As a Final Fantasy fan living in Japan, I’m ashamed I didn’t visit the Square Enix store and cafe earlier than this, but in my defence, I only found out about it a couple of months earlier, so please don’t rain meteors on me!
Artnia is a cute egg-shaped building nestled in Shinjuku and impossible to mistake. When I walked in, I was rather surprised at how small the place was (although I should have guessed from the size of the exterior).
The picture above is about all the seating available, minus maybe 4-5 seats that are cropped out.
On the left, behind the white seats are Square Enix merchandise, mostly from Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest.
Now on to the food!
Unlike other theme restaurants/cafes I’ve been to, the menu at Artnia is very light on theme. Only the desserts and drinks are themed, not the mains. I guess their target market is the classy/casual fan rather than the hardcore otaku fan (there is another cafe for that; see below!)
I wanted to order pancakes but I can rarely resist Egg Benedict… and I was naively optimistic I will be able to squeeze in dessert after my main, which did not happen, of course. It’s ok, I probably wouldn’t have received the Shinra print on my pancakes anyway (the design is randomly chosen).
I was most intrigued by the materia drinks, but those all contained alcohol and they don’t serve alcohol before 5pm, so… phooey.
I was most pleased to see that the serviette (or napkin) had the logo of Seventh Heaven printed on it hehe.
To the back of the store is a beautiful space carved out for merchandise display of the expensive stuff.
This is called the Crystal Room, because of the giant crystal that appears to be suspended in mid-air:
And of course, a selfie with the star of the room is in order:
I love the pile of materia at the bottom!
This is a modern, classy cafe, with light touches of the video game theme, making it enjoyable even for people who are not fans of the games. Would I revisit? With good company, certainly! This time I will have the pancakes, for sure!
Another Final Fantasy themed cafe that I very much want to visit is Eorzea Cafe at Akihabara. Although it’s based on the world of FFXIV which I don’t play, I’m a sucker for themed stuff and absolutely love the heavy theme incorporated into both the menu and decor!
edit: I went back again two months later and had the pancakes!!! (and I didn’t get the Shinra logo, as expected)
1F Shinjuku Eastside Square 6-27-30 Shinjuku,
Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 160-0022, Japan
Nearest station: Higashi-Shinjuku or Shinjuku (exit E1)