Fukuoka’s cafés are a diverse bunch – among them a Silicon Valley coffee shop and a patisserie started by the man who invented dacquoise biscuits. Here’s our pick of the best.
This beautiful little patisserie, located down a quiet street in Yakuin (a cultural hotspot in the city with many shops and restaurants), is truly representative of the on-going love story between France and Japan. Established in 1981 by Japanese chef Takao Mishima, this café is most famous for its dacquoise biscuits. The light, macaron-esque treat filled with frangipane, was invented by Mishima when he was working in Paris, and is well known across Japan as a symbol of Fukuoka. Sample some in the café (¥400 (£3.10) for two), or try one of the seasonal pastries.
Kamakiri Coffee is an airy coffee shop attached to the Fukuoka Toei Hotel, and brings a little bit of Silicon Valley to Fukuoka. Founded by coffee-obsessed ex-Apple engineer Douglas Weber, Kamakiri Coffee is a lovely place to sip a beverage and get some work done. The honey toast (¥500/£3.85) with sourdough made in-house is delicious, and a rare find in Japan. What’s more, the aromatic coffee (¥500/£3.85) is ground in a machine of Weber’s own invention.
Rec Coffee is a chain of cafés with five stores in Fukuoka City and one in Tokyo. One of the city’s most famous locations for a high-quality brew, it regularly hosts workshops where you can learn more about latte art and hand-drip coffee. Each location offers pastries and sandwiches, and is open late. This is a welcoming, relaxed space for coffee lovers to mingle with other patrons.
Hidden down a small street in Daimyo (a trendy shopping quarter), Manu Coffee is a lovely place to rest while on a shopping spree, catch up with friends or bury yourself in a book. The atmosphere is cozy with comfortable sofas, and the staff are very friendly. There’s a huge range of drinks on offer, and all the coffee is made from locally roasted beans, which you can also buy by the bag.
Cafe Bimi is a traditional Japanese coffee house or kissaten, famous nationwide for the Japanese invention known as Nel Drip coffee (made using a filter cut from flannel cloth). The inside of this café is decorated in dark wood, and the whole place has a pleasantly traditional atmosphere which may seem old-fashioned, but that’s partly because Cafe Bimi has been running since 1977. If you want to travel back to a time when Japan’s coffee obsession was just beginning, Cafe Bimi is the place to go.
Tenon – located in Ohashi, just outside the town centre – is in an unassuming, almost unmarked building, with only an understated sign reading ‘coffee’ above the door. This café is a calming place to come and escape it all. The owner, Takashi Murakami, trained at Cafe Bimi, before opening his own coffee shop, which also serves Nel Drip coffee. Each cup is carefully crafted, and made to be savoured.
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