cafés work hard to set themselves apart from your average neighborhood coffeehouse.
Lotus is located in a quiet neighborhood between Omotesando and Gaiemmae Stations. It’s brightly lit, perfect for cozying up with a book, and their low prices attract a youthful crowd until the wee hours of the morning.
Arise Coffee Entangle
This bright and sunny café is located in Koto Ward, next to the scenic Kiyosumi Garden
. Arise Coffee Entangle is decked out in eclectic décor and has a small but innovative menu.
Hiki Cafe has a spacious interior, free Wifi, and patio seating in nice weather. With plentiful greenery threatening to take over the front windows, it isn’t hard to spot this place from the street.
4/4 Seasons Coffee
4/4 Seasons Coffee is a stark white space punctuated by minimalist black furniture. The café is located in Shinjuku and is the perfect respite from the busy streets outside.
Exterior of Cafe Kitsune in Aoyama | © bm.iphone/Flickr (cropped)
The Paris fashion brand’s foray
into the world of coffee and light pastry, Café Kitsune is predictably situated in the upscale Aoyama neighborhood. The building is a repurposed antique Japanese house and is filled with traditional Eastern influences.
The Roastery is Nozy Coffee’s attempt at hopping onto the hipster bandwagon. The café is located right off of Cat Street in Harajuku
and always has a steady stream of devoted clientele. They have a simple, no nonsense menu and proudly serve only single origin blends.
This cozy spot in Daikanyama
may be tiny, but they know their stuff. Named Mocha after the Middle Eastern seaport Mokha (not the coffee-chocolate blend), their specialty is coffee beans from Yemen, which offer a unique flavor profile unlike anything you’ve tried yet.
Found in Tokyo’s hipster capital, Ballon D’essai serves delicious coffee. But they’re mostly known for their art, whether it’s on the lattes (ranging from adorable to incredible) or on the walls.
Lattest signboard | © Alicia Joy
Just down the street from Lotus with another branch in Minato, Lattest has an industrial-meets-modern interior and a more serious vibe. The café is spacious and welcoming, offers free WiFi and, of course, knows how to make a great cup of coffee.
Lemon poppyseed donut and coffee from FUGLEN Tokyo | © Alicia Joy
Tokyo’s original hipster, Fuglen’s offbeat Nordic décor
would look out of place anywhere else. They offer free Wifi, bake delicious pastries, and the coffee is so good they’ll be insulted if you add milk to it.