Home Sweets & Snacks Bar Zingaro – Exotic Coffee and Art

Bar Zingaro – Exotic Coffee and Art

written by Derek Winston February 13, 2015
Bar Zingaro, Tokyo Japan Featured Image

The Dario Hernandez blend from Guatemala is strong. Delightful, with a hint of…tomato?

Nope. The package says tangerine, orangina, and melons. Odd, for coffee.

This doesn’t appear to be unusual for Bar Zingaro’s coffee selections. The Fulgen Expresso nearby lists ingredients like dark chocolate, red apple, citrus, and almond along with the coffee beans. I sampled the Karatu blend next. It’s from Kenya, from the Gitwe Co-operative. Blackberry, gooseberry, currants, and watermelon are mixed with the coffee. It is still strong, but smoother. Good coffee, and it had better be for ¥530 a cup.

Bar Zingaro is located on the second floor of the Nakano Broadway building. It’s only been open a year, according to the barista/bartender, Eo. “Like ‘Captain Eo,'” he says. He is young and skinny and has a number 3 tattooed on his left hand in the web between his thumb and forefinger. Not a hiragana “ro”, as I originally thought. He doesn’t explain what it means, and I don’t ask.

Bar Zingaro's bartender, Nakano, Tokyo

Instead, we converse in that odd Japlish mishmash language that evolves in Japanese establishments frequented by foreigners. The bar/coffee shop/art gallery is a collaboration between artist Takashi Murakami and Fuglen, a small chain of coffee shops and cocktail bars in Oslo, Norway. Bar Zingaro features a laid-back aesthetic of comfy couches, wooden tables, and intimate spaces with which to enjoy a cup of java (or something stronger) with friends. Art is also a strong presence in the space, a comfortable addition that does not overwhelm the viewer nor disturb the cozy atmosphere.

Seating and artwork at Bar Zingaro, Nakano, Tokyo

Comfy seating and Takashi Murakami’s artwork at Bar Zingarod

Despite our relative language difficulties, Eo makes good conversation. We talk a bit about the coffee and other drinks on the menu. The coffee is from all over the world, by way of the roasteries of Oslo. The tea likewise has exotic origins, primarily from China, but also India and elsewhere. I’m not sure what makes cola “organic,” but they have it. And if the coffee is any way to judge the quality of Bar Zingaro’s offerings, it has to be good.

There is also a decent selection of beer, sake, and wine. Not everything above the bar appeared to be on the menu, so you’ll have to ask if you want a snootful. I amused Eo with a tale of my first encounter with the Denki Bran brandy, which went down smooth but returned with a mighty technicolor yawn one foggy New Year’s Eve. Similar tales might have been spun, but business began to pick up–Bar Zingaro appears to be a popular place. And with coffee that good, I’d say that popularity is well-earned.

Bar Zingaro menu, Nakano, Tokyo

Bar Zingaro drink menu

Coffee and drinks at Bar Zingaro, Nakano, Tokyo

Coffee and drinks at Bar Zingaro

Interior of Bar Zingaro, Nakano, Tokyo

Seating options in Bar Zingaro

Dario Hernandez Blend, Bar Zingaro, Nakano, Tokyo

Dario Hernandez blend

LOCATION: Nakano Broadway 2nd floor, access through the Sunmall at Nakano train station.
Open Sunday-Thursday 1100-2100, Friday-Saturday and holidays 1100-2300.
For more information, visit either the translated website or their Facebook page.

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