Just when you thought themed cafés couldn’t get any weirder, Tokyo steps in to prove us all wrong. Sakuragaoka Café in Japan allows customers to dine with some unusual companions: goats. That’s right. Goats. Those little white creatures that have been charming the masses with their unique musical covers are now available for brunch dates. Contrary to what you might think, this is actually not the weirdest animal café in existence. Countries around the world have jumped on the “animal theme” bandwagon, offering hands-on time with critters that you wouldn’t normally think to eat with, and I’m personally loving it. Here are a few examples:
Sheep Café – Seoul, South Korea
At the Thanks Nature Café in Seoul, restaurant-goers can nibble on various pastries while discussing the hidden politics of Animal Farm with sheep. That is assuming that they can pencil you in to their busy schedule. The company notifies customers via their Facebook page when the sheep will be free, preventing patrons from arriving at the café only to discover a café, and not a barn posing as a café.
Penguin Café – Tokyo, Japan
You don’t have to take a trip to Antarctica to see penguins. (In fact, you probably shouldn’t, unless you want to be hopping from ice cube to ice cube.) At the Pengin no Iru Baa (literally, “The Bar In Which Penguins Are Present”) in Japan, patrons can waddle along with their bird friends through the glass or feed them dead fish at dinnertime. (Nothing says “appetizing” like the smell of rotting fish meat, right?) Plus, it may be the only place besides a zoo that you can take a selfie with a penguin.
Bunny Café – Tokyo, Japan
Japan is starting to look like my next vacation destination. Tokyo has found a new attraction with their “bunny cafés,” which are exactly what they sound like. While some of the shops let the rabbits roam around the establishment, others take a more guarded approach, even going so far as to place the caged rabbits in a separate room, thus turning the “bunny café” into a “pet shop that also happens to serve cookies and ice cream.” The latter’s not a terrible option, though, when the dishes look like this:
Miscellaneous Pet Café – Hanoi, Vietnam
Think of the animal that you would want to dine with the least. Vietnam probably offers it. In Hanoi’s one of a kind “pet café,” patrons can hold, touch, kiss, or completely avoid animals like iguanas, flying squirrels, rats, snakes, and hedgehogs. You can even eat with a tarantula. That’s right. Your wildest dreams have come true.
Dog Café – Seoul, South Korea
Studies have shown that petting dogs can actually be very therapeutic and can significantly reduce a person’s stress level, making them less likely to succumb to road rage or buy a pet rat out of spite. Therefore, it only makes sense that Seoul has launched a dog café, which is like a cat café except all the animals are awake during the day. Bau House in particular is home to a collection of dog breeds that would satisfy any dog lover. The establishment also encourages dog owners to bring their pets along so that they may mingle with other guests and canines. Just make sure you grab the right pup on the way out.
Purrfect Cat Café – Penang, Malaysia
There are cat cafés in Italy, France, Britain, and even the US, but one café stands out among the rest, solely for its name. One shop in Penang, Malaysia has dubbed itself the Purrfect Cat Café, and I applaud them for making the joke that everyone secretly makes in their head aloud.
Some people are skeptical of these new “animal cafés” but I, for one, enjoy the fact that you can sit down for coffee in a room filled with cats or goats or sheep whose only job is to be pet and fed and loved all day. What could be better than that?