Breakfast is a sacred tradition in almost every country, but Japan never got the memo. Either not open early enough, only offering pancakes or trying to give you potato salad alongside your toast, it’s never quite right—but there is an answer, and it’s our favorite Tokyo breakfast joint.
A full English, with real Heinz baked beans and HP sauce on the side—it’s the stuff dreams are made of if you’ve been here long enough. World Breakfast AllDay does as advertised: breakfasts from around the world, around the clock. The concept, like the cafe itself, is simple but completely charming, and will have you converted as quick as you can spot the jar of Marmite on the counter. If you’re here long term, or even just on holiday, there’s nothing like a good breakfast to get you ready for the day. (And sometimes you’re just not in the mood for miso soup—we are creatures of habit after all.)
Even if you can’t justify ordering your home comforts while on holiday (or you need to convince a travel partner who’s pulling a face), the best part about this place is the changing menu. Each month, they select a new country and create a full breakfast menu with a main dish, specialist drinks and sides too. From Peruvian to Croatian, the breakfasts are researched carefully and illustrated for the menu with little descriptions. Don’t panic though, the British, American and Muesli options are always on. You can travel the world by food—so you get all of the fun and none of the guilt for cheating on Japan!
The cafe itself is a simple affair, with a single communal table stretching along from door to counter, with simple place settings. If you are seated near the counter, you’ll notice some familiar faces stacked on shelves: the turquoise joy of real baked beans, the beacon of light that is HP sauce, not to mention interesting cordials and specials from the menu that month. The cafe also has their own book you can browse through after ordering, with examples of previous dishes and the inspiration behind their ideas.
The regular menu
Once you pick up a menu and peruse the myriad of options, you can opt for a full breakfast or a mix-and-match style depending in what tickles your fancy. The British breakfast is almost spot on, with beans, egg, crispy fried bread, a hash brown, grilled tomato, fat little sausage and a carefully halved button mushroom. Not quite a Wetherspoons portion and missing the bacon, but this is plenty of food. Plus, it’s a good ratio of beans and everything is cooked perfectly.
You can’t choose how your eggs come, but the scrambled ones are perfectly seasoned, so there are no complaints here. Aside from the tea coming in a glass (so close, yet so far), you could almost be back home as you tuck into your fry-up. You just have to imagine loud 9am drinkers ordering shots as you eat, and you’ll be right back in the heart of your local spoons.
The American breakfast consists of fried eggs, bacon, hash brown and three fluffy pancakes with whipped butter. The eggs are sunny side up and bright orange, just begging to be dipped into. If you’re looking for something lighter, there’s the muesli option which is a beautifully presented bowl with fruit and numerous Instagram opportunities. As well as a regular food menu they have a selection of drinks from around the world, including Spanish honey tea, good old PG Tips, Peruvian Inca Kola, Turkish Pomegranate Juice and Martinelli’s Apple Juice from the US. If you are there in the afternoon or need a touch of hair of the dog to get you through the day, they have some international bottled beers too. With Belgian, Dutch, British and Vietnamese to name a few options, you won’t be short of choice.
The breakfast of the month when we visited was Swiss, and suited the summer heat perfectly as it was a mainly cold selection. With sliced Emmental and Gruyere cheese and thinly sliced meat as well as homemade potato rosti to go with the bread roll and oatmeal—it looks simple but is very satisfying.
The sides change on rotation but always include sweet and savory options, all homemade and traditional recipes. The best thing is the use of authentic ingredients, with real Gruyere and raclette, for example, which can be tough to find in Japan. We tried the meringue with fruit and cream and the raclette with potatoes (because why wouldn’t you). Both were perfect, with crisp meringues hiding a chewy center and plenty of fruit and cream. The cheese was strong and plentiful, smothering the potatoes and helped along by the pickles.
Although the breakfast isn’t to go, you can take home some of your favorite bits home. They have baked beans, apple sauce and teas for sale to cure your homesickness.
With prices for a full breakfast at ¥1,500, it’s a reasonable price for good quality and unusual ingredients, and is definitely filling. The drinks can be a little pricey—ranging from ¥480–¥680, but water is free if you don’t fancy a taste of home or something new. Since they open at 7:30am and serve all the way through to 8pm, you can enjoy your breakfast whenever you like—although it does get busy at brunch time.
Hungry for more Tokyo breakfast options? See these spots in Shibuya.