Three Maid Cafes in Akihabara
Not all cafes are maid equal.
Enter the maid cafe. A cafe concept where waitresses dressed in cute uniforms treat you like you are their beloved master (or other role depending on the theme of the cafe). Maids greet customers as “master” and serve kawaii (cute) food and drinks with smiley faces and hearts drawn with ketchup on omelets. Sometimes they perform a song or dance. Maid cafes represent an important part of the modern Japanese subculture and offer a unique taste of otaku life.
As otaku culture moved into the mainstream, maid cafes popped up in different forms such as butler cafes (male waiters for female customers), macho cafes, princess cafes, and other role-play establishments that transform your average lunchtime into a surreal spectacle.
Most maid cafes will have a seating charge, which you have to pay even if you don’t order, and most places will require that you make an order as well. Customers are limited to a certain amount of time and have to pay attention to a set of rules. Have to keep things as innocent as possible after all.
In Akihabara, there are tons of options to choose from, and some are more niche (i.e., dodgy) than others. Here are three of the best that are welcoming for tourists.
Cure Maid Cafe
Akihabara’s pioneering maid cafe. There’s much less noise here than other cafes in Akihabara. It’s more of an authentic experience. The maids in their Victorian-style outfits will serve you politely, but there isn’t any singing or dancing. The food is a mix between Japanese and European cuisine, and as a plus, there’s no seating charge. If you’d prefer to have your meal quietly while still enjoying the maid experience, Cure Maid Cafe is a good option.
This popular chain of maid cafes has sweet, cheerful maids who never seem to stop smiling. Everything is cutesily played up. The maids say, “Welcome home, master!” in Japanese when you come in, sing and dance, draw pictures on your meal, and chant cute incantations with you to make your food more delicious. There are several different cafes in Akihabara. Some feature full-on Valentine’s Day decor and stages for mini-concerts.
One the most foreigner friendly maid cafes in Akihabara, @Home Cafe is considered by some to be the gold standard of maid cafes. They were awarded Trip Advisor’s Certificate of Excellence in 2015. Like Maidreamin, the maids at @Home Cafe will greet you cheerfully, sing and dance, but there are also special courses available where you can play games with your mid of choice. It may seem odd, but if absolutely destroying a cute girl in a children’s game sounds like your type of fun then you’ll want to pay a visit.