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Cosplay cafes are tea shops or small restaurants where the waitstaff's costumes (and frequently the decor and food) are themed around a scenario or fantasy. They typically offer cold and hot tea and coffee drinks, fancy desserts and light meals, often highly decorated and "cutesy", served with Fan Service with a Smile.
A Maid Cafe features attractive waitresses who dress and "perform" as obsequious and obedient maids. A Butler Cafe is similar but with "butlers" and "footmen". Waitstaff at Maid and Butler cafes usually use extra-polite language, including the obligatory greeting "Welcome home, Master / Mistress!"
Cosplay Cafes feature a wide variety of other themes, such as "little sister", "Miko", "railway cafe", etc. Other specialties include "josou" (female clothing) cafes, featuring cute guys in pretty dresses, and "dansou" (male clothing) cafes, featuring Bifauxnen women in male drag. (Many Butler cafes are dansou cafes.)
School Festivals frequently feature cafes as a class activity, and there is a better-than-even chance it'll be modeled after a Maid Cafe (or possibly a Butler Cafe if the class is mostly male).
For the more "adult" version, see Hostess Club / Host Club. Frequently uses French Maid Outfit. Compare Fan Service with a Smile. If a couple goes to one together, the menu is extremely likely to include a Date Crepe and perhaps some Sweetheart Sipping.
- Ai Kora: A Maid Cafe shows up in chapter 15.
- Beelzebub: A Maid Cafe appears during the volleyball arc.
- Bodacious Space Pirates: Marika Kato and her best friend work at a Maid Cafe.
- Excel Saga: "Teriha" (actually an amnesiac Excel) wants to repay Dr. Shiouji for letting her stay at his lab. So her friend Umi, who is a Cosplay Otaku Girl, gets her a job at a maid cafe.
- Hana Kimi: In the Japanese Live Action TV adaptation, the students decide to have a Maid Cafe for a school event. With all the guys dressing up in maid costumes to gain more female customers.
- Happy Boys: A Shoujo manga about five apprentice butlers (all hot, of course) in a Butler Cafe.
- Genshiken: In an omake short in the manga, Sasahara and Oguie go on an "otaku date", in which they visit a Maid Cafe. Ogiue comments that it is a surprisingly normal cafe, and Sasahara makes a comment to the effect of "From media coverage, you'd think it was like a hostess club".
- Kaichou wa Maid Sama: The heroine works in a maid cafe, and her coworkers are significant secondary characters. A rival butler cafe appears in Volume 5.
- K-On!: Ritsu proposes a Maid Cafe for their first year festival, as Mio is really suited to the look. "The adorable power of cute compels you!"
- Lucky Star: The cafe that Konata and Patty work at, where they are respectively dressed like Haruhi and Mikuru from Haruhi Suzumiya.
- Maid Shokun: The main character gets a job in a maid cafe, Girls Love ensues.
- Mahou Sensei Negima: During the preparations for Mahorafest, Misa puts forth the idea of making a "No panties cafe". The author's notes explain it is a cafe where the maids have no undergarments... and the floor is full of mirrors. No wonder the girls shot it down immediately. ("Nopan clubs" are a Real Life form of Hostess Club, but not usually a feature of Maid Cafes)
- Omamori Himari: Lizbet is a full-time maid in a Maid Cafe (as she is the spirit of the owner's antique teacup), and Himari works there part-time - as a Catgirl maid (the customers think that she's cosplaying).
- Ouran High School Host Club: Although they call themselves a "host club", they're really more of a butler cafe.
- Pokémon: The "Tanks for the Memories!" episode of the anime sees the gang helping out at a Maid Cafe because the joint was temporarily understaffed (Brock was training one of the maids working there). This results in Dawn, Ash (again!) and even some of their mons dressing up in Meido outfits.
- Saki: Mako's family owns a Maid Cafe. Naturally, some of the other characters end up helping as waitresses.
- Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei: Tsundere Cafe, where the waitresses are Tsunderes, of course! (Since the manga was written, this has been defictionalized.)
- Sket Dance: Himeko's class does a Maid Cafe for their School Festival.
- Soredemo Machi wa Mawatteiru: The main character gets a job in a maid cafe, slice-of-life and mystery-solving ensues.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: A Maid Cafe shows up during the first post-Time Skip episode; interestingly enough, all the waitresses were girls who, in the first episode, scoffed at and teased poor Simon.
- Usotsuki Lily: The students do two crossdressing cafes during a school festival, with the girls as butlers and the boys as girls respectively.
- Welcome to The NHK: In the otaku episode, the main characters visit a Maid Cafe.
- Welcome To Relish (Cafe Relish ni Oide): A Boys Love Genre romance set in a cosplay cafe (with the guys stuffed into a lot of cute outfits, nach).
- XxxHolic: CLAMP couldn't pass up the opportunity to provide Fan Service and Fetish Fuel, so in the xxxHOLiC / Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle Crossover High School AU (go figure), the students set up a Maid Cafe for the school festival. Cue a heap of Dojinshi with the guys dressing up as maids instead. There is also official artwork of Kurogane and Fai dressed as maids. Fai is beaming.
- Yubisaki Milk Tea: Minamo decide that the class should do a crossdress cafe for the school festival with Wataru and Kodama as the maids. During the festival Yoshinori remarks that Kodama looks okay, but that Wataru is too tall to pass for a girl. But Minamo answer that the point is to make people laugh, unlike when Yoshinori is crossdressing as Yuki. Yoshinori ends up joining them as a very good looking girl (though not as Yuki). The result is that the cafe suddenly get a lot more customers due to the cute "girl".
- One series of strips in the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Fan Web Comic A's Nano had Hayate
forcingpersuading the Wolkenritter to take part in a Costume Cafe, much to the horror of Signum and Reinforce.
- Fujoshi Kanojo: The female lead is obsessed with maid cafes, among her many otaku interests (the manga changes this to butler cafes, possibly to better appeal to the female readers of the Shoujo magazine in which it ran).
- Maid Machinegun: The main character gets a job in a maid cafe; deeply nerdy Otaku-ism ensues.
- Maid in Akihabara is a Japanese television series set in a Maid Cafe.
- Kamen Rider OOO: The Cous Coussier is a major location. Not only is a cosplay cafe, but it's one where the theme changes every day (or at least every time we see it), mostly at the whim of the owner.
- In the Kamen Rider Kiva net movies, Otoya renovates the Cafe mal'damour into a series of these, with ridiculous results.
- Tokimeki Memorial 2: In Kaori Yae's storyline, the School Festival activity your class will choose to do will be a Maid Cafe, allowing you to see an Event showing Kaori having fun acting as a waitress donning this costume, as part of her She's Back Character Development arc. The event is also revisited in the Novelization of this character's storyline, Anata o Shinjiteru.
- Persona 3: The Main Character's ever-original classmates decide to do a Maid Cafe for their School Festival. Yukari dreads it from the depths of her spirit because it means wearing a maid uniform; Junpei and the rest of the male schoolmates look forward to this cherished event. Alas, a typhoon rips through Iwatodai and the School Festival is canceled, to the endless grief of said schoolmates (and the Main Character is also asked if he mourns the loss.)
- Megatokyo: Kimiko used to work at a Maid Cafe. She presumably quit after the swarms of otaku made her go temporarily insane.
- Otoko No Ko Wa Meido Fuku Ga Osuki: Four brothers, Nao, Yuki, Tomo and Rio, crossdress as maids in their family's cafe Cherry Girls. The costumers are fully aware of the crossdressing, but that doesn't prevent some of them to wanting to do perverted things with the "maids".
- The most well-known "Maid Cafe" is Anna Miller's.
- Maid Cafes are so well-known, one "CosCafe" has opened in Singapore.
- A meido kissa has opened up recently in Los Angeles.