Best cafés in Tokyo – updated

Looking for a relaxing Tokyo café, the perfect cup of coffee or a superb sweet treat? Look no further – check out our complete Tokyo café guide
Bongen
By Mari Hiratsuka, Shiori Kotaki and 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 the 50 best 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. Check out the list and follow us on a tour of Tokyo's very best cafés – and if you still need more options, check out our previous take on the best coffee in Tokyo or our roundup of the city's best 100 restaurants.

The best cafés

1
Bongen
Restaurants, Cafés

Bongen

icon-location-pin Higashi-Ginza

Combining coffee with onigiri is certainly a new approach, and one that might actually work. The pairing of rice balls and artisanal joe can be savoured at this stylish Ginza stand, decorated simply in a Japanese style with plastered walls, sho-sugiban (charred cedar) details and a coffered ceiling...

2
Foodmood
Restaurants, Cafés

Foodmood

icon-location-pin Kunitachi

The chiffon sandwich is quite the crowd pleaser – two pieces of beautifully light and cloud-like chiffon cake, wedged together with fruit jam and whipped cream. And given a seasonal twist at Foodmood, it’s even more heavenly than usual...

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3
TORAYA CAFÉ・AN STAND
Shopping, Chocolate and sweets

Toraya Café An Stand

icon-location-pin 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...

4
Brick Lane
Restaurants, Cafés

Brick Lane

icon-location-pin Setagaya

One of the many independent cafés in Setagaya, Brick Lane stands out with its highly coveted ‘cupcakes’ that are only available on weekends and holidays. Don’t expect the usual mini round cakes with a crown of icing, though. Brick Lane’s take is more cheeky, with fluffy chunks of sponge cake folded in with whipped cream and served in a cute paper cup...

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5
THE Tokyo Fruits パーラー
Restaurants

The Tokyo Fruits

icon-location-pin 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...

6
Floto
Restaurants, Cafés

Floto

icon-location-pin 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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7
モンブランスタイル
Restaurants

Mont Blanc Style

icon-location-pin 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...

8
GOMAYA KUKI
Shopping, Chocolate and sweets

Gomaya Kuki

icon-location-pin Harajuku

Sesame is the quintessential Japanese ice cream flavour, and at this Shibuya scooper which gets an awful lot of attention from customers’ camera phones – check out those amazing charcoal- black colours – you’ll see just how versatile and delicious it can be...

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9
Fuglen Asakusa
Restaurants, Cafés

Fuglen Asakusa

icon-location-pin 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. Taking up the entire first floor of the new Nine Hours capsule hotel, the space is bigger and it has plenty more seating compared to their first outlet in Tomigaya – but feature the same aesthetics...

10
Bread, Espresso & Jiyugata
Restaurants, Cafés

Bread, Espresso & Jiyugata

icon-location-pin 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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11
Kurogi | Time Out Tokyo
Restaurants, Coffeeshops

Kurogi

icon-location-pin Hongo

Operated by Yushima kappo restaurant Kurogi, this eponymous wagashi specialist is hidden away on Tokyo University's Hongo campus, inside the Kengo Kuma-designed Daiwa Ubiquitous Research Building. The uber-stylish interior matches nicely with the artistic sweets on offer...

12
Restaurants, Coffeeshops

Coffeehouse Nishiya

icon-location-pin Shibuya

An Italian-style bar and café run by the jovial and talented Kyohei Nishiya, this welcoming Shibuya spot has a laidback neighbourhood feel to it – not least due to the owner-barista's no-frills attitude and the fun, retro décor. Nishiya pulls a highly competent espresso...

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13
Ginza West Aoyama Garden | Time Out Tokyo
Restaurants, Cafés

Ginza West Aoyama Garden

icon-location-pin 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)...

14
Restaurants, Cafés

Chai Break

icon-location-pin 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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15
Restaurants, Coffeeshops

Coffee Amp

icon-location-pin Koenji

The roaster is the first thing you'll notice on entering Amp – space is at a premium in this narrow Koenji shop, with weathered floorboards and seats for just over a dozen people. There's not much opportunity for dawdling at the bar: drinkers are given a simple choice of latte, mocha, espresso or regular coffee – all excellent...

