Hang Out with Siberian Huskies and Hedgehogs at These Cafés in Asia

Get up close and personal with adorable animals when you visit these ethically run cafés.

Photo: True Love Café

1. True Love Café, Bangkok 

Ever wanted to frolic in the company of friendly Siberian huskies? Consider your dream come true at Bangkok’s True Love Café. Home to more than 30 Siberian huskies, akitas (Japanese mountain dogs), old English sheepdogs, Australian shepherds, and more; the café is a haven for canine lovers. Here, hygiene standards are well maintained — guests are required to sanitize their hands and wear plastic shoe covers so as to minimize the bacteria exposed to the animals. The café offers just two play sessions daily, so be sure to come by early as the opportunity to interact with these furry friends is on a first-come, first-served basis. While waiting for your turn, treat yourself to some of the café’s signature beverages and ice cream cakes.

More information here.

Photo: Cat Flower Garden

2. Cat Flower Garden, Taipei

One of the first cat cafés in the world since opening in 1998, Taipei’s Cat Flower Garden is your modern-day equivalent of Noah’s Ark; the cats have all been graciously adopted from locals or rescued from the streets, and now roam the café freely. Today, guests can pay a minimum drink fee to hang out at the cozy space, which features plenty of nooks and crannies for both cats and humans to chill out at. With their playful antics documented on the café’s social media pages, some of the cats, including a Scottish Fold called HuaHua, have become celebrities in their own right. The café’s menu, though simple, offers a good variety of fruit teas, coffee, cakes, and freshly baked cat-shaped cookies. When not petting the cats, reach for the bookshelves that are stocked with books about feline behavior and the likes.

More information here.

Photo: Harry Hedgehog Café

3. Harry Hedgehog Café, Tokyo

Harry is a riff on harinezumi, the Japanese word for hedgehogs, and a café dedicated to these balled up, spiky critters. With the safety of these animals as their priority, the cafe expects guests to disinfect their hands, while children have to be accompanied by their guardians when interacting with the hedgehogs. The charming café in Roppongi showcases different hedgehog breeds in spacious enclosures. Simply pick the ones you fancy, and the staff will place them into baskets for you to observe or pet. As these creatures are naturally jittery, one is advised to gently scoop them up, instead of making any sudden movements. There’s also the option of feeding the hedgehogs mealworms if that piques your fancy. While there’s no food on the menu, guests can sip on brewed tea and shop for pet supplies while they’re here.

More information here.

Photo: Thanks Nature Café

4. Thanks Nature Café, Seoul

Instead of visiting a petting zoo, animal lovers can head to Seoul’s Thanks Nature Café to enjoy local desserts in the company of fluffy sheep. Launched in 2011, the coffee and dessert joint shot to fame after being featured in Korean variety show We Got Married. At the moment, the café has two sheep named Honey and Sugar — both friendly creatures who enjoy gentle pats and being fed straw. They are kept in a sheep pen away from the dining area, which serves everything from smoothies to waffles, and bingsu (Korean shaved ice dessert). During summer, the sheep are sent back to a farm so as to keep them safe from the extreme humidity. Despite its main attraction being the sheep, the café is worth visiting even if it’s just for a bowl of two of its refreshing Traditional Ice Flake Bingsu.

More information here.

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