Tokyo has seen a boom in brunch places in the last few years, and I'm lucky enough to live near one of the best. Sarabeth's, located just steps from the Daikanyama train station, brings a taste of New York to the center of Tokyo.
The restaurant's interior is light and airy and, being on the second floor, offers diners near the windows the chance to peer down on the action of the street below. There is bar seating for solo diners and also a cozy "library nook", where the tables are surrounded by shelves of books.
The menu is a reassuring taste of home for Americans, while also mixing in the occasional local flavor. The restaurant's most popular dishes are the fat and fluffy French toast and the lemon and ricotta pancakes. Those with a preference for savory plates are well-served with traditional eggs Benedict and an American-sized Farmer's omelet, stuffed with ham, cheese and a few vegetables. On a recent visit, my family and I ordered a mix of sweet and savory breakfasts, perfect to satiate the contrast our taste buds craved. The French toast came with both jams and syrups on the side and the Farmer's omelet topped a unique English muffin. But our favorite was definitely the seasonal pancake platter, which featured wheat flour flapjacks topped with peaches and a walnut streusel. With the added maple cream, this dish was easily the one we fought over the most!
If you find you like the taste of Sarabeth's cooking so much and want to replicate it in your own kitchen, there is a cookbook from the famous American chef herself on sale near the register. Or, simply purchase one of the scones or muffins next to the register to take away, giving you the taste of Sarabeth's without any of the effort!
Sarabeth's does accept reservations, but they cannot be made for the main brunch hours. Rather, you can call to reserve your table anytime after 4pm on weekends or anytime after 2pm on weekdays. Before that, customers are seated on a first come, first served basis.A recent visit on a Saturday morning around 11am had us waiting only about 15 minutes but holidays can see a longer line.
If you can't make it down to Daikanyama, Sarabeth's also has branches in Shinagawa and Shinjuku.