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Brooklyn Parlor in Shinjuku: Find your Passions All in One Place

Music. Café. Books. Eats. Bar. Those five words under Brooklyn Parlor’s logo were enough to convince me to visit. This place has five of my favorite things!

By 3 min read 3

If you find yourself lost (as always) in Shinjuku, yearning to take a break from the chaos, then head down to Brooklyn Parlor, just 5 minutes away from Shinjuku-Sanchome station. I’ve never been to the US so visiting this place felt like a peek into New York’s hipster culture.

This watering hole, book café and restaurant in one is well-curated, furnished with eclectic furniture and creative pieces set against its brick walls. The Japanese take on a Brooklyn café, the earthy colors and subtle lighting made the open seating concept more inviting, with uniquely designed nooks for big and small groups alike. The upbeat jazz music playing in the background also enhanced the mood.


I spotted the bar at the left corner near the entrance, with the signature Brooklyn Lager on tap. The artwork above the barista said “Life is short why don’t you have a drink?” I couldn’t agree more. Their drinks menu made of wines, cocktails, and craft beers would leave you spoilt for choice. A fine tea selection is also available for the health-conscious.

The English-speaking waitress ushered me in and I picked a spot on a long communal and multi-colored table with wooden benches. I browsed different menus and had a hard time making a decision. I must admit that most of the drinks’ prices were expensive for my taste, and while my seatmate’s order tempted me for a minute, it was too early for a thick and sumptuous Western burger, one of their best sellers.


After ordering, I immediately made my way to the library. There was a wide selection of reading materials lining the shelves, including Japanese titles, design magazines, and countless of books in multiple languages. It was a little noisy for reading, but not as loud and hazy as an izakaya, thankfully. Nonetheless, the place was definitely conducive for escaping the outside world and watching time fly by, whether by your lonesome or with company on lazy afternoons.

Once I got my tall glass of iced coffee, it was people watching time. The first thing I noticed was the empty, reserved red leather couch in the center. It reminded me of a similar couch on the Central Perk café from the 90’s TV hit, Friends. The patrons were a mix of university students, young professionals, a few foreigners, and probably the freelancing crowd. There were no typical hipsters in sight, just a handful who took a snapshot of their food or drink beforehand, including myself.


On the other hand, Tuesday night transforms the café into a popular venue for “Good Music Parlor” featuring live jazz performances and DJ sets, hosted by Blue Note Tokyo. The waiting time could take up to 30 minutes, so be sure to reserve a table if you have many friends in tow. If you’re not into jazz or dancing, I recommend a visit on weekday afternoons or at brunch time when you’re more likely to get a cozy spot of your choice.

Brooklyn Parlor may be known as a place to be and be seen, but it’s also a refuge for city dwellers or travelers, who share the same passions – be it music, coffee, food, beer, or books – or all of them combined.


Shinjuku-Sanchome Station (Tokyo Metro & Toei lines) via Exit C; Shinjuku Station (JR Line)

Shinjuku Marui OIOI Annex B1F
3-1-26 Shinjuku

Website: www.brooklynparlor.co.jp/shinjuku

Opening hours: 11:30AM to 11:30PM

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  • Rei says:

    I recently discovered this place in Fukuoka, and the food was so delicious. Definitely one of the top places to get my burger fix!

  • maulinator says:

    I like the place too. But to think this is like New York, is like going to Burberry’s and thinking this must be what London is like. Or like going to Starbucks and thinking this is what Seattle is like. It is the commercialized veneer of what the city actually has. Brooklyn Parlor is fun and the food is pretty good, but do yourself a favor and go to Brooklyn or Manhattan and experience the real thing and you will quickly realize how different it really is.

  • Thanks for featuring Brooklyn Parlor, Jenie. It’s one of the select few comfortable spots I love in Shinjuku.



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