Nori toast: 170 JPY. (Morning set with coffee, 500 JPY.)

Coffee Shop Ace

Original, yet somehow familiar. A gentle start to your day with nori toast.

There was a time when “jun-kissa” (‘pure cafés’, classic Japanese cafés in a Western style) were all over Japan. Nowadays, there are significantly fewer, but “Specialty Coffee Ace” in Kanda still preserves the comfort, nostalgia and aesthetic of the authentic “kissa” experience.

Take the nori toast. (Nori is a dried seaweed, often seen on sushi.)
BRUTUS, a major culture magazine in Japan, has picked it up numerous times. [1][2]

1

A stand out, glorious curiosity in the world of toast: nori.

referenceYoko Fujimori, BRUTUS, “Kissaten Suki. (I love cafés.)”, page 66, 2017年, MAGAZINE HOUSE

2

The specialty nori toast retains the Japanese aroma of an isobeyaki, yet goes strangely well with coffee.

referenceJunko Nakahama, BRUTUS, “Saiko no Choshoku wo. (For the finest breakfast.)”, page 38, 2011年, MAGAZINE HOUSE

Nori toast, you’ll get through it like your favorite snack.

Sandwiched using thin, crispy toast, you’ll get through it like your favorite snack.

Just one bite, and you’ll be convinced. “What a uniquely Japanese invention!” The tidal aroma of the nori and the flavor of the soy sauce combine to produce a somehow nostalgic flavor for Japanese people. Overseas visitors are sure to delight in something novel, oddly reminiscent of snack food.

Either way, what we’re saying is that it’s sure to be a big hit, whether or not you’re from Japan.

According to BRUTUS, this menu item draws its roots from the “noriben” (bento with nori), a classic for the Japanese. No wonder it tastes familiar.[3]

3

A harmony of nori and soy sauce. Rooted in the noriben, just like Mum used to make. A market leader for price too.

referenceYoko Fujimori, BRUTUS, “Kissaten Suki. (I love cafés.)”, page 66, 2017年, MAGAZINE HOUSE

Morning in Ace. The one and only.

Inside Ace.Juxtaposing the familiar with the exotic. Comfy though.

Inside the shop. Juxtaposing the familiar with the exotic. Comfy though.

Ace opens at 7AM. Breakfast service continues until 11:30. Nori toast and coffee is priced at the amazingly affordable 500 yen. Free refills on coffee until lunch, too.

Ace's breakfast menu outside.

Breakfast menu outside.

The establishment sees a lot of visitors every morning.

In a 2009 interview in Asahi Shimbun (a major Japanese newspaper), the brothers who have run the place since its founding in 1971 spoke about their commitment to originality.[4]

4

(Extract) ‘Originality is an absolute must if we don’t want to lose against the chains.’

reference“Asahi Shimbun”, Evening paper, 2009年, The Asahi Shimbun Company

It’s not just nori toast. The ambiance and the coffee are both unique to Ace. People come from all over to experience the nostalgia of a 50 year old establishment, as well as try something you’ll only find here. No doubt they’ll continue to do so.

Dolls and clock, from the counter top.

Dolls and clock, from the counter top.

American donuts, 230 yen. (Non-breakfast items are available from the morning.)

American donuts, 230 yen. (Non-breakfast items are available from the morning.)

What was once a nationwide phenomenon, “jun-kissa” may not be around for much longer; if you’re after coffee, café chains are usually enough.

But places like Ace will continue to be loved. A uniquely Japanese, uniquely Tokyo, uniquely Kanda morning. Be sure to visit!

Ace's outside

MAP

PLACE
Coffee Shop Ace
TEL
+81-3-3256-3941
ACCESS
3-10-6 Uchikanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Last updated on January 20, 2019. The information on this page may not reflect the current trends.

TAGS

BACK to CATEGORIES
THE NEXT STANDARD IS

COMING SOON