My hunt for the best breakfast in Tokyo (or anywhere else in the world, for that matter) is never over and, being the brekkie-obsessive that I am, I’m always waiting for the next shiny, delicious breakfast beacon (a.k.a. Tokyo’s next best breakfast cafe) to open its doors. While the breakfast scene in Tokyo significantly differs from that of Melbourne, Sydney or L.A. (mainly because the food trends and preferences here differ), the city is awash with cute and hipster cafes that offer moreish morning fare. Thus, I thought it was time to update the list I published last year. While every single spot listed there still stands strong (Aoyama Flower Market Tea House being my #1 choice), I wanted to share new cafes I fell in love with, and a few others that are on my radar for future exploration. Without further ado, I present the list to rule all lists. It’s a list you’ll want to print out and stick on your desk, in your car, by your bed. Here are all the best places for breakfast in Tokyo. You’re more than welcome.
Camelback Sandwich & Espresso | 42-2 Kamiyamacho, Tokyo
This spot has become my absolute favorite. They offer exceptionally good sandwiches paired with great coffee brewed by Keitaro Suzuki (who previously honed his skills at Streamer Coffee). But let me tell you more about the sandwiches. Hand-crafted to order (because craft is the best word to describe it) by the trained sushi chef Hayato Naruse, they are the thing of beauty. My absolute favorites are the Lamb Bacon, served with dried tomatoes and fragrant coriander leaf, and the sushi-style tamagoyaki omelet. I also heard the seasonal sandwich with sardines from Hokkaido is legendary, but I haven’t tried it yet. My only regret is that they have very limited space, and the only place to sit is outside, on a small bench or pavement. Not the most comfortable way to enjoy your breakfast, especially in rain or in winter. I hope they will eventually expand though.
Latte Graphic | 1 Chome−8−18, Jiyūgaoka, Meguro-ku
I’m a huge fan of this place for one reason: alongside Bills, Latte Graphic might be the only spot that serves the classic Australian-style breakfast. The menu comes in a form of a newspaper and you have endless choice of classic favorites: scrambled eggs with a side of bacon, sausage and avocado? Check. Smoked salmon and poached eggs on a toast? Check. Fluffy pancakes? Check. And of course the Insta-worthy cappuccino and flat whites. Plus, they opened a branch in Jiyugaoka, my favorite neighborhood in Tokyo – a perfect excuse to visit it again and again.
Japanese Breakfast at Yakumo Saryo | 3-4-7 Yakumo, Meguro-ku, Tokyo
Japanese breakfast is nothing like your typical western morning meal. It provides a much healthier start to the day. It’s rich in vegetables — from both land and sea — often includes fermented foods such as miso soup and pickles, and is rounded out with rice and grilled seafood. One of the best places to enjoy it is Yakumo Saryo, a perfect enclave with beautiful refined interior that reflects Japanese aesthetic.
Blu Jam Café Daikanyama | 20-20 Daikanyamacho, Shibuya, Tokyo
The motto of this L.A. import nestled in trendy Daikanyama district is “The first meal of the day is the most important meal of the day” – who could argue with that? Plus they serve all day breakfast! The menu is quite diverse, concentrating on a tasty selection of Mexican-infused Vegan, Gluten-Free and Vegetable dishes. I come here for one thing only, though: their delectable signature Crunchy French Toast. Covered in corn flakes from the outside, they are perfectly crunchy from the outside, while also maintaining a beautiful soft center. Served alongside seasonal berries and vanilla ice-cream or whipped cream, it is all you need for a great start of the day. In case you crave something savory, I also tried their Eggs Benedict, which was quite delicious.
Sarabeth’s Tokyo | 2 and 3F Tokyo Tekko Building, 1-8-2 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku
Founded by Sarabeth Levine — pastry chef, restauranteur, and cookbook author —in New York’s Manhattan in 1981, Sarabeth’s will spoil you for choice of all things breakfasty: Eggs Benedict, scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and cream cheese (this was divine!), French toasts and pancakes. It has multiple locations so visit their website to pick the one closest to you.
Ivy Place | 16-15 Sarugakucho, Shibuya, Tokyo
As far as the hidden gems go, this place is hardly hidden, but it is certainly a gem. Daikanyama has no shortage of breakfast places, and Ivy Place has remained a local institution for years. A sister location to T.Y. Harbor Brewery in Tennoz Isle and Cicada in Hiroo, has three distinct settings and the terrace café is the popular place for leisurely breakfast: Grilled Steak and Fried Egg Open Face Sandwich on toasted country bread with Romesco Sauce. Perfection.
