Pets are practically family to us, so it comes as no surprise that we want to spend time with them and not just in the confines of our own homes. Besides, man and animal were meant to explore the world together, right?
Where in the past, pets or animals of any kind were not allowed in public spaces, establishments are now more accepting of our four-legged friends. Some even take the initiative of combining two things that people—especially travelers missing their pets—love: coffee, food and animals. Read on to find out where on your travels you can find these places.
Visit the famous goats of Sakuragaoka Café in Shibuya, Tokyo
In the city of Shibuya, Tokyo sits Sakuragaoka Café, a normal coffee shop for all intents and purposes. The truth however is that many pay a visit to see the famous goats, Sakura and Chocolat, who live in an enclosure on a screened porch. The café pays homage to the two with goat-themed artwork hanging on the walls, offering goat-themed souvenir snacks and giving customers an opportunity to feed them with goat snacks. You, like Sakura and Chocolat, can enjoy the café’s variety of offerings: potato wedges with homemade sourcream, bruschetta and liver pate. If you’re hungrier, they have pasta, pizza and risotto, which you can wash down with beer, cocktails or sodas.
Meet the monkey waiters at Kayabuki Tavern in Tochigi Prefecture, Japan
Japan is a culinary hotspot—everybody knows that. Kabuyaki Tavern looks on the outside like your regular sake house, displaying a wooden exterior and red lanterns. But as they say, looks can be deceiving. Greeting you and handing out hot towels are 18-year-old Yacchan and 8-year-old Fukuchan, two macaque monkeys from Tochigi, who have actual resumes. Don’t worry, they are allowed to work only two hours a day according to the labor law. Well worth the trip for Yacchan and Fukuchan alone, Kabuyaki Tavern serves cold beer and homestyle dishes such as broiled fish, fried chicken karaage, takowasa (wasabi and octopus), and their famous gyoza.
Hop your way over to Ms. Bunny Café in Osaka
If you’re a fan of these cloud-like balls of fluff, Tokyo’s Ms. Bunny Café is your wonderland. Inhale the aroma of fresh coffee or other refreshments, while you play with bunnies galore. Ms. Bunny’s is home to breeds like Mini Rex, Holland Lop, Lion Lop, Netherland Dwarf, Dwarf Hotot and the French Lop. There’s more—Ms. Bunny’s has adorable little hedgehogs too. More than that, the café also operates as a pet store on its second floor, so if you fall in love with them, you can actually take them home.
Experience alpaca heaven at Oia Café in Taipei, Taiwan
If you’re in Taipei for a weekend, it’s probably a good idea to take a couple hours’ detour outside of the city to visit Oia Café. Despite the ruffled look of the place, the café’s interior is large and open as it holds a truly unique attraction within: alpacas. Yes, you read that right: the South American version of the llama with the insanely soft fur. There are two alpacas that are inside the café at any given time, and more outside in the enclosures, with a small number of goats. Despite their docility, be careful around them, because they will eat literally anything: hair, clothes, food and even your menus. Luckily, there are free carrot sticks placed on each table to distract the alpacas. Whew.
Have a baa-nging time at Thanks Nature Café in Hongdae, Seoul, Korea
If Tokyo has a goat café, you can be sure that Korea won’t be far behind in that department. In the trendy neighborhood that is Hongdae in Seoul, is the Thanks Nature Café, where its two resident sheep, Honey and Sugar, live. When they are not roaming freely and interacting with guests throughout the day, they are kept in a pen separated from the café. You can enjoy a variety of waffles in the café: banana, strawberry, green tea, and blueberry, paired with a fresh fruit beverage. If you’re hankering for something sweet and refreshing, their traditional ice flake bingsu comes in red bean and injeolmi, a kind of Korean rice cake.
Wander on up to the Blind Alley raccoon café in Seoul, Korea
This South Korean café decides to harness the wild side of nature by featuring that black and gray fox-like animal that’s been known to rummage through a trash can, the raccoon. The owner, Han Seonghee, actually owns one that he’d brought to the café on several occasions and people warmed up to it. Now, Blind Alley Café houses three raccoons, a corgi, two capybaras and a possum! Talk about a full house. Next time you’re in Seoul, stop by and have a hazelnut latte and bagel sandwich, noteworthy menu items, while you pet the little critters.
Have a cup while you play with a pup at The Dog Café in Los Angeles
Away from home and missing your own dog? This pet café simply named The Dog Café in Los Angeles, California, allows you to enjoy a cup of coffee, catch up with your friends or engage in some animal therapy by snuggling with lap dogs or playing with puppies. There’s a twist though. All dogs in The Dog Café are rescues looking for forever homes. Their mission? To reinvent the way people connect with these dogs and ultimately revolutionize dog adoption. Spending several hours at The Dog Café sounds like a stellar way to celebrate National Dog Day on Monday next week!
Lounge around the cat way in Miao Cat Café, Quezon City, Philippines
This Philippine coffee shop along Congressional Avenue, Quezon City, is perfect for fans of felines and caffeine. Aptly named Miao Cat Café, it is home to an assortment of cats with breeds and “Puspins” (the term for Filipino cats), who have perches to lounge on and bridges to cross. The cozy coffee shop also shows off cat-themed furniture and artwork on the walls. Customers must leave their shoes at the door, disinfect and are allowed one meal with a drink at a price.
On your next trip, consider visiting any of these amazing spots, and learn to appreciate even more our furry little friends.
Header image by Pensive Wandering
Article cover by The Smart Local