Advice on where to enjoy a cat or a dog in a restaurant in China might easily be misconstrued as a distasteful joke – but rather than as part of the actual meal, there are several cafes and restaurants that allow customers to enjoy the living company of canine or feline friends while they sip on their smoothies.
These are separated into two different types of venue – cat cafes, and restaurants that allow patrons to bring along their pups. The concept of a cat café was invented in the big cities of Japan where compact apartments and stringent rules of landlords heavily restricted pet ownership – yet the animal lovers of the city still wanted a place to relax with the uniquely calming aura of a purring kitty by their side. And so the cat café was born – a café with an emphasis on quiet, relaxation and spending an hour or so letting your troubles melt away as you stroke the creature that best understands and appreciates a mellow life – the cat. There are two main cat cafes in central Shanghai:
1) Le Petit JardinView In Map
On giving Le Petit Jardin your earnest patronage, you may be forgiven for thinking that customers must have a white iPhone 4, lens-less, black-rimmed glasses and dyed brown hair, just to get in. This is because 95% of the customers in Le Petit Jardin are Chinese girls dressed this way. In any case, Le Petit Jardin's pasta dishes are affordable and creamy, their fruit juices are fresh and their cats are surprisingly playful. Though the other diners may be trying desperately and unsuccessfully to match the kitty cuteness, Le Petit Jardin is still a good option to get something to eat and satiate your cat-stroking cravings.
Add: 220 Kangping Rd., Xuhui District, Shanghai
Tel: 021 5258 2058
Opening hours: 11:00-23:00
2) Cat Café BlissView In Map
Cat Café Bliss is in the traditional style of a Japanese cat café. The owner is a sweet Japanese woman and the interior is a very quiet and relatively small place, more suitable for dainty ladies who want to sip on a green tea and nibble a dark chocolate cake while quietly stroking a kitty. Entrance to the café might even be a little intimidating for some, as you need to ring the bell and wait for the owner to come and greet you, before changing your shoes to slippers, walking up the stairs, changing from the first pair into a second pair of slippers and then entering the quiet dwelling where the cat-stroking can begin. Nonetheless, it's a cute and delicate escape into a quiet cat world, that will satisfy the needs of more than one.
Add : Lane 8, 1 Taiyuan Rd., Xuhui District, Shanghai
Tel: 021 6437 4608
Opening hours: 11:30-20:00
But what if cats aren't really your thing and you own a dog? Dog owners often treat their pets as their own children, and while some believe this can be a little sickly and over-bearing, don't tell that to a dog owner as they dress their treasure in new clothes and shower them with extravagant endearments. For the dedicated dog owner, where can they take their pooch to on the weekend so that they can have their cake and eat it, with Fido in tow?
1) CottonsView In Map
A popular outdoors staple of Shanghai expats, Cottons is nicely tucked away in a particularly leafy area of the already-leafy Former French Concession. They don't receive 'wow' reviews – or even particularly favourable ones – for their food or drinks, but Cottons is all about the ambience. The outdoors space is a real treat and allows your mind to escape to a place that seems far away from the bustling, grey city, and instead feels like a hidden Asian garden, lush with greenery and draught beers.
Add: 132 Anting Rd., Xuhui District, Shanghai
Tel: 021 6433 7995
Opening hours: 11:00-2:00
2) PiroView In Map
New to the 'pets welcomed' collection, Piro recently made the decision to encourage people to bring their dogs or cats. Though this aspect of an indoors eatery is not for everyone, the addition of their own cute cats to the place and free cotton candy gives Piro a child-like delight that even the grumpiest city worker can enjoy. The waiters are attentive and will make customers feel welcome by bringing a bowl of water for thirsty dogs. For a quick and tasty burger in the company of your furry loved on, Piro is a popular spot.
Add: 89 Changshu Rd., Jing'an District, Shanghai
Tel: 021 5403 8513
Opening hours: 11:00-24:00
3) O'MalleysView In Map
O'Malleys has been in Shanghai more or less forever. As well as offering super-big-screen sports at times of the World Cup, the Euros and other major tournaments, they welcome families with kids and pets too. A kids' play area on the weekend mornings means that the entire family – including Rover – can enjoy some quality time together, with the parents appreciating the relaxing comforts of a large outdoors garden and the kids showing off their doggie pals to their human ones.
Add: 42 Taojiang Rd., Xuhui District, Shanghai
Tel: 021 6474 4533
Opening hours: 10:00-2:00
4) PaulanerView In Map
There are a few Paulaner Brauhaus locations in Shanghai, yet the favoured one for pedigrees of all kind is in Pudong near the old Expo area. The location may scare off some potential customers but the reality is that it is a 20 minute taxi ride from most areas of Puxi. Out a little bit from the central downtown areas, the roads are quiet, there is far less noise, hustle and bustle, and there are large spaces for venues such as Paulaner – a large brewery with a big outdoors space. Though German food might not be everyone's favourite, half-price Sundays, a big kids' play-castle and dog-friendly gardens mean that Paulaner is growing in popularity for people who want to get just a little bit away from the endless city traffic and crowded streets.
Add: 555 Shibo Ave., Pudong New Area, Shanghai
Tel: 021 2206 0555
Opening hours: 10:00-22:00
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Keywords: animal cafes Shanghai where to take pet in Shanghai family friendly cafes Shanghai dog cafe Shanghai cat cafe Shanghai
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