until the death of the original proprietor in 2006. Beloved by both locals and visitors, the community icon made a strong comeback in 2009, when a local not-for-profit group teamed up with the folks behind nearby gallery Scai the Bathhouse and reopened Kayaba – with the original exterior and signage intact...

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Ningyocho

Single O finally has its very own Tokyo flagship café separate from the brand’s roastery and tasting bar in Ryogoku. The open and airy space in Nihonbashi’s Hamacho district holds a handful of small tables and counter seats and boasts artwork on the ceiling and walls replicating the art found at Single O's now closed Sydney CBD location.

The focus here is on single-origin coffee, but with a fun new twist. The store has a unique self-serve coffee-on-tap bar where you can pour yourself a cup of joe for just ¥300...

  • Restaurants
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  • Harajuku

This light and airy café space situated behind the bustling streets of Omotesando and Harajuku is a mashup of two Tokyo institutions: Coffee Wrights and Higuma Doughnuts. Serving, well, coffee and doughnuts, we can’t think of a better combination to lift our spirits. The venue also offers plenty of seating, with indoor benches and tables in the sunken café space, as well as outdoor benches stretching out from the expansive floor-to-ceiling windows...

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  • Restaurants
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  • Toshima

You’ll find this unassuming café in Higashi-Nagasaki, a sleepy little neighbourhood along the Seibu Ikebukuro line that’s slowly becoming a hot spot for cool cafés and trendy shops. At the centre of it all is Mia Mia Tokyo, a friendly coffee joint run by husband-wife duo Vaughan and Rie Allison. Well-versed in Tokyo’s third-wave coffee scene, the duo have created an inviting space that’s not just about the coffee, but also about welcoming you into the local community...

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  • Sakura-Shinmachi

Kyoto’s long-established coffee roasters Ogawa Coffee have finally set up shop in the capital with a flagship coffee laboratory in residential Setagaya. The spacious café was designed by interior design firm Yusuke Seki Studio and is full of muted tones, with the focal point being the wrap-around counter encircling the barista space...

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  • Restaurants
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  • Shibuya

This Fukuoka-born coffee roastery has found a home in the old Coffeehouse Nishiya shop in Shibuya. Leaving most of Nishiya’s retro interior intact, the menu has also incorporated a few of the old café’s favourites including premium pudding (¥550). 

Rec Coffee initially started out as a small coffee truck and has expanded to ten shops including two in Tokyo and even a couple in Taiwan. Grab a seat inside or out on the terrace and enjoy an espresso or hand drip coffee made from Rec’s premium roasted beans...

  • Restaurants
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  • Ikejiri-Ohashi

We don’t know how Drip does it, but the café manages to be equally modern and retro at the same time. Opened up by models Ryo Ichinose and Sakiko Takizawa in 2021, Drip feels like it’s been around for decades – there’s the dark wood interior, tinkling jazz music and, for an upscale touch, a well-curated art selection. Further adding to its retro atmosphere, the menu is reminiscent of a classic kissaten with a colourful Sunny Day Cream Soda and the homemade coffee shop pudding...

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  • Restaurants
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  • Yoyogi-Hachiman

Tucked away off the busy streets of Tomigaya in a tiny multi-story house, Nephew makes for a great all-day hangout as the space transitions from café to bar once the sun goes down. Opened just last year in April 2021, it’s also the sister shop to Ikejiri-Ohashi’s trendy Lobby bar, which has a very similar vibe. Both are inspired by cool industrial-style restaurants in Australia, with a healthy dose of Scandinavian interior design...

  • Restaurants
  • Tea rooms
  • Aoyama
  • price 2 of 4

It took Shinya Sakurai 14 years to become a tea master. That's a long time to dedicate to tea. But when you visit his shop in Aoyama, Sakurai Japanese Tea Experience, and sit down opposite him as he prepares an exquisite tea ceremony in an equally exquisite café space, you'll begin to appreciate the hard work and patience that goes into this tradition.

Shinya has modelled his store on the concept of tea being a form of medicine – as it once was – and he travels around Japan to source the best quality tea leaves...

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Kiyosumi

We’ve heard of farm to table, but have you ever heard of farm to cup? Another coffee shop to add to Kiyosumi-Shirakawa’s growing list, Hagan is a light and airy roastery and café specialising in organic coffee made with pesticide-free beans. The shop roasts all its coffee beans in-house, and also supplies a select number of Tokyo cafés including gluten-free café Posh.

Popular house roasts include the Columbian Casanova, with a strong body and mild acidity, and the Ethiopian Tasfaye featuring notes of orange peel and tropical fruit...

