Shoutout to all animal lovers! You might have heard of cat cafes, but since then, a variety of different animal cafes have cropped up all over Asia. These are the top 10 coolest, most awww-dorable cafes to chill and meet up with mates for a cup of coffee - all while playing with a cuddly friend!
1. Share a hedgehug with this cute critter at HARRY Cafe - Tokyo, Japan
Forget about cat cafes, hedgehog cafes are the new black. In the Harry cafe in Tokyo, you can cuddle with a hedgehog of your choice and enjoy a cup of joe all at once. The name of the cafe is actually a play on “harinezumi”, literally translated to “needle mouse”, the Japanese word for hedgehog. Across the cafe, little glass tanks are placed on the ledges, with the adorable hedgehogs sitting and waiting for their human playmates.
On top of their extensive menu of drinks and sweet treats, they have a separate menu for you to ‘order’ your hedgehog. No, it’s not what it sounds like, but basically you get to choose the cuddly friend you want, and they have the cutest names! Would you want a little Cinnamon with your latte? They each have a price range based on the amount of hours you’d want to spend with them, starting from around USD9 per hour of playtime.
If you just can’t bear to part with them and have created such a strong emotional bond with your hedgehog, you can even buy one! But be sure you’d have all the things required to take care of your own little hedgehog, because the cafe does take care of them very well.
Tip: This cafe is a huge attraction right in the heart of the city, so if you don’t want to be disappointed, be sure to make reservations beforehand!
HARRY Hedgehog cafe
Address: Tokyo, Minato-ku, Roppongi 6-7-2 IWAHORI Building 2F
Price: from USD9 onwards
Opening Hours: 12:00 - 21:00
Access: 1 minute walk from Roppongi station
2. Play with foxes and meerkats at Little Zoo Cafe - Bangkok, Thailand
Following the trend from Japan, Bangkok has also jumped on the bandwagon with the Little Zoo Cafe. This cafe is home to an array of exotic animals, fennec foxes, red foxes, meerkats, and even racoons! The cafe has a very minimalist style, with high ceilings, where the animals are placed in a separate area.
On the lower floor, patrons of the cafe can sit comfortably in the creative space and order from their menu full of quality, awesome cafe treats. They serve up warm waffles, cheesecakes, fruit tarts, ice cream, and of course, beverages of all sorts that you can enjoy while enjoying the animals in the glass space above. They are all excellent, so the success of the cafe is not only attributed to its furry friends. And did we mention, Instagram-worthy?!
Ever since this cafe opened, it has made headlines in the media and on local forums, drawing a mix of approval and disapproval from netizens. But the employees are true animal lovers, and they take good care of the many animals in the cafe. They only allow 5-10 people to enter the enclosed glass space to play with the animals for about 10 minutes because the animals tire quickly. They also have breaks in between each playtime slot, and of course, guests have to wash their hands and feet before entering the area. After all that, the fun can begin, and it’s something unique to get up-close to such exotic animals.
Heads up: Due to the exponentially growing popularity of the cafe, you might have to wait for up to an hour just to get in the fox room.
Little Zoo Cafe
Address: Bond St, Ban Mai, Pak Kret District, Nonthaburi 11120, Thailand
Price: No entrance fee. The food and desserts are a steal, for les than USD10 for a plate of Fish N Chips.
Opening Hours: Tue - Sun, 12am - 9pm
Access: It’s about a 25 minute journey from Mo Chit BTS Station. The taxi will cost around 250 bhat. Shuttle service costs 100 per person but you’d have to do advance booking.
Contact: +66 92 448 1116
3. Have a hoot at this Owl Cafe - Osaka, Japan
The Japanese were the ones who started cat cafes, and then the whole world followed suit and it became something of the norm. But of course, that meant they had to up the ante - and they certainly did. The Osaka Owl Cafe delivers in creativity and authenticity, with different species of owls to choose from.
How the cafe works is by allocating one-hour time slots for each person. However, they do not accept reservations. You’d have to go down there and pray there’s a slot open for you. If not, you can always choose a slot for later and come back after you’ve done a bit of shopping. If you do, then you’re in luck. Upon entering, you are given a short orientation about the dos and donts. After that, you’d have to order a drink, costing about 2000 yen, which is about USD18. It might seem like a hefty price but just think of it as a cover charge.
