Sweet Twist: A Vintage Ice Cream Store in Shimokitazawa

Trying unique and adorable ice cream stores scattered across Asia has become a huge hobby of mine. As I was thrift shopping for clothes in Shimokitazawa (which has much better selection than the overcrowded Harajuku), I stumbled upon Sweet Twist–a vintage ice cream store selling a variety of soft cream, gelato, and crepes with customizable toppings.

Like most sweets stores in central Tokyo, the store is tiny, but the bright pink exterior and colorful signs advertising a variety of desserts seemed extremely inviting.  Not to mention the fluffy mascot that’s printed on all of the cups is the epitome of cute!

I decided to try the strawberry topped soft cream first. Like the name implies, the ice cream is extremely light tasting and sweet. The strawberry topping tasted much like strawberry chocolate so I really enjoyed the taste. Since the portion size I ordered was small (I regret not doing the 2 scoop option), I decided to try the raspberry gelato as well. They have a variety of flavors like green tea, coconut, chocolate fruits, etc. and you can choose extra toppings for just 50 yen. I liked the ice cream slightly better due to its sweetness, but I imagine everything here is really good!

The interior design with the neon pink flamingo and framed photos of Audrey Hepburn and other nostalgic icons was also a pleasant experience to take in. This neighbor hood has a lot of vintage shops that you should definitely check out if you have the chance.  I will definitely be back here in the future to try more delicious flavor combinations!

Digging up Dino Bones at the Jurassic World Cafe (Tokyo)

Last year I went on an exciting excavation digging through biomes (made of frosting) and unearthing dinosaur bones (made of cake) from an ancient land, otherwise known as the Jurassic World Cafe in Ikebukero, Tokyo.

This cafe ran for several weeks in July 2018 cooperatively with the Jurassic World movie that was released.  The menu featured some explosive meals and delicious desserts!  Additionally there were dino masks you could wear to feel like you were really a part of this cafe.  My friend appropriately wore her Yoshi’s Island shirt, so we came well prepared.  We ordered every dessert on the menu, and the green tea jelly egg drink!

Though this collab cafe has now ended, the rental space in Sunshine City is continually being used to host new cafes!  For more information, please see The Guest Cafe & Diner website (Japanese with some English).

Dominique Ansel Bakery in Tokyo: Creatively Crafted Sweets and Desserts

Over the course of my nearly 3 years in Japan, I’ve been to many bakeries, but my favorite recently has been the Dominique Ansel Bakery located right off the main streets of Harajuku. This bakery creatively crafts sweets, breads, and desserts with influences from all over the world, and is arguably most famous for their blowtorched frozen s’more:

With a delicious and melted marshmallow exterior, the inside contains sweet vanilla ice cream and is in my opinion, the world’s best s’more. Besides this delectable treat, they also have many other sweets you can order for around 400~800 yen each:

A huge variety of sweets and breads to choose from! All of them have a beautiful design and unique flavor!
My personal favorite: The Magnolia Cake! Not only did it have a beautiful design, but it had some really good lemon cream inside.
The square watermelon cake. I bought this one for pure meme factor. Who needs to buy a $200 square watermelon when you could have this beautiful glazed cake?
Tomato bread filled with basil! I was surprised because I thought it was a cake, but it tasted just as good as one!
The infamous frozen s’more after it was blowtorched. It’s gooey, filled with ice cream, and served on a plastic stick to make it feel authentic.
Last but not least, a cookie shot to finish everything off! There is a chocolate layer around the cup so when you eat/drink it, the milk turns chocolate!

Everything that was displayed here looked absolutely delicious–almost like works of art! So whatever sweet you choose to order, it’s hard to go wrong! There may be a wait to get inside due to this bakery’s popularity, but luckily there are a lot of tables and tons of shopping nearby to do if you don’t feel like waiting.

I will be back in the future to see what other aesthetic food items they add!