Kobe is renowned for being one of the most trendy and cosmopolitan cities in the Kansai region, so it’s no surprise that there are plenty of cool coffee outlets to be found there. From small independent cafes to world-famous global chains, you can pick the kind of place that suits you if you fancy a brew, a chat, and maybe even a slice of cake. We give details here of just a few of the best coffee houses to find in Kobe.
This established outlet is popular with expats and serves an impressive range of desserts as well as coffee, tea, and other hot drinks. Located on the port of Kobe, Patisserie Tooth Tooth is housed in a former US Consulate building that is registered as one of Japan’s important cultural properties. It is well known for its western-style desserts that can be enjoyed along with a nice espresso or cappuccino. Japanese cakes are also served including the delicious uji matcha tart.
You can find plenty of cafes in Kobe with outdoor seating nowadays, but Mother Moon was one of the first to do this and remains a popular choice for coffee drinkers and diners in the summer months. You can find this coffee house and restaurant in the basement of the International House. A selection of teas and coffees are available as well as some tasty dining options such as the lobster cream pasta.
Estnation is something of a hidden gem loved by quirky cafe enthusiasts. It’s a bit harder to find than high street outlets since it’s located on the 4th floor of the Estnation store. But it’s worth the trek. The cafe doubles up as a flower shop and you can choose between outdoor seating among a beautiful array of plants or the cozy indoor setting where the walls are adorned with flower artwork. Coffees include a range of flat white and espresso-based beverages with organic milk options. Sandwiches and desserts also available.
This is an independent two-story outlet not far from Motomachi station and is a top choice of coffee aficionados due to the staff knowledge of good coffee roasts and the wide selection of brewing methods on offer. The opening hours of 7:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. also make it popular with early starters and late finishers. You can get a good breakfast here with eggs benedict served with a side of yogurt and granola going down well with many diners.
This tucked-away coffee shop in the Motomachi area is frequented by locals and hipsters. There is a wide selection of espresso-based drinks on offer as well as coffee-based cocktails and desserts. Planning a visit here is highly recommended if you’re looking to meet some interesting new people in Kobe.
This is a chain of coffee shops with branches in the Kobe districts of Kitano, Sannomiya, and Motomachi. The coffee is slightly more expensive than elsewhere (around 850 yen for a cup rather than the usual 500 yen or so) but regulars will say it’s worth it due to the old school coffee shop vibe. The décor is very classic making the Nishimura cafes look like something from days gone by. Food is available, including breakfast, and the cafe serves gluten-free options.
It may seem odd, or maybe too obvious, to include Starbucks in a list of the best coffee places but the Kitano branch in Kobe is worth a visit as it’s one of the most unique coffee houses in the world. This “concept store” is situated within an old western Victorian house that has been purchased and renovated by the chain. Listed as a cultural heritage site, this outlet has become a popular Kobe tourist attraction over the years.