Food/Akihabara

Saturday, July 20, 2013 Category : FOOD
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After walking through Chuo-Dori or looking through the many 8th floor manga stores of Akihabara, you’ll be ready to have a rest and perhaps something to eat. There are many restaurants catering to the “Otaku” customers that come on a daily basis to the “Electric Town,” and therefore there are many options for you to grab a bite to eat or drink.

Café Moco

Café Moco is the perfect place to sit and relax after a long day of exploring the streets of Akihabara. Very popular among the locals, Café Moco has the perfect environment to chill out and chat with your friends; read a book whilst enjoying a nice cup of coffee; take a rest from the crowded city life or escape from the heat and humidity of the summer by drinking a beer. One thing that you’ll immediately notice is that the owners of the café have a very large collection of currency from all over the world behind the counter, which proves that they have received people from every corner of the globe, and consequently that they can speak a little bit of English, just enough to attend to any international customers requests. The very peculiar decorations of Café Moco gives you the sense that you’re in log cabin. They serve very tasty sandwiches and salads of which the portions are very generous. Our recommendation is the Dog Set, a hot dog sandwich, served in a 30 cm bread with melted cheese and chips on the side, delicious. Definitely, one of Akihabara’s best, reasonably priced places, as you’ll be paying between 500 and 1500 yen per person.

To get there from Akihabara station go through the Electric Town exit and walk straight forward towards Chuo-Dori. Once you get there, you turn right and will find it in less than a five minute walk. You’ll recognize Café Moco from its logo of a person smoking.

Address: Shimura Wireless Building 1F, 1-12-2 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo.

@Home Maid Café

Dining at a maid café is a unique experience that you won’t be able to have in other parts of the world, and what better place to do it than @Home Maid Café. It is one of the most friendly places in Akihabara, especially from a foreigner’s point of view, because it is the only café that proudly advertises that it has English speaking staff. If you want to see what the fuss is all about for the Kawaii (cute) among the “otaku” community, then you must visit the @Home Café. The waitresses are dressed as French maids and from the entrance you will be referred to as “master” or “mistress” (goshujin sama). The food is decorated with cute animal faces, and you can pay extra money to play a game with one of the maids. Remember, you are paying for the experience, not for the food, so it can be a little expensive, as they will charge you 600 yen for service, so you can expect to spend between at least 1,500 to 3,000 yen per person. For more information, don’t forget to see our article on the Recommended Places page.

There are two locations for the @Home Maid Café, both located in Akihabara. The main branch is located on the Mitsuwa building, really close to Mandarake. To get there go through the Electric Town Exit from Akihabara Station and walk towards Chuo-Dori. Once you get there, you’ll cross the street and immediately turn right. You’ll continue in this direction and after two blocks, you’ll turn left on Kanda-Myojin Street, for reference it is the first main road you’ll find in this direction. The second one is located on the 5th floor of Don Quijote, a discount chain store, located on Chuo-Dori, just two or three blocks away from the Main Branch, you’ll recognize the Don Quijote building from its mascot, a blue penguin wearing a Christmas hat.

Adress: Main Branch: 4th-7th floors. Mitsuwa building; 1-11-4 Sotokanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo. Don Quijote Branch: 5th floor Don Quijote Akihabara; 4-3-3 Sotokanda Chiyoda-ku Tokyo.

Maid Dreamin Café

This is another Maid Café, one of the many you can find in the “Electric Town.” However, Maid Dreamin have evolved and become a franchise, so now you’ll be able to find branches all over the district, as well as in Shinjuku, Odaiba, Shibuya, Ikebukuro, Nagoya, Osaka and even overseas, as they already opened a branch in Bangkok, Thailand. Although this is good for business, it has also affected the quality of service and facilities, as they vary from branch to branch. Nevertheless, this is also one of the most popular places among the locals that frequent the Maid Café scene. One of their main attractions are the desserts and sweets, that have a very cute presentation style, with the shapes of cats, bears and other adorable animals.

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As there is literally a branch on every corner of Akihabara, we decided there was no need to provide directions, as you’ll even see one as soon as you get out of the Train Station! But in case you miss it, you can talk to one of the many girls dressed as maids that you’ll find all around the district, and they will happily take you there.

Star Kebab

For all of us meat lovers, Japan can be a difficult place to eat. There is meat of course, but not in the quantities and for the prices that we are perhaps used to. Some of our readers may ask, what about Kobe beef, there´s that option, right??? Well, true…but it is very expensive, and probably, out of the budget of many young travelers. But fear not, because thanks to Star Kebab, there is a tasty and cheap option to satisfy your craving for meat. Considered as the best kebab restaurant in Tokyo by many of the locals, Star Kebab started in 1999 with a cooking car in the streets of Akihabara, and its popularity was such, that by 2005, it opened its first kebab stand and by the next year, they opened their first Turkish fast food restaurant. Starting from 500 yen, their menu includes beef, lamb and chicken, with different ways of serving from the classic kebab to sandwiches. For all you spicy food lovers, they have different levels of hot sauce to accompany your order, but if this isn’t hot enough for you, you can also add some jalapeños to your kebab without any additional cost.

Star Kebab has three shops in the Akihabara district, all of them very close to the Train Station. Simply walk to Chuo-Dori and cross the street, continue straight and turn right at the first street, from there you’ll be able to find one of the Star Kebab venues.

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Address: Take Away: 1-8-10 Soto kanda,Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Akiba Terrace: 3-10-7 Soto Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Hot Sand: 3-8-1 Soto Kanda, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo

Gundam Café

Opened in 2010, the Gundam Café of Akihabara is the place to be for any fan of the meccha anime genre. If you want to know how it feels to be at the centre of the Gundam World, or just experience the Japanese fascination with the sci-fi subgenre of giant robots, the Gundam Café is the place to go. Every aspect of the venue has been adapted to resemble the Gundam world, from the design of the interior, to the uniforms of the staff. But it’s very important to emphasize that, although it resembles the atmosphere of the anime series, it has a very relaxing environment so, even if you are not a fan of the series, you can have a pleasant experience visiting the Gundam Café. Another good feature of this restaurant is that you are allowed to take pictures, something that is usually banned at similar venues in Japan.

The menu has been customized to relate to the world of Gundam, with dishes such as the “White Mobile Suit” or drinks like the “Jaburo Coffee.” After 5 pm you can drink one of the many different Gundam themed cocktails. I tried one named “Giant Blue Star” (青い巨星), made with blue Curaçao, to make me feel more into the Gundam atmosphere by holding a very colorful drink in my hands, it was the perfect way to close my visit to the Gundam Café.

If you are on a hurry, you can make a quick stop at the take out window and buy a coffee or get some very special Taiyaki. Usually shaped like a fish, Taiyakis are pastries filled with red beans or cream; what makes these so special is that they are shaped like the robots of the series, and as a consequence they are known as Gunpla-Yakis. Eating this treat will be an unique experience, as you will not only be enjoying one traditional Japanese sweet, but you’ll be complementing it with one of the most famous icons of Japanese popular culture.

Next to the Café is the Gundam Souvenir Shop. There you can buy t-shirts, figures or sweets, all based on Gundam. If you are a fan of Gundam or want to take home something that reminds you of this experience, don’t forget to stop by and take a look.

It is very easy to get to the Gundam Café, as it is just right of the Electric Town Exit of the Akihabara Station, next to the AKB 48 Café & Shop, you can’t miss it.

For more detailed information, please check our article on the Recommended Places page, as this is one of the places that we strongly recommend you to visit.

Address: 1-1 Kanda Hanaokacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo.

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