Ginza is best known as a shopping district, with streets upon streets of expensive, brand-name stores to back up this perception. Personally, though, I’d like it to be known for its small, cozy cafes. Those with a sweet tooth will be delighted to know that Ginza’s cafes have a strong focus on dessert. From cakes to parfaits, there’s no shortage of sweets to choose from in Ginza, but one of the items most favored by locals is the humble NOA CAFE waffle.
NOA CAFE has a very popular morning set which consists of a drink, waffles or toast, and a salad. The morning set is only 480 yen, so its no surprise that the shop is reportedly crowded from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., which is officially “morning” at NOA CAFE. Looking for some quiet, I decided to visit later in the evening. This was the right decision, because I had my choice of seat. The table in the corner was perfect to take in the cute underground cafe. A long mirror was mounted on the opposite wall, and the black chairs created a sharp contrast with the softly-lit white walls.
The menu listed some sandwiches and typical desserts, including the very tempting mud chocolate cake. In the end, however, I had come for the waffles. Despite my decision to stick with waffles, the variety meant that I still had a hard time choosing.
Some waffles were adorned by strawberries or blueberries, while other waffles boasted tomatoes and ham. If I was going to have a dessert waffle, though, I wanted to make sure that it was as dessert-like as possible. I ended up with the chocolate banana and gelato waffle, which had just enough potassium to justify eating it as dinner. The waffle came with milk tea; a 1,050 yen set is reasonable for Ginza.
Pondering on “Ginza inexpensive” versus “rest-of-the-world inexpensive” came to a halt when I took the first bite of waffle. It was like biting into a crispy cloud. This sensation was further mixed with the creaminess of the vanilla gelato. That’s not even taking into account the chocolate sauce, fresh cream and banana.
To put it in unnecessarily epic terms, the beautifully arranged waffles soon fell to my mighty fork. For those not afraid of a waffle sweeter than your typical breakfast food, NOA CAFE should be on your list of must-visit places in Ginza.
NOA CAFE (Ginza)
Address: Tokyo-to, Chuo-ku, Ginza, 5 Chome0805
Directions: Leave through Exit A4 of Ginza subway station, when you seen the SONOKO building on your right, turn onto one street before the one next to that building. On your right, you’ll soon seen
Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Average price: 1,050 yen (drink and waffle set)
NOA CAFE [In Japanese]