Considering that the best restaurants in Tokyo don’t typically open before lunchtime, a decent breakfast in the capital is a treasure indeed. Your best shot is to try one of the city’s high-end hotels or a specialized café that has a dedicated morning menu of traditional Japanese fare or uber-healthy options. But no matter your craving, these are the top Tokyo spots for the most important meal of the day.
Hotel Gajoen Tokyo
To enjoy a spectacular spread with vistas to match, make a beeline for this luxurious Japanese stay. Available only to hotel guests in the private Executive Lounge with a view of the Meguro River (which is especially beautiful in cherry blossom season), the buffet-style breakfast is impressive.
The choices range from fresh sashimi and traditional local staples (cooked fish, pickles, eggs, rice and miso soup) to Western fare in the form of croissants, bacon and made-to-order eggs.
Other highlights include the seafood salad, wonderful pork sausages and fresh pastries. The healthy green smoothies are also a hit.
Blu Jam Cafe
A California favorite has arrived in Tokyo and is causing quite a stir on the brunch scene. Trendy Blu Jam has exposed brick walls and friendly, bilingual staff.
The most popular offerings may not be entirely low-calorie (the Tex Mex burger and crunchy French toast are staples), but there are plenty of healthy options here. The menu steers clear of artificial junk and, unusual for Tokyo, presents gluten-free, vegan and low-fat options.
Flavorful dishes, such as the tomato-braised chicken tinga tacos, vegan rancheros and the white California omelet prove that brunch can be healthy and taste good, too.
A fine Japanese bakery in Tokyo’s exclusive Hiroo district, this quaint place opens at 7 a.m. and offers a small but spectacular breakfast menu. So popular is the original Sawamura that it has opened a second location near Hiroo Station to deal with the overflow of customers.
Featuring a comfortable, French-café-style interior with menus on blackboards, the casual eatery serves a high-quality selection of morning delights at a steal — for roughly $10 to $15, you can nosh on French toast or a cheese omelet served with bacon or salad, fresh bread and outstanding coffee.
Find a spot on the plush banquette sofas and feast from an early morning spread of local eggs, seasonal fruit, vegetables and fresh bread.
If you’re watching your waist, try a healthy — but no less tasty — twist on brunch by opting for the buckwheat pancakes topped with vanilla cashew nut cream, berries and agave nectar. The dish is hearty, vegan and simply delicious.