The days of summer are officially upon us. You know what that means—sipping wine on a terrace, pottering on a patio, vegging out on a veranda. Throw on some shades, grab a book or your laptop, and head to one of these Tokyo cafe/bar spots with a good dose of vitamin D.
Segafredo (Hiroo, Shinjuku locations)
Segafredo is well known for being one of the best coffee chains when it comes to getting a decent espresso.
The location in Hiroo is a local institution with tables lining the narrow pavement of the shopping street. With good espresso and panini, it’s a popular location for brunch on the weekends, that slowly morphs into a boozy afternoon with draft beers for ¥420 or a gin and tonic and other long drinks from ¥400.
Segafredo Zanetti Espresso Hiroo
The runner-up cheapo terrace prize goes to Segafredo Zanetti Shinjuku 3-Chome. Although the terrace consists more of a bench, there’s no better people watching location in Tokyo.
La Bohème (Shirokanedai location)
La Bohème has a reputation for being a place to get cheap, good value Italian food. At the Shirokanedai branch, you can while away the night on a beautiful leafy terrace with inexpensive drinks almost until dawn—they’re open until 2:30 am. Cocktails start from ¥500 and a glass of Heartland beer goes for ¥500.
La Bohème Shirokanedai
Paul (Yotsuya location)
Paul, the French bakery chain that makes outta-this-world sesame flutes, usually only has a take-away storefront, or at most a few chairs where you can sip your café creme. But at the Yotsuya location, Paul boasts a full-service restaurant café with a lovely outdoor seating area. Wine and beers start around ¥500, and if you order food, it comes with a BOTTOMLESS BREAD BASKET!
Paul – Yotsuya
El Caliente (Shinagawa)
Like it hot? El Caliente serves up Nuevo Mexican cuisine on the fourth floor of the Atre Building in Shinagawa. Winning with a spacious open terrace, this place offers beer, sangria, and a generous handful of liquors and cocktails for ¥500–¥600. And of course, what goes better with beer than tacos? This spot has not only the standard Corona, but also Sol and Tecate in the bottle all for a fiver.
El Caliente Shinagawa
The seventh floor of the Shin-Marunouchi Building is terrace heaven. You can order grub from any of the nine restaurants inside—they’re not super budget-friendly, but with a spot of strategic menu selecting, you can cobble together a decent meal for ¥1,200 or so. The tables outside offer views of the Parliament building as well as Tokyo Station—both of which seem less stress-filled when they’re lit up at night. There is also a decent pub called Stand T on the first floor, which spills out onto the pavement. Here, you can swig ¥500 glasses of wine or beer and watch the hustle and bustle of the CBD pass by.
Royal Garden Cafe
This chain of terraced cafes might not be the cheapest option, but they’ve got a bit of swank (admittedly not shown in the image above). Their lunch sets hover around the ¥1,200 mark (on weekdays, weekends are closer to ¥2,000), and glasses of wine start at ¥450. Collect some of those yens and head down to the Aoyama branch—that’s always our first choice.
Royal Garden Cafe – Aoyama
For good, strong coffee and a light meal, grab a seat at this cafe in Tomigaya (not far from Shibuya). Cafe Rostro is right next door to its roastery origins, and features a full-on outdoor terrace—both of these things make us very happy. Knock back an espresso for ¥250, and try their breakfast set for ¥800 if you stop by in the morning.
Hidden down a side street close to Tokyu Hands, smack center in Shibuya, this European-themed bar and cafe has cozy outdoor seating with an urban flair. Not dirt cheap, but both beer and wine are available from ¥700 per glass if you want to have an alfresco stopover during your Shibuya tour. It’s open from noon till 5 am, and closes at midnight on Sundays and on days before a public holiday.
Without doubt, this waterfront place has one of the best views in Tokyo. It is a short 15-minute walk from Shinagawa Station, but worth it for the atmosphere. Well known for its craft beers, prices start from around ¥580 for a small glass. Open until midnight.
Bonus: Cafe Terrace Tree Garden in Kamakura
Also known as Itsuki Garden, this little spot in the mountains of Kamakura (just south of Tokyo, in Kanagawa Prefecture) is surrounded by trees and pleasant views. While it’s not cheap (a coffee costs ¥600, and drinks go up from there), it’s jolly nice, and we highly recommend it.
This post was originally published in May 2015 and was last updated in May 2019 by Mareike Dornhege.