A stroll through the atmospheric Yanaka is never short of surprises and most certainly not devoid of culinary discoveries. I recently stumbled upon Tayori and fell in love with the vibe of this trendy and sophisticated café. Opened in 2017, Tayori is tucked on a narrow alley along the famous Yanaka Ginza shopping street. The old house has been almost completely remodeled, although there are plenty of interior design elements as a nod to traditional Japanese aesthetic. There is a tatami room in the back, and all guests have a view of the tiny Japanese backyard. I particularly liked the eclectic collection of the light fixtures. Couple that with the polished wooden paneling drenched in natural light that sips through the floor-to-ceiling windows and it’s a place where I can while away my entire afternoon at. The menu at Tayori is quite varied. You get all the delicious staples of teishoku meal (sets with chicken, meat or fish), plus a few western options and great tea, coffee and dessert. My karage chicken was so good, I had to order another plateful of it. The shop’s mascot, a bicycle messenger who appears everywhere from signs to cookie tins, represents Tayori’s efforts to create new connections through a farm-to-table approach. All the ingredients are sourced from farms in Saga and Shodoshima prefectures. A cute quirk: they have an in-house mailing system that allows you to share your appreciation with faraway farmers. They also sell delicatessen and nicely wrapped condiments and teas to go if you’re looking for omiyage (edible souvenirs). It most certainly is a great place to lend before or after exploring the historic Yanesen area.
Hope you’ll get to visit and enjoy the meal!
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