Food Restaurant

Tokyo Fresh Happy Premium #1 Bakery in Denver, CO

Well, I kind of added to the name of the business which is actually just “Tokyo Premium Bakery” or “TPB” for short (or my version TFHP1B)

Finally, another place with actual nihonjins (Japanese people) in it, and they didn’t just use the word “Tokyo” because they were trying to fake the funk.

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When are they going to rename Pearl St. to Kizaki St?

Kizaki, is the surname of the owners of this parking garage, restaurant space, and the neighboring Sushi Den, Ototo, Izakaya Den (where Pearl St. Grill used to be located), and who knows how many other places on or near Pearl St.

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When this parking garage was built, it was a much-needed addition to the neighborhood because of the amount of parking issues Sushi Den created. Now, the bakery is the best new addition to the parking garage.

These couple of blocks probably have the most amount of Japanese in all of Denver, and I was really surprised to see the amount of Japanese clientele that I had seen during my visit.

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I’m not the biggest baked goods type, but I have been dragged to a number of bakeries in Japan and in California like Porto’s and 85c (if I go, I go to buy gifts for the office or special occasions).

Walking in, I was familiar with the products and ordering process because I had been going to “85c Bakery and Cafe” in Irvine, California for a number years (I worked across the street). That’s also the same location where that dude had grabbed that Asian chicks butt who was caught on camera doing it.

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D’amande” (almond) croissants

Before you start grabbing things with your hand (don’t be that dude grabbing butts either), go pick up a tray and a pair of tongs to the right of the door. Place whatever you want on your tray, and when you’re done, pay at the cashier.

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Everything ranges from $3.00-$4.50 with the majority of items seeming to be $4.50.

This was around 9:45 am, so they had plenty of product out although I hear that if you get there near closing (4:00 pm), they may be totally sold out.

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Mmmmh, berry good.

A lot of fruit are used from cherries, blueberries, pineapple, peaches, kiwi, to grapes, but if you’re not into that food group, they have you covered with the custard and chocolate food group.

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No superstitious people here? Why four cherries? This would never fly in Vegas.
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Cherry-custard danish.
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Maybe a peach custard?
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All it’s missing is a parrot.
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There are three walls of products and this is just a small snapshot of what they have to offer.
A rack full of custard donuts coated with a cereal?
Custard donuts $2.50
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They might want to work on the descriptions because “cream cheese” just doesn’t cut it, $4.00
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“Tear drop,” I’m just too happy to find a place that does matcha (green tea) and hojicha (roasted green tea). The only thing that can one up this, is if they started to serve matcha and hojicha soft serve.

I needed my caffeine, so I went with a large cappuccino otherwise I would have went with the Japanese specialties.

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Let me guess, the sign says “grapes.”

Now, about that kare pan (Japanese curry bread)

I feel extremely lucky to have a place like TPB open up in Denver, but I was even happier when I saw that they had kare pan.

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I had a very happy grin on my face.

I’ve mentioned this a number of times before, but there are only a small handful of restaurants in Denver that are Japanese operated which means you will very rarely find these type of items here unless they are actually Japanese.

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Curry in Japan, or more specifically Japanese curry is one of the most popular dishes in all of Japan, to the point it is considered a national dish (how else do you think you get your own emoji 🍛)

In Japan, rice consumption is down and more and more Japanese are eating bread and noodles, so combining Japan’s love for curry with “pan” (bread) was inevitable.

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My ex is a pâtisserie who has worked extensively in Tokyo (she’s currently in Portland), so we would go to a lot of bakeries. One of which was this very small one in Onomichi, Japan called Butti Bakery.

Unlike the U.S., restaurants in Japan are not competing against an empanada place, a Jewish deli, or a Cuban bakery. They are competing against other Japanese bakeries doing similar items, so the competition is fierce, and the mediocre don’t survive (also the reason why there are more Michelin starred restaurants in Japan than any other place in the world, yea even France).

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I love this place because it’s a bakery that is part of a bicycle hotel which caters to people doing the Shimanami Kaido (bike route) in Hiroshima. The route is a series of interconnected islands that you can bike through, but if you don’t have a bike, there’s also a Giant bike store.

I have pics of a lot of bakeries, but I chose to show this one because they had the best curry pan I had ever had….out of the small handful that I have had (decades ago, I would go to the Clover Bakery in San Jose, California).

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This is the kare pan in Hiroshima. At first, I just bought one, but after taking one bite, I went back for more.
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I’m just glad my fingernails were clean.
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The bread was CHEWY, crunchy on the outside, and filled with the most savory and flavorful curry. BUT the best thing, check out that bread to curry ratio, perfect..

I have my kare pan!


Enough about Japan and curry pan, back to TPB

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$30 worth of carbs to give out like a charitable cherub.

This is ideal for any office because they independently wrap all your baked goods, so that none of your pastries intermix, kind of like your accounting, marketing, and sales dept.

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There be some chocolate in there.
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Just like chocolates in a chocolate box, I take one bite and move on (the chocolate is so good inside).
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It looks small because of my large manly hands.
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Oh you supple and moist bun ready to be devoured.
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How many bites does it take to get to the custard center… a one, a two, a three
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A number of bites in, and I finally got to the very nicely done matcha custard center… if this were a pizza though I’d be slightly disappointed.

My mom and my ex both specialize in cream puffs although my ex is the one with the credentials since she’s worked in cake shops in Tokyo (in Aoyama), with Magnolia’s (from NY) and Dandelion Chocolates (from SF), Honolulu (Kulu Kulu), and now Portland. So I have had my fair share of custard and cream based baked goods, and I like the TPB matcha custard!

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Matcha (green tea) twist.
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Great place to work remotely from because not only do they have great service, food, and drinks, but they also have free WiFi in a nicely done interior.

I wonder if you get free/discounted parking in the parking garage? I have no clue, but they do have parking out front that I found easily although if you’re going to be lounging back here, my spot was only a 2-hour time limit.

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A bacon and egg breakfast all in one.
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This is what it looks like when I eat.
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I’m peeping on dude.

Also real journalist do real work with real information on the people running TPB, so for that, head on over to Westword’s article “Tokyo Premium Bakery Turns South Pearl Into Land of the Rising Bread.”

Things I highly recommend that you try:

  • Anything matcha
  • Kare pan (curry bread)
  • All the Japanese specialty drinks (houjicha and matcha latte)
  • The anko or red bean paste baked goods (try it with a matcha latte).
  • Shokupan (a loaf of fluffy Japanese bread).

Tokyo Premium Bakery

1540 S Pearl St
Denver, CO 80210
(720) 531-3784
www.tokyopremiumbakery.com
Instagram: @tokyopremiumbakery
Tues-Sun: 6:00am-4:00pm, Mon: closed
Wed-Sun: 6:00am-4:00pm, Mon: closed, Tues: 6:00am-4:00pm, 2nd and 4th week only (new hours)

4 comments

  1. Looks delicious. Luckily I am eating some inarizushi from the Asian/whatever they want to sell (including Colombian/Mexican/Turkish) grocery store across the street and you are not making me hungry this time.

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