Nakano: Cafe
Mugs (Nakano: Cafe)
Open noon-11pm. Closed Mondays.
Sun: Open Sundays

Nestled in among a warren of residences and mom-and-pop stores, this Nakano chill zone offers a place to meditate over your mocha. A placid gold Buddha sits beside an old-fashioned globe in the center of the room, which is dominated by an autumnal color scheme.

Mugs Cafe is the joint venture of three young designers, and the decor is a fusion of fifties cool and Asian lounge. Sheep dangle from a mobile over Eames-style fiberglass chairs and black leather couches. On the walls hang paintings and photos by local artists.

The pan-Asian menu is written on the wall-cum-blackboard behind the kitchen area and lists unusual items such as bahn mi Vietnamese sandwiches (Y800) and cold tofu topped with Chinese preserved eggs (Y500). They also have a few Middle Eastern dishes like falafel (Y700) and Turkish rice pudding (Y450). Thumb through the stacks of design magazines while you sip on a cup of coffee, or tuck into a late lunch. Lunch specials change daily and are available until 4pm.

by Melinda Joe
Nakano-ku, Chuo 5-48-5.
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Venue listing from Bento.com4 Star Rating: recommended