The Beginning of the Summer Cafe Series

So, it can be argued that I in fact began the summer cafe series when I posted about Cafe Zenon. However, at that point I was unaware that I wanted a summer cafe series and thus that post is not included.

I have decided that every Saturday I will go to a new cafe, and study, while I am in Boston. However since I went to two amazing cafes this week, it seems a little strange not to include them. So here is my take on two pretty awesome cafes in the Tokyo area: Lotus Cafe and Shirohige’s Creampuff Factory.

First Lotus Cafe. My friend from the Middlebury Summer Language School is here doing research at Temple University, so I decided I wanted her and my other friend to be friends. That way they could have things to do this summer together. Aren’t I nice?

lotusentrance
Pictured: A place so hipster we could only tell we arrived by the paper lunch menu posted in the window.

The best way to facilitate meetings on the cheap in Tokyo is to take advantage of the amazing lunch specials that the city has. For example, Lotus Cafe in Omotesando (a place I had budgeted about twenty dollars for lunch for), has an amazing lunch special. You get an entree from a list of four or five, complete with rice or bread, and a salad or miso soup depending on the type of entree. Then on top of that you get a post meal coffee or tea. All for 1000 yen – about 10 bucks.

IMAG0587
Garlic chicken with french fries = awesome.

To show how great of a deal that is, my garlic chicken with rice combo would have normally been twelve bucks alone, not even touching the drink I would have ordered with it.

In honor of this, I also decided to order desert since I had already budgeted that money anyway. I had their cake of the day and it was truly delicious. My friends both had the Gorgonzola Cheesecake, which I did not take a picture of, but highly recommend. It was super yummy – they drizzled it with honey on the spot, which offset the sour-ish taste of the Gorgonzola.

cakeotheday
It was frankly more croissant than cake, but still pretty awesome.

Later in the week, I finally got a chance to go to the CUTEST creampuff place in all the land. Off the Keio-sen, a little bit aways from Kichijouji, lies Shirohige’s Cream Puff Factory. You can find tons of examples of the cute little Totoro-shaped cream puffs on instagram. Not only were they cute, but rumor has it that they were even more delicious than their appearance would betray. Of course I had to partake in one.

totorocreampuff
I MEAN LOOK AT IT. IT IS SO PRECIOUS.

What these photos fail to mention, is that Shirohige’s Cream Puff Factory also has a really delicious lunch and dinner menu as well. We were a bit late for lunch because of class/work, but my friend and I didn’t mind as the prices were not truly heinous – about 20 bucks for the cream puff, coffee, and a meal. There was more than enough food, and it was all really good.

medamayaki
A ham and cheese sandwich with a fried-egg on top: my stomach is growling just thinking about it.

I will probably be alone for the next few cafe examples, but I think I could definitely get some studying/reading done in places like these. I can’t wait to see what America’s cafe scene has to offer – after hitting up not only Tokyo, but Vienna (a place so renowned for their coffee shops that their special building for Civilization 5 is a coffee shop,) I am not sure America stands a chance.

Then again there was the delicious coffee shop in Middlebury, VT that I managed to find so there might be hope. Maybe.

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