4 Dessert cafes in Tokyo to get delicious, Insta-worthy summer treats
Go anywhere on social media and you’ve probably seen beautifully aesthetic, ultra kawaii (可愛い) dessert creations from Japan. Colourful parfaits piled high with juicy strawberries and pancakes that jiggle like they’re alive make for some amazing photos, and in Tokyo you won’t have to look hard to find a comfortable cafe with desserts you can’t wait to dig into.
Summer is my favourite time to visit dessert cafes, partly to seek shelter indoors from the heat, but also because there’s nothing better than devouring a bowl of ice cream or kakigori (かき氷 shaved ice) while it’s hot outside. If that sounds good to you, get ready to indulge your sweet tooth because here are four dessert cafes to visit the next time you’re in Tokyo (東京) for summer!
1. GLACIEL Omotesando
A spring favourite: pistachio and raspberry parfait (Image credit: Winnie Tan)
Tucked away in one of the quieter side streets of Omotesando (表参道), GLACIEL carries a selection of sophisticated treats fit for the high street. The shop specialises in artisanal ice creams and sorbets, ranging from classics like chocolate and strawberry, to more refined flavours like pistachio and rum and raisin. That’s not all, filling the in-store display case are beautifully decorated ice cream cakes that feature flavours of the season.
You can stop by to purchase some ice cream to-go, but if you have time to spare, head upstairs to their homely salon and try a gourmet parfait. Items on the menu vary by season, so you’ll have creations that incorporate your favourite seasonal ingredients to look forward to.
Address: 3-6-26 Kitaaoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0061
Nearest station: Omotesando Station (表参道駅)
Opening hours: 12pm–7pm (Weekdays), 11am–7pm (Weekends)
Tel: +81 3-6427-4666
2. MID Café
My personal summer favourite: pancakes with lemon curd, topped with lemon gelato. (Image credit: Winnie Tan)
Takadanobaba (高田馬場) is primarily known as a college town and a mecca for ramen-lovers— hardly a place anyone would look to spend a quiet afternoon. However, hidden away from the bustling main street in a residential area is MID Café, an elegant and chic gourmet dessert cafe with tea cupboards and accessories that look like they’re from your stylish rich aunt’s living room (think designer teapots and branded saucers).
Like many desserts in Japan, seasonal fruits play a large part in their menu. There are hearty pancake stacks and beautiful parfaits in fruity flavours, but you’ll also find old favourites like rich caramel pancakes and chocolate ice cream parfaits too. New creations are added to suit the changing seasons, and you can be sure they’ll be works of art!
MID Café Takadanobaba
Address: 2-6-10 Takadanobaba, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-0075
Nearest station: Takadanobaba Station (高田馬場駅) or Nishiwaseda Station (西早稲田駅)
Opening hours: 9am–8pm
Tel: +81 3-6914-1479
3. Pomme d’AMOUR
Candied apples in classic and cinnamon (Image credit: Winnie Tan)
A signal of the coming of summer is candied apple, or ringo ame (りんご飴), making its sweet appearance at summer festival markets. They’re almost exclusively a summer treat, like kakigori, except at cafe Pomme d’AMOUR, where they can be found year-round.
It doesn’t take much to make a candied apple—some fresh fruit, and a sweet sugar mixture to coat them is all it takes. However, the cafe uses a premium type of apple for all their offerings, plus there’s something really attractive about Pomme d'AMOUR glistening candied apples that really catches the eye. If it’s your first time, try the crisp original candied apple for a taste of summer. There are a variety of other flavours too, like cinnamon, chocolate, and seasonal creations.
Located in a quiet area at the corner of bustling Shinjuku (新宿), the cafe is a hidden gem, with a cute, cosy living room-like environment to spend an afternoon in. It is quite popular though, so go on a weekday or arrive early on weekends to secure a spot!
Pomme d’AMOUR Tokyo
Address: 2F 5-9-12 Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0022
Nearest station: Shinjuku Sanchome Station (新宿三丁目駅)
Opening hours: 1pm－8pm
Tel: +81 3-6380-1194
4. Henri Charpentier
Crepe Suzette: looks simple, but packs a full depth of flavour. (Image credit: Winnie Tan)
A premium dessert salon in the ritzy area of Ginza (銀座), Henri Charpentier specialises in a sweet dish fit for royalty—Crepes Suzette. Literally, the crepe-orange zest-liqueur combo is said to have been invented by waiter Henri Charpentier while preparing dessert for the then-Prince of Wales. Every order of crepes suzette is a bit of a performance. Your waiter will flambé the crepes sauce with a serving of alcohol, setting the dish aflame.
The Crepes Suzette is rich and buttery, citrus from the oranges keeps it refreshing while the alcohol gives the dish a slight bite. If you’re a lover of the minimalist aesthetic, you’ll love the decor of the place too. The interior of the cafe is defined by elegant curves and black, white, and neutral tones.
After digging in to your crepes, check out the cake displays stocked with beautiful fruit cakes and tarts, and other pastries too. Henri Charpentier is a famous cafe in the area and waiting times on weekends can be long, so try visiting on a weekday or earlier in the day to skip the line.
Henri Charpentier Ginza
Address: 2-8-20 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061
Nearest station: Ginza Itchome Station (銀座一丁目駅) or Ginza Station (銀座駅)
Opening hours: 11am–7pm
Tel: +81 3-3562-2721
Is your mouth watering yet? Mine sure is! If you can’t get enough of desserts, here’s the good news: in a huge city of dessert-lovers like Tokyo, there are always new sweet creations and beautiful cafes waiting to be discovered. So the next time you’re in Tokyo, devote a little time to exploring the back streets, and you might just find a cute little hideout of your own to relax in and indulge in something sweet. Happy wanderings!
Header image credit: Winnie Tan