If you’re not living in Tokyo, you probably can’t imagine how much the city is in the middle of a “tapioca fever”. Commonly referred to simply as “tapioca” in Japanese, you can find bubble tea shops around every corner. And when I say every corner, I mean it! Available in a lot of different flavors (matcha, milk tea, fruity etc), you sometimes have to wait for more than 30 minutes to get your precious drink in the most popular shops such as Gong Cha or The Alley. But believe me, for Tapioca fans like me I can tell you it’s worth it!
Recently on a walk in Shin Ōkubo area, a.k.a “Tokyo’s Korean town,” I discover a brand-new Bubble Tea cafe named 2D cafe (2Dカフェ – トゥデイカフェ in Japanese). Originally from Korea, this one just opened a few days ago. Usually, most of boba shops in the capital are just stands where you can buy your drink to go. But the good news here is that the 2D cafe has tables and seats where you can stay with you friends (or with your beloved drink only) and enjoy!
Who needs 3D when you have Tapioca?
First of all, what caught my attention is the shop’s facade. To be honest, that’s the second reason why I decided to enter (the first one being TAPIOCA obviously). When I went into the cafe, I instantly felt in love with the atmosphere. Here you won’t see any colorful walls but you will feel like you’re living in a 2-dimensional world, all in black and white, where everything seems to be hand-drawn. The place is pretty huge and, as most of the Bubble Tea places in Tokyo, 99.9% of the customers were women.
I decided to try the recommended Tapioca drink, which was the “2D brown sugar Assam milk tea”. The prices are around 600円 〜700円 for one (about 5-6 euros / 5.50-6.50 USD) which is the usual price range at other shops as well. The good news is that the tapioca is homemade here, which is not the case everywhere. And the cherry on top (or should I say “boba” on top?) if you’re greedy you can also add fresh whipped cream as a topping for 50 additional Japanese Yen.
After you pay for your drink, the waiter will give you a pager so you can go to your table and wait. When the pager vibrates, you can pick up your order at the counter and then relax and enjoy!
The 2D Cafe has a good selection of flavors and if you’re not into Milk Tea and Tapioca, you can get more fruity ones like Mango, Pineapple, or Orange. They also offer Patbingsu / Kakigōri (shaved iced dessert) which is perfect for Summer. The prices start from 1000円 and you can choose between 7 different flavors including mango, strawberry, banana, Azuki (sweet red bean) and so on. That’s definitely something I’ll try next time I’ll go!
The drink I chose was pretty good and was exactly what I was looking for. The tapioca balls were very soft, melt in your mouth thanks to the brown and sugar milk tea combo. The staff was very nice and friendly (as they are in most places in Japan, but still I have to mention it) and the atmosphere of the cafe was a stand-out with a pretty unique interior. This is definitely a place to add to your “instagramable” cafes list in Tokyo. If you’re looking for a not-so-crowded and hidden Bubble Tea gem, this is the place!
2D Cafe Tokyo – Shin Ōkubo
1-7-5 Hyakunincho, Shinjuku-ku Za Building 1F
From 11 am to 10 pm
And if you’re in Tokyo from August 13 to September 16, 2019, why not have some boba drinks in a Tapioca paradise? Tokyo Tapioca Land is A Bubble Tea Themed Park for Instagramers!