If you live within the 23 wards of Tokyo, you may have had little reason to venture over to Machida, sometimes dubbed “mini Tokyo” (by “sometimes” I mean I call it that…). It is technically part of Tokyo prefecture, but is kind of out of the way and jammed between Sagamihara and Kawasaki cities in Kanagawa.
However, I definitely recommend it as a place to visit if you are looking for somewhere new. It is a lively place full of university students (being on the Odakyu and JR Yokohama line) that often plays host to festivals, such as the recent ramen festival, and is within walking distance or short bus ride from Serigaya Park and the Machida Squirrel Garden (which we visited back in our pre-baby days…quite the experience). It boasts several malls, many boutique shops and a huge number of restaurants and izakayas offering the full range of delicious food and drink.
It also happens to be home to one of my favourite cafes to visit when I’m hankering for some New Zealand style eats and a flat white (the best form of coffee in the world, in my opinion).
Latte Graphic is an Oceania style cafe offering delicious Allpress coffee, a relaxed atmosphere (with free wifi) and fare typical of that likely to be found in any cafe in New Zealand or Australia. That means lots of yummy fresh produce, olive oil, garlic, rustic bread, eggs and fresh herbs. It opened about 3 years ago, and has quickly increased in popularity to the point where you often need to wait for a table even on weekdays. In my experience the wait time is only 15 minutes or less during the week, but I would advise making reservations if you plan to visit on a weekend.
The food is delicious and relatively healthy. In particular, the pancakes are to die for. I think they use extra egg whites or something so they are very light and fluffy while being more delectable than you’d expect. They are, of course, loaded down with lots of fresh fruit. Mmmmm.
In comparison to similar cafes, Latte Graphic is also not so hard on your wallet. For those of you who could always go another coffee, you will be pleased to know they have a “one more coffee” deal in which your second coffee (of a range of varieties) is half price. Niiiice.
As far as baby-friendliness goes, it’s not perfect…here are the pros and cons in my opinion:
- Spacious enough to bring in your stroller
- Low, soft chairs and/or booths to choose from (i.e. so can lay your child down if needed)
- Free orange juice for kids
- Relatively healthy, easily shareable food (especially useful if your child is on to finger foods)
- Elevator access
- No baby chairs
- No change table in the bathroom
- No specific kids menu, although they do have half-size options
Open Hours: 8:30am – 11:30pm
Price Range: 450-550 yen for a coffee, expect to spend around 1500 yen for breakfast/lunch