Traditional Japanese food is amazing and we can’t get enough of it, but sometimes you just need to get that fix of bread or pastries. Did you know that in Japan, there are many interesting Japanese takes on bread and other baked goods that you can only find in Japan? Examples of these fusion delicacies are karepan (curry bread), anpan (red bean filled bread), melonpan (sweet bread), and even yakisoba pan (noodles on a bun). Are you getting curious and hungry already? Let us introduce the 10 best bakeries in Tokyo!
1. BREAD, ESPRESSO&
Located in one of the most hot and happening areas of Tokyo; Omotesando, it is a delight to sit on the terrace or behind the window while seeing Tokyo’s fashionistas stroll by. As their name already implies, they are especially good at bread and coffee specialties. Bread Espresso & serves different types of bread including simple toasted shokupan (Japanese milk bread), french toast, mint bread, egg sandwich. They serve a breakfast set until 10 and a lunch set until 3pm am which includes bread, a small side, and coffee or tea. It tends to get crowded at peak breakfast and lunch hours, so it’s best to come a bit early.
8am to 8pm (closed on Mondays)
2. Beaver Bread
This one is only for those in the know, as the small shop is hidden in a backstreet in Nihonbashi. Where it lacks in size, it more than makes up in quality and the size of its selection. The in-house baker was trained at a high-end restaurant and he mixes that with a rustic approach. While Beaver Bread’s assortment of the usual suspects (croissants, sourdough) is delectable, you may especially want to try the unique Japanese-style specialties like their black bean and chocolate buns and burdock root/cheese twists.
8am to 7pm (weekdays), 8am to 6pm (weekend), closed on Mondays and Tuesdays
3. 365 days
This photogenic cafe near Yoyogi Park and the Meiji Shrine is locally famous as it has been featured in TV shows and magazines and is photographed for Instagram a lot. That means it is very popular, and at peak times there may be a line. Is it worth waiting for? Absolutely, as their French-style breads and Japanese fusion creations are sumptuous. The red bean-based pastries are raved about, and they know how to do a Croque Monsieur the right way. Bon appetit!
7am to 7pm (every day)
4. breadworks Omotesando
Tucked away in one of Omotesando’s smart backstreets, breadworks has something that is hard to find in Tokyo: a comfortable outdoor seating area. When the weather is nice, central Tokyo’s stay-at-home moms like to spend some time on breadwork’s terrace while enjoying a tasty treat. They serve some of the city’s best artisanal breads, pastries, and rich sandwiches. Of course, you can also drink a well-brewed cup of coffee or tea here.
8am to 9pm (every day)
5. The Little Bakery Tokyo
The Little Bakery Tokyo is a small shop with a retro American style. The goods are also made in the American tradition, and you can find traditional US pastries like donuts and sausage rolls. As the shop is so near Yoyogi Park, it is a good idea to buy something to go and eat it in the park if the weather is nice. And a special shout-out for their croissants, which are baked to perfection with a slightly crispy exterior and a fluffy interior.
The Little Bakery Tokyo
10am to 7pm
6. Bricolage Bread & co.
At the heart of the buzzing Roppongi Hills, Bricolage bread & co offers crispy fresh bakes and outdoor seating. If you are looking for rustic and healthy bread, look no further; their sourdough bread are just suburb. Besides the incredible bread they offer a range of pastries. A must try are their pains au chocolat, you will thank us later!
Bricolage Bread & co
7am to 7pm (weekdays), 7am to 8pm (weekend), closed on Monday
7. FRAU KRUMM
German-inspired bakery FRAU KRUMM was opened by former tennis champion Date who got inspired by European bakeries while touring there and married a German man. Staying quite close to the traditional recipes, she bakes delicious pretzels, walnut-honey bread, and croissants. There are some fusion-style snacks as well, and the coffee is great. As there are not many seats in the small shop, we recommend you to take out and eat in the nearby Ebisu East Park.
8am to 5pm (closed on Sundays)
Boulangerie VIRON has a popular bistro on the second floor where you can also enjoy their bread in accompaniment with their other delicious French food. If you’re just looking for a small treat, you only need to check out the first floor. The setting truly feels like a Parisian bakery, and their bakery products are the real deal. The croissants, the baguette, and the glazed pastries can easily compete with their counterparts in Europe.
9am to 9pm (every day)
9. Kimuraya Bakery Ginza
This traditional bakery is located in Tokyo’s prime shopping area Ginza. Kimuraya Bakery is actually where Japan’s bread culture began, around 140 years ago just after Japan opened up to Western influences. In fact, the anpan (sweet bread filled with red bean paste) that was made here was the first version of bread in Japan. This is also the reason why Japanese bread is so often filled with something sweet, as bread is seen as a snack and not so much as a part of a meal. Trying their still very popular sakadane anpan is a must-do if you’re in the area.
Kimuraya Bakery Ginza
10am to 8pm (every day)
10. Asakusa Kagetsudo
Another classic Japanese bread is the melonpan. Named after melons, this sugar bread doesn’t taste like them but they look like one. It is only apt that this traditional Japanese take on bread is sold at Asakusa Kagetsudo in Asakusa – Tokyo’s most popular traditional area. When they are freshly baked the sweet treats are still warm and a bit fluffy due to fermentation. They are delicious by themselves, or you can have them filled with ice cream, red bean paste, or both.
11am to 4pm (every day)
Tasty treats in Japan
As you can see, you won’t have to go without great bakeries in Tokyo! If you do one of our fun and educational private tours you can always ask the guide if you can try one of Japan’s delicious bread specialties and maybe even visit one of the 10 bakeries mentioned above. If you really want to focus on food we recommend our private Tsukiji Asakusa food tour in which you go to Tsukiji and Asakusa to try all kind of local delicacies. One of Japan’s most famous attractions is its local cuisine, so you can be sure to be gastronomically spoiled on your trip here!
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Stefanie Akkerman moved from the Netherlands to Japan in 2013 with her Japanese husband and son. She jumped into the niche of Dutch tour guiding in Tokyo and Kamakura in 2015 and occasionally writes articles about all the great sights and activities Japan has to offer. She loves (Japanese) food, and to work that all off she goes diving, snorkeling, cycling, or hiking.
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