All About Coffee: The 6 Best Independent Coffee Shops in Tokyo

  • FOOD
  • It is perfectly normal to see large groups of business people, students, and tourist amass at Tokyo’s numerous coffee shops throughout the day. It doesn’t matter if it’s morning or night, the many Starbucks, Dotour, Tully’s, Excelsior, and Cafe Veloce coffee shops that adorn many corners and subway stations with their signs, promotions, and menus serve as a convenient rendezvous for people who want to study, work, have a nice conversation, or simply grab a cup of coffee.

    However, while these big coffee chains are indeed the most convenient ones due to their large footprint, nothing beats the pleasure of entering an independent coffee shop, with their artsy baristas and aromatic coffee beans. As in any big city, Tokyo is also home to many great coffee shops that any coffee lover should visit in heartbeat. Here we have compiled six of our favorite coffee shops, listed in no particular order.

    1. Glitch Coffee & Roasters – Jimbocho

    Located in Jimbocho, a neighborhood famous for its many bookstores, Glitch made its grand entrance to Tokyo’s coffee scene in 2015. From there, this small coffee shop started gaining a following of devoted fans at such fast speed that the number of coffee lovers stopping by often overwhelm the small locale. However, its sudden rise to the top of the most popular independent coffee shops in the metropolis has not harmed Glitch’s quality and its staff love for what they do, which continued to make this place one of our favorite ones in Tokyo.


    2. Obscura Coffee Roasters – Sangenjaya

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    cafeの4月からの定休日のご案内 cafeをいつもご利用いただいている皆様へ。 4月にCafe Obscuraはオープンから9年がたち、10年目を迎えます。 ここまで続けてこれたのも皆様のご愛顧のおかげと、改めて感謝申し上げます。 オープン以来、Cafe Obscuraでご提供するものは全て自家製で提供してきました。 これからも同じクオリティの商品を提供し続けていくために、仕込み時間としての曜日を用意した方が良いと判断いたしました。 今後はCafe Obscura限定で、毎週水曜日を定休日とさせて頂きます。 これからも皆様に美味しい自家製のケーキやサンドイッチを楽しんで頂く環境を維持してまいりたいと考えていますので、何卒、ご理解を賜りますようお願いいたします。 ※Obscura Laboratory、Obscura Martについては、 変わらず月に一度の第3水曜日のみの定休日となります。 (変更前)毎月第3水曜日 → (変更後)毎週水曜日(4月4日、11日、18日、25日) となります。 Cafe Obscura 一同 #cafeobscura#三軒茶屋コーヒー#tokyocoffee#obscuracoffeeroasters

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    Hidden outside the city center, amidst the many restaurants and cafes of the push Sangenjaya neighborhood, there is a gorgeous coffee shop that has had an huge influence on the coffee scene of both the district in which it is located and Tokyo itself. Obscura specializes in siphon coffee brewing, and their tasty sandwiches and exposed concrete walls make it a perfect place to relax and read book. If that were not enough, Obscura offers trainings for corporate customers and workshops for regular ones. We love it when coffee shops spread their very useful knowledge!


    3. Sarutahiko Coffee – Ebisu

    Sarutahiko has been growing at a steady pace, now boasting various coffee shops including one overseas. However, Sartuahiko’s heart rests in its tiny flagship shop in Ebisu. It’s always good to see when a popular coffee shop remains loyal to its roots and what made it so overwhelmingly famous, and Sarutahiko does exactly that. For those who want to try something out of the ordinary, try their honey latte.


    4. Maruyama Coffee – Omotesando

    Maruyama made its grand entrance in Karuizawa in 1991, and from there grew to become one of the country’s most admired and respected coffee shops. Their exceptional coffee and the skills of its award-winning baristas is such that Maruyama’s carries the type of prestige reserved for Michelin-starred restaurants. Now legendary, Maruyama is a staple of what Japan’s baristas can accomplish. Of course, their flagship store continues to be in Karuizawa, but their single-origin coffee shop in Omotesando is every bit as charming. Quiet, humble, and secluded, the Omotesando store gives the impression that Maruyama is a new player on the field. That is of course dispelled as soon as you have your very first sip.


    5. Daily Coffee Stand – Nogata

    Do you enjoy that warmth feeling small towns give? That sensation that everyone knows each other and that all neighbors are there for each other? Funny enough, the district of Nogata in Nakano-ward gives away that feeling despite being part of the immense metropolis that is Tokyo. Living true to that calm and pleasant feeling the whole neighborhood exudes, Daily Coffee Stand has a an overall aura of camaraderie, making it a perfect place for locals to enjoy a cup of coffee and one the coffee shop’s delicious muffins.

    Daily Coffee Stand’s Facebook

    Daily Coffee Stand

    6. Turret COFFEE – Tsukiji

    Tsukiji is famous for mainly two things: the fish market that has now relocated to Toyosu, and Turret COFFEE. One of the reasons Turret draws such large crowds is its lattes. These big, smooth lattes are so incredibly mouthwatering that people won’t hesitate to go all the way to Tsukiji with no other purpose but to try them (particularly now that the fish market does not call this district home). That’s how special Turret can be.

    Turret COFFEE


    It goes without saying that Tokyo is a ginormous city, which means that there are numerous coffee shops concealed between its alleys in neighborhoods. Whatsmore, in a city as ever-changing as Tokyo coffee shops may appear, move to other locations, or disappear entirely and without explanation. For those reasons, we would love to hear your opinions! Let us know about your favorite former and existing coffee shops, and whether you’ve tried the ones listed above.

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