It took the sour drink less than five years to dominate the spring and summer trends in Japan. While it might be dreaming in colors to call this the end of the tapioca era, refreshing lemonade is without a doubt a must-pick-up to beat the summer heat, with dozens of cafés adding it to their cold beverages’ menu.
We’ve scoured the city and Japanese online rankings to bring you the ultimate list of where to find the best lemonade in Tokyo.
1. Lemonade by Lemonica
Lemonade by Lemonica is the mother of lemonade specialty shops. Launched in 2017, it prides itself on customization. Customers can pick and choose exactly how they want their lemonade, from a soda mix to add a dash of apple cider syrup. Their menu also includes some fun twists on the classic drink, like kiwi-soda or cola lemonade, for those who want something a little more adventurous. Look out for their special menu items like this cheese lemonade (pictured above)!
Where: Shibuya Stream (///resemble.interval.disband)
2. Café Kitsune
High-end Franco-Japanese fashion brand Maison Kitsuné also has a couple of restaurants, bar and cafés around the world, including one in Aoyama. Inspired by Tokyo, Café Kitsune stands among boutiques of iconic Japanese brands in the trendy neighborhood. While most customers go there for their espresso, a limited-edition menu also offers a few refreshing options, including lemonade.
Where: Aoyama (///draining.meal.impact)
3. With Out Stand
With Out Stand is a trendy chain of cafés, with their particularly Instagramable logo designs and minimal decor. In addition, a wide range of coffee drinks you might also find a few juices and specialty drinks depending on their location, though all of them make sure to include summer’s go-to lemonade with a splash of soda and a couple of lemon slices thrown in for extra sourness.
4. Double Tall
We gave a heartfelt shoutout to Double Tall in our Shinjuku cafés round-up, and we just had to mention them again not only for including lemonade on their seasonal menu, but also making it afloat for when you just can’t decide between a cool drink and an ice cream cone. Traditional soda floats might be too sweet even for dessert fans, but this combo just feels like a softer sherbet, fulfilling our cravings on every visit.
Where: Shinjuku Gyoen-mae (///reeling.steadily.vast)
5. Blue Bottle
California’s Blue Bottle has already made quite an impression in Japan. Thought the coffee shop is best known for its posh interior, in Japan is has already evolved to something like a lifestyle brand, too. During the warmer months, you can spot special seasonal drinks including the one pictured above, which is a “lemon sundae,” or a lemonade topped with a scoop of lemon sherbet. A cool alternative to the float if dairy is not your friend.
Where: For the sherbet float, head to Yokohama’s NeWoman (///volunteered.hunches.padlock)
6. Garden House
Summer is the perfect time for grabbing a bit outside. Garden House has a couple of locations in and around Tokyo, but we’re biased for their Daikanyama location. Among the salads, pizzas and desserts that all have a very homemade feel and taste to them, the restaurant also carries a seasonal lemonade at selected locations, including the original Garden House in Kamakura.
Where: Long Road (///worker.routine.minority)
Another Aoyama location to absolutely stop by for homemade lemonade is Citron, a Paris-inspired bar and salad restaurant. If you’re in the area and are in the mood to rest your fit, eat a light lunch and casually sip your drink on a weekend afternoon, Citron is the place.
Where: Aoyama (///inform.fend.helper)