Lizards, and hedgehogs, and shibas, oh my! When it comes to dining out, Hongkongers love nothing more than the novelty factor – and fewer things steal the limelight quite like a cute and furry companion. So get ready to fill your Instagram feeds with the hashtag #cutenessoverload as we check out Hong Kong's coolest animal themed cafes.
So cute. Much wow. We've seen no end to Hong Kong's infatuation with shibu inus, ever since the Doge that launched a thousand memes reared his adorable head back in 2013, and now we have a cafe to satisfy our cravings. Located in an upstairs venue on Foo Ming Street in Causeway Bay, Mame & Shiba Cafe is home to nine shiba inus and a mame shiba inu (a smaller version of the breed) which have been flown in from Japan for our cuddling pleasure. For just $78, customers can enjoy thirty minutes of snuggle and playtime with any of the adorable pups, while attempting to top the famous meme that started the whole craze. While the cafe’s menu is currently limited to simple carton drinks such lemon tea and Japanese cup noodles, we're hoping the addition of five more dogs in the future will convince the owners to expand their offering. In the meantime, you can stock up on all the shiba merchandise you can handle. Walk-ins are welcome during weekdays, but make sure to book 48 hours in advance if you plan on visiting during the weekend or public holidays.
Mame & Shiba Café, Rm J, 3/F, Po Foo Building, 1-5 Foo Ming Street, Causeway Bay, (+852) 5931 8931
Slightly less cuddly, but no less adorable, are the spiky residents of Kuri Cafe, Hong Kong's first hedgehog themed cafe. Housed in TBG Mall in Kowloon Bay, the venue is home to 11 hedgehogs that live in little “rooms” made of wooden boxes with glass doors. Led by a hedgehog expert, the cafe provides free guided tours for visitors to learn all about the nature and characteristics of these nocturnal creatures, while raising awareness about the problem of Hongkongers impulsively buying them at pets, only to abandon them later once they realise how difficult they are to care for. Although safety regulations prevent visitors from being able to touch the prickly characters, they do have the opportunity to feed them with a handful of delicious worms (yum) and take plenty of adorable pics, before enjoying some tasty desserts and drinks in the cafe.
Kuri Cafe, Shop T104A, G/F, TBG Mall, 3 Ngau Tau Kok Road, Kowloon Bay, (+852) 9297 9821
If the sight of snakes and boggly-eyed reptiles makes your skin crawl then you might want to look away now, because a whole host of rainforest critters have taken up residence at Cafe Animojo on Hollywood Road. Founded by wildlife conservationist and wildlife photographer “Goatee” Toni Kingston, the cafe gives Kongkongers the rare opportunity to get up close to animals they don’t usually encounter, and learn about their natural environment and the need to protect it. Among the new residents are Matthew the snake, Spike the lizard, and Amy the hedgehog – just to mix things up a bit – which have all been hand-reared by Toni himself (and legally imported or adopted, we might add). Seated among six glass terrariums which house the colourful creatures, guests can tuck into a modest menu featuring simple home-style dishes and coffee from Kenya. Cute or creepy? We'll let you decide.
Café Animojo, 19 Hollywood Road, Central, (+852) 2986 8289
Inspired by a trip to Japan's famous 'rabbit island' in Okunoshima, Rabbitland Cafe in Causeway Bay invites you to slip on your socks and step inside the 'bunny den' for a play date with 12 fluffy fellas. Decked with little tables and legless chairs, three rabbit pens, and walls of bunny themed decor, this is the perfect spot for snapping adorable selfies with your favourite bunnies. We particularly love the fluffy-headed Donkey and the super sociable Orea (pictured above). Although you aren't permitted to pick the rabbits up, you'll still have plenty of interaction as you stroke them and watch them hop around greeting customers. Entry is $68 per person which gets you one hour in the den and a drink, or you can push the boat out and pay $138 for one drink, a tasty dish, and a rabbit snack for your new buddy. Just don't forget to bring a pair of socks – and your camera!
Rabbitland Cafe, 3/F, 530 Jaffe Road, Causeway Bay, (+852) 5281 0280
If you're moggie mad, then you'll feel like the cat that got the cream at Hong Kong's one and only Cat Store. Tucked away on the 3rd floor of a part residential, part commercial building in Causeway Bay, this quirky spot has 11 resident cats who love to be stroked and groomed. A great solution for animal lovers who miss having their own pet (we're looking at you landlords), this kooky cafe can't get enough of its furry residents who are the inspiration for its murals, photos, and decorations. These moggies even inspire the menu, which is filled from front to back with cat-themed desserts, snacks, coffees, and meal sets that feature their adorable faces. Prices are pretty reasonable, meaning you and your kitty (yes, there is an 'order for your cat' section) can enjoy several treats without breaking the bank for a cute snap or two. Don't forget to check out the little cat trinkets for sale on your way out too.
Cat Store, 3D Po Ming Building, Foo Ming Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, (+852) 2710 9953
Dogs rule, cats drool – or is it the other way round? It's hard to know who runs the show at On Dog Dog Cafe in Mong Kok. Three huskies, one akita, one shiba, and a feisty rescue cat are the stars of this 1,000 square foot cafe, owned by dog lover Brian Tse Ming-cheung and his girlfriend Candy Chung Cheuk-ling. Guests can mingle and play with the lovable bunch, who have been known to break into song when the mood strikes, as they feast on a selection of reasonably priced snacks. Pets are welcome here too, and a variety of safe and nutritious treats can be made for hungry animal companions.
On Dog Dog Cafe, 1/F, 3 Soares Avenue, Ho Man Tin, Mong Kok, (+852) 9045 2766