Then, the moment will come for you to mingle with the birds. You can’t carry the owl babies, but you can pat them on their soft, soft heads. You are allowed to have the owl perch onto your arm for a photo op! And after that, you can brag to your friends that you’ve seen a barn owl up close.
Owl Family Cafe, Osaka
1 Chome-12-22 Tenjinbashi、Kita Ward, Osaka, Osaka Prefecture Osaka, Japan 530-0041
Price: from USD15 onwards
Opening Hours: 12:00pm to 20:00pm. Closed on Mondays.
Access: By train: Alight at JR Tozai Line Ōsakatemmangū Station, take Entrance 3. It’s a 5 minute walk from there.
4. Be charmed by the snakes at the Tokyo Snake Center - Tokyo, Japan
Imagine stepping into a cafe to get your coffee fix, and as you’re sitting down, a snake in a glass box is sharing the table with you. Cute or creepy? You decide at the Tokyo Snake Center. This one of a kind cafe is located in the young fashion district of Harajuku, Tokyo, that opened only late last year.
As you enter, you’ll find a dozen colorful snakes in clear cases at the door. You get to choose one snake in a box to have as your table companion. Similar to the Owl Cafe, the waiter then gives you a quick lesson in snake etiquette and cafe rules, and leads you to your table. Also similar to the Owl Cafe, you’d have to buy a drink as a cover charge, which costs about 1000yen (USD9). But apart from drinks, the cafe offers a few desserts and snacks, including cakes, quiche and bread.
They also have bigger snakes that you can hold and sit on the sofa with to take photos. Either way, this cafe is rather unique, and just not for the faint hearted.
Tokyo Snake Center
Address: Jingumae 6-5-6, Sanbo Sogo Bldg 8F.
Price: Cover chage is USD9, which includes one drink. Snake-handling charge is an additional USD3.
Opening Hours: 11am-8pm. Closed Tuesdays.
Duration: Around an hour
Access: 2 minutes from Meiji Jingumae station (Chiyoda and Fukutoshin lines)
5. Scale up at the Yokohama Reptile Cafe - Yokohama, Japan
This reptile cafe is nestled in a sleepy neighborhood of Narashino. Upon entering, you’ll be greeted by tanks after tanks of lizards, snakes, frogs and a tortoise. Choose a beautiful spot, with your favourite reptile crawling around nearby, and then it’s time to relax with reptiles. Sit back and indulge in a slice of chocolate cake and some coffee alongside your new reptilian friends. Lunch and dinner items, such as curry rice and cheese fondue, are also available. They also serve drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, so it’s a great place to go in the evenings as well. There’s no cover charge, but you will be asked to order something off the menu. If you don’t feel like eating, you could always order something for the reptiles and feed them!
Tip: Be sure to wash your hands before and after you play with the reptiles!
Yokohama Reptile Center
Address: Japan, 〒233-0033 Kanagawa Prefecture, Yokohama, Naka Ward, Chojamachi, 8 Chome−133
Price: No cover charge.
Opening Hours: 11am -8pm. Closed on public holidays.
Access: 8 minute walk from Kannai station
6. Goat time for one more? Head to the Sakuragaoka Café! - Shibuya, Japan
It’s real, and it’s true: Japan has a goat cafe. It’s located in the pop-culture part of Shibuya, and is somewhat a hole in the wall if you didn’t notice two goats parked outside of the cafe. The cafe itself has a very friendly, cool vibe to it, and the furniture is all encourages you to lounge and sit there for as long as you want. The place serves some good food too, albeit it being on the pricey side. They offer full meals, like burgers and chips, so it’s a great place for lunch or dinner.
As for the goats, the owners are very well-informed, and they know everything about taking care of goats. They know for a fact that the goats only require about 4-5 hours of sleep per day, so they open up till really late, 4 am in fact! While it’s open, the owners encourage people to play and be entertained by the goats as much as they want.
It’s a pretty laid back cafe where you can get good coffee, good food, and the occasional goat may walk past you while you’re relaxing.
