Brooklyn Parlor is a famous cafe in Shinjuku. I never had any urge to go there but on a rainy Monday morning, I decided to head there with a good South African friend, a wild red head who mixes words very sharply if you are not being careful. The Brooklyn Parlor is considered a “book cafe” that is produced by Blue Note Tokyo and they have a very strong connection with Brooklyn Brewery. What I expected of the café and what I got was completely different.
Brooklyn Parlor is a really good place if you are into the type of cafe that it is. If you are young and love good music, it is a good place. If you are expecting a nice place with soft music and lots of books, you are in for a surprise. When I got to the entrance, I was taken aback by the music which was not bad but a little loud for my tastes. I was personally expecting either a little classical music or some good jazz, but it was a rock-pop mix which didn’t really match a “book café”.
When I went, it was just after lunch and the place was pretty busy that there was a line. Once you enter, you wonder if it is a book café or not. They have nice lounge chairs that are permanently reserved, and I think they are only for big groups. They also have several communal tables for people to enjoy the company of others while studying. To be honest, if you are trying to study, you really shouldn’t be at Brooklyn Parlor unless you really enjoy the music.
The beer at Brooklyn Parlor is nice and they do have a good selection of Brooklyn Brewery’s beers. They use the famous “B” from Brooklyn Brewery in many locations of the café. The food is also pretty good with everything being of good quality. I had a nice burger and while it was good, the patty was not as good compared to everything else in the burger. The patty was machine formed and while it was good, it was a surprise that they didn’t bother to make their own patties. If I am wrong, they did a really good job to form the patties uniformly. My South African friend, who am I kidding, it’s Ru(!), had the cheesecake and thankfully it was real NY cheesecake! I should try it next time I’m there.
If I was in advertising, I’m sure Brooklyn Parlor is a good place to visit but since I am not, it is not a good place to visit. I was really hoping to go to a nice book cafe that was really interesting. Brooklyn Parlor is a great place and wonderful for most people but many blogs and travel sights really don’t understand what a book cafe should be about. If you are looking for a hip place to bring friends, or just spy on young girls and fashionable males, then Brooklyn Parlor is a good place to be.