My favorite baguette in Tokyo is found along the Chuo line near Musashi-Sakai station. Passage a Niveau does a three-grain baguette that has a lovely crumb with a chewy crust.
Passage a Niveau baguette crumb
The bakery opens at 8 a.m. but the baguettes do not come out until a bit later in the morning. Passage a Niveau is worth a journey across town for. The shop is small but has a selection of both Western and Japanese breads.
It is closed every Wednesday and the first Tuesday of each month. Nearby, the library at the South Exit has a big collection of magazines on the first floor as well as a café.
My go-to lunch when on a run is a sandwich from Viron. Excellent baguettes with a chewy crumb that can stand up to the crispy exterior. The sandwiches are classic French-style including pate de campagne, rillettes, and jambon.
The large window display case in the front of the store has a dizzying array of sandwiches and pastries.
The breads are authentic and take me back to France. The baguette is my favorite, but also excellent kouign amann and fougasse as well. Of course, much more than you would pay for in France, but it is a treat to have such great bread in Tokyo. Flour is brought in from France to make Viron’s signature retrador baguette and other breads. There is also a brasserie at each location. Viron has a branch at Marunouchi in front of Tokyo Station and in Shibuya. Now, if they would only expand and open more branches around the city.
Chiyoda-ku, Marunouchi 2-7-3, TOKIA Bldg. 1st floor
J’adore Joel Robuchon. For special occasions we love L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Roppongi. The food is exquisite, service is professional yet friendly, and it has a great wine list. But, at the moment we don’t have the luxury of dining out for long meals. So La Boutique de Joel Robuchon offers a taste of Robuchon, without the commitment of a time. A good friend first put this on my radar right after it opened. He was addicted to the tarte au citron and served it at all of his dinner parties. La Boutique de Joel Robuchon is both a patisserie and boulangerie. In the photo here the Roppongi shop shows off its most popular bread, a curry pan, stuffed with curry and crispy on the outside.
Monsieur Robuchon’s quiche with salmon and spinach or mushrooms. Notice how each one is made by hand.
Kouign Aman is very popular in Tokyo and it is found at many bakeries throughout the metropolis. But this is the first time I have seen it with sweet potatoes that are in season at the moment. Actually, it looks like a nice fusion of kouign aman and daigaku imo, a traditional sweet made from sweet potatoes and sesame seeds. A nice nod to the local cuisine.
And yes, you read correctly in the back sign, “Croc” foie gras et pomme, garnished with pink peppers. In front, croque monsieur aux champignons. We are so spoiled in Tokyo.
There are three locations in Tokyo of La Boutique de Joel Robuchon. These photos were taken at the Roppongi Hills location. The other two are in Marunouchi Brick Square and Yebisu Garden Place. My only complaint is that the boulangerie doesn’t open up earlier. The shop I pass the most often, Marunouchi Brick Square, does not open until 11 a.m.