Address: Japan, 〒150-0031 Tokyo, Shibuya, Sakuragaokacho, 23-3
Price: No cover charge
Opening Hours: 8:30am - 4am.
Access: 7 minute walk from Shibuya station, Hachiko exit
7. Have a robust cup with racoons roaming in the Blind Alley - Seoul, Korea
This little cafe is a bit hard to find but completely worth it. It is home to the cutest, most energetic racoons and great food and drinks as well. The Blind Alley offers splendid pastries, coffee, cakes and tarts. Inside, the cafe has a whole habitat built for the racoons. The raccoons are very well kept, and well fed too. They are still racoons, though, and will grab anything they can reach, so one of the rules is not to have any belongings with you while visiting the habitat.
Apart from that, there are not as many restrictions. You can play with them as long as you’d like, as long as you order some food with your fun.
The Blind Alley
Address: 63-20 Cheongpa-dong2ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Opening Hours: 9am - 6pm. Closed on public holidays.
Access: Alight at Sookmyung Women University Station and take Exit 10, it’s a 3 minute walk away.
8. Play with a Lucky Bunny - Chiang Mai, Thailand
This bunny cafe is unique just for its location and atmosphere. The cafe is a big blue house, that looks like any other house, except even then, you can tell that it’s something special even from outside. The hedges on the front lawn are all shaped like bunnies, and there is a big colourful sign that reads “Lucky Bunny” to make it even more eye-catching. Inside, there are several places for you to choose where you’d want to sit. There are a dining table, a living room space, big cushions littered all over the area, and seats just beside the bunny playpen.
Behind the house is a garden that is pleasantly furnished with several bunny statues and cafe signs. The Lucky Bunny Cafe offers an array of traditional Thai food.
Lucky Bunny Cafe
Address: Soi 84/5 Soi 4 4 tunnel Suthep, Muang, Chiang Mai, 50000, Thailand
Opening Hours: 10:30am–7pm.
Access: The best way is to take the Bangkok Metro to Lat Phrao Station and after that, take a taxi straight to Lucky Bunny Café
Contact: +66 85 195 5465
9. Count the sheep at the Thanks Nature Cafe - Seoul, Korea
As if the previous cafes weren’t crazy enough, somewhere in Korea there is this sheep cafe! The Thanks Nature Cafe is a lovely conceptual cafe, with a very open concept that makes you feel like you’re in a nature reserve or a park. The interior is all made of wood, and the natural light makes the place feel very fresh and vibrant.
They serve up great cafe food, from homemade strawberry waffles to the ever famous Korean bingsu. And of course, the main event, the cafe is home to two of the loveliest, whitest, fluffiest sheep you could ever find. This cafe is unique from the rest because the owner knows the sheep so well and have trained them accordingly that they are free to roam around the cafe as they please. So be sure to pay attention and enjoy the surrounding, because you might look up from your phone and find a sheep looking right back at you.
Thanks Nature Cafe
Address: 486 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Opening Hours: 11am - 10pm.
Access: 5 minute walk from Hongik University’s campus
10. Hug a husky at the Huskitory - Malacca, Malaysia
The Huskitory is home to more than 10 well-fed and well taken care of Huskies, among other dog breeds. Upon entering, you order your food from the wide range of things off the menu, and while you’re enjoying your food and the company, the owners will release about 2 or 3 Huskies from their rooms. The Huskies are perfectly trained and are very regal, not to mention - super friendly! They will approach you at the tables, but of course, it wouldn’t hurt if you approached them first too. They are extremely cuddly, and it’s very easy to take a selfie with them. Each Huskie has a name and a story, and most of them are show dogs.
They also allow you to buy the Huskies, but only after an interview, to make sure that you are up to the task of taking care of these precious dogs. Tip: The Huskies are in super high demand, so make sure you make a reservation before heading down!
Address: 125 Jalan Asean 11, Taman Asean, 75250 Balai Panjang, Malacca, Malaysia
Opening Hours: 12pm - 10pm. Closed on public holidays.
Contact: +60 6-334 26
Have a wild experience at an animal cafe
It’s safe to say that these cafés are so much more than just coffee and cake. Enjoy your trip at any of these countries by visiting these unique cafes to play and get up close and personal with your favourite animal!
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