10 Magazine ran a story about crazy cafes around Korea that offer up much more than your usual cup of coffee, including doctor fish and animal companions. These types of cafes can be found from the trendy district of Hongdae in Seoul to the back streets of Daegu and there are even two down in Ulsan. These Ulsan pet cafes cater to your animal instincts.
The Cat’s Meow 고양이 야옹 Cat Cafe
Usually, middle school girls and couples fill the tables here, oohing and ahhing (and shrieking) at the kittens and tossing cat toys at them to buy their affection. Both groups can get equally annoying, but then this isn’t a cafe that you’d visit for its hip atmosphere. So if you’re looking for quality espresso and poetry readings, you may want to head elsewhere.
If, however, you’re a cat lover or trying to impress a date, this café is quite enjoyable. Try to avoid going on an all-out petting assault, however. The cats sometimes get stressed out when they are encircled by groups of screaming students (then again, so do I), but they will enjoy the calm that comes from a human not beating them about the head with a toy mouse.
There is a minimum order of W6,000, but 2 americanos more than covers that. You might even get a free pancake with your order. This is also a great place to pick up those hard-to-find cat supplies.
The Cat’s Meow is located across from Megabox Theatre and right next to Starbucks in Seongnam-dong. Look for the pink sign and head downstairs. 010-7676-1032
Ae Kyon Cafe 애견 카페
When you walk through the doors of the cafe, you are immediately hit with a bone-jarring cacophony of barks. Dogs will run to the door to greet you and follow you to your table. It may be a shock at first, but it is a friendly greeting, and your new furry friends will guide you to an open table and introduce themselves as cheerful canines generally tend to do.
The interior at the Ae Kyon Cafe has a dated vinyl design that may be too retro for your liking, but the coffee is good. The dogs are friendly but frequently curious about you and what you have on your table. This can be a bit annoying, as you may find a furry head gulping down your drink if you aren’t watching closely.
The minimum-order policy here is more relaxed, only requiring that you place some sort of order. Although you won’t get a free pancake, the coffee here is much better than at the Cat’s Meow.
Start in front of the Angel-in-us coffee shop in the CGV building in Seongnam-dong and head left and down toward the outdoor stalls selling clothes. Take a right at the Nolbu restaurant and look up. You’ll find it on the second floor above a shop called Time. 052-246-0905