Release Date: May 1, 2017

Nakameguro has always been a popular Tokyo destination. It’s known for chill vibes at cafes and shops lining the river, especially during the cherry blossom season. It’s getting even more attention now as the station has recently been redone and it’s now home to mini TSUTAYA book shop where lots of people relax and kill time. Where to have coffee though? We’ve got you covered with 10 options…



Let’s begin at Blue Bottle, which set up it’s Nakameguro store last year. If you’re wanting to avoid the Blue Bottle queues, Nakameguro is perhaps your best option… as it’s a good 10-minute walk from the station. Architect Joe Nagasaka has done a fantastic job redesigning the 3-story building into a space that not only serves up coffee but also has little pockets for barista training and community events. Perfect pour-over and espresso-based drinks are on the menu here.

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When you exit the South gate at Nakameguro station – you can pretty much walk straight into The City Bakery. Grab your coffee (and scrumptious Pretzel Croissant!) to go, or there’s ample seating available for you to chill. They’re using a blend by Ogawa Coffee for their espresso, and drip coffee is curated by the respected Obscura Coffee Roasters. You can stop by anytime from 7:30am to 11pm every day of the year.. and could well be considered this city’s bakery!

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JAHO COFFEE, originally from witch-town SALEM in the States, has opened their first overeas store; a warm cafe–in-shop by Meguro river. Natural light beautifully blankets the café area where locals sip their coffee while reading the newspaper. For 1,000 yen you can get your espresso-based coffee with the weekday soup lunch set. This week’s soup is a rich Clam Chowder which also comes with organic “kouso-genmai” brown rice onigiri. The concept of the menu is “simplicity” and all the food has a very pure and healthy feel to it. Beans are flown in from Boston (Jaho’s roastery) every week while the search is on to set up a local roastery.

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Onibus Coffee is one of Tokyo’s most popular specialty coffee roasters. This is their newest establishment; a beautiful 2 story building with wooden extensions that houses their biggest roaster which never seems to stop. There is some outside seating where conversations usually take place with the baristas/roasters, or head upstairs for a lovely view of the Tokyo line train flying by. Have you seen the video we took of well-respected Atsushi-san making coffee? The music track accompanying by Teppei Matsumoto is called Coffee o’clock a Check it out!

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Pavilion is one of Nakameguro’s newest restaurants. They’re offering espresso-based drinks using Italian roaster Borbone. We paired their coffee up together with a delicious Gateau Chocolat with Amazon Wild Cacao dessert. The coffee is good, but it’s more about the interior experience here than anything else. There’s a real scooter hanging from a real light post which is hanging from the ceiling… and that’s the just the beginning of the contemporary art all around you…

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If you’re after pizza and espresso – this is your answer. A pizza shop with only 2 pizzas on the menu. Don’t get me wrong – I love variety in life, like walking into a coffee shop with a list of 25 single origins to choose from, but there is something alluring about this kind of minimalism. The first time I visited, I asked Kakinuma San (owner) about his thinking behind the 2 pizza menu. He told me that it doesn’t really matter what goes on top, it’s all about the base. We got talking and it turns out that he is a drummer and that there’s a rhythm in making pizza and espresso that sits well with him. He clearly doesn’t miss a beat; his wood fired pizza is perfectly thin, perfectly crusted and, despite his insistence that the toppings don’t matter, finished with a rich tomato and cheese and a river of delicious olive oil. 3 group piston espresso machine sits on the 2nd floor, which I still claim to be the best post-meal espresso I’ve had in my life.

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2-6-4 Kamimeguro Meguro-ku, Tokyo



Sidewalk Stand is an instagram-friendly corner shop, which sits right by the river across from Jaho Coffee. They’re serving up delicious espresso based drinks by Allpress Coffee, as well as craft beer and sandwiches. Today we’re trying the refreshingly good “Bitter Orange Americano” which rumor has it to be Bjork’s favorite when she’s in town. Use the space on the 2nd floor to chill, or spill out onto the streets with your coffee like the hipsters of Tokyo do!

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Streamer Coffee shops are popping up all over Japan, and one of the most recent stores to be set up is in Nakameguro. There’s lots of seating here if you’re after a spacious café to kill time at. The iced lattes are so cute served in mini milk bottles, but the REVOLVER LATTE with extreme latte art is still the most popular item on the menu. Be sure to indulge in one of their donuts too.

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Taste AND Sense (by 1LDK) is a popular lunch spot nearby the tracks opened from 11:30 daily (last order for lunch is 2:30pm). Their delicious lunch menu changes daily. Coffee is roasted by IFNi Roasting&Co, and I usually like to order my coffee through the window from the front. Wait infront of the shed-like store while chatting to your barista, or pop into the incredible 1LDK select shops adjoining the café and directly across the street.

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The Workers Coffee/Bar is a coffee stand that is part of the attractive restaurant STALL. It’s opened on weekdays from 8AM to 10:30PM.  Espresso-based and pour over coffee is brought to you by the beloved LITTLE NAP COFFEE STAND. There’s a small communal table or a bench with high stools looking out to the river, but the spot to chill at is definitely out the front nodding to friendly locals walking by. This shop often holds interesting in store events for various artists in Tokyo.

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*You’ll be able to find other coffee shops by searching the hashtag #goodcoffee_nakameguro on instagram.


Column by Vaughan (@vja)

Photography by Nik van der Giesen (@nvdg81)

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