Too long between Tokyo trips? Make up for it with izakaya dining, crispy katsu, anime bars and aesthetic Japanese cafes.
Where to find fruit sandos
Seek out this ultra-cute treat
Filled with mascarpone, cream cheese and fresh fruit, the famous fruit sandos can now be found in the city. Visit Le Bajo Milk Bar in North Melbourne for a freshly made seasonal fruit sando. Or head to gourmet grocer Pantre for sandos perfectly arranged to look like giant flowers inside the sandwich.
Japanese-style cafes and bakeries
Minimalist lunch spots and matcha lattes
Melbourne’s list of Japanese-style cafes and bakeries is growing by the dozen. For an ultra-chic lunch, head to Ichigo for the ichi-rashi. That's sashimi, caviar, pickled daikon, avocado mousse and freshly-grated wasabi on a bed of rice. Or find layered crepe cakes, strawberry short cakes and more at Sugar Labo. And it wouldn’t be a trip to Tokyo without cute latte art. Visit Fuumi Fuumi for your fix of super kawaii matcha drinks.
Soufflé pancakes and traditional breakfasts
Where to find the best Japanese brunch spots
From jiggly cheesecake to mountainous shaved ice, sweet brunching in Japan is almost an extreme sport. Travel with your taste buds to Adozen Adozen for a feather-light soufflé pancake and bliss out. All the equipment in store is from Japan, and the chefs trained there too. Make a beeline to Torissong and explore the art of teishoku. A curated selection of rice, pickles, soup and rotating main is served here on the daily in neat wooden trays. Opt for teriyaki lamb ribs, char-grilled eel and pork katsu.
Authentic ramen spots
Try big bowls of the pork-based noodle soup
Wandering down lantern-lit laneways to discover tiny diners is the Tokyo dream. Onsen nails the Memory Lane vibe (yes, we know it's not always called that) with a hole-in-the-wall location in the middle of Lonsdale Street. Pop-in for a quick lunch and enjoy signature flavour-packed tonkotsu ramen. Hakata Gensuke is next on our list for what could be the most authentic ramen in Melbourne. Go for the no-fuss signature tonkatsu ramen for a rich pork broth. Add a side of gyoza dumplings if you're extra famished.
Milk bread bakeries
Pick up a fluffy loaf of shokupan
Seemingly overnight, Melbourne became obsessed with milk bread. Or shokupan, for those in the know. The fluffy white slices typically emerge from bakery ovens in a perfectly uniform cube. City spots Coppe Pan, Bakemono and Le Bajo all bake the good stuff on site. Find it in action when you order crispy katsu sando, the quintessential Japanese snack.
Anime and otaku culture
Have an Akihabara experience in Melbourne
Tokyo lovers of the geek persuasion are always craving a Super Potato session. Get the Akihabara experience on a smaller scale at Robot Bar, where anime is projected from the ceiling. Then pick up cult-fave merch like Studio Ghibli artwork and Hello Kitty Gundam gear at Melbourne's Mandarake equivalents.
Last updated on Thu 9 Nov 2023
A Japanese bakery and cafe with lunch specials and freshly baked pastries.