The eager trend-hunters among you may have spotted our recent roundup of our favourite imports from New York City which have opened up here in Tokyo. This week, we’re changing it up and looking towards the American west coast for some of the best restaurants and cafés hailing from the Golden State…
1. Umami Burger
Lip-smacking good, Los Angeles-born Umami Burger opened up their first Japan eatery near Omotesando back in 2016, serving up their famed burgers, sides and even some Tokyo-only specialities. Dig into favourites like the original Umami Burger, topped with shiitake mushrooms and a parmesan crisp, and the Samurai burger, served with wasabi aioli and lotus root. For a luxury option, try the Truffle Burger, filled with truffle aioli, truffle-infused cheese and a truffle-glazed beef patty.
2. Urth Caffé
Best known for organic coffees, bubble tea smoothies and healthy fare, this LA-born café is a Hollywood celebrity favourite and has also made a few cameo appearances on HBO’s Entourage series. With two spots here in Tokyo (one in Omotesando, the other in Daikanyama), Urth deals in fluffy pancakes, tasty sandwiches and Instagram-worthy desserts. Some of the menu items include a Japanese twist: try the matcha-infused waffle bon bon topped with kuromitsu (black sugar syrup).
3. The Pie Hole Los Angeles
These Californian pie specialists currently have two locations in Tokyo, the first in Lumine Shinjuku and a newer one inside the glitzy Ginza Six complex. Get your fill of sweet and savoury pies that have been refined over five generations. Whether you’re down to eat pie for breakfast, lunch or dinner, there’s something supremely comforting about digging into one of these flaky-crusted creations.
4. Blue Bottle
These Oakland-born coffee roasters have made quite a name for themselves with multiple locations across the States and six outposts (soon to be seven) right here in Tokyo. From a full-on roastery in Kiyosumi-Shirakawa to trendy third-wave cafés dotted around the city, Blue Bottle continue to turn out some of the tastiest coffee in the capital. Thanks to their cafés' sleek, modern interiors, Blue Bottle have also become popular among Instagrammers looking for that trendy snap.
5. The Counter
Another California-born burger institution, this tasty eatery is best known for its unique customisation options. At the Roppongi outpost you can build the ultimate burger to fit your cravings, picking out everything from the style of patty you want to the type of cheese, sauce and toppings. For those not feeling creative, the restaurant also has a menu of signature burgers to choose from.
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