パンケーキ、ポップコーン、続々とやって来るフードトレンド。今回はスイーツ大好きな Megumiが、そんな過剰な盛り上がりに釘を刺しつつも次にやってくるトレンドを予測します!

Pancakes, popcorn, all of these food trends. This time, Megumi, who loves sweets, will talk about these trends and try to predict what may come next!




It’s not a surprise at this point that we all know how Japanese people looooooove sweets and fancy cafes. I appreciate that Japan is starting to bring in some damn good coffee. I mean, for a while, Starbucks was the only coffee shop people knew. In this article, I will be looking through some of the coffee shops that have come to Japan recently. Cafes in which people will line up for hours upon hours just to get coffee. Also, American comfort food that people are buzzing about such as pancakes, French toast and popcorn. BUT WHY? Let’s try to figure this out along the way while also listing a few places that I wish would come to Japan from the US…or wherever.



Coffee shops that are getting attention these days have something in common. It’s fancy, or should I say “oshare”. It gives you the “foreign” vibe once you step in. I won’t lie. Some of these places are really cute.

Gorilla coffee




Gorilla coffee might be one of my favorite places so far. It’s originally from Brooklyn, NY. On the grand opening day, 2015/1/17 there was a huge line and people were waiting for hours just to try this place out. I had some high expectations towards this place, not only for the coffee but for their baked goods as well. It’s normal for US cafes to have great homemade baked sweets. I wasn’t looking for another Starbucks tiny cookie that costs me $3. I was looking for some American tasting goodies. I tried their muffin, and it was good, but not like the American ones. I’m assuming if they make it with the same ingredients as the US, no one in Japan will like it. So I think the taste was less sugary, but still good. (Good dieting I guess!)

The Roastery

二つめのカフェは、私にとって食べ物もコーヒーもはなまる満点のところ!原宿にあるThe Roasteryというところです!

The second café that I am obsessed with both the food and coffee, is The Roastery, in Harajuku.




The obsession of this place for many is the structure of the inside. You really do feel like you’re in a cute coffee shop in downtown NY. They actually roast and brew the coffee right in the shop, so the smell of coffee is all over the place once you step in. It’s one of those places that when you leave, you have that coffee scent all over your hair and clothes, which is awesome. One of their specialties is the Cro-nut. For those who STILL do not know the legendary Cro-nut, it’s a Croissant but shaped like a donut and the textures is donut-ish…you just have to try it.



The Streamer Coffee Company

三つめのカフェは、まだ挑戦していないのですがインスタグラムではしょっちゅう目にするThe Streamer Coffee Company.

The Third coffee shop, I haven’t tried out yet, but have seen many Instagram photos around, is The Streamer Coffee Company.




This place opened in 2010, in Shibuya, and Japan is surprisingly the first place. The owner barista of this café was the first Asian to become a world champion, achieved with the highest score in history, at the “2008 Free Pour Latte Art Championships” held in Seattle. Obviously, that’s going to be some pretty awesome latte, I am assuming. I think the major reason why this place is popular is not only because of the taste, but also the atmosphere and the “mason jar” they use is the trick… Japanese girls, especially, are recently obsessed with mason jars for some reason. It’s “kawaii” and “unique” from the point of view of young Japanese girls. It is fun to drink out of a jar once in while .



Let’s check out some of the buzzing sweets in Japan. And these girls (boys as well) do not care if they have to wait in line for two hours to get three pancakes and some whipped cream on top of it. They just don’t.

Eggs’n Things


This place is originally from Hawaii and their huge whipped cream tower is the reason people line up…or is it the taste…? I have no clue. I’ll go here if I can have it for $6 and no line. But nearly paying $20 and lining up for hours for this…no thank you. I even went to a real Hawaiian restaurant once, but the reason people go here is because they just want to feel that “Hawaiian” vibe, not much more.





Speaking of pancakes there is also “Bills” that is originally from Australia.




Apparently, they have the world’s BEST breakfast. I haven’t been to this place so I won’t say anything but from what I heard, it might be the MOST expensive breakfast you can ask for and the portions are just so tiny…again, very American of me, but if I want some of the BEST breakfast stuff, it has to be a huge stack of waffles or pancakes…and not a side of sweets, but bacon, please!

