Lovers of Japanese pop culture have certainly heard about Akihabara many times. Also called Electric Town, Akihabara is Tōkyō’s otaku cultural center and shopping district for video games, anime, manga, and anything else which has to do with technology. So basically, we could say that Akihabara has everything you need to satisfy your hunger for Japanese products. Actually, speaking about hunger, we should also say that Akihabara is full of amazing places where otaku culture lovers can enjoy a great meal while surrounded by their favorite characters. Many words have been spent on famous eateries such as the Gundam or Naruto Cafe, but did you know that there is also a magic corner in Akihabara which opens the doors to Eorzea realm? Exactly, we are talking about THAT Eorzea realm where Final Fantasy XIV is set!
The Eorzea Café opened in 2014, on July 31st. Apparently, at first, it was meant to be a brief event café destined to close. However, it was so successful that the original idea did not end. The thing is that Eorzea Café is not just another restaurant where you can enjoy themed meals and buy special merchandise; it is a real experience in the world of Final Fantasy XIV. In fact, the café is modeled after the Carline Canopy, that is one of Final Fantasy XIV’s in-game locations, of whicheverything is reproduced with great precision. No wonder why the café is visited by dozens of people every day, which prevented it from being closed.
Eorzea Café really is a place worthy of its fame and there are several reasons for that. Keep on reading if you want to know more about this amazing place Final Fantasy lovers should visit at least once in their lives!
Final Fantasy Eorzea Café (Akihabara) Info
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The first thing you should know is that Eorzea Café was born thanks to a collaboration between Square Enix and Pasela Resorts. Indeed, the café is located in one of the many Pasela entertainment buildings scattered all over Tōkyō. Eorzea Café can be accessed using the elevator of the elegant hall in the building, which is quite fancy and somewhat matches the style of the café on the second floor. Once upstairs, the first thing that you will notice on your left is a giant state of a Cactuar – one of the most famous and loved creatures from the Final Fantasy saga – there to welcome the guests. They are probably also provided as a diversion while customers are waiting for their turn to enter the restaurant area. In fact, you will need to show your ticket at the front desk before being given access. However the wait will be rewarded with an illustrated coaster you can choose from an image menu. After the acceptance, you will be invited to wait for the rest of the guests out of the entrance door – made in perfect Final Fantasy style.
Once inside, you will feel like you have actually stepped into a small corner of the actual videogame. The first thing that jumps out at you is the group of five cute natural-sized moogles’ statues flying right over the computer area. Indeed, Square Enix thought that guests could appreciate the idea to get on with the game while dipped in an environment directly inspired by it. It is highly recommended to take a thumb drive with your saved game file on if you are interested in this kind of experience. Then, looking to your left, you will find a small but pretty special drink bar. The counter is decorated with real weapons taken from Final Fantasy – a sword, two long spears. There are also coasters illustrated with summoned monsters – including Shiva, Ifrit, and Garuda – and liquor bottles with famous drawings from the game.
Walking around the computer area, there is a part with a large stained glass semicircular window identical to the ones in the Carline Canopy inn, on the sides of which there are two insignias from the Order of the Twin Adder – one of the three Grand Companies of Eorzea. You can see portraits such as the one of Kan-E-Senna - one of Gridania’s Elder Seedseers – and more weapons are displayed in glass cases embedded in the walls while you keep on walking toward the last corner of the café, where the best part of all is waiting to amaze you. Indeed, in the right corner of the room, a huge and detailed map of Eorzea realm decorated with blue velveteen curtains stays there in all her glory, covering the whole wall and making you feel like you are about to enjoy a good and relaxing meal while planning an itinerary before leaving for your next adventure in search of chocobo and monsters!
After our little tour around Eorzea Café, we can finally sit and move to the next phase – exploring the menu. It has 33 types of food and 55 kinds of drink on it which are named after items, alchemy recipes, and characters in Final Fantasy XIV. Being quite broad, the menu has been divided into different sections, which distinguish between food and drinks. The food part includes the Monster Menu, the Character Menu, the Primals Menu, the Job Class Menu, and a Special Menu. As for the drinks, it is divided into Primal Menu, Job Menu, Character Menu, and Alchemist Menu. All the prices on the menu are listed in gil – the value used in Final Fantasy saga – but also valued in Japanese Yen with taxes included.
Of course, the best part about the menu is the affordability of the different items. The prices for the food varies between 480 and 1500 yen, with the exception of the Special Menu that is priced at 3000 yen. The prices for the drinks range from 600 to around 1300 yen. You can purchase fish and chips of Mahi-mahi for the modest cost of 680 gil, or a good non-alcoholic Potion for no more than 600 gil. Alcoholic drinks are a little more expensive, and a Garuda drink will cost you 750 gil, for example, but the recipe used for preparing it is very interesting, with the colors resembling of the ones of the Primal. The Shiva drink is another amazing example of a great cocktail smartly conceived; the glass looks like it is frozen, while the color shades – from bright green to azure – make it seem like a magic icy lake. Also, it is decorated with Shiva’s magic staffs from Final Fantasy XIV, so it is absolutely worth the 650 gil you will spend for it.
Also, the food is as special and unforgettable as possible. Some of the items are actually very cool, like Bahamut's fried chees-like earth shaker (yeah, unfortunately the names of the dishes are misspelled and grammatically incorrect) with a real illustration of a dragon made of seaweed on top of it, or the Mini Pancake Moogle with the cutest moogle-shaped ice cream ever on top. Fat Chocobo's Head Curry is also well-designed with a yellow chocobo-like rice ball with a beak made of yellow peppers. It is one of the most successful items on the menu.
The surprises are not finished yet! It is true that Eorzea Café doesn’t offer Final Fantasy-themed merchandise as many other themed-restaurants do, but Square Enix would never leave its lovers high and dry. Indeed, every time you order an item on the menu, you automatically receive an illustrated collectible coaster with a Primal on it. There is also another way to collect coasters other than Primals’. Eorzea Café offers stamp cards and you will receive a new stamp for each item you order. Once the stamp card is filled, you will receive a complimentary special coaster.
In the end, there is one last thing you should know about Eorzea Café. As many other similar eateries, Eorzea Café is a very small place with a limited seating capacity. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary to reserve a table by purchasing a ticket at the cost of 1000 yen (per person) on a dedicated website. However, it is only possible to purchase a single seat, a double seat, or a group of 4 seats, so if you are a group of three people, you will need to buy an extra ticket. Still, it will be worth it, because for each ticket you purchase, you will receive a special coaster at the front desk. Also, Eorzea Café has a pre-programmed time system, so you can’t visit the place anytime. There are 4 time slots per day (11:30~, 14:00~, 16:30~, 19:00~,) and patrons are allowed to stay up to a maximum of 2 hours before the next group’s turn, with the exception of the last time slot which allows you to stay up to 3 hours. Making a reservation for the last time slot is highly recommended, especially if you like to enjoy all-night karaoke. Indeed, Eorzea Café is located close to a karaoke building to have fun until the break of the dawn!
Ready to immerse yourself in the world of Final Fantasy XIV, and live a unique experience between happily flying moogles and fat clumsy chocobos? If you are ready, then you can call yourself a real fan of Final Fantasy, because only a real fan of Final Fantasy won’t hesitate on stop to Carline Canopy inn before leaving for the next adventure!