サンマルクカフェ St. Marc Cafe: Tokyo's Quality Croissants

Imagine you're in Tokyo. You want a coffee but you don't want to go to Starbucks and you're not quite comfortable just strolling into a mom-and-pop café. What do you do? Where do you go? Well, other than grabbing a cup o' joe at your nearest conbini (コンビニ- convenience store) hop on into a St. Marc Café.
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While you may like avoiding chain cafés and restaurants while you're in Japan, St. Marc Café is one that you have to try at least once. You may be thinking, "What's so great about a store that sells croissants?" Well, let me tell you that that's exactly why you want to go in.
To start, you walk in, grab a tray, and use tongs to grab whatever type of croissant you want. The original version is a chocolate croissant, but don't let that disappoint you. We'll talk about the flavors they offer in a little bit. Next, head to the cashier and order a beverage if you'd like (all of their coffees are great!), pay, then take a seat and enjoy watching business people falling asleep over their newspapers, younger professionals whispering in front of their laptops as they furiously type to meet a deadline, or people just planning out their day.
Milk and chocolate-filled croissant and cheese, ham, and mayo croissant

But let's get back to the food. The types of croissants and fillings are usually consistent, being the chocolate croissant and some savory ones too. What you really want to go for are the seasonal flavors. So far we've tried orange, matcha, and milk. They are all combined with or created into a chocolate filling and they're all delicious. The croissants pair excellently with the perfectly foamy, espresso-based coffees. Alternatively, you can get one of their savory croissants, what I usually go for, which usually have some combination of egg, cheese, ham, hotdog, potato, and Japanese mayo. Baked to the perfect crispy, melty-ness, these are great paired with an ice tea! It sounds like a lot, because it is, which makes it completely worth your money.
Kitten loves jersey milk! And don't you forget it!

They serve other items, i.e. French Toast, Japanese desserts (with matcha, adzuki, and mochi), and sandwiches.We are always tempted to try other things, but we end up hovering back at the croissant selection. These are great if you want something light and sweet for breakfast in the morning. The outside is perfectly crispy and the inside is layered and buttery. My favorite part about these croissants is that while they are buttery, they are not overly greasy. The price is slightly less than Starbucks and the quality is great. When I travel, I look for well-priced, good quality cafes that I can come back to. St. Marc Cafe definitely fits the bill.
The smoothies are ok. The match lattes are tasty!


Kristin Lagman