In this article I will tell you about the best coffee shops in Tokyo. When people think of Toyko they will think about Akihabara, the Shibuya Crossing and Sensoji Temple. When asking about the coffee scene, only the coffee lovers will tell you that it is among the best in the world. The Japanese coffee culture started in 1638 with the import of coffee by European merchants. It was not until 1888 that Tokyo had its first coffee shop and the Kissaten (old coffee shops) were born. World War 2 slowed the rise of coffee considerably but during the 1960s it became a real hype. Nowadays Japan is the biggest importer of coffee with a worth of 1.4 Billion dollar (2014). This ‘best coffee shops of ‘-list is far from complete, so if your favourite spot is not here, please add it in the comments. The list is written in alphabetical order, except for the first spot: my favourite hotspot.
The best coffee shops in Tokyo: Maruyama Coffee.
Near Omote-Sando station in an narrow alley you can find Maruyama Coffee. Maruyama Coffee is a shop which plays host to two Siphon champions: Yoshinobu Nakayama (2013/2015/2018) and Iori Yahashi (2017). The shop is clean, modern and has lovely and friendly staff. Their menu is in the form of a newspaper and holds a multitude of Geisha coffee’s and other high-end beans. Done ordering? there are also some articles in this newspaper to be read! The ground floor is where you can order coffee and buy beans but the magic happens upstairs. The first floor practically a Siphon station and it is there that the two champions brew their coffee.
Maruyama Coffee is always crowded and people want to take pictures with the famous barista;s all the time. That comes to no surprise after you have tasted their brews. Maruyama Coffee is my favourite shop in Tokyo because of the personal approach by the staff, the more than excellent coffee and the overall feeling you get by visiting this remakable shop. My recommendation is that you order a Siphon brew and let the staff choose a coffee for you.
Adress: 3-chōme-14-28 Minamiaoyama, Minato City, Tōkyō-to 107-0062, Japan
Opens: 10:00 – 21:00hrs
The best coffee shops in Tokyo: Cobi Coffee.
Cobi Coffee is a coffee shop within a clothing coffee shop. Located in a busy shopping street, Cobi Coffee is the ideal place to go for a cup of coffee and shopping at the same time. When entering the clothing store, your attention is immediately drawn to to modern minimalist design of Cobi Coffee. A large square counter offers enough seating and a good view at the brewing station. All around you are things to look at: art, clothing and the shop itself. Cobi Coffee still brews with a cloth filter and offers a great selection of high end beans to choose from.
You will notice how busy it can get when the shopping Japanese step inside for a to-go cup of coffee. I recommend ordering a cloth filter brew but their Cappuccino’s are awesome as well!
Adress: Japan, 〒107-0062 Tōkyō-to, Minato City, Minamiaoyama, 5-chōme−10−5
Opens: 09:00 – 20:00hrs (10:00 in the weekends)
The best coffee shops of Tokyo: Fuglen Tokyo.
Fuglen is a no-brainer in the list of best coffee shops in Tokyo. Fuglen is originally a Norwegian brand that has settled in Tokyo some years ago. Nowadays Fuglen is considered among the best shops in Tokyo and everybody knows about this coffee shop.
Fuglen is a shop that offers enough seating for any other shop that is not Fuglen. The fact is that this shop is so popular, that getting a place to sit down has become a commodity. Groups of friends or people working on their laptops are a common sight and all too often the waiting line stretches to the entrance.
The coffee is outstanding and the roasting is of a real high quality. The only downside of this shop is that the Baristas hardly speak any English. But hey, you’re in Japan and not in the UK!
Adress: 1 Chome-16-11 Tomigaya, Shibuya City, Tokyo 151-0063, Japan
Mon-Wed: 08:00 – 22:00
Thu-Sat: 08:00 – 01:00
Sun: 08:00 – 23:59
The best coffee shops in Tokyo: Koffee Mameya.
Koffee Mameya would be in the top 3 of this list if it wasn’t on alphabetical order. Koffee Mameya is a special shop that has one of those unique concepts that give off that special feeling. First up: there is no seating. When you enter Koffee Mameya you will wait in line (and it can be a long one) to order your coffee. When it is your turn the first question you will need to answer is “how do you know about Mameya”. It is a way to open up to the customers and immediately creates a personal connection with the staff.
The next thing that makes Koffee Mameya special is that they have a color scheme coffee menu; from very light roast to traditional Japanese roasts. Notice the wall behind the counter? It is the same set-up as the menu. Choose wisely!
Koffee Mameya offers coffee from world famous roasters which you can taste and buy. The Barista’s are super friendly, have lots of humor and brew like the best. If you are in Tokyo…go to Mameya!
4 Chome-15-3 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan
The best coffee shops in Tokyo: Onibus Nakameguro.
