By Neha Poojari
A cafe is the first hangout place that comes to mind for a reunion with your old school friends or maybe a first date with that cute crush from your office. For travel junkies, a good scale to measure the trendiness of a town is to visit local cafes. No wonder over the years there has been a huge surge in cafes opening doors to visitors with quirky themes. For any business, it’s quite a task to grab the attention of hipsters who are constantly on the lookout for hangout spots that are perfect to up their social game.
Here’s presenting you ten of the quirkiest cafes around the world.
Warning: Serious wanderlust and coffee cravings ahead!
1. Akiba Fukurou, Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, one of the busiest metropolitans and the capital city of Japan, never has a dull moment. Amidst a lot of chaos, you will find a quiet little cafe, Akiba Fukurou. Enter the cafe to lots of eyes watching you and the atmosphere within, getting mysterious by the minute, for the café is home to over a dozen owls of different species. These wondrous creatures have gained a celebrity status here and visiting the cafe is only possible by prior appointment. This restricted entry ensures that at a time not too many visitors are fawning over the owls or making them feel threatened. Spend your time at the cafe with a fluffy owl perched on your arm, while listening to some soulful classical music. Although the café does not serve any beverage or food, the experience is nevertheless satisfying and very therapeutic. You also get to learn a lot about the species, and in Japan, they believe owls are a symbol of good luck. Who doesn’t need a little extra share of good fortune?
2. Mahika Mano, Tokyo, Japan
Do you find yourself wondering how the day quickly passes by – just a snap and it’s the evening already! In an alarmingly fast-paced life, cafe Mahika Mano in Kichijoj, Tokyo comes to your rescue. The cafe has a sense of tranquility, a place for you to come by and relax on one of the several hammocks installed in-house. The place has a beachy vibe to it and simplistic decor, cane furniture and walls colored in light hues of earthy tones that infuse a sense of tranquility among the diners. They serve some delectable crepes, burgers and hot beverages. With a full belly, all that is left to do is, go to the nearest hammock and relax your sore limbs, after a hectic day around the city. Don’t be shy, you know you deserve this break.
3. Mermaid Castle Cafe, Thailand
Take a leap and dive into this fairytale cafe! Although not underwater, the theme is mermaids and by that we mean, all things mermaid. The café is easy to spot from a distance with a mermaid castle murals outside. The cafe has three floors dedicated to trinkets, accessories and mermaid souvenirs for visitors. Tired of all the shopping, patrons can then head up to the cafe on the fourth floor staying true to the theme in delightful color hues of pinks, purples, and blues. The cafe has a lounge area where you can snuggle into their oversized mermaid tail blankets and enjoy your colorful shakes or munch on some of their delectable snacks. Get your canine companion along and get them Insta-ready in mer-dog tail costumes! There’s something for everyone here! The cafe offers a variety of cute mermaid themed cupcakes, colorful waffles, and shakes. With all things colorful and glittery, you are sure to be lost in Arial’s Atlantis world that you won’t need to be rescued from.
4. New Lucky Restaurant, Ahmedabad, India
Head to an offbeat restaurant in Ahmedabad city surrounded by an eerie vibe. New Lucky Restaurant is built around a graveyard and houses many of the coffins inside. Dining tables are spread out, around these green colored graves. The graves are washed daily and decorated with fresh flowers. The cafe serves light South Indian fare and hot beverages. Tourists in the city make a special visit to this cafe to satiate their curiosity for dining with the dead. As long as it’s not six feet under, why not?
5. The Cereal Killer Cafe, London
No brownie points for guessing what this cafe serves! Cereal Killer Cafe serves a whole lot of sugary goodness with tiny cereal puffs. Mind you, this is not your typical morning breakfast cereal. They offer a whopping count of 100 different varieties of cereals in awesome shapes like colorful unicorn poop, spaceman themed cereal and flavors like salty balls, peanut butter cereal and many more! Customers are also spoiled for choice with 30 varieties of flavored milk and 20 different toppings. After taking your pick, all that is left to do is grab a spoon and dive into a bowl of colorful and crunchy cereals. Eat to your heart’s content and feel that childlike smile spread across your face.
6. Groundswell Café, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Groundswell Cafe is home to a simple and delicious menu of soups, salads, and sandwiches made with ingredients that are of local farm produce. Visitors can choose from a vast variety of coffees and teas. A seasonal, changing menu keeps things fresh. But that’s not what makes this cafe special. It warms our hearts to tell you that the cafe is popular for following the concept of ‘paying it forward’. Diners here are encouraged to round off their bill, a valuable contribution that helps pay for a meal for someone who can’t afford it. Students here are also offered lunches at subsided rates or free of cost. Community tables in the cafe make this place a perfect hangout to interact with locals, many of whom volunteer at the cafe.
7. Sheroes Hangout, Agra, India
In the day and age where we can’t stop discussing equal rights, feminism, and women empowerment, there is still one section of the society that is unspoken about. They are undeterred spirits and true liberators from a world that is clouded by vanity. We are talking about the “she-heroes”, women who have survived acid attacks that seemingly ruined their appearance and lives. Multiple such women have come together to run a beautiful little cafe called Sheroes Hangout in Agra city. With the support of Chhanv Foundation, this cafe gives a fresh start to many of the victims and helps them bounce back into the world. The cafe is a rustic and artsy place, with walls adorning vibrant abstract art, a library and handcrafted garments on display, made by some of their budding designers. The cafe offers some delectable snacks like fritters, sandwiches and some beverages. The best part? You decide what you pay for the meal! Your bill will not mention any price as they accept any amount that you wish to pay. Be as generous as you like, for your money goes a long way in running this wonderful little cafe.
8. Hungry Heroes, Singapore
Hungry Heroes, a wonderland for superhero nerds, flocking in for some Instagram worthy pictures. With life-size figurines of superheroes across their two-storeyed building, you won’t be able to stop shrieking like a toddler. As a part of the decor, an amazing chandelier made of miniature figurines is suspended from the ceiling. The theme is seen across mantles adorned with comic strips style, pop art, and Captain America’s shield. Cheekily mimicking the last supper, a vast canvas painting of some hungry superheroes sitting by a dining table is a major attraction in the cafe. Many of their in-house artworks are up for purchase along with several other souvenirs. Amidst all this excitement, remember to try their delectable sausages, huge meaty burgers, and some delightful desserts. For every superhero needs a hearty meal!
9. Big Knit Café, Bangkok, Thailand
Ardent yarn lovers and knitters, head down to Big Knit Café in Bangkok, where the passion for knitting is witnessed among diners who come here especially to socialize among fellow knitters, and also of course to knit! These days a lot of people are taking a liking to this craft since it’s said to have therapeutic benefits. The cafe houses a whole variety of yarns and knitting accessories, available for purchase. They serve some wonderful home-made baked items and some delectable savory dishes like pasta, sandwiches and meat dishes. Visit the café to meet fellow knitting companions and get ready to weave some wonderful memories together.
10. Snakes & Lattes Annex, Toronto
Reminisce childhood memories of fighting over scores of a board game at Snakes and Lattes café in Toronto. Enjoy a game night, good food and beverages at this board games themed café. With a variety of snacks and coffee, enjoy a plethora of games, also available for retail purchases. The enthusiasm is best felt at the cafe which looks like a factory warehouse that is packed with alleys of stacked board games to choose from. Grab your dear friends, pay a nominal entry fee and find yourself getting lost in time.
We hope you enjoyed reading about these quirky cafes. Have you come across any other interesting cafe around? We would like to hear from you. Do leave us a comment in the section below.