  • Restaurants
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  • Nakameguro

This discreet tea house under the Nakameguro train tracks is home to Chiya-ba, a chai tea specialist run by the folks behind nearby Nepalese restaurant Adi. The cosy space, though dominated by blacks and dark tones, has a gorgeous Zen-like quality. It's tasteful yet rustic, especially the hidden little lounge behind the tea counter, which feels like a luxe boutique hotel lobby.

As for the tea menu, go for the classic masala chai (available hot or cold), or one of two special chai creations: lemon masala chai or the spiked Khukri Rum chai...

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  • Restaurants
  • Coffeeshops
  • Asakusa
  • price 1 of 4

Beloved Shibuya mainstay Coffeehouse Nishiya has moved to its new home in Asakusa with an updated name, but still serves up the same menu of Italian-inspired café drinks. Unlike its previous sit down space, the shop operates more as a standing coffee bar where you can stop by for a quick pick-me-up. Don't worry if you can't get a spot inside – just walk up to the front window and a cup of joe to go...

  • Restaurants
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  • Kinshicho

You’d never guess it, but behind the bright lights of the Olinas Mall in Kinshicho is a quiet, calm and uber-cool tearoom. Specialising in Japanese milk tea, this sleek café blends beautifully fragrant Japanese teas with plant-based milks. Barista and owner Yoshihiko Kurahashi has visited tea fields across Japan to source his four specific types of tea leaves: genmaicha (brown rice tea), hojicha (roasted green tea), koucha (black tea) and oolong...

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  • Restaurants
  • Coffeeshops
  • Ginza

'Coffee Only' reads the sign outside Café de l'Ambre, which has been keeping the Ginza hordes well caffeinated since 1948. The kissaten was founded by the late Ichiro Sekiguchi, and the staff on-hand continue to run the shop under his legacy. Though they treat their coffee with the utmost seriousness, this isn't one of those fussy, killjoy coffee temples where conversation has to be conducted in furtive whispers and customers need a secret handshake to get through the door (we exaggerate, but only slightly)...

  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Kiyosumi

Going gluten-free and vegan has never looked so good. Posh is the latest addition to the growing ranks of coffee shops and cafés swarming around Kiyosumi-Shirakawa and it offers a raw, plant-based menu catering to those with food intolerances and the diet-conscious. 

The menu is focussed on raw fruit tarts which include no additives, wheat, dairy or white sugar. Instead, the tarts are made with a mix of coconut and nuts and topped with seasonal fruit sourced from fruit sandwich specialist Daiwa Nakameguro...

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  • Restaurants
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  • Asakusa

The ideal place for stylish coffee-sipping, perhaps with a small cake on the side, this spacious and relaxing café by the Sumida River is set in a former timber warehouse with a high ceiling. It's decorated with antiques, old books and small flowers, while tea sets, an international selection of stamps and even minerals are sold at the counter. All orders of coffee and tea are served in Imariyaki cups...

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  • Shibuya

Stepping through the low, marble-tiled entrance, the first thing you’ll notice is the gorgeous tableware displayed behind a long hardwood counter. That’s not to say that the surroundings here outshine the coffee – on the contrary, Satei Hato’s hand-drip offerings maintain the absolutely highest quality. Choose from up to eight varieties of charcoal-roasted beans and watch as the formally dressed staff prepare your treat with almost religious dedication...

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  • Restaurants
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  • Kunitachi

Named after the shape of the plot it stands on (daikei means trapezoid in Japanese), this unique Kunitachi café doesn't look like the most welcoming place out there, but do gather your courage and open the door: what awaits is wonderful. The insides are like a museum with antiques everywhere, including masks on the wall and small bronze statues on the shelves...

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  • Yoyogi-Uehara

Importing beans from Portland’s famed Stumptown Coffee Roasters every week, Daisuke Matsushima’s Paddlers have been caffeinating shoppers at the Nishihara arcade since 2015. All beans are served fresh in french press or espresso form for the perfect flavour. Beans are also available by the bag, with their most popular roast being the Nano Challa from Ethiopia, which offers delicate notes of grapefruit and peach...

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  • Restaurants
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  • Iriya

Who knew Iriya had a place like this? Daisuke Matsushita's Davide is a very decent take on an Italian streetside café, sidestepping drip coffee entirely (simply because it takes too long to brew) and offering excellent espressos and lattes instead. Down yours at the counter or just get one to go – the man in charge of the machine doesn't care either way...

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  • Nishi-Ogikubo

Not all kissaten in Tokyo are worth the moniker, but this one sure makes the grade: stained-glass windows, antique clocks and the soft jazz soundtrack make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Founded in 1975, Monozuki offers a very simple menu – black coffee is the main attraction – but is beloved by both locals and former Nishi-Ogi-ites...

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  • Restaurants
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  • Nogizaka

Located within the green space of Share Green Minami-Aoyama, this spacious coffee roastery uses coffee beans selected by one of the world’s best baristas, Naoya Akagawa. Five different types of coffee beans are on offer daily which are carefully selected based on the season...

