I apologize in advance if this post makes you hungry, as I am starving now after writing it! While I had every intention of getting to the 472 restaurants on my list, we ended up making it to a handful on our list and running into lots of other things instead. This was not the trip to focus on Michelin-starred restaurants or places with crazy-long lines (as we were thinking about patience levels of kids and their parents :P), but we made it to lots of casual spots and LOTS of places with desserts, snacks, and treats aplenty. Here are some favorites…
Harajuku – A district in Shibuya, this area is known for being a hotspot for tourists with a mix of trendy and vintage shops as well as plenty of food and snack stalls of all kinds.
Long Longer Longest – Known for their potato tornado (see first photo above), this is a super fun spot to stop and get a snack from. In fact, the whole street is full of things on sticks (like cotton candy below), candied strawberries, and lots of things with rainbow cheese!
Oshiado – You can make your own tea drinks based on a fun, colorful chart!
Shibuya City – This area feels newer and more modern with a mix of universally known shops mixed with indie Japanese restaurants and cafes.
The Matcha Tokyo – You know I love a great soft serve matcha and have dreamt about it since I was in Japan over a decade ago. This one hit the spot just perfectly. And you can find this matcha spot in multiple places in Tokyo. We visited the one in Shibuya.
Jennifer Seven – We had no plans at all to go to a non-Japanese restaurant, but we found ourselves on a Friday at a very busy hour with crazy long waits at the udon and soba places we wanted to go to, so we went to Jennifer Seven which is modeled to look like a diner you’d find in Los Angeles – ha! While I was super upset about the idea of having American food in Tokyo, it was excellent and the best onion rings we’ve ever had!
Tokyo Baby Castella – You’ll see within this post my obsession with castella cakes and this shop had super cute shaped ones!
Tokyu Food Show – At the basement level of a department store, this was heaven on earth for dessert lovers. My photos only show a tiny sampling of the several dozens of vendors that sold treats from fresh mochi to cookies to speciality cakes.
Shimokitazawa – We met up with a friend in this area and I loved the mix of vintage shops with newer, indie shops, cafes, and restaurants.
Bonus Track – This area feels fresh and new and like a place you could come to hungry and stay, hang, and eat all day checking out the various shops and cafes.
Flipper’s – Tokyo has a bunch of great spots for fluffy pancakes, and we visited Flippers for their version which was a hit with everyone.
Aoi Renga – Another honey castella shop that sells them in tiny balls and sold by the bag. I ate probably about 40 of these within an hour.
Warito – We were recommended this ramen spot which specializes in tsukemen ramen (the kind you dip into broth). Like many ramen places in Tokyo, you order what you want at a machine, pay, and then you sit down and wait for your food. Make sure you have cash, as many of these spots only take cash. And, you’ll need Google Translate on your phone to read the menus.
Matsunosuke – We originally went here for fluffy pancakes, but must have gone on the wrong day as they were sold out! But instead we ended up having some amazing pie and the best scone I have ever had! You can’t tell much from the photo, but the texture was unbelievable and the best I have ever tasted.
Honey Castella Cakes – Ok, so I’ve officially shown you four versions of honey castella cakes that we came across in Tokyo, and I am obsessed. Whether in sliced cake form, ball shape, or some other shape, it’s buttery deliciousness. It’s basically like a very delicate sponge cake with extra butter, and so so good. Try them anywhere you see them in Tokyo!
P.S. Please forgive me if I have labeled any of these in the wrong neighborhood. There were a few that overlapped and I am trying my best to remember. But check Google Maps links if you’re going!