Cafe Zoka, Japan – Akasaka-mitsuke location

Wait…Zoka’s in Japan?!?!

I know, right? I found out from my friend Hiro yesterday that Zoka (independent cafe and coffee roaster from Seattle) has a branch in Japan. Actually I googled it and it turns out they have 3 branches in Japan! One in Yokohama, one in Ikebukuro, and one in Akasaka – here is the Japanese website with all the information. Seattleites, did you know about this?! The normal website doesn’t mention the Japanese branches at all. Anyway I am quite pleasantly surprised.

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grilled sandwich, salad, mushroom side, scoop of gelato, coffee

lunch set: grilled sandwich, salad, mushroom side, scoop of gelato, coffee

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shock, surprise

ショック!pronunciation: shokku, meaning: shock, surprise

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Observations:

– maybe the best coffee I’ve had in Japan…maybe I’m biased?

– a small drip coffee is around 330 yen, so about $3 (which is actually not bad here – its usually between 300 and 600yen)

– The place looked similar, but had a completely different vibe – no students on macs, no intense bike riding groups. Instead, lots of foreign and Japanese business people – so it didn’t feel as relaxed.

– The staff seem really well trained and do all the impressive foam art – they are also incredibly polite as usual for Japanese service jobs.

– The food is definitely adapted for Japanese tastes- I mean, they still had grilled sandwiches and salads, but the sandwiches have different fillings (like potato and corn salad, or tuna and sundried tomato), and the salad has a creamy sesame seed dressing thats used often here. And, sadly, there was no delicious dessert selection like in Seattle – just a few different muffins and scones (tinnnnyyy ones).

****Evaluation: Its not exactly like home of course, but its comfortable and similar – its Zoka Japanese style, and I like that. : ) I’ll be going back often for sure – I will take this over Starbucks in a heartbeat.

6 responses to “Cafe Zoka, Japan – Akasaka-mitsuke location

  1. ooo! Zoka in Japan!!!
    I heard about that recently! I wanna go!!

  2. Ahhh I actually came here when visiting Hie Jinja last week! I had a toasted pumpkin and cheese focaccia and it was Special. Didn’t know that it’s a Seattle shop :)

  3. super neat-o! mmmm, zoka desserts. my roommates boyfriend works at the zokas here and he mentioned they were taking the cozy latte off the menu. sad :(

  4. Oh, wow! I’m so there. Surprising it’s so cheap- I can’t get over paying 300円 for Starbucks here.

  5. ok and now the critical question… HOW IS THE COFFEE? I’m a flat-white man… plz let me know!

    actually im moving to Tokyo in 2 weeks so i guess i’ll find out soon enough..!

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