  • Restaurants
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  • Jinbocho

After a decade as chief barista and head roaster at Paul Bassett, Kiyokazu Suzuki broke out on his own and set up this excellent coffeeshop among the old-school kissaten of Jinbocho in spring 2015. Glitch has won admirers for its communal roaster and relaxed approach to craft coffee, and imports beans directly from mainly Kenyan and Tanzanian producers...

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  • Restaurants
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  • Shimokitazawa

Opened in 1980, Trois Chambres feels a world away from the busy streets of Shimokitazawa. Antique cups line the shelves, regulars strike up conversation over the counter and the corner tables are practically always occupied by someone reading a book – time truly appears to stand still at this kissaten...

  • Restaurants
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  • Tsukiji
  • price 1 of 4

The chalkboard in front of Turret Coffee says ‘Welcome to the best outrageous coffee shop in Japan’. Named for the ‘turret’ mini-trucks that used to zip around nearby Tsukiji fish market, Turret Coffee and its owner Kiyoshi Kawasaki both pull and pour quality espresso, all in a funky, intimate space. Relax on one of the few ‘real’ seats or sit on the back of an actual turret as you chat with friends, or with Kawasaki himself, while sipping your drink...

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  • Asakusa

The second Tokyo branch of the Norwegian coffee purveyor Fuglen, this café is located in the heart of Asakusa, just a few minutes' walk away from some of Tokyo's most historic sites and attractions. The space is bigger and it has plenty more seating compared to their first outlet in Tomigaya – but feature the same aesthetics...

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  • Restaurants
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  • Yushima
  • price 1 of 4

Strong coffee and artistic cakes are the twin specialities at Yushima's Ties, where the dripping process is fine-tuned to perfection. Choose from around half a dozen blends, all explained in detail by the counter, and pick your favourite from the cake display case right by the entrance. They always have around ten varieties – including seasonal specials...

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  • Shinjuku-Sanchome
  • price 2 of 4

The Scottish capital is famous for many things, but coffee isn't normally one of them. You're a long way from Edinburgh at Shinjuku's Edinburgh, though – or Coffee Kizoku (literally, 'aristocratic coffee') Edinburgh, to give it its full name...

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  • Restaurants
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  • Mukojima
  • price 1 of 4

Owned by a born-and-bred local eager to liven up his 'hood, this comfy joint has earned a steady following over the decade it's been open. Don't miss the no-bake cheesecake, certified as a 'Sumida Modern' dessert by the local authorities.

  • Restaurants
  • Tea rooms
  • Sangenjaya

For years, Tokyo's caffeine addicts have been spoiled with an overflowing supply of 'third wave' coffee shops, while green tea – Japan's native pick-me-up – has been left by the wayside. But times they are a-changin': Sangenjaya's austere Tokyo Saryo offers single-origin green tea in hand drip form...

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  • Restaurants
  • Tea rooms
  • Ginza

This tea salon puts a fresh twist on traditional Japanese confectionery. As well as the typical combination of green tea and sweets like cold kuzu noodles, the salon also serves alcohol – ask the staff which beer, shochu or wine goes best with your sweets...

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  • Nakameguro
  • price 1 of 4

Reputed to be one of Nakameguro's top coffee spots, Cafe Facon appears to be angling for a more mature crowd. It's pocked with Parisian references, including a small library of Francophone books and a grotesque faux-naive painting of cherubs frolicking around the Eiffel Tower. Iffy decor aside, Facon clearly means business. The shop roasts its own beans, offering four blends and a selection of single-origin coffees...

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  • Restaurants
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  • Nakameguro

Jiyugaoka-based roasters and bean importers Onibus have kept a relatively low profile on Tokyo's coffee scene until now, keeping things close to home at their original location while backing up Shibuya's About Life with top-grade beans from places like Rwanda and Guatemala. They can expect a larger share of the spotlight from now on though, as this Nakameguro branch has been making waves...

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  • Iidabashi
  • price 2 of 4

There aren't many al fresco cafés in Tokyo that can rival the atmosphere of this waterside spot in Iidabashi. Canal Cafe is the modern-day incarnation of Tokyo Suijyo Club, the capital's oldest boat house, which first opened nearly a century ago. Rowboats aren't quite the draw they used to be, so the club serves mainly as a restaurant nowadays – though you can still head out on the water...

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  • Restaurants
  • Coffeeshops
  • Musashi-Koyama
  • price 1 of 4

There was a time when Musashi-Koyama was famous for little besides having a shopping arcade that seemed to go on forever. That arcade is still there, but we're more likely to make a detour to the area to get a quick jolt at Amameria Espresso. Opened in the summer of 2010 by certified cupping judge Toshiaki Ishii, this intimate shop roasts its own beans, and the aroma alone is likely to lure...

