Best Breakfast Spots in Tokyo
“One should not attend even the end of the world without a good breakfast.” Robert A. Heinlein I couldn’t agree more! It’s no secret that breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and I have indulged in brinners more times than I care to admit.
Nothing compares to a leisurely weekend morning spent in a favorite local café with a cup of freshly brewed coffee or tea and a plateful of something hearty, delicious and comforting, be it eggs, hash-browns and bacon; or fruity pancakes; or everything together. The whole experience seems to set the tone for the rest of the weekend, don’t you think? With myriads of cafes in Tokyo, choosing a place to eat can turn into a bit daunting.
That’s why I put together a list of one of the best breakfast places around Tokyo. I particularly love perusing the streets of Shibuya – Aoyama – Omotesando – Harajuku neighborhoods (all lined up one after another) to find a special spot for those perfect morning eats. Here’s what I’ve uncovered:
AOYAMA FLOWER MARKET TEA HOUSE
If I had to choose a favorite contemporary café in Tokyo this would be it. Set inside a flower shop, the place is absolutely whimsical with colorful fragrant blooms filling the entire space. Their charming flower arrangements never fail to take my breath away. This green oasis is an ideal place for peaceful weekend respite, girly get-togethers and romantic dates.
The menu features a selection of fantastic herbal teas (Rose Tea is my favorite), as well as delectable French toasts and floral desserts. For lunchtime you can also order a few plates of savory dishes including spaghetti, soup and salad combos.
Harajuku is full of pleasant surprises hidden in secret nooks. If you go to the 6th floor of Tokyu Plaza on Omotesando, you will find yourself in a little rooftop garden dotted with swing chairs and sun beds under the shades of trees. You have an option to grab a quick coffee and snack at Starbucks.
But real breakfast aficionados should head to the 7th floor to Bills for a truly scrumptious authentic Australian morning affair. Owned by Australian chef and food writer Bill Granger this lively café strikes with its buzzing atmosphere. I loved how the space was filled with cozy corners like this library which houses an eclectic collection of books available for literature-loving coffee-drinkers.
The extensive menu will get you drooling with options like Full Aussie Breakfast I had while seating on a sunny veranda: glossy (literally), light and fluffy scrambled eggs (organic), bacon, roasted tomato, mushrooms and whole-wheat sourdough toast with butter. It was heavenly!
Has your mouth started watering yet? Well, wait till I tell you all about their specialty – delightful fluffy and moist ricotta hotcakes, paired with fresh banana & indulgent honeycomb butter! Y.U.M.
Don’t worry, there are plenty of healthier options too like cereal bowls and salads. Also, check out their website for dinner menu and other locations around Tokyo. Just be prepared for a long wait – and brace yourself for a heftier-than-average bill at the end of your meal.
TEA STAND OMOTESANDO
Another paradise for tea lovers (including my mother-in-law) is Tea Stand located on the backstreet of Omotesando. Crystal chandeliers contrasting with suspended colorful herbs create a bit of a whimsical atmosphere.
Particularly impressive is their selection of French toasts as well as amazing Earl Grey Tea.
They have packaged teas for sale as well. I also tried their savory courses – Caesars Salad which was quite tasty and pho soup, which significantly lacked in flavor.
BURN SIDE STREET CAFÉ
Every time I walked past this tiny place tucked away in Harajuku’s narrow alleyway I would see a long line of giggling Japanese girls patiently waiting for what looked like a stack of the fluffiest pancakes I have ever seen.
I promptly marked the place down on my bucket-list and got to visit it a couple of weekends ago. The wait time was excruciating, but it was well worth it. The space is really limited and has a modern industrial chic look with exposed concrete and wooden walls, metal chairs, and cute rustic details like maison jars. Staff is welcoming and friendly.
The café is famous for their ethereal soufflé pancakes which come in variety of flavors.
My choice fell on Tiramisu and a cup of REALLY good latte which came with beautiful art (always bonus points for this!). My pancakes were totally indulgent, with puffy and melt-in-your-mouth texture as well as full of flavor. It came garnished with vanilla ice-cream, strawberries and chocolate syrup. Heavenly!
BREIZH CAFÉ CREPERIE OMOTESANDO
It’s no secret that Japanese adore anything and everything associated with France. This translates to numerous French imports including cafes and restaurants. Breizh Café Creperie is definitely among them, with lovely atmosphere reminiscent of a small local French café which you’d find on a corner of a random street in Paris.
I love their little tables set outside, ideal for people watching while you indulge in your morning meal. I got to sample their savory galette with smoked filet, green and white asparagus, sunny side up, fresh cream from Hokkaido and seasonal citrus.
The crepe was perfectly lacy and crispy, and the filling was beautifully cooked with depth of flavor from the zest of oranges.
I would also highly recommend their Crêpe Suzette. It was thin, light and full-on with flavor of citrus and cognac. Really memorable treat.
Creperie La Fee Delice
To further sate the appetite of crepe lovers, I can also recommend Creperie La Fee Delice. This tiny bistro-like place strikes with vibrant Parisian atmosphere.
You will have a wide choice of galettes and crepes, Caramel Banana Crepes being their most popular ones.
My brunch choice fell on savory salmon crepe.
And I couldn’t resist the temptation of trying their enticing strawberry crepes either. Yup, guilty as charged.
Eggs n’ Things
Japan is the country of trends and at the moment everything Hawaiian seems to be glorified. I have noticed particular love affair with Eggs n’ Things which was originally founded in Oahu over 40 years ago. The shop has plenty of space with two indoor floors and a terrace that are big on Hawaiian atmosphere.
If you crave a classic pancake with more than ample amount of whipped cream on it then this is the place to go. Beyond pancakes, omelettes and Eggs Benedict, the menu has a slew of different kinds of waffles and crêpes. Toppings include specialty syrups like guava and coconut, in addition to the traditional maple.
To be quite honest, after tasting other varieties I find classic pancakes to be a bit boring. But then there are plenty of people out there who’d disagree, so to cater to all tastes I am giving you this option as well.