Cats, dogs, rabbits and even owls – get up-close to adored members of the animal kingdom over a cuppa at these cafés
The global café culture is growing with one innovative concept to another each year, enticing from unique themes to fancy, state-of-the-art coffee. While most cafes contend with either one or even both, a new wave of animal-friendly cafés have surfaced, particularly in Southeast Asia. Patrons not only get to drink and grab a bite, they also get to mingle, cuddle and befriend members of the animal kingdom. Not too shabby, considering how pets have been found to reduce stress in human. Whether you’re an animal lover or not, animal cafés should be on your travel bucket list. Experience this for yourself with our choicest picks of animal cafés in Asia – first, take your pick of your preferred animal!
Purradise Cat Café, Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur’s well-loved Purradise Cat Café is not just any cat café – the feline residents (known as ‘kittizens’) are rescue cats taken in from the streets through fosterers and shelters, then assimilated through the café’s loving environment of doting cat-lovers and café-hoppers, before they are found their ‘furrever’ home. Patrons of Purradise will be equally delighted to know that proceeds from their visits are reinvested in supporting and re-homing initiatives for these cats. Now that’s a café with a big heart!
Akiba Fukurou, Tokyo
If you’ve had your fill of furry pet cafés, take your café-hopping a notch up by paying an owl café a visit in Tokyo, Japan. As an alternative to the buzzing nightlife and glaring neon lights, Akiba Fukuro offers a serene setup for the curious and the insomniacs, where around 25 owls of various breeds and sizes are perched among humans, attentively well behaved and thoroughly mesmerising to the human eye. Compared to other owl cafés, Akiba Fukurou permits patrons a higher degree of interaction at a fee of USD $12. For that price, you are allowed to pick and owl and spend time stroking it and relish its adorable cooing.
Lucky Bunny café, Bangkok
Rabbits are the epitome of cuteness, and if you can’t get enough of these winsome furry creatures, the Lucky Bunny Café Restaurant in Chiang Mai is cuteness overload. The café is completely bunny-themed, set in a little house with a bunny-inspired menu featuring rabbit-shaped cookies, cakes and even bunny coffee art! The bunnies are safely separated from the dining area and only up to six patrons are allowed 20-minutes of cuddle time with the resident bunnies. Book your slot ahead of time, or you’ll be sorry!
True Love café, Bangkok
With their boundless energy, impossibly fluffy coat of fur, and striking features, Huskies are one of the top favourite dog breeds in the world. Drown in Husky love at True Love café, which is part of a Siberian Husky farm, Neverland Siberians. More than 20 Huskies make appearances in a sheltered playground according to scheduled service hours from Tuesdays to Sundays, and patrons get to interact with them, petting, playing and photographing these frisky, handsome creatures. When the fun’s over, check out the café and its appetising set menus.
Lalu Fish Café, Surabaya
If fur and feathers are not quite your thing and you’d rather have a less hands-on company, Lalu Fish Café in Surabaya is worth a visit. The venue features tanks of diverse fish breeds serenely swirling in the background as you dine on sumptuous food and serenaded by live performances. The display of various breeds is not only eye-catching, but also leaves patrons feeling relaxed due to their hypnotic gliding. You won’t resist stopping at every tank in admiration of the fish’s colourful and nimble movements.
Pet Café, Hanoi
If you’ve moved on from all things fluffy, cute and ordinary, we dare you to take up the challenge at Pet Café in Hanoi with the exotic and rare species. Here, patrons will find themselves surrounded by snakes, reptiles and spiders housed in glass cages. Over nibbles and refreshments, visitors can choose to sit and observe these animals, or if they want to take it a step further, play with them. These rare pets are of the owner’s collection, amassed while on his travels to Australia, China, Singapore and Thailand, so brace yourself for some interesting breeds!