16
Saboru | Time Out Tokyo
Restaurants, Cafés

Saboru

icon-location-pin 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...

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17
Restaurants, Coffeeshops

Café Bach

icon-location-pin 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...

18
THE ROASTERY BY NOZY COFFEE
Restaurants, Coffeeshops

The Roastery

icon-location-pin Harajuku

Collaboratively run by the folks behind Setagaya's always excellent Nozy Coffee and restaurant impresarios Tysons (TY Harbor, Cicada, Beacon, Ivy Place etc), this uber-hip roastery and café on Harajuku's Cat Street is one of the city's flashiest specialist coffee haunts. Every day, you'll get to choose from two kinds of single-origin beans for your americano, latte or espresso...

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19
Restaurants, Coffeeshops

Good People & Good Coffee

icon-location-pin 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...

20
古民家カフェ 蓮月
Restaurants, Cafés

Rengetsu Café

icon-location-pin 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...

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21
Restaurants, Cafés

Kazuma Coffee Chuo-dori

icon-location-pin Ginza

Finding a seat at Ginza's many trendy cafés can be a real challenge, especially on weekends, but you'll hardly ever need to worry about that at Kazuma. In part, the coffee prices are to blame – ¥1,200 for a cup of joe sounds like extortion in anyone's book – but the lack of crowds is also due to this golden oldie's gallery-like surrounds and almost ridiculously quiet atmosphere...

22
cafe du lievre うさぎ館
Restaurants, Cafés

Café du Lièvre

icon-location-pin 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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23
Restaurants, Coffeeshops

Tsuta Coffee

icon-location-pin 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...

24
Restaurants, Tea rooms

Kenyan Shibuya

icon-location-pin Shibuya

This venerable tea house has been serving up aromatic drinks for more than three decades now, and it shows in both the quality of the tea and in the slightly worn-down interior. Their biggest draw is the ice milk tea, and practically all other tea choices available also come served with milk...

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25
Restaurants, Cafés

Oshiage Nyanko

icon-location-pin Oshiage

Standard latte art is unlikely to make much of an impression after you've laid eyes on the 3D foam cats decorating drinks at this uber-cute café. That's not to say it's all show and no go, either: their coffees, teas and hot chocolates are expertly crafted...

26
Café de l'Ambre
Restaurants, Coffeeshops

Café de l'Ambre

icon-location-pin Ginza

'Coffee Only' reads the sign outside Café de l'Ambre, which has been keeping the Ginza hordes well caffeinated since 1948. Remarkably, it's still run by the same man – Ichiro Sekiguchi, 103 – though he's entrusted some younger tykes to handle the day-to-day running of the place. Though they treat their coffee with the utmost seriousness, this isn't one of those fussy, killjoy coffee temples...

27
From Afar
Restaurants, Cafés

From Afar

icon-location-pin Sumida

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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28
アンヂェラス
Restaurants, Coffeeshops

Angelus

icon-location-pin Asakusa

Perhaps, at some point in the distant past, this was the way local upmarket operations got to grips with handling newfangled foreign delicacies. At Asakusa's Angelus, founded in 1946, you're in for a real blast from the kissaten past: the joe is painstakingly brewed by hand and the clientele consists mainly of old folk who have been coming here for decades...

29
Restaurants, Cafés

Edinburgh

icon-location-pin Shinjuku-Sanchome

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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30
Café Kitsuné
Restaurants, Cafés

Café Kitsuné

icon-location-pin Aoyama

he Maison Kitsuné brand has fingers in several pies – fashion, music and, it seems, coffee. Grab a well-brewed cup in the Japanese-style café close to the Maison Kitsuné shop in Omotesando, and browse merchandise such as tote bags and coffee cups...

31
台形
Restaurants, Cafés

Daikei

icon-location-pin 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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32
Restaurants, Coffeeshops

Satei Hato

icon-location-pin 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...

