Are we really going to Tokyo just to cafe hop...?

Beyond acting as a base for day trips to nearby cities, Tokyo has actually has plenty of experiences to offer. For instance, its wide variety of cafes — whether it’s for a simple brunch, exquisite coffee roasts or adorable pet cafes.

It’s really not hard to find a cafe in Tokyo, but if you’re looking for a truly memorable one, you’ll have to dig deeper. Fret not though, we’ve got you covered with a curated list of the nine most memorable cafes we’ve seen in Tokyo — each with its own unique aspect.

Not gatekeeping the best cafes and coffee houses in Tokyo

1. GUF Tokyo

GUF Tokyo menu - Coffee and basque burnt cheesecake
Damage per person: ¥1,340. Photo: GUF Tokyo / Instagram

Tokyo might be known as a cafe haven, but there hasn’t been a cafe that’s remotely as unique as GUF Tokyo.

At the centre of the space lies a large dining table, filled with water and stones, where you’ll be dining on. Your drinks and desserts will be served on a stone slab, which will “float” on the water.

However, this underwater table cafe is far from simple gimmicks. It also serves one of the best Basque Burnt Cheesecakes in the city, with prices starting form ¥690. Meanwhile, coffee is priced at ¥600 for an Americano and ¥650 for a Cafe Latte.

GUF Tokyo

Location: Japan, 〒169-0072 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Okubo, 1 Chome−16−19 2F
Opening hours: 11am-10pm

2. Cafe Lounge Pandora

One of the best cafes in Tokyo, Cafe Lounge Pandora in Hotel Gajoen Tokyo takes you back in time
Photo: Hotel Gajoen Tokyo / Instagram

A window to the past, Cafe Lounge Pandora transports you back to a traditional Japanese garden in ancient times.

Cafe Lounge Pandora is located within Hotel Gajoen Tokyo, also known as museum hotel for its vast display of Japanese artworks from the Showa era. Guzei, or red bridges, embellishes the lobby and corridors for a more immersive experience. Meanwhile, head outside the cafe for a view of waterfalls and koi ponds.

Indulge in the Seasonal Afternoon Tea Set (¥4,840), which comprises a variety of desserts, canapes, sandwiches and coffee and tea. Or, simply sip on a comforting cup of tea from ¥1,100.

Cafe Lounge Pandora

Location: Japan, 〒153-0064 Tokyo, Meguro City, Shimomeguro, 1 Chome−8−1 目黒雅叙園
Opening hours: 10am-7pm

3. Cafe de l’ambre

Cafe de l'ambre - Old-school coffee house in Tokyo that was founded in 1948
The cafe retains most of its original look from when it first opened in 1948.
Photos: @jongxxang (left), @emerald_illustration (right) / Instagram

How does the passage of time mould a cafe?

Tucked in alley of Ginza, this quaint cafe has withstood the erosion of time. It remains rooted in the past; its vintage ambience, adorned with aged dark wood and leather furnishings, reflects decades of history etched into its very walls.

However, don’t let its vintage look distract you from its brews. Choose from over 30 single origins and watch the cafe’s seasoned barista bring each individual profile to life through a traditional hand brew method.

Cafe de l’ambre

Location: 8 Chome-10-15 Ginza, Chuo City, Tokyo 104-0061, Japan
Opening hours: 12-8:30pm (closed on Monday)

4. Cafe Capyba

Capybara Cafe in Tokyo Japan
Photo: Cafe Capyba / Instagram

Forget dog and cat cafes. Capybara cafes are the new in.

You can either chill with them in the cosy spaces or reward them with little carrot sticks. Coffee and tea are also available from ¥550.

Do note that for the safety of their capybaras, children have to be older than 6, and those under the age of 12 must be accompanied by a guardian when visiting.

Admission fee is ¥1,250 for the first 30 minutes, with an additional¥330 for each additional 10 minutes afterwards.

Cafe Capyba

Location: 1 Chome-31-3 Higashimukojima, Sumida City, Tokyo 131-0032, Japan
Opening hours: 11am-6pm (closed on Thursday)

5. Pelican Cafe

Best bakery in Tokyo Japan serving the fluffiest toasts
Photo: @misako1024 / Instagram

You won’t be able to fathom how much love and effort goes into one loaf of bread.

