If you find yourself in Harajuku (a fun, lively part of Tokyo that is always mega crowded and stuffed full of Cosplay enthusiasts) then you’re sure to spot several of the famous crêpe shops, their lengthy queues contributing to the clogged artery of human activity that is Takeshita street.
The longest-running crêpe shop in Japan is Marion Crêpes. It started as a food truck in the 1970’s before relocating to Takeshita-dori. Aside from Marion Crêpes there are plenty of other options if you don’t fancy the longest of queues.
Whichever stall you chose, there will be about one hundred flavour options to choose from. First decision: sweet or savoury? Savoury ones are less popular, but a tasty option none the less, particularly if you like pizza as that is what they always look like in the pictures!
For sweet, you can choose a crêpe with ice- cream, cream, fruit, custard, sauce, sponge cake, chocolate cake, cheesecake, pudding… or just a simple crêpe with lemon and sugar. Most crêpes have at least three different fillings in (and of course, you can go DIY style and order any combination of items in your crepe). Some have cream piled up so high that they end up looking like ice-creams.
For my first Harajuku crepe I had the ‘strawberry-and-cheesecake crème brûlée cream crêpe’ (try saying that mouthful after you’ve had a pint or two!) It had a slice of cheesecake squished down the middle, cream pumped into every minuscule available space, fresh strawberry slithers and strawberry sauce smothered in the next layer, with a caramelized crème brûlée top. Wow!
Honestly… a little disappointing! The crêpe itself had nothing wrong with it – it was just an ordinary crêpe. The strawberry pieces and sauce were fine, and the hard crème brûlée layer gave a good crunch. The disappointing part was the ‘cheesecake’ which had probably never been near any sort of cheese in its life. It was just a slice cake. The cream was abundant, but perhaps too much so. Unsurprisingly, I felt quite sick after consuming the giant ‘snack’. But you know, ‘when in Rome’ and all that. I’m glad I tried the famous snack; it was a fun experience, but it is by no means my go-to morsel. I’d recommend tourists to try it, but perhaps consider sharing it with a friend if you’re dining on a less-than empty stomach!