“Coffee & Vibes”: As a mission statement, that certainly sums up the core values at BGM, the new street-level spinoff operation of restaurant Ode in Hiroo. From the squat, black, no-nonsense espresso machine to the high-end, 3D geometric speakers (Bang & Olufsen) on the wall, this diminutive caffeination station certainly means business.

With just six seats — two at the counter, two more on a bench and two outside on the street — BGM is not intended as a place to hang out and chill. But if you’re as into classic rock and R&B as Ode’s chef Yusuke Namai, you might find yourself tempted to linger.

You’ll find a classy selection of financiers, caneles, cookies and cake to go with your pour-over or Americano. But the most cogent incentive to drop by BGM is to pick up one (or both) of the savory takeout options.

Namai has reworked and reissued the outstanding Cubano sandwich he first introduced as a stopgap measure at Ode during last spring’s state of emergency. Packed with roast pork, homemade pickles, cheddar cheese, mustard mayonnaise and enough jalapeno to give your taste buds a veritable tingle, it’s better than ever. Meanwhile, the well-spiced 12-vegetable lentil curry is one of the best examples of vegan fare in the city.

Hiroo 5-1-31, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 150-0012; bit.ly/bgm-coffee; open daily 8 a.m.-5 p.m.; coffee from ¥500, sandwich from ¥1,500, curry from ¥1,500; takeout available; nearest station Hiroo; nonsmoking; major cards accepted; Japanese menu; some English spoken

In line with COVID-19 guidelines, the government is strongly requesting that residents and visitors exercise caution if they choose to visit bars, restaurants, music venues and other public spaces.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.