Onibus Nakameguro is a coffee shop that is located near the famour Cherry Blossom canal in the Nakameguro area. This is actually one of the two shops in Tokyo, the other is located in Okusawa. When I arrived at Onibus Nakameguro it was still before opening hours but people were already standing in line for a cup. This shows how popular a coffee shop can get! The shop only offers outdoor seating since the inside is a big roastery.
Onibus roasts their own coffee and do a splendid job creating high-end roasts. The menu of Onibus Nakameguro offers many coffee’s from all over the world and every one of them is worth trying.
The Baristas know their product very well and also know how to prepare your favourite cup of coffee; filter, espresso, latte based drinks etc.
Onibus Nakameguro is a short train ride away from Shibuya but is definitely worth the time.
Adress: 2 Chome-14-1 Kamimeguro, Meguro City, Tokyo 153-0051, Japan
The best coffee shops in Tokyo: Satei Hato
Satei Hato is also a famous coffee shop in Tokyo and reminds me of the original ‘Kissaten’. Tucked away in a small alley near Shibuya station is Satei Hato. When you enter this shop it feels like an old brown cafe, only no beers here, just coffee. Satei Hato gives off a livingroom feel but still has plenty of seating. A couple of big tables and seating at the long counter are oftentimes sufficient to take a seat. During rush hour you occasionally will have to wait though. The menu of Satei Hato is extensive with coffee’s, tea’s and even a bite to eat. The Barista’s are friendly, the coffee is great, the vibe even more so. Try to get a seat at the counter so you can watch the Barista’s brew your coffee or look at the myriad of cups on the back wall.
Satei Hato is a must go-to shop if you want to feel the original coffee vibe in Tokyo. It can get a little touristy in the weekends by the way.
Unnamed Road 1 Chome-15, 15 Shibuya, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0002, Japan
The best coffee shops in Tokyo: Tsuta Coffee.
This shop would complete my top 3 of best coffee shops in Tokyo. Tsuta Coffee is a shop where time has stood still and is considered a true ‘Kissaten’ shop. The owner has been brewing his personal roast for over 30 years and the cloth filter brewing style is made into perfection. The menu is simple and there is no selection of coffee varietals to be had: coffee, coffee with milk and coffee with cheese (recommendation!!)
When I entered the shop I only saw one man sitting at the counter. He and the owner were chatting like old friends while Vivaldi was working his magic in the background. The Barista spoke a little English and she told me all there was to know about Tsuta Coffee. How the Tsuta garden was created by a famous architect and how the owner roasts his own coffee, how he still brews his coffee the same way for 30 years straight etc.
I am not the only one who thinks that Tsuta Coffee is a great place because during my stay I saw a mix of customers drop by. Young and hip, working class and senior citizens alike stopped by to grab a coffee.
Do you want to go back in time and experience high quality coffee brewed in a traditional way with a cloth filter? How about enjoying the view of a tranquil and beautiful garden in the meantime? Tsuta Coffee is your spot to go to!
Adress: 5 Chome-11-20 Minamiaoyama, Minato City, Tokyo 107-0062, Japan
The best coffee shops in Tokyo: Verve Coffee.
Another foreign roaster has made the list of ‘best coffee shops in Tokyo’: Verve Coffee. All the way from Santa Cruz, California it is Verve Coffee that has managed to lodge itself in the Tokyo coffee scene. Verve Coffee is a well known coffee shop near Shibuya station that has teamed up with Rag and Bone Jeans to set up a coffee shop. Barista Ray Nagayama will make you feel right at home and so does the cozy interior of the shop. Although it is below street level, the lighting inside makes it feel light and open. Verve Coffee has created a set-up so that everyone can chat and still have contact with the Barista. Ray Nagayama is very talkative and speaks English perfectly. He has a lot to talk about and is a skilled Barista. Order an Espresso or Cappuccino from the Kees van der Westen Machine or order a sublime pour-over…you cannot go wrong at this place. The cake’s are moist and taste just yummy so don’t forget to order one to try! Verve Coffee made it the list because of its coffee, the interior AND because of Ray Nagayama’s excellent client building skills.
Adress: Japan, 〒151-0051 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Sendagaya, 5 Chome−24−５５ 2F
Opens: Mon-Sun: 09:00-10:00hrs
With a coffee scene so extensive I know I haven’t visited all the coffee shops that I should. Below are the names of highly recommended coffee shops that I did not had the chance of visiting just yet:
– Stockholm Roast tokyo
– Solana Cafe by REC
– Nozy Coffee Cafe
– About Life Coffee Brewers
– Coffee Supreme Tokyo
– Bar Tram
– Cafe Obscura
– Bear Pond Espresso
– Unlimited Coffee Bar
– Cafe Bach