Bread, Espresso & pretty much does what the name says, serving bread-based dishes, espresso-based drinks and a few other things from its original store in Omotesando, a bustling district that’s seen the birth of some of Tokyo’s best coffee. So successful has it been that there are now 12 branches dotted around Tokyo, each with its own name, plus some overseas Bread, Espresso &s.
I’ll be honest: Omotesando has many great coffee options and, as such, Bread, Espresso & is not somewhere I come for the coffee alone. That said, in a city where the non-speciality coffee can frequently be disappointing, Bread, Espresso &’s coffee has always been spot-on, plus it makes an excellent breakfast (until 10:00) and lunch spot, as well as a take-away bakery. There’s not a lot of seating, but for both my visits, table turn-over was high and the staff will always fit you in if possible.
You can read more of my thoughts after the gallery.
Bread, Espresso & is tucked away in the (relatively) quiet tangle of narrow streets north of Omotesando Station, an area that includes the likes of Sarutahiko Coffee, Lattest, Ratio &C and, of course, Koffee Mameya. Set back from the street, there’s a broad, concrete patio, with a long, thin concrete bar with four high stools on the right and a pair of two-person round tables on the left, sheltering under the projecting upper storeys of the building.
The front of Bread, Espresso & consists of a pair of windows with a central door. To the right is the take-away bakery section, with a tempting display occupying the whole of the window, plus the till, which is also where you pay when you leave (Bread, Espresso & has full table service). Behind this is the bakery, which, both times I visited, was pretty much in full swing. Off to the left is an L-shaped seating area, with a coffee bar at the back, although there’s no reason for you to actually visit it unless you really want to be nosy (and get in the way; for the record, I did neither).
There’s a row of four two-person tables on the left, effectively continuing the row of two outside, separated by the window. The first pair are square, wooden tables with comfortable chairs, while the second pair are, like those outside, round with chrome tops. At the back, the space extends to the left, where you’ll find an eight-person oval communal table with chairs. Finally, there’s a four-person bar on the right with high stools, which runs along the wall of the bakery. There’s a window here, so you can see the bakery in action, plus it’s open at the front (behind the till) allowing the wonderful smells of baking to flood the entire shop.
I visited twice, once for breakfast and again for lunch. On both occasions I had a rich, creamy cappuccino, the milk and coffee in perfect harmony, while the milk was steamed to perfection, holding the excellent latte art to the bottom of the cup.
For breakfast, I had the French Toast, a single, thick slice of extremely spongy white bread, pretty much the ideal vehicle for French Toast, which was sweet without being sickly. I returned the following day, aiming to repeat the experience, but missed the 10 o’clock breakfast cut-off (the jet-lag had really caught up with me by then), instead opting for a tasty mozzarella panini. I suspect that I may also return to sample the pastries from the takeout bakery.
|3-4-9 JINGUMAE • SHIBUYA-KU • TOKYO • 150-0001 • JAPAN|
|http://bread-espresso.jp||+81 (0) 3-5410-2040|
|Monday||08:00 – 20:00||Roaster||In-house (espresso only)|
|Tuesday||08:00 – 20:00||Seating||Tables, Bar; Tables, Bar (outside)|
|Wednesday||08:00 – 20:00||Food||Breakfast, Lunch, Cake|
|Thursday||08:00 – 20:00||Service||Table|
|Friday||08:00 – 20:00||Cards||Cash Only|
|Saturday||08:00 – 20:00||Wifi||Free|
|Sunday||08:00 – 20:00||Power||Yes|
|Chain||International||Visits||18th, 19th October 2018|
Liked this? Then take a look at the rest of Tokyo’s speciality coffee scene with the Coffee Spot Guide to Tokyo.
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