Tokyo’s coffee scene has been brewing for the last few years, slowly but surely increasing the number of high-quality specialty shops. Japan is in the top five coffee consumers in the world and though consumption tends to still mostly come from convenience stores and cheap chain establishments, the situation has been slowly changing in recent years. The country is known for its dedicated professionals, who perfect their craft, and those who are into coffee are no different. Koffee Mameya Kakeru is inspiring baristas around the world and Japanese baristas are starting to win world championships.
We’re not featuring any coffee chains in this round-up (if you are curious about Japanese coffee chains and want to avoid Starbucks, check out our recommendations here). Instead, we are looking at smaller shops that make specialty coffee or carefully select their drinks on the menu. We’ve knocked back espressos, espresso tonics, lattes and macchiatos all over the city and selected a score of new coffee shops and new cafes in Tokyo that opened in 2023.
1. % Arabica Coffee
This global coffee brand’s base is in Kyoto, so its foray into Tokyo starts strong with two shops in the newly opened Azabudai Hills complex. With a roastery on site, the coffee is fresh, perfectly crafted and tasty. One shop is on B1 level, near the new TeamLab Borderless museum. The other one is on the fourth floor of Tower Plaza, with balcony seating and lovely views.
2. Verve Coffee, Yoyogi Park Store
The American brand opened another location, in addition to its Kamakura, Shinjuku and Roppongi stores (just to name the most popular locations). The Yoyogi Park store serves the same excellent coffee we love, in a spacious location surrounded by greenery.
3. Latte Graphic, Seiseki Sakuragaoka Store
Latte Graphic brings the coffee culture of Melbourne to Tokyo, specifically to Ebina, Machida, Tama-Plaza, Jiyigaoka, Musashikosugi and, from October, Seiseki Sakuragaoka. The spacious store serves not only excellent espressos and lattes, but also avocado toast, pasta, pizza, desserts and more.
4. Syzygy Coffee
5. No Free Coffee
Opened in November, this is the first Japanese branch of the Los Angeles brand, recognizable by its cheeky name and pink cups. The shop in the Harajuku backstreets serves a wide variety of specialty coffee and alcoholic beverages in the evening.
6. Black Duck Cafe
A welcoming coffee spot in Takadanobaba, with indoor and outdoor seating, plug sockets and Wi-Fi, Black Duck Cafe serves great coffee and beer. Try its signature Black Duck latte.
7. Roppongi Coffee
Roppongi certainly needed more good coffee spots and Roppongi Coffee came at the right time. The minimalist shop is right on the main avenue and near Roppongi Station. As well as being convenient, it also serves quality caffeinated beverages. We tried the espresso tonic.
8. Torahebi Coffee
This stylish addition to Shibuya Parco offers brews perhaps at steeper prices, but promises to be exceptional. Torahebi (meaning Tiger Snake) uses scientific methods to brew, and it has original blends. One of them was created by Ichiro Yamaguchi, the leader of the band, Sakanaction.
9. Kamome Roastery
Originally a coffee bean specialty store run by a roaster that sells custom-roasted coffee beans throughout Japan, the newly opened coffee stand in Katsushika ward uses freshly roasted, carefully selected coffee beans.
10. Awakening Café
This cozy spot in Ueno has ample seating and a welcoming atmosphere. Awakening Café serves coffee (custom-made coffee blends), matcha, various teas and more.
11. Think Coffee
A sustainability-oriented brand of coffee from the US, Think Coffee’s first Japan location opened in Kanda. Coffee beans are from coffee farmers with whom Think Coffee has a partnership. From beans to coffee cups and the lighting in the store, the goal is to be environmentally friendly.
12. Cois Espresso Club
No one elevates espresso like the Cois Espresso Club. The menu is brimming with the most imaginative, lush coffee creations that center on the espresso. Drinks like Nutella Espresso, Crème Brûlée Espresso, or Ferrero Rocher Espresso take the drink to dessert land, while the classics are there to ground the menu. The coffee shop is located near Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.
13. Light Up Coffee
Light Up, a beloved specialty cafe with locations in Kichijoji and Shimokitazawa, opened a new roastery in Mitaka. At the time of writing, it is open as a café only on Saturdays.
14. And Cafe Sakai
OND is a stylish local brand of cafés in Musashino, known for homemade cakes and food, as well as selling local designer goods. It also has great coffee, that is now starting to shine in its third location, opened in 2023 in Kirarina Keio, a mall connected directly to Kichijoji Station. Named And Cafe Sakai, you can sip on a cappuccino there and look at the trains passing by below.
15. Le Bois
Opened in the hip coffee area of Kiyosumi Shirakawa, walking distance from the Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art, Le Bois combines coffee, art and plants. See a pop-up exhibit, buy a plant and have a nice coffee or a sandwich.
16. Tasse Coffee Roastery
A cozy coffee spot in Takadanobaba, Tasse Coffee Roastery offers excellent coffee in-store and beyond. It provides coffee instructions, simple courses, a tasting corner with 10 different brews in the store and monthly coffee delivery subscriptions.
17. Dolce Tacubo Caffe
Tacubo is an Italian restaurant that has been awarded one star in the Michelin Guide Tokyo. It runs the Dolce Tacubo pâtisserie and, most recently, its first-ever Dolce Tacubo Caffe, located in Toranomon Hills Station Tower. The menu has mouthwatering creative drinks and desserts, such as Espresso Mojito and a newly developed soft-serve ice cream. There’s also an assortment of the store’s most popular desserts as petit fours.
18. Tokyo Node Cafe
Also in Toranomon Hills Station Tower, Tokyo Node Cafe offers a sumptuous food menu and coffee. It serves original blend coffee, which uses coffee beans that have obtained a Rainforest Alliance certification. It’s also worth trying the craft cola made with cane sugar.
Bonus: Greater Tokyo
19. Woodberry Coffee
Woodberry started in Setagaya ward and then went on to open branches in Daikanyama, Shibuya, Ogikubo and Gakugei Daigaku. The Kamakura store is the company’s first one outside central Tokyo, and it’s a comfortable, spacious shop. Woodberry has great coffee and a passion for sustainability. It started direct fair trade with coffee farmers in 2022, and it also offers vegetarian dishes on the menu.