When it comes to eating in Fukuoka, what comes to mind is Hakata ramen, the yatai scene, and perhaps motsunabe, but there are a plethora of options worth dragging yourself out of bed in the morning, either for a sit-down breakfast, a grab-and-go, or just a blast of caffeine.
Just south of Tenjin Central Park, tucked around a corner off a busy road, FUK Coffee (the name pays tribute to the city airport's IATA code) fits with the latest wave of coffee culture in Japan: the pourover, fine beans and the community vibe that you can find at a local kissaten, but with the general aesthetic of a Brooklyn streetwear store. Apart from the true school espresso drinks, there are plenty of fruity seasonal tastes and baked goods.
Bakery Kitchen Raggruppi
Bakery Kitchen Raggruppi is one of the best spots in town to carb up before exploring the city. The shop’s baked goods are the fruits of taking to extremes the pursuit of authenticity and attention to detail, made with carefully selected flours sourced from regions nearby and from France. Walking down from Ohorikoen Station and its namesake park, you’ll smell the baking bread and pastries, with maybe a hint of hot coffee, wafting out of Raggruppi’s front door, long before you see the shop. If you do miss a chance to hit the Ohori Park shop, there’s also a location at Fukuoka Airport!
Daimyo in Fukuoka has been touted as the city’s hip neighborhood for more than a decade now, and just like hip neighborhoods—and their hipster demographic—everywhere, they tend to mature. Not far from Manu in Daimyo, the giant Apple store has landed, and there’s a Brooks Brothers shop around the corner, complimenting a range of more established boutiques. Manu is a more grassroots throwback to Daimyo’s Bohemian neighborhood glory days. The space is welcoming, filled with natural light, work by local artists, and the smell of coffee.
Manu takes coffee seriously, the best baristas in the city working with the best equipment. The menu is lengthy, but you can’t go wrong ordering a latte or a caffè macchiato paired with some cheesecake. In the morning, there’s no finer place in the city to pull out your laptop and get some work done, or flip through a paperback. On the way out, grab a sack of the coffee-flavored konpeito, a Portuguese rock candy adopted by Japan.
Stand By Me
The standing breakfast bar at guesthouse Stand By Me puts together a Western or Japanese-style breakfast every morning. The Japanese option is anchored by rice and miso soup, with sides like local mentaiko; the Western option is essentially a typical kissaten morning set, with toast and eggs. The breakfast kicks off at 7am and ends at 10am, making it a good early option, even if you’re not bunking at STAND BY ME.
The City Bakery
About as central as it gets, City Bakery in the Solaria complex attached to Nishitetsu Fukuoka Station is a branch of a shop that got its start in Tokyo’s more exclusive downtown neighborhoods. City Bakery opens up at 11am, fairly late in the morning, perfect for a late breakfast or an early lunch. There are lighter options, including salads and soup, or you could go for the substantial pot pie, crammed with salmon cream stew.