Tasteful Tokyo: Commune 246

Walkin' in a Street Food Wonderland

By Miss P
December 18, 2016
Food & Drink

Recharge, reconnect and reheat with outdoor beverages and food kiosks in this Aoyama cul-de-sac.

Yes, it’s already that time of year. December comes around, and all of a sudden it feels like your to-do list has tripled but you only have half the time to do everything. And as the weather gets colder, everybody is rushing, the streets are busier than usual and you just feel so… rushed. After searching for all those perfect gifts, Miss P would like to just sit down for a minute, thank you.

In between your end-of-year hustle, bonenkai (holiday parties) and Christmas shopping, Commune 246 in Aoyama is a convenient quick-stop where you can catch up with your friends or swing by with your co-workers after work for a drink.

Commune 246 in Aoyama is a convenient quick-stop where you can catch up with your friends or swing by with your co-workers after work for a drink.

If you need a light buzz to counter the cold before going home or a moment to relax from your year-end stress and breathe, the Antenna Wired Café inside is a perfect spot to recharge (in all senses).

Commune 246 is known as a hub for summer beer and crafty street food get togethers but now it has a heated area for the colder season — all designed to keep you warm as you watch the shoppers rush home with their treasures.

The Food

Right from the start, Commune 246  lures you in with trendy fries from Brooklyn (¥650) paired with a Blue Moon ale (¥600). As your eyes and nose continue to move through the space, you’ll find yourself in the middle of an unconventional mix of food stands that offer classic German beer-and-sausage combos (¥1,200), Thai curry plates (¥1,000), red curry spring rolls (¥700), Hawaiian garlic shrimp with brown rice and organic vegetables (¥1,100), vegan falafel (¥650) and even yakitori. After you sashay through all the mouthwatering choices, you’ll reach “the dome” — the seating area. Grab a spot, and then go back to mix and match your pickings.

Curly fries from here, maybe some falafel from there, let’s spice it up with some red curry spring rolls and beer… German for starters? It’s a beer and street food wonderland.

[…] you’ll find yourself in the middle of an unconventional mix of food stands from classic German sausages and beer, Thai, Hawaiian, Vegan, seafood and even yakitori.

The Wired Cafe also has its own offerings — hand-dripped coffee (¥450), alcoholic drinks, smoothies, fancy hot dogs with creative toppings like white gravy, guacamole or Indian curry (from ¥600), and light side dishes that you can take out as well.

The Ambiance

It’s calm during the earlier hours but it gets busier later in the night and on weekends. When it’s too cold outside, the heated area is a must, but there are plenty of outdoor nooks and corners where you can move around and enjoy your drinks in the open air when the weather is nice. Couples and groups of friends (even some families) happily huddle around the small tables and stools, bundled in their coats, chatting and munching away.

In contrast to the buzzy dome, the Wired Café is more relaxed and quiet — digital nomads tapping away and solo diners swiping their tablets on cushier seats. They have free Wi-Fi and the counter seats have power outlets with a large window looking into the dome where you can watch the wave of people come and go or surf the internet — wait, is that why they have surfboards on the walls? (Oh, they must be going for the beach bar shack feel!)

The Service

Everything is pay-as-you-go. Most food stands will ask you to pick up your order in five minutes or hand you the classic buzzer and some will even deliver your order to your seat.

Nobody will be refilling your water glass (the Wired Café offers cups and water but otherwise — DIY!) on the other hand, nobody will interrupt your conversation to tell you that it’s time for last order or ask you to take care of the bill now (the “nudge”). You can comfortably stay in your corner as long as you wish. You can change seats or change cuisines — it’s all free flow.

The Reason Miss P Visits

It’s refreshing to be in a hassle-free environment and to be able to customize your beer accompaniments with a mix of indulgent street food and healthier takeaways. (“Oh, wait — we forgot our vegetables!”) It’s low-key, low-maintenance and you don’t have to worry about making a reservation. You can have a last-minute get-together with your friends anytime and hang out as little or as long as you want.

It’s low-key, low-maintenance and you don’t have to worry about making a reservation.

And with the Wired Café, having the option to be in a more quiet setting and not be part of the buzz is also nice. Recharge your iPhone and zen out with a glass of beer. As you glance into the dome every now and then, you’ll still feel the outside energy and can watch various people doing their own thing as much as you wish.

The plastic dome and stadium-type lights offer no ambiance  (Miss P doesn’t like bright lights) but roughing it on wobbly benches is part of the fun. So, more often than not, Miss P will be sitting at the window seat in the Wired Café with her laptop (occasionally distracted by the outside action) and recharging with a drink — until a friend joins her for a spontaneous Happy Hour. Then, okay, I guess we can move into the dome. Cheers!

Tastefully yours, Miss P


The Deets

Commune 246

Address: 3-13 Minami-Aoyama, Minato-ku
Access: A 2-minute walk from Omotesando station; exit A4
Business hours: Open Mon-Sun 11 a.m.-10 p.m.