How's this for motivation to get out of bed: Usagiya Café’s breakfast special is a pancake set that can only be ordered between 9 a.m. and 9:10 a.m.
Situated next door to its sister shop – a 100-plus-year-old wagashi shop of the same name – this café in in Ueno-Hirokoji is known for serving up Japanese sweets such as shiruko (red bean soup), yokan (red bean jelly), and anmitsu (Japanese agar jelly dessert). But its 10-minute pancake set (650 yen) is the dish attracting attention at the moment.
They're not just any old pancakes, either – they're made from the same ingredients as dorayaki, the Japanese ‘pancake sandwich’ that usually comes with red bean paste in the center. These particular pancakes, however, are served with the red bean paste on the side, giving you the chance to first enjoy the authentic flavour of the pancake eaten with a dollop of butter.
The other big difference is that when buying dorayaki in stores, you're not getting anywhere near the level of freshness you're getting here – these pancakes are hot and slightly crispy, making them way better than the soft version you find on shop shelves.
Besides the pancakes, you can order any menu set and you’ll get a discount on their drinks. All their drinks are made with water imported from Hawaii and served in custom-made cups – they've had different cups and plates especially made for every item on their menu. Definitely try the usa-an milk (normally 760 yen but 440 yen if you order a set), a cup of milk sweetened with red beans.