Excellent cafe in the heart of Kawagoe's old town
Vanitoy Bagel is one of those rare businesses that does everything exactly right. The food complements the drinks, the furniture complements the atmosphere, and the entire cafe complements its neighborhood. This is by far my favorite cafe in all of Japan.
Located in the center of the historic Old Town district of Kawagoe, Vanitoy Bagel is a chill little cafe that has a bit of something for everyone. As its name suggests, it's heavy on the bagels, and there is a huge display case right when you walk in the door that showcases their many, many varieties. Order a bagel to go, or head upstairs to grab a seat in the cafe.
The shop has an excellent collection of food, drinks, sweets, and desserts. The drinks menu is huge, and has a wide variety of cafe standards (all the coffees and teas that you can think of), as well as some creative twists and new inventions, both hot and cold. There are plenty of desserts and sweets, such as bagel French toast, muffins, biscuits, chocolates, pudding, and a very good espresso coffee jelly, all of which range between 350-500 yen and are served with artistry. In keeping with the bagel theme, the shop has many delicious bagel sandwiches, including ham and egg, smoked salmon and bacon, basil chicken, and pumpkin and bacon, which cost between 650-860 yen. There are plenty of traditional "dinner" foods as well, featuring Japanese favorites like taco-rice, omelet-rice, and beef stew, which cost in the 800-1,000 yen range. Menu items are named in English but have Japanese descriptions. However, they have big, full-color pictures that make ordering easy for non-Japanese speakers. I've ordered many different foods and drinks here over the years, and have never walked away unsatisfied.
The best part of Vanitoy Bagel, though, is simply spending time there. The furniture is comfortable, and the vibe is right. Sunlight streams through slatted windows, creating a lazy-weekend feeling that's perfect for chatting with friends, studying, or just relaxing. Grab a seat along the window counter and soak in the always-interesting scene outside.
Vanitoy Bagel is open from 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., and is closed on Wednesdays. It is located in the center of the Koedo "Old Town" area of Kawagoe City. It can be reached by a 13-minute walk from Hon-Kawagoe Station (Seibu Shinjuku Line) or Kawagoeshi Station (Tobu Tojo Line). There is also a second location nearer to Kawagoe Station (Tobu Tojo Line).