Get a jump on the day by eating like a local at the all-you-can eat baked goods buffets of the city’s cafes.

The city of Nagoya often gets overlooked by travelers as they speed between Tokyo and Kyoto, but Aichi Prefecture’s largest city has a number of sights worth seeing. There’s Nagoya Castle, for starters, as well as a number of beautiful and culturally important shrines. Plus Nagoya serves as a great staging area for trips to the Toyota Museum and is the closest major city to the site of the currently in-development Ghibli anime theme park.

Of course, you can’t sightsee on an empty stomach, and thankfully Nagoya is famed for its miso pork cutlet, tempura shrimp rice balls, and seasoned chicken wings. As a matter of fact, Nagoya’s rich food culture starts from the first meal of the day, with the unique local custom that’s simply called “morning” (“moningu” in the Japanese pronunciation).

While Japanese people generally eat breakfast at home, cafes in Nagoya routinely offer all-you-can-eat breakfast buffets with a wide variety of sandwiches, pastries, and other baked goods. Many of these restaurants can be found in and around Nagoya Station, such as the branch of cafe Chapeau Blanc located in the Sun Road shopping center, which is connected to the train and subway network hub.

Chapeau Blanc’s morning buffet runs from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m., and as with similar offers at other cafes, it includes a drink. 490 yen (US$4.40) gets you your choice of coffee, black tea, café au lait, hot chocolate, orange juice, grapefruit juice, cola, melon soda, or Calpis.

That price also gets you access to the unlimited baked goods buffet, where there’s a tremendous variety of goodies laid out.

In addition to plain sliced bread, Chapeau Blanc’s morning service has sandwiches and Danishes. If you’re craving something sweeter to kick-start your day, there are also morsels baked with black sugar and chocolate chips, melon bread (the sugar-encrusted snack that’s been loved for decades in Japan), and straight-up donuts.

While bread is part of every Nagoya restaurant’s morning service, different chains offer other extras, such as salad or bananas. At Chapeau Blanc, you get all the hard-boiled eggs you can eat in addition to your unlimited bread items.

So if you’re traveling to Nagoya, and wondering what sort of hotel package you should book, go ahead and skip the one that includes breakfast, since you can do what the natives do and hit up a morning buffet in town instead.

Restaurant information
Chapeau Blanc (Nagoya Station Sun Road branch) / シャポーブラン 名古屋駅地下サンロード店
Address: Aichi-ken, Nagoya-shi, Nakamura-ku, Eki 4-7-25
Open 7:30 a.m.-9 p.m.

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