Yoyogi-Uehara is a beautiful area of Tokyo that is known for its many stylish stores and unique cafés. On top of that, the area has many incredibly delicious and unique bakeries to offer as well, providing you with baked delicacies for a wonderful Tokyo picnic experience! Let's take a look at our five favorites that you should definitely stop by before hitting up the nearby Yoyogi Park!
Boulangerie et Cafe Main Mano: Pastries from a Skilled Chef
Our first bakery recommendation for a perfect Tokyo picnic is Boulangerie et Cafe Main Mano, located just a brief walk away from Yoyogi-Uehara Station. The beautiful little bakery evokes the image of a quiet, scenic neighborhood in Paris - and its grand chef has actually trained in France, Belgium, and Italy. He even was appointed to the five-star hotel Hotel de Crillon in Paris as its first Japanese chef. With this extensive knowledge and experience, he creates incredible pastry delicacies from choice ingredients, such as yeast and wheat from Hokkaido and cultured butter from France.
The top-seller of Boulangerie et Cafe Main Mano undoubtedly is the croissant for 270 yen. La Viette cultured butter and wasanbon, Japanese sugar, make the classic French pastry especially crispy and flavorful. As you bite through the 27 layers of paper-thin dough, you'll involuntarily close your eyes and hum with delight!
We also highly recommend the crispy baguette for 350 yen and the cinnamon roll for 250 yen for a proper picnic.
On rainy days, why not sit down at the eat-in corner and enjoy a warm BLT sandwich (440 yen) or a panini (420 yen)?
Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. (last order at 7:30 p.m.)
Closed: Tuesdays, first Monday of each month
Boulangerie et Cafe Main ManoBoulangerie et Cafe Main Mano
- Address MH Yoyogiuehara 1F, 3-6-5 Nishihara, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo-to 151-0066
POTASTA: Sandwiches to Die For
POTASTA is a famous sandwich specialty store that has its main shop in Yoyogi-Uehara. Well-beloved among sandwich lovers, this bakery follows the concept of "showing the beauty of vegetables," thus creating sandwiches that taste amazing and look like little works of art.
The round shape of POTASTA's sandwiches is what makes them so characteristic when it comes to their looks, revealing the sandwich ingredients in an extremely artistic way - is your mouth watering yet?
From the classic scrambled egg to the Japanese-style kinpira burdock seasoned with miso, ten different kinds of sandwiches are available at POTASTA at all times. Every month, the menu changes according to the season, utilizing seasonal vegetables to make for an authentic and fresh taste.
The sandwich specialty store also serves hot soup of the day and different drinks, such as sweet potato and onion curry soup or pumpkin chai, available for 290 yen each. Why not grab a good sandwich and a hot soup to have a healthy, flavorful picnic in Tokyo's Yoyogi Park?
Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays, Sundays, and national holidays: 9:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
- Address Kurata Mansion 102, 3-16-11 Nishihara, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo-to 151-0066
Kaneta Bakery: Tickling Your Tongue with Over 70 Kinds of Pastries
Kaneta Bakery, our next bakery recommendation, is a 10-minute walk away from Yoyogi Uehara Station. Between 70 and 80 different kinds of bread and pastries line up at the store front at all times, making your mouth water by just gazing into the window.
All of these delicacies are freshly baked in a kitchen at the back of the store, and the shopkeepers stick to high-quality ingredients. This means using only domestically grown wheat from farms that the shopkeepers themselves have visited and inspected.
Baguette is the first bread that is baked in the morning, followed by sweet pastry creations later in the morning and crust bread and meals during lunch. In the afternoon, more fresh baguettes are being made, and we highly recommend visiting the bakery at the times when the bread is freshly made.
Delicacies such as Ciabatta (400 yen) and Panini (450 yen) can be ordered on the spot and enjoyed with a hot cup of coffee in the charming cafe area in the basement.
Right next to Kaneta Bakery is a grocery store called À Côté. Browse through a wonderful selection of domestic and international goods, ranging from stationery and accessories to cutlery and tableware!
Hours: 7:00 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Café: 7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Closed: Mondays, the 1st, 3rd, 5th Sunday of each month
Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Saturdays; 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Closed: Sundays, Mondays
- Address 1-7-5 Nishihara, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo-to 151-0066
Mi Choripan: Tasting the Soul Food of Argentina in Tokyo
Do you know Choripan? It's a sandwich with chorizo and various vegetables and sauces, a dish that is particularly popular in Argentina. The shopkeeper of our next bakery recommendation, Mi Choripan, encountered this Argentinean soul food while he was traveling the world and immediately fell in love with the savory street food. After honing their gourmet skills in Buenos Aires, they opened Mi Choripan in Yoyogi-Uehara.
The bakery's most popular creation is the Custom Choripan that lets you choose from a total of ten different toppings, including classics such as salad and tomato. The sandwich is then refined with a sauce called chimichurri, adding a wonderful balance of sour and salty to the Choripan.
For those who are curious but don't want to take on a full sandwich, the Mini Choripan (550 yen) is highly recommended.
Should the weather be bad and thwart your picnic plans, feel free to sit down at the eat-in corner and enjoy your Argentinean soul food with a homemade ginger ale (450 yen), or even an alcoholic drink such as beer and wine.
Hours: 11:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. (until 8:00 p.m. on Sundays and national holidays)
Closed: Tuesday, every 2nd and 4th Monday of the month (the bakery is open if these Mondays are national holidays)
Mi ChoripanMi Choripan
- Address 2-4-8 Uehara, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo-to 151-0064
Levain: Homemade Yeast Bread with a Long Tradition
Last but not least, a bakery called Levin will make the hearts of bread enthusiasts leap for joy! This long-established shop is located in Tomigaya, a neighborhood in between Yoyogi Park and Yoyogi-Uehara. It has been there for the last 30 years and acted as a pioneer bakery for natural yeast bread. In fact, Levin has such a great reputation that people come from far and wide to try the delicious crusty bread that the bakery focuses on. Sold by the gram, you can easily decide just how much bread you'd like to buy.
Levain's most popular bread creation is the pain de campagne, or French sourdough. The crispiness of the crust is a wonderful contrast to the juicy, fluffy inside of the bread.
Another favorite is a bread called "melange," made with raisins and walnuts. It pairs excellently with a glass of red wine. Reservations can also be made, so if there's a bread you definitely want to try, just make a reservation!
Levin also has its own cafe where guests can relaxedly indulge in a sandwich platter (1,000 yen) or pain de campagne French toast (700 yen).
Hours: 8:00 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. (until 6:00 p.m. on Sundays and national holidays)
Closed: Mondays, every 2nd Tuesday each month (or on another day if that Tuesday is a national holiday)
- Address 2-43-13 Tomigaya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo-to 151-0063
Written by Ari Uchida
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