33
DAVIDE COFFEE STOP
Restaurants, Coffeeshops

Davide Coffee Stop

icon-location-pin 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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34
物豆奇
Restaurants, Coffeeshops

Monozuki

icon-location-pin 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...

35
Allpress Espresso
Restaurants, Coffeeshops

Allpress Espresso

icon-location-pin Kiyosumi

Serving terrific coffee in Kiyosumi-Shirakawa since 2014 – long before the arrival of Blue Bottle made the neighbourhood one of Tokyo's third-wave hipster havens – New Zealanders Allpress also have outlets in cities like London, Sydney and Singapore. Housed in a former warehouse that's been beautifully renovated to match the brand's sleek but down-to-earth image...

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36
アミンチ
Restaurants, Cafés

Aminchi

icon-location-pin Setagaya

Hidden away near Matsubara Station on the Setagaya tram line, Aminchi is the kind of place that requires an effort to get to. Open for only six hours daily, this tiny one-woman operation seats nine and offers a different experience on every visit. That's because there's no regular menu: the muffins, cookies, quiches, ice creams and other desserts are impeccably seasonal...

37
Restaurants, Coffeeshops

Glitch Coffee & Roasters

icon-location-pin 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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38
Café Trois Chambres
Restaurants, Coffeeshops

Café Trois Chambres

icon-location-pin 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...

39
Restaurants, Coffeeshops

Paddlers Coffee Nishihara

icon-location-pin Yoyogi-Uehara

Although it was hidden on the second floor of Shibuya's Todd Snyder store, the tiny but virtually flawless original outpost of Paddlers did brisk business with its impeccably executed hand drip and beans from Portland's famed Stumptown Coffee Roasters, so we were happy but not surprised to see owner Daisuke Matsushima expand his operation...

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40
Roar Coffee House and Roastery
Restaurants, Cafés

Roar Coffee House and Roastery

icon-location-pin Chuo

Ever hoped you had a more colourful latte? Enter Roar, where your cuppa gets spruced up big time with some rainbow latte art. As long as there's milk involved, the baristas here can transform your coffee into an iridescent work of art. For the base, you have the option of letting them pour in the coffee before or after creating the picture...

41
タイズ
Restaurants, Cafés

Ties

icon-location-pin Yushima

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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42
Higashi-Mukojima Coffee-ten
Restaurants, Coffeeshops

Higashi-Mukojima Coffee-ten

icon-location-pin Mukojima

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...

43
Tokyo Saryo
Restaurants, Tea rooms

Tokyo Saryo

icon-location-pin 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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44
COFFEE VALLEY
Restaurants, Coffeeshops

Coffee Valley

icon-location-pin Ikebukuro

Found right by Ikebukuro Station, Coffee Valley answered local caffeine addicts' prayers when it opened in late 2014. The baristas brew aromatic mixtures in the stylish but comfy space, decorated with ample wood – gulp up your morning fix at the ground-floor counter, or sit back and relax on the sofas upstairs...

45
Restaurants, Tea rooms

Higashiya

icon-location-pin 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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46
Restaurants, Coffeeshops

Cafe Facon

icon-location-pin Nakameguro

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...

47
ONIBUS COFFEE 中目黒店
Restaurants, Coffeeshops

Onibus Coffee

icon-location-pin 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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48
Restaurants, Cafés

Canal Cafe

icon-location-pin Iidabashi

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...

49
Restaurants, Coffeeshops

Amameria Espresso

icon-location-pin Musashi-Koyama

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...

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50
チョコレイト ジーザス
Restaurants, Cafés

Chocolate Jesus

icon-location-pin Asakusa

You really have to visit this place for yourself to make sense of it all. One of our own described the experience of even entering this Asakusa café as 'pushing your way through the wall like Harry Potter at Platform 9 3/4'. We'd argue a mishmash of Narnia and Alice in Wonderland with a dash of Wes Anderson's cinematography would be an equally apt description. Inside, the world of Chocolate Jesus is on full display, with pink walls and crockery worthy of the Queen of Hearts...

Head downtown for more cafés

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