From rooftop terraces to nostalgic kissaten and fresh cafes, here’s a roundup of some of Tokyo’s newest spots for that perfect weekend brunch in the city this summer.
Is a modern love letter to both Mexican and Japanese cuisine, and the latest trendy addition to downtown Tokyo’s dining destinations. The restaurant-slash-mixology lounge delivers fusion dishes that are sophisticated, outrageously delicious, and craftily seasonal. Signature meals like the agedashi squid ink tamal are must-orders for that Mexican-inspired experience.
News of this new French-inspired bistro has been spreading fast amonglocals, but it’s still a bit of a secret gem that’s not yet received as much media attention as it deserves. Brunch underthe parasols on the gorgeous roof terrace or drop by in the evening for a bottle of wine with friends. The entire menu’s worth trying, but it’s the juicy lamb- cutlets, seafood pasta and Insta-worthy salsiccia peperoncino pasta that most diners are raving about.
“If you love it so much, why don’t you marry it?” Well, the creator of Steams kind of took this to heart. After trying and loving Taiwan mensen (Taiwanese steamed rice noodle soup) they wanted to eat it everyday, so they opened a steam-themed cafe so that they could. The famous noodle dish from the streets of Taiwan features a hearty, flavorful broth that highlights the unique texture of the steamed noodles. If you’re looking for something a little lighter, the spot also serves up organic steamed veggies and steamed bread in a variety of delightful flavors.
MOCHI NO KI PASTA
Tuck your napkin into your collar and fork into ribbons of that note-perfect, chewy linguine at this new, stylish and airy bistro. Mochi no Ki Pasta douses its pasta with different sauce bases, from the staple garlic oil and marinara to Japanese-style mentai cream. Take away some of that carb-loaded guilt with a bowl of salad, or end the meal with an innocent bite (or two) of their classic New York-style cheesecake.
SalaSpa is a solid lunchtime spot for anyone looking to eat some greens in the city. While salad is the go-to staple for any health-conscious Tokyoite, the specialty restaurant knows what it’s doing when it tosses pasta into the equation. Expect to find a nutritionally balanced load of vegetables, spaghetti and protein-packed additions like premium Japanese wagyu beef, pork and shrimp. Their homemade lemonade is a sour wake-up punch in the afternoon, too.
MARADONA CAFE BY SALON SHARELY
Is serious when it comes to beauty, food and drinks — and we’re certainly sold on that. The bang-on-trend cafe uses in-house blends for their espressos, and serves dishes with medicinal properties. Pop in for their “Yakuzen” curry, lattes and craft gin, and don’t ignore their dessert selection. The almond milk pudding has half the normal calories — therefore half the guilt — for that nigh-on irresistible delight.
VEGAN RESTAURANT JANGARA
Still think it’s hard to be vegan
in Tokyo? Jangara is just one of the plant-based hangouts that’s popped up amid the wave of meat-free eating that’s hitting Tokyo. The grilled (vegan) cheese curry, creamy Nagasaki ramen, secret-recipe soy burgers and Korean BBQ-style grilled soy meat are just some of the dishes you need to make your friends — even the carnivores — come and join you in trying.
If you’re looking for a casual cafe where you can focus with your laptop and headphones or natter with friends, this is not the spot for you. This sleek shop — the second Koffee Mameya location to open in Tokyo — has a philosophy of appreciating quality beans to their fullest. The minimal decor, knowledgeable staff and intimate space nestled away from the street outside invite coffee aficio- nados to truly savor the drinking experience of the store’s chosen blends without the distractions and clutter of daily life.
LE CAFE V
Louis Vuitton fashion a little too rich for your taste but you still want to flex for Instagram? Then you should check out LE CAFE V. The world-famous luxury goods company made headlines last year as they opened their first cafe/restaurant. Now, looking to ride the waves of success, they opened their second cafe in the awe-inspiring seven-storey flagship store in the Ginza Namiki Building. Led by the spectacular chef Yosuke Suga, the creative and innovative dishes live up to the high standard set by the French fashion powerhouse.
It’s hard to believe that you’re so close to busy Kichijoji Station when you step into this small coffee nook. Kissa Urohibiko lives up to its moniker as a kissaten with intimate charm and sources its beans from home-roasted shop Bnei Coffee, then hand-drips its coffee using flannel cloth. The rice flour chiffon cake, toast and keema curry are simple yet nostalgic additions for a lazy morning with your favorite book.
Kichijoji Higashicho, Musashino-shi
Other lunch ideas to check out in Tokyo:
Craft Village Nishikoyama
al fresco dining and urban revitalization at Meguro’s new social hub