Tokyo is famous for its bustling café culture. From traditional tea houses to trendy, aesthetic coffee shops and eccentric hyper-kawaii themed cafés, there are endless options to choose from for an afternoon pick-me-up. And if your sweet tooth is calling, many of these cafés offer sweets and desserts that perfectly pair with your coffee and tea. 

If you’re in search of some not-so-typical coffee shops and ice cream parlors, here are a few that you should add to your café-hopping itinerary.

J_O Cafe

J_O Cafe, in Ginza, is a modern and hip hangout spot, designed to be warm and welcoming, whether you come alone or with friends.

Their cafe menu includes classic offerings like cold brew and cappuccino, as well as specials like their salty mocha and charcoal latte. Barista and latte art world champion Junichi Yamaguchi serves as a J_O Cafe advisor, and each coffee cup is decorated with the cafe’s mascot. You can also grab a Canelé de J_O, a French cake-like pastry with a thick caramel crust, to pair nicely with your coffee. And if coffee is not your cup of tea, you can also order Earl Gray tea or hot chocolate (also available iced).

Ueshima Coffee Shop

Ueshima Coffee Shop in Nihonbashi offers an inviting space to enjoy sandwiches, along with their specialty flannel “nel drip” coffee, which is brewed using a flannel cloth filter rather than the usual paper filter. The coffee is able to stick to the cloth’s thick fibers, increasing its contact time with hot water, resulting in a brew with a richer and smoother taste. 

Ueshima also has seasonal offerings like the orange milk coffee with Valencia orange syrup and orange peel compote topping for the summertime. Enjoy your signature drink with one of their 11 dessert selections like steamed cheesecake for a relaxing afternoon decompression.

Green Bean to Bar Chocolate

Indulge in handcrafted artisanal chocolate at Green Bean to Bar Chocolate in Nihonbashi. Green Bean to Bar Chocolate uses quality ingredients such as single-origin cocoa beans and organic sugar, and works closely with farmers to ensure a high standard of flavor; they’ve been awarded numerous top prizes from the chocolate industry as a result.

Wrapped in traditional Japanese washi paper, these luxurious chocolate bars make a beautiful gift or a treat for yourself. On top of their celebrated chocolate bars, the café portion of the shop also offers a drink menu with a daily special and rich chocolate desserts like eclairs and gateau au chocolat.

Hare Terrace Nihonbashi

At Hare Terrace Nihonbashi, you can find 31 different flavors of gelatos and sorbets. Batches are made by hand every day, using milk from Nagano Prefecture. Their wide selection of flavors include classics like vanilla and caramel, but they also offer unique scoops with local Nagano ingredients, including huckleberry yogurt, with berries grown around Bessho Onsen in Ueda, and apricot milk with a confit jam made from the prefecture’s renowned apricots. They also offer limited edition flavors, like sakura mochi milk, which mixes in sakura flowers and leaves for the floral smell and taste of spring.

Miyashita Cafe

Enjoy soft serve ice cream from Fukuoka at Miyashita Cafe at Shibuya. A concept café from Daimyo Softcream, Miyashita Cafe serves the brand’s classic soft-serve ice cream along with coffee and other sweet treats like their original Taiwanese-style castella, famous for its soft, fluffy and moist texture, like that of chiffon cake. Sandwiched with fresh cream and strawberries, it’s their most popular menu item.  .

Soda floats are another offering available here. Popularized in Japan during the Showa era, these drinks mix a bright and colorful soda base with a thick swirl of soft serve and an iconic red cherry on top, making an Instagram-worthy photo.