From cheap and cheerful tea-and-toast sets to Instagram-worthy fluffy pancakes, there’s no shortage of delicious meals to start your day in Hiroshima. Whether you simply feel like grabbing a quick bite or choose to splash out on a full-blown buffet, these are the best brunch and breakfast spots in Hiroshima.
Sushi, ramen and tempura are often the first dishes that spring to mind when thinking of Japanese food. But while the country is recognised for its dedication to beautifully prepared cuisine, breakfasts are not something that Japan is typically known for. In fact, the concept of eating out for breakfast didn’t exist in Japan until after World War II, and it was in Hiroshima where the idea of a cafe “morning set” – a set menu including Western-style breakfast items – was first introduced.
Today you’ll find a wide range of restaurants and cafes open for breakfast and brunch in Hiroshima city, where you can try anything from vegan brunch sets and English muffins to Japanese breakfast favourite, pizza toast.
Restaurant, Japanese, $$$
Courtesy of 43 Quarante-Trois
This rustic café is situated on the ground floor of Hotel Flex between Hiroshima Station and Shukkeien Gardens and is a popular breakfast spot thanks to its open-air riverside terrace, a rare find in the city, as outdoor dining is not common in Japan. The simple breakfast set menu is served until 10am and consists of a selection of freshly baked baguettes, yoghurt and coffee for under ¥1,000 (£7.60) per person. During the cooler months, the terrace seats also come equipped with heated blankets that you’ll find difficult to leave.
It would be unforgivable to talk about brunch spots in Hiroshima without including at least one Japanese pancake house. Japanese pancakes differ in shape from European-style crepes – they are thick and fluffy, and are served in bouncy stacks with sweet accompaniments such as honey, whipped cream, berries or ice cream. The Hiroshima branch of the Happy Pancake national chain is located in the city’s main shopping district, less than five minutes’ walk from Hondori Station. The store has an extensive menu with interesting flavour combinations, including pancakes with matcha cream and strawberries, and a tiramisu-style dish featuring pancakes covered in a hot chocolate and espresso sauce with mascarpone cheese. Expect to pay up to ¥1,500 (£11.40) per dish.
Andersen is a bakery and cafe located close to Hondori Station, inside the area’s main shopping arcade. The cafe is housed in a former bank that dates back to 1925, which somehow survived the city’s nuclear bombing in World War II. The bakery and cafe’s décor and menu are Danish-inspired, and it was even visited by Danish royalty during the 1980s. Andersen is one of the higher-priced breakfast options in Hiroshima, with prices ranging from around ¥900 (£6.85) for an egg and English muffin set, which includes scrambled eggs, bacon, English muffin and a coffee, or up to ¥1,800 (£13.30) for the Andersen morning plate, which consists of a bread basket, avocado, a boiled egg, bacon, fruit salad and yoghurt.
The Bridge restaurant at the Sheraton Grand Hotel, near Hiroshima Station, is one of the few places in Hiroshima where you’ll be able to find an extensive Western-style breakfast buffet. Large, brightly decorated and open-plan, the dining space has a variety of buffet stations serving both hot and cold food items. The ¥2,600 (£19.80) breakfast menu includes a live-cooking omelette station, fresh croissants and pastries.
Aki Café is attached to a guest house not far from Hiroshima Station, making it a popular spot with the international backpacking community. The cafe was renovated in 2019, transforming it into a bright, airy space, featuring wooden interiors, with cactuses adding a touch of greenery to the decor. Aki Café serves breakfast from 8am until 11am, selling toast and coffee sets – a popular Japanese breakfast that was originally designed as a quick bite for businesspeople on the way into work – for only ¥600 (£4.60). The breakfast menu at Aki Café also comes with two vegan options, which is rare to find in most Japanese restaurants. These include mushrooms and soy hummus on toast or homemade granola with soy yoghurt and fruit.
One of the longest-operating cafes in Hiroshima, having opened its doors for the first time back in 1955, Burajiru is also known for being one of the first cafes in Japan to offer a “morning service” to customers, serving a breakfast menu from 7am daily. The cafe has a nostalgic vibe with its old-fashioned decor and a rather weathered-looking chef statuette – complete with a menu signboard hanging around its neck – that greets customers from outside. Situated on the Takanobashi shopping street, the morning menu includes sets with salad and eggs, sandwiches, and a more unconventional burger or curry option, all for the bargain price of ¥650 (£5) each including coffee. Other things to note are that the menu is handwritten in Japanese only and, as per many traditional cafes, there is a smoking section.
Kissa Saeki is an old-school cafe, known as a kissaten in Japanese. Situated between Hondori and Kencho-mae stations, the family-run spot has retained the retro aesthetic from when it first opened in the 1970s by keeping its dark-wood antique furniture. But Kissa Saeki has also modernised and stayed relevant by reinventing itself as an organic cafe and introducing vegan dishes to its offering. It’s now open from 7am to serve up local produce throughout the day. The breakfast menu has a choice of morning sets priced at a very reasonable ¥750 (£5.70) each, with the vegan option including salad, crusty bread with hummus, vegan yoghurt and coffee.
Boulangerie Café Aloft has five stores throughout Hiroshima, but you’ll find the main branch just across the river from Hijiyamabashi tram stop in the city’s Naka district. Known for their highly skilled bakers and wide selection of bread, the bakery and cafe first opened in 1983, and is now open daily for breakfast from 8am. There’s a choice of three menu options: the A set is priced at just ¥500 (£3.80) and includes free coffee refills, a bread buffet, and salad, while the more expensive C set, priced at ¥800 (£6.10), includes soup, eggs and bacon. Additional items such as yoghurts and juices can be added to orders for ¥150 (£1.15) each.
With its dark wooden interior and red velvet upholstery, Tsubai G Line is a traditional Japanese cafe with a long history – it opened in 1967. It is located near the Atomic Bomb Dome and less than five minutes’ walk from Hondori Station, so serves as a convenient stop before a day of sightseeing. The breakfast menu is served until midday and is a very reasonable ¥550 (£4.20), with eggs, bacon, salad and coffee all included. If you want to try a uniquely Japanese breakfast snack, there’s also a pizza toast set available for ¥700 (£5.35). Pizza toast is a classic Japanese cafe dish consisting of regular toast with pizza-like toppings such as tomato sauce, melted cheese and green peppers.