A Classy Time Warp At Ralph’s Coffee Omotesando

Ralph Lauren's Japan edition to the family is the perfect respite for avid Tokyo shoppers

By Stephanie Haddad
February 12, 2019
Cafes, Food & Drink

Move over Joe! It's time to sit back, relax, and enjoy a cup of Ralph's.

These days it seems as though every notable fashion brand feels the need to include coffee service into their store experience. It’s actually not an entirely new idea, as many New York shops started doing this years ago. From Kitsune, to Deus Ex Machina, and Saturdays Surf, it seems as though selling coffee is the easiest way to sell an entire lifestyle brand to customers. But it wasn’t just New York — independent boutiques in Nakameguro and Daikanyama started doing this years ago as well, and as of late, it seems like this fad is seriously spilling over into the mainstream.

 

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Enter Ralph’s Coffee Omotesando, which opened in the busy shopping area of Omotesando/Harajuku last November. Ralph’s is the charming new addition, which adorns the entrance to the Ralph Lauren flagship store in Tokyo. 

Not surprisingly, Ralph’s Coffee originally began as a coffee store connected to the Ralph Lauren 5th Avenue location in New York City (but closed in 2016). Around the same time last year that the New York 5th Avenue Ralph’s closed, the Omotesando location began sporting an adorable emerald green classic car, selling Ralph’s coffee in front of its flagship store. Luckily, that classic car has now evolved into an official brick and mortar shop in the form of Ralph’s Coffee Omotesando where you can now sit and relax for hours.

The Goods

Ralph’s coffee is sourced from La Colombe Coffee Roasters and is specifically crafted for Ralph Lauren. All of the beans are organically grown and responsibly farmed, which is always nice to hear. Ralph’s carries blends of both espresso beans and coffee beans and offers a variety of coffee drinks, from the classic latte to Flat White (¥580) and Cortado (espresso latte) (¥500). All coffee drinks are also available in decaf and they have a good selection of teas and juices just in case you decide to go with someone who’s not that fond of coffee. 

Another exciting option is their Nitro Cold Brew (¥700), which I never see on any coffee menu in Japan. In case you’re wondering… nitro brew is cold brew coffee infused with nitrogen to give a rich and creamy texture, similar to beer (although less carbonated).

The hot chocolate on the menu is listed at ¥750, which seems a bit excessive, but it looks like it’s worth every yen, since Ralph’s also carries artisanal chocolate from Brooklyn-based chocolatier, Fine & Raw. I’m hoping that is what is used in their hot chocolate, but it isn’t specifically mentioned anywhere.

 

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In addition to the coffee, is a sweet little-baked goods case featuring muffins, cookies, cheesecakes, chocolate cakes, croissants, and sandwiches — all of which look perfectly suitable for a nice midday snack. Worth mentioning is that they also have a carrot cake, too! 

The Experience

Upon entering Ralph’s, you feel as though you’ve entered into a classy little time warp. There’s a near classic diner feel inside, which is a nice departure from the all-beige and light wood aesthetic most trendy cafes seem to uniformly follow.

Instead, Ralph’s aesthetic dons a deep emerald green and white color palette, complete with comfy leather booths, geometric tile flooring, and delicate gold accents that add a nice touch of class. The soundtrack of the cafe is almost exclusively 1950s classics, creating a very nostalgic and happy vibe.  

 

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I ordered the cappuccino (¥580) and my friend ordered the affogato (¥800). Both were delightful and tasty. The espresso wasn’t sour in the slightest, which I also appreciated. I looked around to notice that the clientele is a nice balanced mix of foreigners and locals, all enjoying a break from the day.

All in all, Omotesando can be an overwhelming day of hard spending with all the incredible designers that line the street. Sometimes taking a moment for that perfect cup of coffee is just the respite any avid shopper needs before they officially drop. With that being said, next time you’re in Omotesando, enjoy a cup of Ralph’s!

The Deets

Ralph’s Coffee Omotesando

Address: 4-25-15 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Tel: 03-6438-5803
Business Hours: Daily, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Average Cost: ¥400-¥750 per drink. ¥1,000 per sandwich. ¥950 per cake.
Smoking/Non-smoking: Non-smoking