Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Tokyo Farmer's Market Review: 246 Common

Hello, Brooklyn Ribbon Fries.
Tokyo's newest market is, by now, nearly one year old. I first caught wind of it when Robbie Swinnerton wrote a review of it for the Japan Times. (He also referenced this website at the end, bless his foodly little heart.) I'd also chatted with one of the managers of the UNU Farmers Market about it as it's his group that's organizing it. It's been on the list of places to go ever since. Last weekend we finally made it.

Bustling 246 Common from a shady seat.
Tucked between, behind, and around, this little market offers a series of cafes and shops in a variety of building types, all of which are small with the indelible feeling that given good directions they could be folded up and tucked into a pocket for easy transport. The beauty of 246 Common is encapsulated in exactly that it feels like it could disappear at any moment. The exciting array of entrepreneurial experiments happening here center mostly around food with a florist, an eye wear shop, outdoor clothing specialist, and another shop selling interesting modern Japanese paraphernalia. The majority are cafes and bakeries with varied menus that invariably look delicious. Only one, Miname Aoyama Sanchome Kitchen, has indoor seating. The rest rely on the tables and chairs filling the center of the ring of shops of this little warren.

Seriously adorable bakery.
While we waited for our spicy Brooklyn Ribbon Fries, a spouse favorite, we soaked up the beautiful weather and did a bit of people watching. The crowd, a healthy mix of families, couples, singles, visitors and locals laughed, ate, and spoke a variety of languages. I snuck off to purchase a tiny loaf of bread from the cutest bakery ever, Pain au Sourire. The cart is wrapped in branches and looks as though it simply grew in place and one day opened its doors to customers enticed by the smell of sweet and savory breads.

Sweet little garden by the steps to good coffee.

Later, we ducked under a willow arch and up a few steps past a seasonal garden of violas, chard, kale, and lettuce all in bloom and ready to eat to find a quiet corner where strong coffee and cups of hot tea are served. Minimal shaded seating is also available here making it a perfect spot to rest and chat. As we walked away to visit the UN University Market, I couldn't help but think it would be an incredibly fun evening option, too.

Planning to go?
246 Common
Open daily, 11am to 10pm
Nearest Station: Omotesando

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