During a time where more of us are brewing from home, it’s easy to miss your favorite latte and bustling neighborhood cafe. The good news is that you can create a cafe or coffee bar in Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, players are encouraged to use their creativity to design their own island. What feels like the perfect way to live out daily activities in the era of social distancing, the game’s expansive item list and DIY city planning is leading some to recreate their favorite cafe on their island.
Creating a cafe in Animal Crossing similar to real life: you will need to acquire equipment, seating, and decor. To acquire these items, you will need to spend some time playing the game. Finding cafe items (or any desired items) in the game takes time and sometimes, luck, but you can buy items at the island store, Nook’s Cranny, with “bells”, the in-game currency. Items like an espresso machine may be available at your store for purchase between 8am–10pm in real-time, but the colors may vary. So if you have to have the red machine that replicates your La Marzocco Linea Mini, you may have to do some waiting.
Different players have access to different items in the store, which encourages playing online with your friends to see what their Nook’s Cranny has available. Earning bells in-game is simple, and can be managed by selling fish or insects to the Nook brothers, hitting the right couple of rocks, or being graced with the occasional yellow balloon flying overhead. Maybe all that tree shaking you’re doing will eventually pay off, too.
Players like Cassie Geary, 30, an Associate Director in Higher Education Fundraising in New Jersey, have fallen in love with the cafe portion of this game because they miss visiting their local coffee shop. “Now I can still visit some of my favorite stores all while following social distancing rules,” Geary tells Sprudge. But for many players, the funnest part is designing their own cafe. As in the real world, your cafe design options are endless, and so are the amount of times you’ll move your coffee grinder to fit perfectly on the wooden table you just crafted.
During a time where movement is limited, in-game cafes are allowing players to virtually socialize and sip on pixelated coffee. It's fun, and comforting. For new Animal Crossing players and seasoned farmers alike, today we're featuring five of our favorite virtual cafes and their creators in this Animal Crossing island cafe guide. You might not be able to hang out in a real cafe right now, but you can hang out in these cafes.
“Starbucks” Themed Cafe
Designed to mimic the warm interiors of a stand-alone store, this “Starbucks” themed cafe looks and feels like the real deal. Located on Bacon Egg Island, the indoor cafe is adorned with wooden counters and seating, as well as custom made menus. Owner Bacon runs the cafe out of their home and offers villagers classics such as espresso, coffee, tea, and yes, even Frappuccino drinks.
Everything from the Via Instant bags on merchandise shelves, the spilled coffee cup, and employee uniforms were created using the Pro Editor app in the game. Nintendo online members can save the custom designs using Bacon’s creator code, MA-7390-0438-9100.
Mementos Island Cafe
Mementos Island Cafe offers guests a quiet place to relax after a day at the island amusement park situated next door.
Visitors come for the coffee and craft matcha lattes, but stay for the thoughtfully curated music playlist and peaceful location. Food options include wood-fired pizza for those looking to fill up before returning home. Occasionally, you may be treated to a saxophone solo from one of the local villagers if you encourage them. Owner Anna Molly also offers tours of Mementos Island.
With a name like Morning Heaven, this coffee shop attracts locals and tourists alike. The outside cafe has the best view of the nearby waterfall adding to the serene element of Morning Heaven.
Resident representative and owner Lena designed the cafe to mirror the Japanese decor found on Heaven Island. Just steps away from the island’s zen garden, museum, and beach, guests can enjoy hand-poured lattes, macchiatos, espresso, and fresh pastries and crepes.
The Hive brings French cafe classics to Bonheur Island. Similar to plazas found in Europe, the cafe is easily accessible from the island’s main shopping plaza and museum.
Owner Blight makes all espresso-based drinks on the cafe’s single yellow espresso machine. The Hive makes for the perfect place to sip on a latte while taking in your surroundings. Menu items include loose-leaf tea, coffee, kombucha, and light fares such as sandwiches and pastries.
P I N K Cafe
Cherry Pie Island is brewing up an all candy-colored menu at P I N K Cafe. This Instagram-worthy cafe made its debut on the island recently and has become already well-known for its unique pink drinks and pastries.
Jade Shi is the cafe’s owner and menu curator. “It’s really simple since I’m obsessed with the color,” she tells me. “Everything has to be pink.” From “sakura” (cherry blossom) lattes to fresh strawberry milk and pink pastries topped with pink buttercream, there’s no shortage of the rosy hue here.
Brianna Fox-Priest is a freelance journalist based in Panama City, Florida. This is Brianna Fox-Priest's first feature for Sprudge.
All photos used with permission.