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Tokyo, Japan: 3 must-try dessert cafés

By Safiya Quinley 17 February 2020

Drinking a warm coffee (or tea) with a bite of something sweet is the perfect way to spend a cold Tokyo day. If you want to take a break from Starbucks and other chain store fare, head to these three coffee shops with fabulous desserts to beat that afternoon slump.

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Located underground, café AALIYA has a cosy atmosphere and is popular for its light and fluffy French toast. Unlike Western-style French toast, it doesn’t come with maple syrup—it’s sweet enough on its own! You can customise your order with various toppings such as berry sauce, vanilla ice cream, and caramel. Half portions of their French toast are also available, but you’ll need to order a drink as well.

Besides their French toast, they offer several different blends of coffee and a wide variety of teas. Try a tea inspired by your zodiac sign, or their Russian tea with lemongrass and jam. Unfortunately, the English menu does not have descriptions of the tea ingredients, unlike the Japanese menu. So if you’re curious about the what’s in your tea, bring a Japanese speaking friend (or break out Google translate and use the camera feature!).

café AALIYA, 〒160-0022 Tokyo, Shinjuku City, Shinjuku, 3 Chome−1−17 ビル山本B1F


Get here early as seats fill up quickly during lunch hour.  This narrow, three-storey-tall Ikebukuro coffee shop serves a variety of hot drinks, including a coffee sampler called 3PEAKS featuring three different coffee blends for those who have a hard time choosing. The coffee beans they use change daily, so repeat visits are warranted for true coffee lovers.

COFFEE VALLEY has several desserts on offer: pound cake, French toast, and biscotti to go with your coffee, but I recommend trying their savoury toasts. Like their coffee, their food items change periodically as well. Try the Croque Monsieur (ham and cheese toast), which is served with a side of honey to be poured on top before eating. Perfect for anyone who wants something more filling, but has a bit of a sweet tooth.

COFFEE VALLEY, 2 Chome-26-3 Minamiikebukuro, Toshima City, Tokyo 171-0022

Tokyo calling:

By Andrew Madigan 21 January 2020

green bean to bar CHOCOLATE

Despite being across the street from one of the world’s largest Starbucks, green bean to bar CHOCOLATE holds its own against the coffee giant with their chocolate desserts. This is a great choice for anyone who prefers a milder caffeine hit in the form of delicious, delicious chocolate. While they do serve an American coffee and a cacao tea, they’re better known for their hot chocolate, which comes in 3 flavours—standard, original, and spicy.

For those who prefer to eat their chocolate, they also offer a wide range of chocolate desserts, from muffins and brownies to eclairs and chocolate tarts. For adults, they also serve alcohol that comes with a complimentary chocolate bonbon. You can also buy boxed chocolates, which are perfect as a gift for loved ones back home or to enjoy later in your hotel room. While you enjoy your sweet treat, you can also witness the chocolate-making process through the large kitchen windows that give you a full view of the behind-the-scenes action.

green bean to bar CHOCOLATE, 2 Chome-16-11 Aobadai, Meguro City, Tokyo 153-0042

If you feel like café-hopping, all three cafés are easily accessible via the Fukotoshin Line on the Tokyo Metro. Stay warm!

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Safiya Quinley


Safiya Quinley is a Southern Californian living in Tokyo since September 2019. She studied theatre at the University of Southern California and studied abroad in Miyazaki, Japan, in high school. She spends way too much time on Instagram and loves Japanese convenience stores (7-11 is the best one).