Gontran Cherrier Tokyo | 2-9-7 Jiyugaoka, Meguro-ku, Tokyo
Offering multiple locations around Tokyo (Shinjuku and Shibuya are the prime spots, although Jiyugaoka is my personal favorite), this is a perfect spot to get freshly-baked classics like sandwiches and breads, and ample choice of viennoiseries and patisseries. You can have these to-go, or take a seat at the café area and enjoy a cup of coffee/tea/juice.
Frankie | 2-12-15 Kitazawa, Setagaya
Frankie brings a slice of Oz to Tokyo. While you won’t find hefty breakfast choices on the menu, their delicious cakes, sweets and treats like simple sandwiches, Melbourne-style banana bread with butter for a mid-morning snack, a Hedgehog slice or chocolate Lamington are all worth it. On top of all, the coffee here won’t disappoint with popular Melbourne coffee options including Flat White, Piccolo, and Bachelor, along with a variety of classic Italian espresso coffees such as Cappuccino, Latte and Macchiato. In short, worth a visit, if you find yourself in Shimokitazawa.
Du Pain et Des Idees | 3-6-23 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo
If you love French boulangerie and find yourself in Aoyama, then this is a perfect place to enjoy escargot (my absolute favorite) by the famous French artisan baker Christophe Vasseur. Fillings range from pistachio to plump raisins to seasonal specials such as crumbled chestnut. They also have flavorful bread and the superb tartines that the staff prepare from it.
Coutume Aoyama | 5−9−15 Minamiaoyama, Minato, Tokyo
This import from Paris brings together great coffee (think both drip-style and espresso-based light roasts) and excellent sandwiches (by the way, made with bread from Gontran Cherrier), éclairs, vegetarian galettes, home-baked cookies and more.
Le Pain Quotidien Tokyo | 3-3-1 Shibakoen, Minato
This place needs no introduction, and for me Le Pain Quotidien is a reliable spot to get delicious and elegant Belgian fare for breakfast or brunch.
Crisscross | 5 Chome-7-28 Minamiaoyama
If you crave your breakfast on a patio, then Crisscross is a perfect spot. Locate din the heart of Aoyama (next to Cicada), this little cafe serves delicious salads and sandwiches among other things.
Flippers | 2-26-20 Kitazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo
Lovers of fluffy pancakes shouldn’t think twice, but head to Flipper’s which has earned quite a limelight. You have quite a few choices of toppings and I tried two (just because). The first set arrived looking just like fluffy clouds topped with handful of delicious strawberries, bananas and whipped cream. The second topping was equally delicious — beautifully glazed banana, chocolate and maple butter cream. Cutting my fork into the pancake revealed the addictive airy and melt-in-your-mouth texture with a trace of meringue. I wouldn’t call them the fluffiest pancakes in Tokyo, but I can definitely vouch for a delicious taste.
Needless to say, the list goes on so stay tuned as I continue to explore more of Tokyo’s breakfast scene and keep updating this post with new recommendations. In case you’re curious, my current bucket-list includes:
- Bread, Espresso & | 3 Chome-4-9 Jingumae, Tokyo
- Shiawase No Pancake| 1 Chome−18−8, Dogenzaka, Shibuya
- Intersect by Lexus | 4 Chome-21-26 Minamiaoyama, Minato, Tokyo
- Weekend Garage | 1−1 Daikanyamacho, Shibuya, Tokyo
- Good Morning Café | 1 Chome-17-1 Sendagaya, Shibuya, Tokyo
- Honey Mi Honey Café | 6-2-6神宮前, Shibuya, Tokyo
- Urth Café | NTT Shibuya Building 1F, Shibuya 150-0033, Tokyo
- Sunday Brunch | 2 Chome-29-2 Kitazawa, Setagaya, Tokyo
- World Breakfast Allday | 3-1-23 Jingumae, Shibuya, Tokyo
- The Deck Coffee & Pie | Tokyo, Shibuya, Sendagaya, 3 Chome−53−17
- Garden House Crafts | 13 Daikanyamacho, Shibuya-ku , Tokyo
And with this, I think I definitely have to up my cardio game for the coming year. ;)
What about you? Do you have any favorite breakfast spots in Tokyo?