Fuglen Tokyo {Yoyogi Park}

Address: 1-16-11 Tomigaya, Shibuya, Tokyo
Website: http://www.fuglen.com/
Open: 9am – 7pm (M-F), 10am – 7pm (S-S)
Soy Milk: Yes

Fuglen Tokyo is a cafe that actually originated in Oslo, Norway but luckily has a Tokyo location for those of us not in Scandinavia. The cafe is a bit of a walk from stations on the Yamanote (the closest are Shibuya and Harajuku) but is a short walk from Yoyogikoen on the Chiyoda line and Yoyogi-Hachiman on the Odakyu. But if the weather is nice, my suggestion is to enjoy the walk through Yoyogi Park from Harajuku station to get there!

Fuglen feels very different on the inside to other cafes I have visited in Tokyo. Admittedly, the decor feels a bit aged and ragged, but I think it adds to the place’s charm. It does maintain a very vintage European feel to it and it’s hard to remember you’re in Japan. If you don’t like that sort of setting though, Fuglen has a lot of seats outside along the side of the cafe on a very quiet street which is a great option. And it has a lot of outlets inside, which is definitely a selling point.

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Be ready for Oslo prices though – my mocha set me back almost 800 yen, which is very expensive for Tokyo. The flavour was fantastic though, it was one of the darkest, richest mochas I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying. The chocolate flavour was much stronger than normal (which makes me incredibly tempted to try their hot chocolate next time). They don’t have a lot of food to offer, but when I last visited, they did have donuts from Good Town Doughnuts in Harajuku (which are very, very good ).

The hours that I posted for Fuglen are specifically for what is called “Daylife,” meaning the time it operates as a cafe and you are able to order coffee. The establishment continues to be open into the wee hours of the morning for a “Nightlife” version selling alcohol. Plan your timing carefully depending on what you want!

Pros: Fantastic coffee, lots of outlets, lots of seating inside and outside, unique charm
Cons: Very expensive, out of the way location, minimal food

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The Local Coffee Stand {Shibuya}

Address: 2-10-15 Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Website: http://thelocal2016.com/
Open: 8am  – 8pm (M, Tu, W), 9am – 6 pm (Th, F), 9am – 7pm (Sa, Su)
Soy Milk: Yes

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The Local Coffee Stand is a bit of a walk away from the main part of Shibuya, but if you’re looking for somewhere to relax away from all the chaos I recommend it all the same. Even saying this, it’s about 10 minutes’ walk from Hachiko Gate, so still not that far! It’s a bit easy to miss if you aren’t looking for it, but don’t judge it from it’s humble outside and small store front – it’s much bigger on the inside.

The Local advertises “to go” coffee, but you’re more than welcome to sit in as well. Downstairs there is hardly any seating at all, but there’s a lot of space upstairs with tables and sofas. The interior is a lot of unfinished, rustic wood, so if that’s your style you’ll be right at home. There are also a lot of outlets so great for recharging a phone, and free wifi if you want to use your laptop!

There isn’t a lot of food to pick from because the Local specialises in coffee, but the homemade melon pan that I had was very good and extremely cheap. The barista was also really friendly and happy to tell me about all the food they did have that day and made me feel welcome. I stayed for a long time writing in my notebook and no one minded at all. The mocha I had was good, but it was a smaller cup than cafes usually have for the same price, so that was the only disappointing thing.

Pros: Lots of outlets, free wifi, homemade sweets, friendly service, quiet atmosphere
Cons: Coffee is small for the price, varying hours of operation, not a lot of food choice

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Streamer Coffee Company [Harajuku/Shibuya]

Address: 3-28-19, Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo [Harajuku location], 1F 1-20-28, Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo [Shibuya Location]
Website: http://streamercoffee.com/
Open: 9am – 6pm (Mon – Fri), 11am – 6pm (Sat, Sun, Hol)
Soy Milk: Yes (extra cost)

Admittedly, I’m not sure where to start on this blog, so I after procrastinating for a week, I’ve finally settled on my first post.

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Streamer Coffee Company is known for something very special – really fantastic latte art. I don’t mean the kind that looks like your pet cat or Pikachu this time, but rather very traditional tulips, hearts, and more. However, they look absolutely perfect! You know a cafe is serious about its latte art when the picture in their window is a decal of a free pour tulip.

Speaking of the building, Streamer looks awesome! There are two locations in Tokyo, one between Shibuya and Harajuku that is quite small (only one room, quite limited seating but a very friendly and comfortable atmosphere) and one much larger one just off Harajuku St and Cat St in Harajuku. This building is incredibly unique – it looks like three shipping crates stacked on top of one another, sitting right on the corner of an intersection. Expect an industrial, modern interior with concrete floors, grated metal stairs, and leather sofas. The top floor also has a balcony so you can people watch while you enjoy your drink.

As for the menu, Streamer offers the usual suspects, along with a seasonal drink. When I was there, it was a honey milk latte, though I ordered my usual mocha. As expected, the art on my mocha was beautiful, and the taste was great – very dark, and pleasantly bitter.

Pros: Good coffee, convenient location, unique building
Cons: Closes at 6PM so not great for going after work, limited seating, minimal food

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