The story starts with a brother and sister learning to cook while working at their mother's cafe. One day the twins notice that their mother has fallen into a deep sleep and cannot be awoken. An old man appears and tells them that they must raise a dragon in order to save her. Working together with three other employees, the siblings must find out how to save their mother while also keeping the cafe afloat.
Little Dragons Cafe is similar to its sister-series' in several ways. You can grow your own produce and fish in the local rivers to have optimal ingredients to cook with. There is also the dragon husbandry aspect where you raise your own dragon. Like the previous series', you can also interact with customers and help them with their problems.
Little Dragons Cafe contains examples of:
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: The dragon's color will change depending on what types of food the player feeds it.
- Deep Sleep: The protagonists' mother is stuck in a deep sleep.
- Eating Solves Everything: Many of the customers' problems are solved by eating a hearty meal.
- Fetch Quest: Advancing the main storyline often involves finding and gathering page fragments to reassemble recipes.
- Fishing Minigame: You can fish for ingredients.
- Game Hunting Mechanic: You can find random meat around the island but the main way to get meat and poultry is by hunting. You can coax Zucchi into hitting rocks, killing them and turning them into Cartoon Meat. Your dragon can also hunt Zucchi after it ages into child form. When it comes to the flying Yaki birds, the protagonist either jumps up and "headbutts" them or can headbutt them while riding an adolescent or adult dragon.
- Half-Identical Twins: The twins have similar faces and eye colours, but the male has dark red hair and the female has light red hair.
- Invisible Wall: Used in places to prevent the player from going to locations that have not yet been unlocked in the game.
- Kid Hero: The twins are rather young.
- Lazy Bum: Billy wanders into the cafe and tries to dine-and-dash, but agrees to work off his debt. He proceeds to sit around doing nothing until Ipanema blows a fuse at his laziness.
- Loads and Loads of Loading: There are many loading screens, as every talking scene is a separate cutscene and the game loads whenever you enter or leave the house.
- Mini-Game: Cooking involves a rhythm mini-game.
- Rapid Aging: The player can cause plants to ripen faster by applying dragon fertilizer.
- Spiritual Successor: To Wada's previous game Hometown Story. The two games are similar, except Little Dragon Cafe adds in animal rearing.
- Theme Twin Naming: The Canon Names for the protagonists are this. Rin is the sister and Ren is the brother.
- You ALL Share My Story: In the final chapter of the game, all of the customers that were given their own Story Arc play an important role in awakening the twins' mother.