Nakameguro, just two stations from Shibuya on the Toyoko Line, is mostly known for its gorgeous riverside cherry blossoms and high-end bars and restaurants. A frequent hangout for Japanese celebrities, it’s no surprise that this chic inner-city locale also boasts several trendy cafés offering up some of the best coffee in the city.
The sheer number of cafés within walking distance of Nakameguro Station can make it almost impossible to decide where to head to first. To help you out, we’ve rounded up a list of our favorite Nakameguro coffee joints.
Tucked away in the backstreets behind the station, Onibus is coffee royalty in the Tokyo scene. From a humble beginning in Kanagawa, it now operates primarily out of this small Nakameguro location and churns out wholesale beans that supply several other notable Tokyo cafés.
The café itself is stunning and sits in a converted rice porridge restaurant. In a celebration of traditional Japanese design, the team has maintained some of the original elements and incorporated artisanal ceramic tiling on the interior walls. Customers can also enjoy their coffee from gorgeous, domestically made porcelain cups.
Pick up a coffee at the front window and find yourself a seat in the leafy, sunlit outdoor terrace or head upstairs for an indoor seat with a view over the neighboring railway.
One of four locations across Tokyo, Nakameguro’s Sidewalk Stand is a compact café located amongst the sakura trees on the Meguro River promenade. Sidewalk’s owners carefully select each location based on a core philosophy of encouraging people to stop, relax and take a moment to enjoy their surroundings.
Staff roast beans on site every day and there’s an ample selection of delicious homemade breads and pastries on offer. Grab a cup of coffee and park yourself in the sun out front to enjoy an afternoon of people watching.
With an owner that placed third in the World Latte Art Championships – you know you’re going to be in for a treat here. Opened in October 2021, Swell is a newcomer on the Tokyo scene. Yet, it’s already established itself as a Nakemeguro mainstay. Housed in a gorgeous exposed concrete building, the team at Swell are serving up equally beautiful cups of coffee.
With WiFi and ample seating, Swell is the perfect spot for anyone looking to spend a leisurely afternoon getting some work done. Check out the collapsible, reusable cups they have on sale – they’ll make a 50-yen donation to an environmental cause each time you use one.
Part of the ever-growing Woodberry Coffee family, Perch is a little bit further from the station than the others on this list. About a 10-minute walk in the direction of Daikanyama, this hole-in-the-wall café is easy to miss if you’re not looking for it.
Unlike Woodberry’s more spacious locations, Perch caters more to those who are on the go. If you are lucky enough to snag one of the few seats available, you can enjoy a fantastic cup of coffee while chatting with the friendly baristas in a charming, tiled interior. Make sure to check out the shop’s healthy baked goods as well – the vegan scones alone make this spot worth a visit.
Epulor lives up to its name – a latin word meaning “to dine sumptuously.” Pull up a stool at the sleek, wooden bench and watch as your barista crafts you a specialty coffee or an espresso tonic. Epulor also boasts a first-rate sound system and you can look forward to a healthy rotation through a vinyl collection of jazz, rock, classical and more with each visit.
This stylish establishment is definitely on the pricier side (think ¥700 for a coffee) but is well worth a visit for anyone looking for a more refined coffee experience. It also transforms into a softly lit wine bar in the evenings that offers a fantastic option for those searching out a date spot in Nakameguro.
Top and feature photo from Shutterstock; coffee shop photos by the author.