By Elena Lisina
One of the most enjoyable features of Tokyo is its incredible collection of themed restaurants and cafés. Another feature tourists enjoy is its obsession for fantastic looking sugary treats. So when I first heard about Milky Way Café and its creative ice cream menu, I knew it was the perfect place to sneak a peek at the lifestyle of Tokyo bakery hoppers.
The café is located in the Ikebukuro area, which is quite enjoyable to visit at night or late afternoon because of its colorful illuminated store-fronts. It's a perfect place to hang out with your friends if you visit Tokyo as a group. Indeed, from this area you have easy access to a wide range of boutiques to go shopping, as well as a nice selection of restaurants. So if you're tired of walking all day and need a break from traveling, this is definitely the perfect place to rest while still enjoying the city.
You'll easily recognize Milky Way Café from the street: there is a small rabbit statue down the staircase, and like most of Japanese restaurants, there is a small display window where you can see replicas of the actual dishes. It is located on the second floor, and if you look up from the street, you can see a large panoramic window decorated with small star pictograms.
Indeed, if you didn't guess yet from the name of the restaurant, Milky Way is a star-themed café. The restaurant itself looks like a colorful diner with small star details spread all over the furniture. What I liked about it is that it's not been overdone, making it very cute and relaxing at the same time. As you could see from the street, the restaurant has a huge panoramic window with a very nice view of Ikebukuro, I recommend that you ask the waitress to be seated as close as you can to that area.
Now, time to order. This was definitely my favorite part with eating the ice-cream: everything looks delicious! The menu displays a picture of every ice-cream, therefore you don't need Japanese skills to find your perfect match. They also sell homemade cocktails and milk-shakes, and serve tea that comes in a little star-shaped teapot.
Every ice cream has the name of an astrological sign, so if you have a hard time deciding, pick your own sign. You won't be disappointed...
Every ice-cream has the name of an astrological sign, so if you have a hard time deciding, pick your own sign. You won't be disappointed as every ice-cream looks terribly good and comes with little extras. My friend and I both took chocolate and vanilla ice-creams. And what an ice-cream! The decoration is outstanding, it's hard to believe that it is real, I felt very guilty eating it because so much effort seems to have been put into it. It is not only beautiful but also delicious and quite filling. We also ordered two cocktails, mine was a soft melon homemade soda with melon cream on the top, and my friend ordered a strawberry milkshake. What I can say is that we couldn't eat dinner afterwards. I had a hard time finishing my cocktail as the ice-cream itself was very filling. I therefore recommend you to just order an ice-cream and a nice cup of tea, otherwise you're going to be full. You can always come back another time to taste their cocktails - they are definitely worth it - but having them after an ice cream requires courage and dedication.
It was overall a great experience. The coffee shop itself wasn't crowded and we spent a lot of time talking and sipping. I strongly recommend this place if you just want to relax and have a good time with your friends or relatives and take a break from Tokyo's exhausting vibes.
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