Although stereotypes suggest that the Japanese prefer green tea, coffee is the beverage of choice in Japan. Everyone, from office workers to students, drinks it throughout the day. Historically, coffee was used as a medicinal remedy, but in recent years, coffee culture has exploded with chains like Starbucks, Pronto, and Doutour on every high street. Convenience stores and vending machines also offer coffee, making it readily available. However, if you prefer not to buy canned coffee or dislike multinational chains, finding a good cup of coffee may be challenging. Luckily, in the past few years, Japan has had a coffee revolution, even in Nagoya, where Komeda has been the go-to coffee shop for a while. There are now some great coffee shops to choose from, and we have listed some of our favorites below.
Glitch Coffee, located in Nagoya, is a well-known café offering various specialty coffee options. The café was initially established in Tokyo’s Jimbocho area, famous for its coffee culture, antique shops, and bookstores. It has since become a popular destination for coffee enthusiasts in Nagoya. The café is renowned for its selection of coffee beans, specifically those procured from Ethiopia and Panama. These beans create a range of fruity coffee flavors, with pour-over brews and espressos being their specialties. The café’s extensive range of pour-over coffee options includes unique blends such as Colombia Risaralda Milan and Yemen Haraz Ghalib Alhamasi, known for their distinctive flavors and aromas. This variety and quality of coffee is a key draw for visitors. Although Glitch Coffee’s ambiance is somewhat spartan, it offers a focused and straightforward coffee experience. The minimalist setting may not be the coziest, but it highlights the quality of the coffee itself.
Magni’s Coffee Truck
Magni’s Coffee Truck in Nagoya offers a unique coffee experience. Operated by Fujisawa-san, who developed his love for coffee in Germany, the truck is distinguished by its 1967 Wagenbus and its blend of traditional and modern trends. Their menu includes expertly brewed drip coffee and espresso, German beers, and cocktails like a well-crafted mojito. A highlight is their daily-changing baguette sandwich menu, filled with fresh, crisp vegetables and great value. Magni’s open-air setup on a busy Meieki thoroughfare creates a vibrant atmosphere where patrons can enjoy their coffee and meal outdoors while mingling with a diverse crowd. The truck also participates in events around the Tokai region on weekends.
Shima-san, born in Nagoya, had a dream since childhood of opening his own cafe. He spent his early years as a barista in his hometown and Gifu and later traveled to Melbourne, Australia, which has a great coffee culture. When he returned to his hometown, he fulfilled his dream and opened QOL, an abbreviation for Quality of Life. At QOL, he serves some of the world’s best coffee, which he roasts in-house. Besides enjoying a cup of coffee on the property, you can also purchase some beans to try and replicate Shima-san’s mastery at home.
ROWS Coffee is a well-liked café in Nagoya with a cozy and inviting atmosphere. The pale pine interior, friendly staff, and unique coffee offerings make it a standout spot. The café’s two original blends, ‘ROWS Blend’ and ‘Nagono Blend,’ are exceptional, and there are also beers available for those who prefer something stronger. Conveniently located, ROWS Coffee is the perfect spot for a quick visit or a longer stay.
Where: 2 Chome-21-5 Nagono, Nishi Ward, Nagoya (map)
Saturdays NYC in Nagoya blends fashion and coffee culture, reflecting a lifestyle concept. The café on the first floor offers a relaxed atmosphere for enjoying coffee, while the second floor showcases the brand’s apparel collection. It’s a destination where coffee and fashion enthusiasts can experience the unique ethos of Saturdays NYC. Weird as a coffee shop clothier might be, this is my favorite espresso in Nagoya, hands down. They use a great blend and have a great machine, and most baristas know how to use it.
This cafe is not only known for its coffee but also for the experience it provides. The Cups Sakae is a place where coffee is considered an art form, and it offers high-quality coffee that reviewers have consistently praised. One reviewer described the coffee as “very smooth and creamy,” and many have found the price justifiable for the beverage’s quality. What sets The Cups Sakae apart is its inclusivity in catering to diverse dietary needs. The cafe offers a range of options, including vegan choices, making it a hit among health-conscious patrons. Although the prices are higher, the consensus among visitors is clear: it is worth paying for the experience. From the quality of the coffee to the ambiance and service, The Cups Sakae offers a holistic cafe experience that resonates with its patrons.
Where: 3 Chome-35-22 Sakae, Naka Ward, Nagoya, Aichi 460-0008 (map)
Trunk Coffee Bar
Trunk Coffee Bar is a great coffee shop in Takaoka that stands out for its commitment to using rare, top-quality beans and ensuring a premium coffee experience. The café has multiple branches, but the original one in Takaoka is considered the best. One note: their blend is a bit bitter for my tastes.
Trunk Coffee Bar roasts their beans in-house, using single blend beans from some of the world’s rarest, top-quality beans to guarantee freshness. The décor of the café is charmingly ramshackle, offering a homely and welcoming atmosphere. Additionally, many staff speak English, making it a comfortable spot for local and international visitors.
Image from: https://saturdaysnyc.co.jp/blogs/stores/nagoya