Bright and sunny days are officially upon us. You know what that means — sipping wine on a terrace, pottering on a patio, and vegging out on a veranda. Time to throw on some shades, grab a book or your laptop, and head to one of these Tokyo cafés and bars for glorious outdoor seating and a good dose of vitamin D.
Tip: If you want to find your own cozy terrace spot, check out department store roof gardens and terraces, such as the one on Takashimaya Shinjuku, or the shopping malls along Odaiba’s beach. There are usually some restaurants hanging nearby.
Best cheap terraces
It feels good to sit and enjoy the breeze without worrying about your budget. If you don’t feel like sitting on a curb outside a convenience store with a Strong Zero, take a look at these options.
Segafredo is well known for being one of the best coffee chains when it comes to getting a decent espresso (it’s only ¥300).
The chain’s 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 and slowly morphs into a boozy afternoon — with beers and wine for ¥450 and a baby bottle of prosecco for ¥830 who can blame us?
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)
La Bohème has a reputation for being a place to get cheap, good value Italian food. A bowl of pasta for a weekday lunch starts at only ¥700. 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 3:30 am. A cup of hand-drip coffee costs ¥385, cocktails start from around ¥500, and a glass of Heartland beer goes for ¥605.
La Bohème Shirokanedai
Best terraces for groups
It can be hard finding a table for two let alone 10 in Tokyo. These spots cater to the larger friendship group by offering spacious terraces.
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 big enough for a large group, this place offers sangria, and a generous handful of liquors and cocktails from ¥600. And of course, what goes better with tacos than beer? They serve the standard Corona, as well as Pacifico and Modelo Especial.
El Caliente Shinagawa
Tip: Don’t forget to check out Hacienda del Cielo from the same company for a great rooftop restaurant experience.
Café Bohemia (Shibuya)
Hidden down a side street close to Tokyu Hands and smack in the center of Shibuya, this Middle Eastern themed bar/café has cozy outdoor seating with an urban flair. Not dirt cheap, but both beer and wine are available from ¥770 per glass if you want to have an alfresco stopover during your Shibuya tour. Drip coffee is around ¥660.
Shisha is also available to pass around your friends till the earlier hours. (It’s open from noon till 5 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.)
Best terraces with a view
Staring at a wall can get a bit boring. How about broadening your horizons?
Marunouchi House (Chiyoda)
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 ¥600 glasses of wine or beer and watch the hustle and bustle of the city pass by.
Terrace at Marunouchi House
T.Y. Harbor (Shinagawa)
Without doubt, this waterfront place has one of the best views in Tokyo. It is a short 15-minute walk from Shinagawa Station or 5/10 minutes from Tennozu Isle Station, but worth it for the atmosphere. Well known for its craft beers, prices start from around ¥550 for a small glass.
Canal Cafe (Iidabashi)
Another beautiful canal-side drinking spot is the Canal Cafe in Iidabashi. It has both a restaurant with terrace (lunch sets are around ¥3,000, reservations are recommended) and an open deck side where you order at a kiosk. The latter sells coffee from ¥440, beer from ¥660, wine from ¥550, as well as ice cream, sweets, and pizza at reasonable prices. You can even jump on a boat and BBQ is available from March until November. It can be a little confusing to navigate, so take a look at their map.
Royal Garden Cafe (Aoyama)
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). A cup of blended coffee is ¥620. Their lunch sets hover around the ¥1,600 mark on weekdays (weekends are closer to ¥2,500), and glasses of wine start at ¥680. Collect some of those yens and head down to the Aoyama branch — that’s always our first choice.
Royal Garden Cafe – Aoyama
Best neighborhood terraces
These neighborhoods are pretty hip and that’s only exacerbated by the trendy outside eating spaces on offer. Expect to find a few entries here from the Harajuku coffee scene.
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
Cafe Rostro (Yoyogi Park)
For good, strong coffee and a light meal, grab a seat at this cafe in Tomigaya (not far from Yoyogi Park). 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. They don’t technically have a coffee menu; just let them know your preferences and they’ll brew something up. Try their breakfast set for ¥1,100 if you stop by in the morning. Cash only.
Roasted Coffee Laboratory (Shibuya)
Not far from Rostro and in between Shibuya and Harajuku, you’ll find the Roasted Coffee Laboratory. Its industrial design won’t have you wanting to curl up with a good book, but it is a great place to get some work done and often has seasonal food and drinks to perk your interest. A simple coffee is around ¥400, but they also have grass-fed butter, hand-drip, and siphon coffee for a bit more money. Plus, their pancakes are delicious.
Roasted Coffee Laboratory Shibuya
Tip: There’s also a Blue Bottle nearby with outdoor benches if one or the other is full.
Eggs ‘n Things (Harajuku)
This is a great spot to watch the fashionistas of Harajuku and Omotesando go by. You’ll find this location of Eggs ‘n Things settled on a corner in the Ura-Harajuku backstreets. While it can get expensive, they do have morning sets from ¥990 and a plate of butter pancakes for ¥800. There’s also a wide selection of Hawaiian beers and cocktails from ¥720.
Eggs 'n Things Harajuku
Best terraces in parks
Greenery can be hard to come by in this city, and sometimes we want to spend all day staring at it.
Hibiya Saroh (Hibiya Park)
Hibiya Saroh could also be considered a beer garden because of its wide selection of international beers starting from ¥730. It also boasts cheap lunch-time weekday beer and wine at ¥350. Take-out coffee is around ¥450. The terrace is open throughout all seasons and has a cover in winter. Its quirky decor and beautiful surroundings in Hibiya Park make it a must-visit when in the area.
Shuknova (Shinjuku Central Park)
After visiting the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building for your free observation view, get back down to earth and chill in Shinjuku Central Park. We may be cheating a little with this entry as there are several cafes and restaurants in the Shuknova complex, but what we’re really talking about is the free-to-use terrace on the 1F (Engawa Terrace) and 2F (Miharashi Terrace). Take out at either Musashino Mori Diner (blended coffee only ¥324) or Starbucks next door and spend the afternoon outside in the sun.
Shinjuku Central Park
This post was originally published in May 2015 and was last updated in August 2022 by Alexandra Ziminski.