Meeting friends for breakfast isn’t really a thing in Japan, unless you’re going for pancakes under a mountain of cream at 11 am. But if you find yourself needing to break the fast in Shibuya, here’s where to look.
World Breakfast Allday
Probably the highlight of the list, World Breakfast Allday really does exactly what it says on the tin. With not only two great options (English and Muesli) available daily, every month a different country is chosen for the special menu.
The concept focuses on bringing the traditional breakfast dishes of the world to their small group-seated cafe, so they aren’t lost in the deluge of generic meals served up elsewhere. The regular menu features a wide selection of drinks from across the world ranging from Tamek (Turkey) to Cola Cao (Spain) to good old green tea from Japan. As an example of the special menu, this month’s is Mongolia—with a main, 6 drinks and 7 different side dishes to choose from. See our full review here.
World Breakfast All Day (Gaienmae)
Ok so you may have to take a stroll to Omotesando—but it really isn’t that far. Eggs’n Things is the place to go if you want/need the mountains of pancakes, but at actual breakfast time.
They offer insane mountains of cream and seasonal pancakes, but also plenty of savory options including vegetarian Eggs Benedict and healthier options like egg whites and veggies—so it’s good if you have a larger group to please! The portions are sizable and sides are bulky—with fried potatoes, rice or toast coming with most savory dishes. It has a Hawaiian theme and offers seating indoor and out. Queues do get long later in the morning though, so head in earlier to beat the others.
Clinton St. Baking Company
It may be our furthest breakfast spot with a 20-minute walk from Shibuya, but this breakfast place is worth the walk, with huevos rancheros, brioche French toast, buttermilk biscuits and more.
Opening at 8am and often with queues later on, Clinton St. Baking Company opened in Tokyo in 2013, having won awards at its original New York site including “Best Pancakes” from New York Magazine and “Best Breakfast” by Time Out New York. The menu is full of indulgent and healthy options alike, so it’s a crowd-pleaser and usually full of cute couples. The prices are average to high, with most breakfasts costing around 1,500 yen—but perfect for a nice breakfast out and craving-killing when you’re homesick.
Clinton St. Baking Company
About Life Coffee
Some people can’t face food in the morning—so if you’re more of a liquid breakfast (and not the alcoholic kind) kind of person, About Life Coffee is where you need to be.
On a street corner without inside space, it’s perfect for walking to work or a quick coffee to go, taking a minute to think about life (or maybe exactly what did happened last night).
About Life Cafe
With fancy French-sourced flour from Minoteries Viron, this Shibuya boulangerie is dedicated to providing breads and pastries of Parisian quality.
They have everything from simple baguettes to elegant cakes and all the pastries you can think of. A great option for breakfast, however, is the Viron-no-Choshoku which costs 2,000 yen. This includes fresh pastries, cereals, unlimited baguette with a selection of jams and spreads, as well as tea or coffee and orange juice. There may well be queues so I would suggest arriving a little early (they started at 8.30 when I went). And if you aren’t bothered about sitting in, you can take away your own selection any time! Pastries range from 200-700 yen with sandwiches starting from 500 yen. You can select from downstairs and eat upstairs if you like too.
Ivy Place – Great for Families
Up in Daikanyama but only a 15-minute walk from Shibuya, Ivy Place is a family friendly breakfast site with all the trimmings, and it opens at 7am!
The trendy T-Site is full of books, nice cafes and bars and alarmingly well-dressed people at all times of day. Ivy Place is no exception, but is relaxed and friendly nonetheless. The seasonally changed breakfast menu is mouth watering, with options like breakfast burritos (stuffed with smoked chicken, cheddar cheese, scrambled eggs and potato), fresh fruit granola, smoked salmon tartine with saffron cream and all sort of other delights.
The prices aren’t super-cheap, but actually aren’t unreasonable either, considering the quality. You can add to your meal with avocado, tomatoes, bacon, salmon and more and coffee is a free refill deal. The breakfast smoothies include an unusual coffee option as well as a Fruit Power option, with fruit juices sourced from around Japan. The restaurant is child friendly with high-chairs, changing facilities and cups/bowls, etc.—and although there is no children’s menu there are options they can enjoy.
Also read: The deal on discount morning sets in Japan.