A review of an independent cafe, Davide Coffee Shop, close to Asakusa and Kappabashi in Tokyo. Notes are by an amateur coffee enthusiast and shoestring digital nomad. Descriptions are equal parts coffee and remote-work suitability. Most photos are shot with a second-hand Fujifilm X100.
Iriya is a lost corner of Tokyo. The low-rise blocks between Ueno and Asakusa look like any other part of concrete Tokyo. More informed locals may know about the yakuza meetings that occasionally happen here and notice some boarded up and rusted window frames. Iriya is also as ghetto as Tokyo gets and is where many homeless and borderline poverty elderly live. None of it is apparent.
Instead, most people will notice the activity at Kappabashi, Tokyo’s kitchen town. Walk about 10 minutes North, and you’ll encounter the retro-diner place that makes you take a double take. Under the red Davide neon letters one reads Coffee Shop.
I first came across Davide while cycling and only revisited months later on a weekend. Even in the early afternoon, I was the only patron along with my friend. I suspect the place becomes more crowded in the evening as a bar.
Davide is a serious coffee shop though. Davide’s epresso blend is a rich, slightly acidic mixture and the milk is well frothed. I would not think twice about returning for the latte. I also ordered the affogato, which was delicious. The acidic espresso shot was yummy irrespective of what ratio of ice cream I mixed it with.
I noticed 2 plugs in the downstairs area, but the upstairs loft doesn’t have plugs. My friend and I hung out all afternoon upstairs, which was a cozy private corner with a great view of the street and common area below. The raised ledge is also great for piling notebooks and other things to not clutter the workspace.
Their Story / What I like About Them:
I don’t know the story behind the name Davide, but the owner-operator seems to have spent time in the US. He speaks excellent English, if with a slightly aloof demeanor (he’s much more friendly in Japanese). This random American-inspired outpost is a welcome remote work watering hole for people who (like me) prefer wandering off the beaten coffee paths in Shibuya.
The bar seems like a saloon, while one corner has a handful of books and hanging t-shirts for sale. By the time I left in the late afternoon, the cafe had filled out downstairs. A few visitors seem like regulars hanging out at the counter. Also, the cafe seems to attract people who sport trench coats and fedoras… if that’s your thing!
- Coffee: Espresso
- Food: Soup, light meal (after 5pm)
- Cafe Space: 11 seats, 2 levels
- Friends: Hangouts, catching up, work
- Workspace: High tables and upstairs counter
- Remote Work: 2 outlets downstairs
2-3-1 Iriya, Taito-ku, Tokyo
|Hours: (Closed Mondays)
|Tues – Sat : 11:00 – 22:00 火〜土
Sun: 11:00 – 19:00 日
If you liked this post, check out my list of Off-Centre Tokyo Cafes.