Final Fantasy XIV is a worldwide popular massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). So it should come as no surprise that there is not one, but two dedicated FFXIV cafes in Japan.
The Eorzea Cafe, with one in Akihabara, Tokyo, and the other in Nanba, Osaka, on Dotonbori no less. But what are the differences at the two Eorzea Cafes? What can loyal fans expect when they visit? And how do you even get a reservation? Well, Warriors of Light, it’s time for your quest to begin.
What is Eorzea Cafe?
Eorzea is the country where adventurers begin their quest to become the Warrior of Light—hero of Eorzea—the aptly named Eorzea Cafe is where diners begin their quest for delicious food. In the game version of Eorzea there are three city-states: Gridania, Ul'dah, and Limsa Lominsa. The Akihabara cafe, opened in 2014, is decorated after the forest city-state of Gridania, there are even moogles celebrating in front of a stained glass window while the Osaka shop is modeled after the desert city of Ul’dah, complete with a painting of Sultana Nanamo—maybe in the future fans can expect a third cafe? The interior decor being different between restaurants means that you just have to visit both for the complete experience.
Advance tickets are required to visit the restaurant. Tickets go on sale online three weeks in advance, with weekends and nights filling up the fastest. By visiting their homepage, fans are guided through the online purchase system. Select the storefront you plan to visit, Akihabara or Nanba, and reserve for the time slot and the number of people. You can only pay for tickets at a Lawson Loppi machine. It can be a hassle, especially if you’re buying from abroad or have a limited time in Japan. If you have a Japanese friend, it can be a good idea to ask them for help. In my experience, weekday mornings and the Osaka shop, in general, have more availability and book slower. Every entrance ticket comes with one themed drink and one job-class coaster from the game.
Entering the cafe
Once you have ticket in hand and the day of your visit has arrived, simply go to the restaurant and wait for the time slot to open. It’s recommended that you arrive 15-30 minutes early. There’s an outside gift shop to peruse at the Akihabara location, while the Dotonbori restaurant’s exterior provides a perfect photo opportunity. While standing in line the staff—usually dressed as in-game retainers—will take your drink order, offer you the coaster of your choice, and hand over the tablet menu.
When you’re guided to your table, the fun begins!
Ordering food and drinks
The Osaka menu and the Akihabara menu do differ. There are also limited menu items that correspond with in-game events and holidays. You’ll see various weapons and armor from different jobs around the restaurant, paintings from game locales, and even gaming stations—as if you'd get up from your table.
For every dish and drink you order you’ll receive a random coaster. Some of these feature job classes, boss monsters, or even rare paintings from the art books. And look forward to the mini-cactpot (lottery) drawing! Once everyone is seated and the orders are in, staff will draw tickets that correspond with numbers everyone received while in line. You can win cafe-only posters and metal pin badges.
See you next time, Warrior of Light
You might be wondering about the quality of food and drink. After all, themed cafes are more known for the fan factor than the food quality. Rejoice! Such is not the case with Eorzea Cafe. The food is delicious, fresh, and made to order. The drinks are prepared at the bar, whether alcoholic or not. In fact, everything at the Eorzea Cafe (either location) is sure to make you feel like you’ve really visited Eorzea during your time there. Eorzea Cafe makes for an unforgettable experience and you’ll want to visit again and again.