Found an awesome neighborhood diner in town. “Bowery Kitchen” is located near the Olympic park, Komazawa-koen. Since it’s not close to any train station, this diner is filled with locals hanging out with their dogs, families with babies, and friends hanging out for Sunday brunch. If you want to experience a local Japanese diner atmosphere, this place does it well. It feels old but also has a good character to it. The noise, smell and busyness of it really make you feel like you’re in a NY hipster diner despite being in Tokyo.
The menu is large so you have lots to choose from here (and don’t worry, they also have an English menu!). Pictured above are:
– Pumpkin soup (350yen) — yumm
– Prosciutto and avocado Carbonara (1300yen)
– Fruit waffle (800yen)
– Coleslaw (200yen)
– Block Vegetable (850yen)
– Grilled Chicken Garlic Sauce (1000yen) — yumm
– Chicken Rice Omelet (1050yen) — yumm
After your meal, I highly recommend stopping by Komazawa-koen to go on a nice walk, bike ride (they have rental bikes), play with your kids at the kids park, or simply enjoy the beautiful scenery. The park is quite large with lush greenery which is in the peak of springtime right now and it’s a great place to go running or jogging as well. They oftentimes have all types of sporting events going on in the stadiums within the park as well.
Address // 5-18-7 Komazawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 03-3704-9880
Website // http://www.heads-west.com/shop/bowery-kitchen.html
Yocco’s French Toast Cafe, a new place inside Trainichi (a cute little plaza in Jiyugaoka), opened last month (March 2013) with a concept of serving the best french toast in Japan. The place has a cute decor and it felt like it was going to be a promising experience.
We ordered the “French toast with poached egg and cheddar cheese” for 1400yen and the “Yocco’s Special French toast ~Scrambled Egg with Coquette Gratin of Seafood~” for 1400yen. Both came with maple syrup, red wine vinegar syrup, and pepper. We were so excited to try our plates but I have to say it was just OK. Our food sadly came served cold and the french toast wasn’t a stand out. Perhaps it’s because they are new so they may need a little more time to iron out the kinks. Their dessert french toasts looked good though so it might be worth a shot for dessert instead.
Address // Trainchi A101, 5-42-3, Okusawa, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 03-5483-4600
Website // http://www.lobros.co.jp/cafe2?shop=jiyugaoka
Miss E (my friend who you frequently see on my blog) and I went to this new restaurant/cafe that opened at the end of last year near Roppongi Midtown. “Mercer” is a restaurant brand and this restaurant is their new concept that serves “brunch” (but they are open for dinner too). The restaurant feels very airy and the tall windows bring a lot of natural light in which is great on a sunny day. As soon as you walk in, you’ll notice the great fire place which is the centerpiece of the restaurant. There’s also a small terrace seating where you can dine with pets allowed but it was a tiny section.
Mercer Brunch is known for their brioche french toast, which was quite good. You get to choose your main dish out of 9 selections (but for some you have to pay additional $$) + french toast for 1600yen. Since it doesn’t include a drink, it feels rather pricey for lunch, but the quality of dishes we got were good so we were satisfied with our meal. The ambiance was nice and cozy, the staff were friendly, and we hardly had to wait so overall it was a good experience. In case you are wondering, we chose the grilled chicken salad and salmon tartar for our main dishes.
Stay tuned for my next post where we went shopping and had a tea break near the same area :)
Address // 4-2-35, Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 03-3470-6551
Website // n/a
There’s a popular bagel shop in the middle of Shirokanetakanawa neighborhood where you can get freshly baked bagels. It’s a tiny shop with almost no signage so it’s easy to miss, unless there happens to be a line out the door when you visit.
They serve a variety of different bagels, including: plain, sesame, poppy, onion, everything, 7grain honey, 7grain fig, blueberry, salt, cinnamon raisin, and more all costing between 200~250yen. My friends and I all decided to get some sandwiches as you can see from the pictures above — we selected a choice of any bagel + a “half-sized” ingredient (+300yen). If you get the “regular-sized” ingredient, it’s +400yen (but “half-size” was plenty). Most of us got the egg salad for the sandwich and you can add tomato, lettuce, etc for extra. All the ingredients are listed on their website so you can check out if you’re allergic to anything. They make your sandwich to order so the service is a little slow but the staff is friendly and nice. Overall the bagels were yummy, but not amazing. Still, it’s good to know there’s a place where you can get decent bagels in Tokyo when you have a craving.
Note that you cannot dine here, it’s only for take out.
Address // 1-15-22, Shirokane, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // n/a
Website // http://www.maruichibagel.com
GONTRAN CHERRIER TOKYO recently opened (at the end of August) in one of the most convenient locations just one minute from Shibuya station and it’s one of my favorite bakery cafe/restaurants that I’ve been to recently. I loved everything about it – from the style of pastries they served, to the cute french ambiance of the store. I’ve liked everything I’ve tried so far from this place and the ease of access is just unbeatable! The bakery also has seating on the 1F so you can eat your pastry’s/baked goods there as well.
PS: I also dined at the second floor cafe/restaurant so I will post about that next.
Address // 1F, 1-14-11, Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan (map)
Phone Number // 03-6418-9581
Website // http://gontran-cherrier.jp/