The Best Brunch and Breakfast Spots in Tokyo

Tiny restaurant stall serving Japanese breakfast food to customers in the outer market of Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo.
Tiny restaurant stall serving Japanese breakfast food to customers in the outer market of Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo. | © Ellen Isaacs / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Lucy Dayman
20 April 2021

Tokyo is a late bloomer when it comes to embracing the brunch scene, but the city is now making up for lost time. With a smooth blend of international influences and local artisanal culture, new coffee shops are popping up almost daily in Tokyo. Start your day off right at one of the city’s stylish cafés or avant-garde restaurant spaces, which host some of the best breakfasts and brunches in Japan.

World Breakfast All Day, Shibuya

Cafe, European, American, Asian, $$$
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World Breakfast All Day is a culinary celebration of diversity, where you can experience a new breakfast dish from a different country each month, and try morning meals from across the globe. The café has two outposts: one in the backstreets of Harajuku and a smaller sister store in Gaienmae, but the concept of breakfast from around the world, around the clock is the same. The team regularly meet with embassies, government tourist bureaus and locals to craft authentic international breakfast dishes.

Bills, Omotesando

Cafe, Restaurant, Australian, $$$
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A restaurant born from a nation that takes brunch very seriously, Bills is an Australian import created by celebrity Aussie chef Bill Granger. The spacious, sunlight-flooded Omotesando branch of the café chain is tucked between the street-fashion hub of Harajuku and the high-end department stores of Omotesando. The concise, but well-balanced menu reads like a luxury Bondi Beach café spread: fluffy scrambled eggs, golden-brown sourdough toast, thick chunky tomato and perfectly fried mushrooms. For those looking for something a little sweeter or lighter, there are also ricotta-banana hotcakes, salads and cereal bowls on offer.

Path, Shibuya

Bistro, Cafe, European
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Head down the surprisingly quiet backstreets of Shibuya, which run parallel to Yoyogi Park near Harajuku, and you’ll find a breakfast goldmine. The area is home to plenty of intimate neighbourhood cafés scattered between the towering apartment complexes. One of the best in the area is Path, a European-inspired bistro-café famous for its mouthwatering pastries. Path’s most popular treat is their ultra-crispy Dutch pancake topped with ham and drenched in maple syrup. To secure a table at the weekend, it’s best to arrive before 8am.

Trunk (Kitchen), Shibuya

Restaurant, French, American, Japanese, $$$
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Hotel, bar, co-working space and now a Tokyo breakfast hotspot: Trunk Hotel does it all. If the weather is good, get out on Trunk (Kitchen)’s sprawling terrace and start your day with a multi-course brunch, a modern spin on the traditional Japanese dining concept of one soup and three side dishes. There’s an appetiser, main course, soup, dessert and tea or coffee. If you’re not quite so hungry they also offer lighter, classic breakfast staples such as avocado toast, granola and french toast.

Flipper's, Shimokitazawa

Cafe, American, Japanese, $$$
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Tokyo has a reputation for being home to some of the greatest pancakes in the world. For the best of the best, be sure to nab a table at Flipper’s in Shimokitazawa. This modern but understated café is always abuzz with customers eager to dig into a plate of their melt-in-your-mouth pancakes. For something savoury, they also serve ‘meal pancakes’ with toppings such as egg, avocado, salmon and bacon. Like most places in Shimokitzawa, Flipper’s takes coffee very seriously, but the tapioca bubble tea is a hit, too.

Eggcellent, Roppongi

Cafe, European, Japanese, $$$
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It may not be the trendiest cafe in the city, but for a failsafe, accessible breakfast joint that never disappoints, don’t dismiss Eggcellent. Tokyo’s local egg-restaurant chain may have a jovial name but its dishes are seriously delicious. The restaurant serves eggs almost every way imaginable: omelettes, scrambled, fried and more. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, consider choosing their staple dish, eggs benedict. For those travelling with young ones, Eggcellent is a great breakfast choice as the entire restaurant is child-friendly, and offers complimentary colouring sheets and crayons for kids.

Tractor, Nakameguro

Restaurant, European, Japanese
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After dark Tractor is a bar and nightclub, throughout the day it’s a gallery space, but in the morning Tractor is one of Nakameguro’s premier breakfast hotspots. This laid-back but forward-thinking space serves rustic, Australian-style full-plate breakfasts including eggs, spinach and tomato on a thick, bouncy bed of sourdough bread. If you want to guarantee a table at the weekend, call ahead and make a reservation – it’s small, so can only serve a few people at a time.

Cibi, Nippori

Cafe, Japanese, Australian, $$$
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A cross-cultural community space, in the traditional town of Nippori, Cibi began as a Japanese family-run café in Melbourne, Australia. After incredible success overseas, the Tokyo location follows the same tried-and-tested formula. Cibi offers a blend of Japanese and Australian cuisine, with delicious coffee, well-balanced breakfast plates, and plenty of mid-morning snacks like muffins and cakes. The front of the café is also a ceramics and art store, so patrons can support local artisans, pick up some last-minute gifts and enjoy an excellent meal all in one.

Yakumo Saryo, Meguro

Restaurant, Japanese, $$$
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As great as the international options are, you’d be amiss to visit Tokyo without trying an authentic Japanese breakfast at least once. Yakumo Saryo, in the unassuming residential backstreets of Meguro, is a stylishly minimal restaurant, and dining here is a lesson in culinary perfection. In the mornings Yakumo Saryo offers simple, clean, perfectly balanced Japanese dishes like miso soup, pickles, fish and tea finished with a wagashi (classic Japanese sweets).

Buvette, Chiyoda City

Cafe, Japanese, $$$
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If you’re craving a European-style brunch in Tokyo, head to Buvette to gorge on sweet and savoury delights. Think buttery croissants and French toast, Nutella crepes and a selection of tempting croques monsieurs accompanied by coffee and tea. Launched by American chef Jody Williams, Buvette has branches in New York, London and Paris and sits on the ground floor of the new Tokyo Midtown Hibiya complex. The light-filled space lends itself to long weekend brunches.

Crisscross, Minato

Cafe, Japanese
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Crisscross has a killer outdoor terrace set among nature which makes for an idyllic summer breakfast spot, complete with free coffee refills. The all-day Tokyo café has a western menu bursting with breakfast favourites served from 8am. Top picks include avocado toast, pancakes and home-made granola – don’t miss the raisin walnut French toast. Crisscross lies in the heart of Omotesando in a chic complex also home to a Mediterranean eatery and the Breadworks bakery, so you can pick up a few takeaway treats.

Tsumugi, Tsukiji

Cafe, Japanese, $$$
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Searching for a traditional Japanese breakfast? Order the 18-set special at Tsumugi, which boasts floor-to-ceiling views of the ancient Tsukiji Honganji Temple while you dine. Served between 8am and 11am, the tiny dishes feature local specialities like Japanese sour plums, matcha jelly, peppery fried eggplant and all-you-can-eat okayu porridge. All dishes are made with local ingredients and can be washed down with green tea refills. Inspired by Buddhist principles, Tsumugi is part of the temple’s information centre.

Additional reporting by Amy Blyth.

These recommendations were updated on April 20, 2021 to keep your travel plans fresh.

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