Pelican Bakery is a down to earth establishment that was founded in 1942, and they have been focusing on breads and rolls only. They have recently launched Pelican Cafe, which offers a wider variety of dishes using their signature bread.

Despite the extensive menu, if you could only get one item, it has to be the Charcoal-grilled Toast (¥320), which comprises a 1-inch slice of bread, carefully toasted on a metal net. A piece of butter and a side of jam is served.

Location: Japan, 〒111-0042 Tokyo, Taito City, Kotobuki, 3 Chome−9−11 1階
Opening hours: 9am-5:30pm (closed on Sunday)

6. Koffee Mameya

Koffee Mayama interior shot -
Photo: Sprudge

This is where coffee in Japan is taken to the next level, with 20 varieties of beans carefully curated from around the world.

The café’s layout features counter seats, with baristas at the center meticulously honing their craft. Their all-white outfit is reminiscent of scientists’ coats. But if you think about it, don’t they have to be as precise as scientists to brew a perfect cup of coffee?

Beyond traditional coffee offerings, Koffee Mameya boasts a repertoire of exquisite coffee mocktails and cocktails, crafted by acclaimed mixologist and Japan Coffee in Good Spirits champion, Akira Zushi.

While individual cups of coffee are available for order, we highly recommend indulging in a coffee tasting courses, starting from ¥5,000). These courses offer a delightful journey through various roasts, meticulously prepared in different styles, allowing you to savour the nuances of each brew.

Koffee Mameya

Location: 4 Chome-15-3 Jingumae, Shibuya City, Tokyo 150-0001, Japan
Opening hours: 10am-6pm

7. Single Oh Hamacho

Batch brew coffee on tap at this cafe in Tokyo
Photo: Single O Japan

Craft beer on tap? Forget that.

Single Oh Hamacho is a cafe in Tokyo that serves free flow batch brew coffee on the tap. Of course, espresso-based coffee and filter coffee are on the menu as well.

Following the coffee theme, try their house-baked Banana Bread (¥600) paired with a punchy espresso butter.

Single Oh Hamacho

Location: Japan, 〒103-0007 Tokyo, Chuo City, Nihonbashihamacho, 3 Chome−16−7 スプラウト日本橋浜町 1F
Opening hours:
Mon-Fri: 7:30am-7pm
Sat-Sun: 8am-7pm

8. IPPUKU&MATCHA

Matcha cafes in Tokyo - IPPUKU & MATCHA serving matcha latte, matcha dessert and a matcha tasting course
Photo: IPPUKU&MATCHA / Instagram

IPPUKU&MATCHA serves single origin matcha, meaning they only serve one type of matcha, harvested from one farm in Uji, Japan.

Their facade is small and cosy, designed like a modern tea shop. But you don’t really need any fancy gimmicks when their food speaks for itself.

For the full experience, Single Origin Matcha &Sweets Course (¥3,500), comprising two types of matcha paired with traditional Japanese sweets. But if you’re in a rush, you could just get a Matcha to go from ¥550.

IPPUKU&MATCHA

Location: Japan, 〒103-0022 Tokyo, Chuo City, Nihonbashimuromachi, 2 Chome−1−1 日本橋三井タワ 1階
Opening hours: 11am-8pm

9. Connel Coffee

Interior shots of Connel Coffee
Stone garden (left) and floor-to-ceiling windows with a picturesque view. Photos: @miho_blog / Instagram

Connect with nature without breaking a sweat!

Connel Coffee offers a serene escape where you can enjoy picturesque views from the cosy confines of an air-conditioned cafe. On the first floor, you’ll find an Insta-worthy a minimalistic stone garden designed by Isamu Noguchi. Meanwhile, the second floor offers an unparalled view of the Akasaka Estate and Korekiyo Takahashi Memorial Park.

Coffee starts from ¥500 while their food menu consists of healthy rice bowls and sandwiches.

Connel Coffee

Location: Japan, 〒107-0052 Tokyo, Minato City, Akasaka, 7 Chome−2−21 2階
Opening hours:
Mon-Fri: 10am-6pm
Sat-Sun: Closed

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