Places The Locals Go A cool coffee shop barista tells us what's hip in trendy Nakameguro

Yumi Kamata

Barista

Yumi Kamata has been serving up jet-black espresso, sudsy craft beer and well-stuffed sandwiches for around three years at the uber-cool Sidewalk Stand, a coffee shop facing the cherry tree-lined Meguro River in hip Nakameguro.

A loyal following of non-Japanese customers make regular trips to the riverside spot for a pick-me-up, favoring the shop's signature strong espresso.

The real way to enjoy Nakameguro is to hang around the riverside, dipping into the cool cafes, bars and quirky shops. There is a real sense of community here. It's especially fun in April when people pack the riverside for cherry blossom season, but I suggest coming by in May as well when the fresh green shoots take over from the pink petals.

1. The select shop called "vendor," with its well-stocked clothes racks and shelves
2. I love dropping into Baja—a Mexican restaurant dishing up burritos and tacos
3. When I have a free day, I like to sit down for a healthy lunch at Aoya
4. If I'm feeling hungry, I like going to Maruya for a few grilled meat skewers
5. I enjoy browsing around a quirky place called Have a good time—a great place for souvenirs

Fashion Vendor Nakameguro The flagship store of Japanese brand nonnative stocks a range of hip accessories along with shoes and racks of clothing.
Mexican restaurant Baja Open late into the night, this vibrant Mexican eatery exudes an international atmosphere. Order the soft-serve ice cream as an antidote to the summer heat.
Kyoto style restaurant Aoya Owner-chef Yuki Aoyama serves up healthy Kyoto and Korean home cooking. Leave some room for the Japanese sweets.
Izakaya Yakiton Maruya This down-to-earth restaurant serves a lineup of low-priced, tasty BBQ skewers made to order. Try the homemade macaroni salad.
Accessory shop Have a good time A popular accessory shop with a wide range of products adorned with the brand's distinctive logo. The eco-bags are especially popular.

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