Austrian Coffee in Nostalgic Tricolore Cafe in Ginza, Tokyo

entrance of tricolore cafe ginza

Table of Contents

The Ginza district of Tokyo is a prime destination for visitors and locals alike. Here, you can find all major international fashion brands, historical specialty shops, and fine-dining restaurants. Shopping in Tokyo’s Ginza district can be a lot of fun, but it could also empty your wallet, cause your head to spin, and dry up your throat. Surely, you will need a coffee break and look for a place that does not break the bank but satisfies your palate. 

I recommend taking a few steps away from the main intersection, which has the Mitsukoshi Department Store on one corner. In a quieter street, parallel to the main drag of Ginza, I found the charming Tricolore Café. You can’t overlook the French flag, the “tricolore,” in front of the building. It may look like a fancy French restaurant, but a closer look reveals it to be a charming café. Some of the coffee specialties are even typical Austrian.

Ambiance and Atmosphere

When you enter the café through the revolving door, you will feel transported into a bygone era. Since its opening in 1936, Tricolore Cafe in Ginza has maintained a nostalgic yet elegant atmosphere over the decades. 

The cafe’s retro style is underlined by brick walls, slightly faded wall mirrors, and antique-looking furnishings. The interior uniquely blends the charm of old Europe and the sophistication of modern Japan, creating a nostalgic yet welcoming space. I was reminded of an upscale Austrian cafe in Vienna, but I could recognize style elements from France. The eclectic mix of classic vibes is a bit confusing but charming. And it produces a tranquil atmosphere to help you relax from your shopping spree.


tricolore cafe mirror view
Interior View - Photo by Author
tricolore cafe Ginza interior
Interior View - Photo by Author


Coffee Choices



The only hint of Austrian coffee is the menu item Vienna Coffee, but a careful look at the menu reveals at least another Austrian inspired one. Here are the coffee preparations of Tricolore Ginza:





Antique Blend



Tricolore Cafe’s signature coffee is the Antique Blend, a rich coffee made from coffee beans sourced from Central and South America. Every cup is hand-brewed as a pour-over using a cotton flannel filter. This method is also used at the Ueshima Coffee shops, where they call it Nel drip. The result is a cup of smooth and deep flavor without any hint of paper flavor. It reminded me of the brewing method I experienced in Costa Rica.



Café au Lait



The other main choice is a French Roast coffee served with milk. The waiter will pour the milk at your table, so you have full control about the right balance. It’s the Tricolore version of a latte.



Toarco Toraja



Further down the menu, I found Toarco Toraja coffee and decided to go for it because I like Indonesian coffee. It turned out to be the right decision.



Toarco Toraja is a rare coffee from the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Its history goes back to the 1700s when Indonesia was a Dutch colony. Unfortunately, it was neglected for decades until after WWII, when the major Japanese coffee company Key Coffee revitalized the old plantations in the highlands. The Japanese company developed the region’s infrastructure to facilitate the production of this high-end coffee. They also helped farmers and cooperatives improve their farming and post-harvest methods.



This single-origin coffee is known for its clean, well-balanced, and slightly fruity flavor profile. The meticulous preparation at Tricolore Cafe, using the Nel drip method, ensures that every cup brings out the distinctive characteristics of the Toarco Toraja bean. I have had the same coffee at other cafes, but there is no comparison.

tricolore cafe toraja coffee
 Toarco Toraja Coffee



Vienna Coffee



My wife went for the Vienna Coffee. You may know that there is no Vienna Coffee in Vienna. Outside of Austria, the term is generally used for coffee with whipped cream. Usually, you are in for disappointment, but not in Tricolore café.



What you get here as “Vienna Coffee” is what would be called “Einspänner” in Austria. A strong coffee with a generous dollop of real whipped cream on top, not the disgusting spray can version. The whipped cream in this café is outstanding and reminded me of my childhood experience in Germany. Taste the whipped cream first before gently stirring. On the bottom of the glass is some coarse sugar, which will slowly dissolve and round the taste of this heavenly drink. It is not overly sweet, but if you prefer it without sugar, mention it when ordering.

vienna coffee at tricolore cafe
 The Einspänner aka Vienna Coffee




Cointreau Coffee



This drink is also a classic Austrian coffee drink and is known in Austria as “Maria Theresia Kaffee”, a favorite of the late Austrian Empress. It looks like the Einspänner above but is fortified with a shot of the French orange liqueur Cointreau. I first had this amazing drink and fell in love with it in Business Class at Austrian Airlines.

I look forward to having that on my next visit.



tricolore cafe ginza menu
 The coffee menu


Food choices



Beyond coffee, Tricolore Ginza offers a selection of mouth-watering cakes proudly displayed in a case near the entrance, where you can’t overlook them. The chocolate cakes grabbed my attention in particular.



We just had lunch somewhere else, so we skipped those cakes for today, but friends told me that the cheesecake is creamy and just right in sweetness, while the apple pie is a perfect combination of flaky crust and tender fruit.



Other patrons had sandwiches and a crispy salad for lunch, which is quite an attractive option. For dessert, you could order one of the great cake selections, and you would have completed the perfect lunch in style.



Like many cafés in Japan, they have a Morning Menu, often called morning service. It includes a cup of Antique Blend, buttered toast, and salad. 



Since the café closes at 7:00 pm, it is not a dinner destination.






Practical Information for Visiting Tricolore Cafe Ginza



Location and Contact



You can find the Tricolore Ginza Cafe in an ally parallel to the main drag of Ginza, near the main crossing with the Mitsukoshi department store and Wako jewelry store on two of the corners. The address is 5-9-17 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo. For reservations, you can call them at their telephone number03-3571-1811.



It’s just a minute’s walk from Ginza Station, which you can reach via the Ginza Line, Hibiya Line, or Marunouchi Line. If you’re coming from Higashi-Ginza Station (Hibiya Line, Toei Asakusa Line), it’s only a two-minute walk on foot.



Opening Times



Their opening hours are:



    • Monday:   8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
    • Tuesday:  Closed
    • Wednesday to Sunday:   8:00 AM – 7:00 PM




Reservation and Seating



There are 49 seats on two floors. Although not mandatory, making a reservation might be wise to avoid waiting, especially during peak hours. I’ve found that an early visit or a late afternoon stop is usually less crowded. On weekends, there will usually be a lot of visitors.






Since April 2020, the rules regarding smoking have changed in Tokyo. Smoking is generally not permitted indoors, with a few exceptions, to provide a comfortable environment for all guests and protect the staff.



Payment Options



All major credit cards in addition to cash and other payment systems like PayPay are accepted.




My Verdict: Must-go



Tricolore Cafe Ginza became my instant favorite as it is more than just a coffee shop; here, it’s a place to take a break from the bustling Ginza area and relax for a while in a nostalgic atmosphere. Treat yourself to a cup of exceptional coffee and a delicious cake. Whether you’re drawn by the charm of Austrian style coffee preparations, the exotic flavor of Toarco Toraja coffee, or the distinctive taste of their Antique Blend, you will have one of the best coffee experiences in the center of Tokyo. So, when you are in the Ginza area, make sure to stop by and enjoy its unique coffee culture.

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