Where otaku meets electronic and gadget mecca. Yes, you guessed it right. Akihabara. Commonly known as Akiba, this area is a melting pot of anything anime, manga, and electronics all rolled into one. It is frequented by die-hard fans of anime or technophiles scouting the latest technology in the market.
This otaku haven also boasts of themed cafes and restaurants to feed hungry shoppers after a day of culture soaking to anything anime, or exhausting your energy in the great option of video game hubs in the area or merely bargaining to get hold of the what’s the trendiest in the tech and gadget scene. Let’s discover Akihabara’s hidden food gems with this special Akihabara food guide.
The Maid Café Fad.
Akihabara is renown for its maid cafes—or restaurants wherein the servers dressed as maids serve their “masters” or “mistress.” Maid cafes have already shaped the Akihabara’s pop culture and are frequented by hard-core anime fans or otaku and is a fascinating sight among foreign tourists. Services offered by these cafes are not just limited to serving food, it also provides other services such as grooming and massage.
Here are some of the famous maid cafés in Akihabara:
Cure Maid Café – touted as the first-ever maid café, this Victorian-themed café is home to demure maids serving Japanese and European dishes.
@Home Café – maids in this café are masters in chants to make your drinks “taste better” and conversations. This café also has a café sketcher, a maid that draws your requested designed on whatever drink you order. Some of their must-tries include a wide array of magic sketch drinks, cheesecakes, and parfaits. @Home Café also serves alcoholic beverages and at times offer live entertainment to its patrons.
Maidreamin – singing and dancing maids form a part of the Maidreamin ambiance. Cuteness overloads indeed, with its food adorned with bear and cat designs for a genuinely kawaii vibe. And while there are some rules in dealing with the maids, surely it does not hinder one to enjoy the Maidreamin experience.
Feel the Ambiance of Themed Cafes.
Gundam Café. While there are loads of other maid café’s in the area, there are other themed restaurants in Akihabara. For the certified Gundam otaku, what better way to relish the experience than to sink your teeth into the food and embrace the ambiance of Gundam Café. Price range is from ¥490 to ¥1140 per meal, which are named after Gundam characters or series, such as “Mass Produced Zaku Salad” or seasonal fruits and vegetables served in ceramic Zaku heads, A Baoa Qu Parfait, and Sleggar Burger. The café also serves cocktails. You can even snag a free themed coaster for every cocktail ordered.
AKB48 Café. This J-Pop girl group themed restaurant, with an ambiance similar to a typical Japanese school, is known to serve light lunches and desserts. Those fans of AKB48, a favorite girl group in Japan, can catch up with their recent concerts, which plays on a continuous loop inside the café. The restaurant’s menu is composed of the favorite food and desserts that members of AKB48 members enjoy.
Enjoy Japan’s classics the Akihabara way.
In the middle of all things, otaku and trendy lies some good old restaurants that serve Japanese classics.
Nemuri-an – famous for its Kamo Nanban Soba (duck soba), Nemuri-an made its name in the soba scene due to te-uchi or the art of chopping and making the perfect soba every single time, which is paired with dashi soup stock and yuzu citron.
Ikina Isshou – regardless of the season, Ikina Isshou will surely have the right ramen for you. Translated as “a wonderful life” Ikina Isshou’s shio or miso ramen does wonders in the palate with its rich flavors.
Sushiya Ginzo – this restaurant offers reasonably priced sushi, with its fresh catch from its indoor aquarium. For ¥790, one can enjoy an eight-piece sushi set with egg custard and miso soup. Lunch sets could go from ¥790 – ¥2,600, which could include grilled fish, udon, donburi, tempura and sashimi.
Marugo – if you are craving for some deep-fried meaty goodness then head on to Marugo, a famous tonkatsu restaurant in Akihabara with its 40 years of history. Its bestseller is the toku rosu katsu (¥ 1,850) is a special (or thicker) tender pork cutlet marbled with just the right amount of fat that is fried to a crispy perfection.
Akihabara. A district that caters to the inner otaku in both locals and foreign tourists. It is a playground that brings the inner child in us, and that keeps pop culture sacred, which is evident even in its cafes and restaurants. Truly, a place worth exploring for the child-at-heart. Until our next foodventure!
Aleli is a wanderlust whose main itinerary is to culture soak in the places that she sets foot on, sinking her teeth in the gustatory offerings that the place has to offer and knowing the story behind it. Food for her is a marriage of the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of the rich history of every city she explores and uses the pen as her tool to share to the world each unique experience she unravels.