At-Home at Hemp Cafe Tokyo
Three years ago, around the same time I arrived in Japan with two suitcases, ready to start a new life, Hemp Cafe Tokyo opened its doors too! I have been eyeing this Hemp, Vegan, Raw food and fusion Mexican-japanese-Korean-Other cafe for ages and finally had time to try some of chef's Miyauchi's mouthwatering food.
There is something unique about Hemp Cafe Tokyo. Whether it is their unique location; On the eight floor of a seemingly residential building, with a narrow, Tokyo-style stair case, and a Yakiniku (grilled meat) restaurant on the First Floor, whose staff kindly send any lost Vegan foreigners to the right floor when these stumble in confused and panicky after seeing what's on the menu... :) #TrueStory
Their staff, existing of mostly volunteers, recruited daily on Instagram;
"Anyone free to come and help for a couple of hours tomorrow afternoon?"
Or their chef, Mr. Miyauchi, a passionate, former- fire fighter dedicated on spreading delicious plantbased food options.
Hemp Cafe Tokyo's charms is probably in all of these elements combined. with a cozy, living-room like cafe, including a large bookshelf - so that you can enjoy your visit either with company or alone.
My two prior visits did not go exactly as planned. The first time, I visited with a friend and were greeted at the entrance with a sign that said they would have a private party and would be closed for the day.
The second time I was meeting friends for dinner elsewhere and only had time (and appetite..) to try one of their smoothies: The Detox Charcoal smoothie with roasted Brown Rice flour, which I loved and would have again!
Third time's a charm!
After seeing the cafe and chef Miyauchi struggling to keep their head up during COVID, I finally had the chance to visit Tokyo by car, and decided to stop by for some take-out. Lucky for me, they had just launched their latest concept: Hemp Cafe Burgers!! under the brand "Hemp Shack!".
After my brief stop with the nice gentlemen on the first floor (whoops), I finally arrived at Hemp Cafe Tokyo, where I was welcomed by one of the volunteers, coached by the chef working from the kitchen. The place already smelled amazing!
There were two options for the Take-out burger menu: The Mexican, Classic Salsa Burger or the Smoke BBQ Burger with Japanese Peppers, Fig and onion. I could not resists the latter, and initially ordered it with Vegan cheese, but this was unfortunately not available on this day.
You may choose mashed potato or chips as a side.
I have been drooling over their Instagram pictures of their sizzling hot Vegan Bibimbap, but decided I'll try this whenever I can sit-in, as to enjoy it hot and fresh.
With some tables filled, it took around 15 minutes to get my take-out order.
It came in a large carton box and the lady was kind enough to give me a random paper bag, as the box wouldn't fit in my own. The burger set, without drinks, is ￥1580JPY.
I shared my take-out lunch, outside, with plenty of fresh air. We both agreed that this is definitely one of the top burgers either of us has tried so far.
The whole grain- style buns have a great texture - not too tough, and a refreshing alternative to the sloppy white McDonald's style buns most places use. The patty is extremely flavorful and complimented by a unique flavor combination and seasoning. It's new, it's juicy, it's UMAMI and overall an absolutely delicious burger! I wasn't a fan of the dry tortilla chips, with simple, spicy sauce, and would personally prefer thick or well-seasoned fries.
Hemp Cafe Tokyo has faced a difficult year during COVID and has managed to stay afloat thanks to its loyal volunteers and customers, and the creativity of chef Miyauchi, who keeps creating and innovating amazing new dishes.
This cozy, homely cafe belongs in Tokyo and I hope they will make it through these tough times OK!
Address: 〒150-0011 Tokyo, Shibuya City, Higashi, 3 Chome−17−14 8F
Access: 2-3 min walk from Ebisu Station. 8th foor! (look for the signs and don't bother the kind men at the grilled meat restaurant on 1F...)
Food: Hemp, Vegan, Raw food and fusion Mexican-japanese-Korean-other.
Price:￥1580 Burger set. ￥880 Charcoal smoothie Expensive, but made with a lot of care and clean ingredients.
Service: Waiters are very nice and wiling to help. Chef does what he can from the back of the kitchen. Very friendly and polite.
Location: Close to the station! Be sure to double check opening hours through live Instagram stories etc. as the Google and Facebook data was not accurate/updated during my last visit.
Overall: Hemp Cafe Tokyo was as good, or even better, than I dared to imagine. The passion of both the volunteering staff and the chef is amazing and I hope to be able to try their amazing looking lunch options in the near future! ❤