Thanks Nature Café (Photo by Hyemin Lee)

Thanks Nature Café (Photo by Hyemin Lee) ()

Enjoying cafés is a big part of Korean culture, and the country is home to a wide variety of unique cafés. Animal cafés stand out as a top tourist attraction among them. The blend of delectable desserts and cute animals continues to attract both locals and tourists, particularly in major cities like Seoul.

These cafés originally started with cat or dog themes, but now they have evolved to include even wild animals like meerkats and raccoons. The popularity of such cafes can be attributed to the relatively lax animal welfare laws in many Asian countries. With that in mind, it’s crucial to acknowledge the harsh reality that some establishments have been reported for serious animal abuse.

To ensure a positive and responsible experience, having a proper guide can be helpful to find cafés providing a safe and healthy environment for both the animals and visitors. In the Hongdae area of Seoul, you can explore a cluster of animal cafés conveniently located within a close distance. Visiting those cafés can give you fun and special experience of seeing adorable animals in the city. Check them out!

1. Thanks Nature Café

This lovely café not only serves amazing Korean desserts but also offers a unique opportunity to spend time with adorable lambs! Each year, the café owner visits Daegwallyeong Sheep Farm and carefully selects two lambs from the herd struggling to get their mother’s milk due to their small or weak physique. These chosen lambs are then raised as the stars of Thanks Nature Café. With dedicated and attentive care, the lambs grow up healthy and lively. As they mature, they are returned to Daegwallyeong, and new baby lambs take their place as the new stars.

Most animal cafés tend to focus on the interaction with animals, so they often have limited beverage and dessert menus. Also, the presence of roaming wild animals can sometimes lead to an unclean and odorous environment. However, Thanks Nature Café guarantees a leisurely time by separating the spaces for the lambs and the café area. Moreover, their desserts are exceptionally delicious, as are their waffles and Korean shaved. Another advantage is that there is no separate admission fee required unlike other animal cafés.

Enjoy a tasty dessert and hang out with fluffy, chubby lambs in Hongdae!

Address: B121 Seogyo Prugio Shopping Mall, 10 Hongik-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul

Naver Map

Hours: 12 p.m. – 9 p.m.

2. Day of Butler

This cat café was born out of a heartfelt desire to care for injured and abandoned street cats. Day of Butler has opened several branches across Seoul, including Hongdae and care for around 130 cats.

Each cat here receives good care and training so most of the cats are very healthy and friendly. They enjoy playing with visitors while sitting on their laps. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to pet and be surrounded by a bunch of charming cats. Also, as the café has a spacious and clean environment, it’s a great spot to enjoy a refreshing drink. And, to become popular with the residents, the café sells cat food for 3,000 won.

The café even has an adoption program for visitors who fall in love with any of the cats there. The requirements to apply include visiting the café at least three times to get to know the cat you’re interested in adopting.

Visting the café costs 10,000 won, drinks are a separate purchase. However, cat lovers see this fee as a donation and willingly contribute.

Please note that children aged 13 and below can only enter if accompanied by a guardian.

Address: 2F Taekyung Building, 19-8 Wausan-ro 21-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul

Naver Map

Hours: Noon– 10 p.m.

Entrance fee: 10,000 won

3. Winter’s Village

This is one of Hongdae’s hottest cafés, so expect to wait about 30 minutes to enter on weekends to hang out with some beautiful dogs. Winter’s Village is famous for being home to 12 lively Samoyeds, a Malamute and Pomeranian.

If you’re looking for a café to relax at a comfortable seat with fancy desserts and beverages, this might not be for you. However, if you want to cuddle, feed and hang out with these large fluffy dogs, then head on over!

Please be aware that since the Samoyeds shed a lot, people wearing dark-colored clothes or those with allergies should be cautious. Admission is available for ages 10 and above, and children aged 13 and below can enter if accompanied by a guardian.

Address: 19-5, Wausan-ro 17-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul

Naver Map

Hours: 1 p.m. – 9 p.m. (Tuesday off)

Entrance fee: 12,000 won

4. Table A

Table A is an indoor zoo animal café with the most diverse array of animals in Hongdae. It holds the official verification as an indoor zoo from Seoul City. While other animal cafés that aren’t recognized as zoos aren’t obligated to follow animal welfare regulations, this official verification ensures that Table A operates with a commitment to animal well-being and staff members are trained caretakers.

The indoor zoo houses a variety of animals, including raccoons, meerkats, Fennec Foxes, and more in the five-story building. Visitors can interact with exotic animals like chinchillas and snakes under the instructions of the caretakers during specific program hours. Some animals like raccoons and cats are freely roaming around, but to catch the attention of these mischievous creatures, you might need to purchase some snacks. As there is a lot to see and enjoy, Table A assures a delightful time for visitors of all ages!

Table A also offers a separate café area to enjoy beverages and desserts. Those who purchase an entrance ticket can get a 20% discount on all beverages.

Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by a guardian during their visit.

Address: 146 Wausan-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul

Naver Map

Hours: Noon – 10 p.m.

Entrance fee: 15,000 won (Booking through Naver offers a 15% discount)

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