We spent three nights in Nakameguro, partly because it seemed like a fantastic neighbourhood and partly because I wanted to spend some time sipping hot chocolates at Green Bean to Bar. This may sound strange, but Nakameguro felt a bit like living in Paris. We stayed in a small place on a quaint local shopping street. Kids were playing ball on the road, friends walking to the bar for a beer, grandmothers catching up with friends at the shops. It was a great way to start our trip to one of the biggest cities in the world. Here, it all felt very welcoming.
Visiting Tokyo is a never-ending treasure hunt. There are jewels to be found everywhere. That little door with no markings goes down to one of the best ramen joints in the city. This one sells rice crackers made on the premise. Over there the owner will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about tea, and then try to sell you one of each. There is a beautiful bookstore where you can sit and look through books while sipping coffee. A long street over there is lined with bicycles with seats mounted on the back for multiple kids to ride on.
One unexpected spot we stumbled upon in Naka Meguro that didn’t quite fit in, but that was incredibly busy at all hours of the day, was The City Bakery. The City Bakery was a very well know bakery in New York City opened in 1990 which I have visited multiple times over the years. They were famous for their sweet, pudding like hot chocolates served amazing giant marshmallows. While, sadly, The City Bakery in NYC closed several years ago now, this one took a different path and survived. It sells the same delicious goodies as the NYC version did including, most importantly, the hot chocolate and those famous giant marshmallows. While there is space inside to sit and sip your drinks, we chose to sit on a bench outside so we could watch Naka Meguro waking up.
If you are lucky enough to be around in February, you can still enjoy City Bakery’s famous hot chocolate festival where the flavour of the hot chocolate on offer changes every week. This past year the flavours included Chai, orange, ginger mint and matcha while past flavours have included chocolate pretzel, earl gray, cassis, black pepper and even popcorn.
Verdict: That marshmallow is still the star of the show. There are many City Bakeries around Japan now. I went to the Naka meguro branch at 3-4-15 Kamimeguro right under the metro station.