Tokyo's hub of unabashed otaku culture, Akihabara, is famous for themed cafes and is the birthplace of maid cafes in Japan. The concept of maid cafes stems from moe, the attraction towards cute anime characters. At maid cafes in Akihabara, waitresses wear cute maid uniforms and treat their guests like masters or employers, depending on the theme of the cafe. The maids greet their masters and serve cute desserts like parfaits, and delicious food with cute designs drawn on them. One staple food of maid cafes is omurice, a fried rice-filled omelet, which is often decorated with a ketchup drawing or cute handwritten message. The maids may even perform a song or dance number for their guests. Most maid cafes in Akihabara have a seating charge, which the guest must pay even if they don’t order anything, and there is usually a time limit of between thirty minutes to an hour and a half. With so many maid cafes to choose from, each with their own unique themes, you are really spoiled for choice. Here is our curated list of six of the best maid cafes in Akihabara!
1. Cure Maid Cafe
Cure Maid Cafe is Akihabara’s pioneer maid cafe. With its Victorian-inspired theme, it is distinct from other maid cafes in Akihabara, as Cure Maid Cafe's cute servers wear the classic prim and proper Victorian-style maid costumes. Unlike other maid cafes, it’s quieter at Cure, so you can spend more quality time with the waitresses, and they don’t have a seating charge which is also a major plus. The type of food and drink served in the cafe is a mix of Japanese and European cuisine. As well as Japanese curry, fried cutlets, and omurice, their extensive menu includes several types of sausages, coleslaw, and fish and chips. Cure Maid Cafe‘s unique selling point isn’t just cuteness of the cafe, but also the European-inspired experience.
2. MIA Cafe (Maid in Angels Cafe)
At MIA Cafe, short for "Made in Angels," the maids are warm, attentive, and, of course, angelic! While you bask in the glow of their halos, indulge in a slice of rich and creamy New York cheesecake while sipping a cappuccino. Or for something savory you can choose one of several different types of curry or hamburger steak. If you choose omurice, you can request your favorite maid to draw a cute ketchup character of your choosing. You can play card games with the waitresses and even request a hand or shoulder massage. It's a relaxing experience that will really make you feel like a boss! On Wednesdays, the servers don special high school girl costumes and break out their special menu for the day, which includes a stack of pancakes, which they draw on with chocolate sauce. Later, take a commemorative polaroid photo to keep as a souvenir.
For a bubbly and cheerful atmosphere, Maidreamin is the place to go. Everything and everyone is cute, energetic, and happy. The waitresses here greet their guests with their famous line: “Welcome home, Master!” They sing, dance, and draw cute cartoons on your food with ketchup. And, they'll also chant a cute spell over your meal to guarantee it will be delicious! There are now sixteen branches of Maidreamin, not just in Japan but overseas as well. Each branch has a unique theme and design, like their "Akihabara Live Restaurant Heaven's Gate," which is equipped with a stage where your favorite maids will perform.
4. JAM Akihabara
For a more relaxed maid cafe experience, JAM Akihabara is the place to go. Unlike some other maid cafes in Akihabara, this cafe doesn’t charge a seating fee and there’s no rule that you must order anything on the menu just to get in. It’s a very chill and casual cafe where you can stay as long as you want and, a huge plus, they have free WiFi! At JAM Akihabara, they also serve delicious lunch sets at very reasonable prices. Their menu includes dishes like omurice (topped with cute ketchup drawings, of course), Japanese curry, and different types of waffles and cakes, at affordable prices. The decent prices, relaxed atmosphere, and adorable waitresses are the key things that keep guests coming back to this simple and cute cafe.
5. Akiba Zettai
Akiba Zettai is another lively and fun maid cafe which has a very specific theme: cats. While the waitresses wear the typical maid uniform, they top it off with cat ears and cat-like mannerisms to match! The guests can also wear cute cat ears while chatting and playing games with the waitresses. And, of course, the menu is also cat-themed, featuring dishes like Japanese curry which comes with a cat-shaped serving of rice, and a towering chocolate parfait topped with a cat brownie. They also serve super kawaii pink ramen, dyed bubblegum pink with natural ingredients. This is the perfect place for cat lovers who want to experience the unique side of Akihabara.
6. Mononopu ("Warring States Maid Cafe")
Mononopu offers the perfect fusion of tradition and fashion. At this Sengoku period-themed maid cafe, guests are encouraged to wear princess and noblemen costumes, while the waitresses wear frill-embellished kimono-style tops. Monopupu is a bar as well as a cafe, so the guests have a diverse set of drinks to choose from, like beer, plum wine, and shochu. They also offer nomihoudai, all-you-can-drink! Aside from traditional Japanese dishes, the cafe also serves delicious pasta and sandwiches. It’s a great place to meet new people and you can even take photos to commemorate the experience.