Spring means new beginnings, and that extends to the array of new fantastic foodie locales in Tokyo. Here are seven exciting additions to Tokyo’s dining scene this season to get your tastebuds tingling:
11 years after the first Café Rigoletto opened its doors in Kichijoji, this Spanish-Italian dining brand’s latest offering makes Shibuya its home with a “gourmet meatery” concept. The restaurant has two lavishly decorated floors, with the second floor allowing full view of the kitchen, as well as a glance at the disco ball-esque wood fired pizza oven. Lunch sets are reasonably priced for the area and free drink refills with your meal are a clear bonus. Evening dining options – apart from the obvious carnivorous choices, pizza, and pasta – include Japanese-inspired cocktails infused with yuzu and shiso, as well as an extensive wine selection and some choice craft beers.
1F Shibuya Cast, 1-23-21 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku. www.rigoletto.jp/shibuya/
Good Life Factory
Good Life by name, good life (and food) by nature. This farm-to-table salad shop is a diner with a difference. Not only do they provide locally sourced vegetables from neighboring Chiba and Ibaraki prefectures, they also make their own special blend of fermented brown rice, multi-grained rice and adzuki beans to give their salads an extra hit of minerals and fiber. Packed with everything you need for the day – greens, proteins (vegan-friendly ones, too!) and superfoods – these salads will leave you satisfied and stress-free. You can either design your own bowl, or choose one of the suggested combos on the menu.
1F H.T. Minami-Aoyama Bldg III, 7-11-4 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku. goodlifefactory.jp/en/
This Sydney staple of 15 years was awarded the number 25 spot in a ranking of Australia’s best 100 restaurants in 2016, and now it’s time to share their culinary skills with Tokyo. Their first restaurant in Japan will be in the capable hands of Toshiyuki Nakayasu, who was head chef of the Fratelli Paradiso Sydney shop for 9 years. Course meals are abound with true blue Italian fare, including freshly made pasta, aged prosciutto and creamy risottos. To go with the meals, there is an excellent selection of 150 different wines. Also, for those with dietary requirements, simply let your waiter know and they will accommodate the meal accordingly.
3F Omotesando Hills, 4-12-10 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. fratelliparadiso.im-transit.co.jp
The Campanella Cafe
The Tokyo Campanella cookie shop has recently branched into the restaurant industry with a café of its own. Located on the 4th floor of Tokyo Daimaru department store, this Italian-inspired lounge is a luxurious oasis bathed in calming aquamarine hues. Its main fare includes a selection of salads, sandwiches, and doria, ideal for a light lunch or afternoon tea. Especially enticing are the café’s dolce, including an extravagant gold-leaf and chocolate coated Zukotto, filled with a pistachio and vanilla mousse, as well as an Italian take on Japan’s Mont Blanc dessert, appropriately renamed Monte Bianco.
4F Daimaru Tokyo, 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku. thecampanellacafe.com
It’s finally here: Tokyo’s first kombucha tap bar! For those still scratching their heads, kombucha is a fizzy, fermented tea that purports to have numerous health benefits including better sleep quality, and improved digestion and liver function. The tap bar’s namesake comes in two flavors – original (plain), and a limited edition flavor that changes regularly. There are also raw juices, cold press juices, shot juices, and, for those feeling peckish, kale salads and a selection of brown rice onigiri should hit the spot nicely.
2-13-13 Nishi-Azabu, Minato-ku. oks-nishiazabu.com
Shinjuku Box Café & Space
January 3rd this year said goodbye to longstanding Krispy Kreme Donuts over at Shinjuku Southern Terrace, and April 28th said hello to a brand-new store concept: Shinjuku Box Café & Space. This prime location will now be a hot spot for pop up shops, giving the venue a fresh new look every few months. First out is the Taiwanese shaved ice shop Ice Monster, along with a Max Brenner Chocolate Bar pop up store. Both stores will have character collaborations until July – Max Brenner with the rabbit Usamaru, and Ice Monster with SNS app Line’s multitude of original characters.
Shinjuku Southern Terrace, 2-2-2 Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku. shinjukubox.im-transit.co.jp
Max Brenner Chocolate Pizza Bar
Make your childhood dreams come true, one slice at a time. Following the success of Max Brenner’s Chocolate Bar in Omotesando Hills, this worldwide chocolate giant has taken one of its most popular items – the dessert pizza – and devoted a whole dining establishment to it. Enter Max Brenner Chocolate Pizza Bar, now open in Harajuku’s home for fashionistas, the LaForet department store. The iconic chocolate pizza is now customizable with five different chocolate bases and 15 different toppings to choose from. While there is no specific eat-in area inside the shop, diners can eat their slices at the mini food court, Good Meal Market.
2F LaForet Harajuku, 1-11-16 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku. maxbrenner.com