Address: 1-6-6, Ebisu, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Open: 8am – 12:30am (Mon – Fri), 9am – 12:30am (Sat, Sun, Hol)
Soy Milk: Yes
Sarutahiko Coffee has a few locations in Tokyo, but so far I have only had the chance to visit the original Ebisu one. The cafe is super easy to find if you go out the Garden Plaza gates from Ebisu station, and is less than a five minute walk away. If it isn’t too busy, you’re likely to be greeted on the street by a very friendly barista more than willing to talk to you, and often to give you a free sample of the coffee!
When you enter Sarutahiko, you’ll notice it is actually quite small – the seating inside is limited (though they do have very minimal seating outside the front of the cafe as well, but be ready to sit next to a main road). The décor is rustic and charming though, with a lot of unfinished wood surfaces and country-style touches. Sarautahiko easily has some of the nicest baristas and staff I have ever met in Tokyo, willing to answer questions and help you as much as possible, and several do speak a little bit of English.
As for the all-important coffee – I’ve had a few things, but my recommendation is the honey latte. Unlike the drink of the same name you can find at Tully’s, Saratuhiko’s honey latte has a very strong, natural, biting honey flavour that is in no way subtle. If you don’t like honey though, don’t fear, because there are plenty of other more traditional choices as well! And be sure to get a paper cup at least once, because the art is unique to Saratuhiko only and is really beautiful.
Don’t come hungry – while the coffee is really great, the only food I have ever seen offered is a very light honey cookie, and some chocolates. But if you’re just looking for a good drink, Saratuhiko is worth a visit.
Pros: Friendly staff, convenient location, delicious coffee, original cups, long opening hours
Cons: Extremely limited seating, almost no food