This article by Adriana Mazza first appeared on Tokyo Cheapo.
If you’re not familiar with Blue Bottle, it’s a highfalutin craft coffee joint in Tokyo that usually bears hours-long queues. No shade, but it’s not the only player in town brewing up some good coffee (with much shorter lines).
But don’t just settle for good coffee — why not get your hands (and lips!) on some popular coffee? Lucky for you, finding good + popular has been made easy-peasy by the ABC Coffee Club’s new real-time map ranking the top craft coffee shops according to popularity on Instagram. What does that mean? Well, it means people heart their coffee so much they simply must share on social media and spread the good word on good java. Popularity is based on frequency of photos and number of likes per coffee shop.
Popularity is a fickle friend, though. Just the other day, Omotesando Koffee and Fuglen — two cafes that happen to be on our best hipster cafes list — were in the top 5 favs, but now they’ve been bumped to positions 6 and 9 respectively.
The map pin drops over 257 coffee shops in Japan, with 146 in Tokyo alone. The side panel displays its rank (1 being the most popular) and how many likes it has, along with essential info such as the cafe’s opening hours, a Google location map and a gallery of Instagram snaps.
From ABC Coffee map
When the creators of the ABC Coffee map first came to Tokyo, they had no idea where to get some good coffee. Thus, they were inspired to create the map and draw recommendations via Instagram — a great resource to collect people’s favourite local small coffee spots that they wouldn’t have otherwise known about—and put together a comprehensive cafe guide.
If you’re in the same boat of not knowing where to hit up some great caffeine, or just want to see what’s good in the hood, here are the top 6 cafes in Tokyo according to Instagram (at the time of writing):
1. Good Town Doughnuts
A doughnut and coffee shop in Harajuku with 47,387 and counting likes on Instagram.
2. Café Kitsuné
A cute cafe in Minami Aoyama with a bamboo entrance and an Edo-period ambiance.
3. Blue Bottle Coffee – Aoyama Branch
The ever-popular Blue Bottle in Aoyama, Tokyo usually toggles between the top 5 spots, but today we find it at #3.
4. New Coffee Steppers
A darling cafe in Shibuya with a sleek wooden interior located inside a gallery shop called VACANT.
5. Deus Ex Machina
This badass cafe in Harajuku found it’s home in the same building that houses an array of mismatched items — from an art gallery to motorcycles, from clothing to surfboards.
6. Omotesando Koffee
Although it’s a hidden-away cafe in the backstreets of Omotesando, this cafe seems to be speedily gaining popularity among coffee lovers in Tokyo.