Cosplay restaurants (コスプレ系飲食店, Kosupure-kei
inshokuten) are theme restaurants and pubs that originated in
Akihabara, Tokyo, Japan, around the year 1999.  They
include maid cafés (メイドカフェ, Meido kafe) and butlers café
(執事喫茶, shitsuji kissa), where the service staff dress as
elegant maids, or as butlers. Such restaurants and cafés have quickly
become a staple of Japanese otaku culture. Compared with service at
normal cafés, the service at cosplay cafés involves the creation of
a rather different atmosphere. The staff treat the customers as
masters and mistresses in a private home rather than merely as café
The popularity of cosplay restaurants and maid cafes has spread to
other regions in Japan, such as Osaka's
Den Den Town
Den Den Town as well as to
places outside Japan, such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Mexico,
Canada, and the Philippines.
3 North America
4 See also
6 External links
In a standard maid cafe the female employees dress up as french maids
(occasionally, the maids may wear rabbit or cat ears for extra cute
appeal) and refer to the customers as either Master (ご主人様,
goshujinsama) or Mistress (お嬢様, ojōsama). Upon entering one of
such stores, the customer is greeted with the customary "Welcome home,
Master" (お帰りなさいませ、ご主人様！, Okaerinasaimase,
goshujinsama), offered a wipe towel and shown a food/drink menu.
Popular dishes include cakes (sometimes baked by the maids
themselves), ice-cream, omurice, spaghetti, as well as drinks such as
Coca-Cola, tea, milk or alcoholic beverages such as beer or, in some
cases, even champagne. Other options (of service) include taking
polaroid pictures (either of the maid alone, together with another
maid or with the customer, which are then decorated using colored
markers or stickers), playing card, video games, and/or even slightly
more unusual ones, such as being slapped by one or more of the maids.
There exists a wide range of establishments catering to specific
tastes and offering different services to customers.
In other stores, the outfits and even the setting itself change. In
school-themed cafes, for example, customers are referred to as senpai
instead of Master or Mistress. Inside, regular tables are replaced by
school desks and even the menu is served in trays reminiscent of the
ones used in Japanese schools.
Other themes include, little sister (妹, imōto), shrine girl
(巫女, miko) or railway (鉄道, tetsudō) cafes/izakaya.
Recently, with the maid cafe scene booming, additional related
services have become popular. These include ear cleaning (耳かき,
Mimikaki), a foot or hand massage, photography sessions (the customer
typically rents time in a studio during which he can tell a maid which
costume to wear and how to pose) or even "dates" with maids.
See also: Butlers café
While most cosplay restaurants and maid cafes cater mostly to men,
there is also a type for women called the butler café (執事喫茶,
shitsuji kissa). The butlers in these cafes are well-dressed male
employees and may wear either a typical waiter's uniform or even a
tuxedo or tails. One butler cafe has its waiters cosplay as teenage
schoolboys, in an effort to appeal to the fujoshi who enjoy Boys'
There are also cross-dressing (male disguise style (男装系,
dansō-kei)) butler cafes, where female staff dress up as butlers,
instead of actual men.
With the popularity of maid cafes, a number of other businesses have
Akihabara alone one can find several legitimate
massage parlors, a maid eyeglass store, and at least one cosplay/maid
One maid cafe which opened in the west was the "i maid cafe" located
in Scarborough, Ontario, and was featured in CBC's newsmagazine, The
Hour. The cafe was closed in November 2007 because management failed
to pay back rent.
In December 2007, Royal-T opened in Culver City, California, and has
been featured in several magazines, such as Elle and the LA Times. It
is a combination of maid cafe, store, and art gallery. The restaurant
closed after five years.
In September, 2008, a Japanese franchise Crepe House Uni, opened in
Davis, California, but closed in 2010. Their workers wore maid
uniforms, but it was not exactly a maid cafe.
In 2012 a maid cafe called "Chou Anime" opened up in the Midtown
district of Detroit, Michigan. Information about the cafe can be
seen on their website. Chou Anime was officially closed on Saturday,
September 22, 2012 due to not seeing a steady flow of customers.
In August 18, 2013, "
Maid Cafe NY" opened in New York City, New York.
While also serving food, the store also offers various cosplay items
for sale and live music entertainment.
Maid in Akihabara, a short Japanese television drama
^ A Quantum City: Mastering the Generic
^ The Origins and History of Cosplay
Cosplay Cafés in Tokyo
^ Akihabara, aka “Electric Town” - Stephen Kelly Creative -
^ A haircut and more at
Café - Houston Chronicle
^ 動漫帶動起的新型餐廳—女僕咖啡廳 Page 2 or 3
^ Full-scale 'butler cafe' opens doors in
link], Mainichi Daily News, Retrieved April 3, 2007
^ Yoko Kubota (29 February 2008). "Boy cafes, sexy comics feed Japan's
girl geek boom". Yahoo! India News. Reuters. Archived from the
original on 28 December 2008. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
Canada Shuts Down (Updated)". Anime News Network.
2007-11-29. Retrieved 2008-06-18.
^ "Royal/T". Archived from the original on 2008-03-27.
Maid Cafe in LA: Royal /T Cafe!". Clockwork Machina!.
Maid Cafe brings Japanese pop culture to midtown". Archived from
the original on 2012-10-14.
Maid Cafe NY - Japanese Food & Sweets in New York City".
maidcafeny.com. Retrieved 26 February 2016.
Maid cafe database (in Japanese)
Cosplay restaurant (
List of cosplayers
Cosplay War Ultra
Heroes of Cosplay
Young & Fabulous
Types of coffeehouses
Book café (Manga cafe
Cosplay restaurant (
Internet café (PC bang)