Café Kaila,Cinnamons, andSarabeth


There are also places like “Café Kaila” and “Cinnamons”, which are again, from Hawaii, and the same pancake story. I heard “Sarabeth” from NY came to Japan a few years ago as well. HOWEVER. Let me just say one thing. I’ve been to NY and went to this place, but people who eat there are only people from the upper west side and super rich old people. This place is definitely overrated, but I guess if you want to feel royal for a day, it’s worth the splurge. (Or not. It really wasn’t that good.)

Max Brenner Chocolate Bar




This chocolate entertainment bar opened in 2013 in Omotesando. STILL I see so many people in line to get into this place. I get it. It does look yummy. I mean a chocolate marshmallow pizza?! What more can you ask for. But let me tell you something. When you pass by this restaurant in the US, there is no one in line, or let alone, inside. My guess is that the concept of eating super rich/sweet chocolates in multiple forms is “foreign” in Japan. You can’t find rich chocolate in supermarkets, so people are exploring new food!

Magnolia Bakery


How about that cupcake place that is huge now. “Magnolia Bakery”.




Now it’s a shame that I still haven’t tried this place out yet. I am just curious if it still has the “American” sweetness to it. My guess is, it does! I have a few friends who have visited this place, but were not able to finish it because it was too sweet. It amazes me how much I LOVE sweets, but at the same time, how many Japanese girls are really into the whole “sweets” part, but really just trying it out because it’s the “it” place at the moment? They are willing to pay the money just to be up-to-date with things around the city. It’s hard living in Tokyo.

Garrett popcorn


How about the biggest mystery of all…the popcorn outburst in Japan? Garrett popcorn in Harajuku is such a major deal. Why? Are people really in line to get popcorn? YES. Not a 30 minute line, but at times, over an hour, I heard.




Who ever thought that brining popcorn to Japan will make a hit, it did. Your marketing strategy was genius. I personally only have popcorn at the movie theaters or microwave popcorn at home, so I will never understand people who want to buy popcorn in the middle of the day. But here’s what’s up. Japanese people are not so familiar with eating popcorn while watching movies, believe it or not. The expression of “let’s pop some popcorn and watch a movie tonight” cannot be more American. Not very many Japanese people know about the great inventions of all time, microwave popcorn, as well. Once Japanese people figure out about microwave popcorn, they won’t be in line, I think. Although, it does make sense why people are in line for popcorn because it’s a new concept for them. Popcorn is “new” to Japan. You won’t be able to find microwave popcorn in supermarkets in Japan, so just-made-hot-popcorn can sound fancy to them.

What’s next trend?


Finally, let me just mention things I want to make its way to Japan.

Jamba Juice




It’s only appropriate for Jamba Juice to come to Japan since juice cleansing and all is huge now. Jamba Juice is from California where you can get fresh fruit smoothies. Since Japan is humid during summer, I think it will be a great idea.





This one might be a stretch because even in the US, it’s only located in certain states. Also, considering the fact that it’s beyond junky…more than MacDonald’s, it might not be a huge hit in Japan. But I finish their burgers in 10 seconds.





For those who have been abroad, I’m sure you’ve heard of diners before, but basically it’s a Japanese version of a “family restaurant.” Diners mostly have American comfort food, which are pancakes, waffles, omelets, hamburgers, sandwiches, milkshakes, etc. In short, FAT food. However, not only are these places are cheap, but also it’s just SO good. And of course the inside is retro looking, so if Japan is all about the fancy and stylish places, it is appropriate for Japan.


Overall, it has been a very overwhelming journey to look through this article but the fact that American comfort food is popular in Japan is very interesting. Believe it or not, it’s “foreign” enough for Japanese people to find it cool. You can’t find these foods at the supermarkets either. Indeed, it is a 1st world problem. Not many people, especially in their 20s, can afford $20 pancakes. Japan is a wealthy country as a whole. The fact that people don’t mind lining up for the most normal foods, it says a lot about the country. Historically speaking, Japan loves the western culture. We want something that we don’t have but they do…it’s seems “cooler”.