  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and sweets
  • Shinjuku

For its latest venture, one of Japan’s most venerable purveyors of wagashi has stripped the sugary confections of their pomp and splendour and instead focused on the traditional teatime treat’s key ingredient – the humble anko, or red bean paste...

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  • Restaurants
  • Setagaya

Nestled in the backstreets of trendy Jiyugaoka, The Tokyo Fruits produces some of the best fruit parfaits around. The combination of sliced fruit, mousse, fruit jelly, whipped cream and sorbet has oodles of flavour, a winning texture and tastes every bit as good as it looks. The selection is informed by what’s in season, so you’re likely to find cherry and peach parfaits in summer, grape and sweet potato in autumn and strawberry in winter...

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  • Sangubashi

Thanks to the Italians, coffee and gelato go hand-in-hand: what’s better than pairing a strong, bitter espresso with a scoop of sweet frozen creaminess? Located a short walk away from Yoyogi Park, Floto’s gelato display will tempt you with its striking array of colourful options: there’s everything from classic chocolate and caramel to seasonal fruit flavours such as peach, kiwi and Japanese beni hoppe strawberry...

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Yoyogi-Hachiman

While the café's eponymous dessert is French in origin, Mont Blanc has become a classic Japanese confection. Built on a cake base, this dessert piles on the chestnut and whipped cream before finishing off with strings of more chestnut puree, which gives it the noodle-like appearance. Made using premium, locally-sourced chestnuts, your order is prepared fresh in front of you...

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  • Jiyugaoka

Just as its name suggests, this café specialises in all things bread and espresso. We particularly love the signature French toast, where a thick slice of fluffy bread is prepared in a cast iron pan and served piping hot along with a generous drizzle of honey from Italy...

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  • Restaurants
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  • Nogizaka

When this long-standing spot transformed from a restaurant into a café with confectionery, their popularity soared. Go for a cake set or their hot desserts (try the Hot Soufflé, Hot Fruits Custard and Fondant Chocolat)...

  • Restaurants
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  • Kichijoji

If you're looking to grab a drink on the go before heading to Inokashira Park, sod Starbucks for once and stop by this café for the real deal. The various tea and chai drinks on offer burst with rich aromas, with their 'boiled milk tea' prepared the traditional Indian way with no added spice...

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  • Restaurants
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  • Jinbocho

The totem poles flanking the entrance to Saboru announce loud and clear that this is not your ordinary café, and stepping inside the wooden interior confirms it. This venerable, 60-year-old establishment feels less like a downtown kissaten and more like a cosy cottage up in the mountains...

  • Restaurants
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  • Kayabacho

Situated to the left of the entrance to the hip K5 building, Switch Coffee feels like you’ve stepped into a green nursery, complete with a handful of small tables, free wi-fi and excellent coffee. Choose from single-origin drip coffee, espresso, latte, cappuccino or an iced coffee with tonic water – an uncanny but surprisingly refreshing combination...

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  • Restaurants
  • Coffeeshops
  • Minowa

All the beans are roasted on the premises of this dedicated coffee specialist in suburban Minami-Senju. Cafe Bach supplied the coffee for the G8 summit that took place in Okinawa in 2000...

  • Restaurants
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  • Ikejiri-Ohashi

This hipster haven in Ikejiri-Ohashi is a relaxed enclave carved out of the creative atmosphere of the area and decorated like a garage, with an assortment of tools on the wall and lumber hanging casually from storage units attached to the ceiling. Seating comes in the form of worn old furniture strewn around the room and three stools placed at the counter. As well as being one of the few places in Tokyo you can get a flat white...

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  • Restaurants
  • Cafés
  • Ikegami

Worth the trip out to Ikegami all on its own, the wonderfully retro Rengetsu is set in a gorgeous Japanese-style home built in 1933. Occupied for decades by a soba shop downstairs and a traditional inn upstairs, the structure looks essentially just like it did back in the early days of Showa: although the straw mats on the ground floor have been replaced by wooden panelling, the décor remains intact...

  • Restaurants
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  • Kichijoji

Hidden out among the lush greenery of Inokashira Park, in the direction of the Ghibli Museum, lies this French-inspired café that specialises in crêpes and Bretagne-style galettes topped with fresh vegetables, mushrooms and pesto – and smoked salmon, soft-boiled egg or other proteins if you pay extra. Made with buckwheat flour from Hokkaido, the galettes are flavourful and aromatic...

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  • Coffeeshops
  • Aoyama

Found directly in front of Aoyama Gakuin University's Ivy Hall, Tsuta occupies the former home of architect and Budokan designer Mamoru Yamada. Opened in 1988, it's a pleasantly quiet old-school kissaten with relaxing garden views. Specialising in high-grade Brazilian Santos coffee...

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