A morning without breakfast is sinful. I say so with even more conviction after an early morning spent in Shinjuku, Tokyo. If you find yourself in the lively district of Shinjuku around breakfast time, you will find it throbbing with people darting between offices, buses and some of the best cafes in Tokyo. Shinjuku’s streets are knitted with cosy bakeries and coffee shops and in between lost travelers clutching smart phones and asking for directions to upscale Japanese department stores. The Shinjuku train station exits are buzzing with streamlined suits and families dragging huge suitcases down long staircases amidst the heavy footfall of the morning rush. In fact, there is so much activity at any one time that to pause for a moment to catch your breath or just regroup over a cup of coffee and a pastry is something of a necessity. Whether you are a breakfast nut or just need a moment’s rest to trace out your game plan, a great breakfast shop in Shinjuku’s sprawling and twisted maze, may be hard to find when you are tired, over-burdened or in a hurry.
While there are a plethora of cosy cafes and take-away restaurants, this breakfast guide to Shinjuku is an easy way to cut through the clutter and zone in on the very best morning fair in the busy district of Shinjuku, Tokyo. A moment spent mapping out the best breakfast spots in Tokyo, before hitting the ground running, or walking or getting lost in Shinjuku, will pay off richly in the form of delectable croissants, mind blowing espressos and calm among the crowds.
Gontran Cherrier Tokyo
Address ; Shinjuku Southern Terrace 2Floor, Yoyogi 2-2-1,
Opening Times ; Mon-Sun 7:30-22:00
Across from Shinjuku Station South Exit and to the left of the Shinjuku Southern Terrace exit, Gontran Cherrier is hard to miss. There is eat-in seating to watch the passing traffic, sirens blaring and suits in motion, while the trains pass rhythmically overhead. Opposite My Lord Department store the street-facing barstool seating is a perfect perch for a quick bite to sample the best croissants in Shinjuku. If in fact to do manage to miss it in Shinjuku’s Southern Terrace and go as far as the Starbucks instead, I urge you to turn back if only to sample the chocolate pastry menu and the Danish cubes.
Gontran Cherrier fuses the popularity of French baked goods with unique Japanese flavours and ingredients. Offering a selection of seasonal breads, sandwiches and speciality pastries like
the current chocolate fare. This café follows a simple format of self-service from a huge range of delicacies and the silver tongs of eager customers never stop a-clicking.
It is a very good place to grab a bite and recharge and despite being just across the street from the JR Shinjuku Station South Exit it has a great atmosphere, not overly touristy and was not too crowded in the morning. It is great for get-up-and-go breakfast options, but remember to carry cash as there is a minimum spend of 1000Yen on card payments.
Gontran Cherrier, the French bread confectioner is a fourth generation patissier and has travelled many a country like Russia, Romania, Morocco and Hong Kong spreading his love for high quality, baked goods. It is a great place to visit if you like crispy crunchy pastries and the recommendations are as varied as they come. The almond and chocolate pastry hits a sweet spot and the croissants filled with ham & melted cheese on top are delightfully creamy & delicious. The top selling buttery, crunchy croissants in the window are but a mere gateway for more culinary discoveries inside the bakery.
Paul Bassett Shinjuku
Address ; SHINJUKU NOMURA BUILDING, 1 Chome-26-2 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 163-0590
Opening times ; Mon-Friday 7:30-20:30, Sat 8:00-20:00, Sun 9:00-19:00
Neatly tucked away into the basement floor of the Shinjuku Nomura Building is a new concept of espresso cafe by Australian Paul Bassett, a world champion barrister. The machines for roasting coffee beans have been carefully selected from all over the world and sit onsite to transform fresh coffee beans into the espressos that locals cannot get enough of. The combination of potent espresso coffee and world-class sweets, is a wake-up call breakfast of mammoth proportions.
Paul Basset dedicates his time to understanding the ins and outs of the coffee journey – from coffee bean to cup.With such dedication the atmosphere is warm and effervescent with natural light aplenty. The FON WiFi, emergency mobile power outlets and big tables attract the suits with laptops and the clustered tables are an inviting place for friends to spend a morning at o to
read a good book. They have a tight set of Paul Bassett original coffee merchandise on sale, as well at some Tokyo souvenir gift boxes available.
The single origin (Honduras) double espresso is mind blowing, liquid gold in fact. It is one of the strongest espressos I’ve ever had and… bam! Good Morning Shinjuku! This cosy and casual Tokyo coffee spot is well worth a visit for coffee lovers.
Address ; NBK Saien Building 1F, Shinjuku, 1-9−3, Tokyo 160-0022
Opening Times ; Mon-Fri 07:00-10:00, Sat 10:00-22:00, Sun 10:00-19:00
Tokyo visitors looking for a relaxing café, but certainly not touristy, to enjoy good pastries or the breakfast sets should take note of Maestro Bakers. The cosy bakery set just past Shinjukugyoen-Mae station is a favourite for speciality coffee, self-service pastries and quick service. The waffles and ice-cream come recommended along with the lunch set if you were to stick around long enough.
With a gorgeous egg and bacon pastry combo paired with a strong coffee this café played romantic love songs and the soft chatter of neighboring tables eased me into the start of a very busy day spent in Shinjuku.
The staff is polite and service is fast, which is a good thing when you have a day packed with exciting things to do and see in Tokyo. I can recommend asking the staff for the ‘kyou no osusume’ or daily recommendation to get the best of what is on offer that day.
For more information → http://www.odakyu.jp/english/destination/shinjuku/