Experience the oceans like never before
Hoshino Coffee in Shin-yokohama has classic kissaten charm. This chain of old-fashioned coffeehouses serves hand-drip coffee in a nostalgic setting replete with dark wood and servers in black and white uniforms reminiscent of butler and maid costumes.
Though the prices are more mid-range than cheap, with coffee starting at around 400 yen for a cup, the setting is more comfortable and the staff more attentive than in big chain coffeehouses like Doutor or S'bux. It's not a place to go if you're in a rush - but rather where you linger in the deep booths while watching the street life pass by.
The shop is famous for their souffle hotcakes, which stand about an inch or so high apiece. The standard order (around 500 yen) comes with whipped butter and a sweet topping of your choice (honey and maple syrup are among the options), but you can get them doctored up with fresh fruit, whipped cream, and other seasonal fixings. The pancakes take 20 minutes to prepare, giving real meaning to the standard "goyukkuri doozo" (take your time, please) that the staff will bid you upon seating you at your table.
In fact, slow service is something of a point of pride here, as they boast that theirs is a cafe where you can pass the time slowly as they make one cup and one souffle at a time. No coffee poured from huge pre-prepared urns here.
They also have omelets, french toast, soups, and sandwiches, and the morning set deal makes going here for breakfast actually pretty reasonably priced, with a thick toast soldier and a hard boiled egg coming free with any drink you buy until 11 a.m. Iced coffee is served in frosty copper cups, hot drinks in pretty enameled crockery. Beyond the house coffee selection, they also serve hot and iced black tea, a few herb teas, cocoa, and a variety of soft drinks. Beer is the only alcoholic option.
Hoshino has about 50 branches nationwide, though they are mostly concentrated in the Kanto area, and one overseas outpost in Singapore.