Thanks to a hilarious misunderstanding spawned from recent weekly newsletter’s cat gif, we’ve been inspired to seek out and highlight the best NYC cat cafes. Though relatively new to NYC’s café scene, the idea of a café where cats are not only the theme but where they also eat, play, and live, is somewhat of a staple in Asian cultures around the world. Originating in Taiwan and gaining notoriety in countries like Japan and Korea where -lame and basic AF- rental agreements forbid the housing of pets (something we’re all too familiar with here in NYC), cat cafes are pretty much bomb in all parts of the world. Afterall, who wouldn’t love catching up on some reading, sipping on a macchiato whilst a small kitten quietly purrs, fast asleep in their lap? Obviously all of us here at Winky Lux, but just don’t tell Pippy Lou. So thanks for the inspiration Jan (the first to comment on the post linked in our last Newsletter)! For a great experience, check out any of these three purr-fect cafes. Let the cat puns commence!
Just a hop and skip aroud the corner from Winky Lux HQ in the Lower East Side, resides NYC’s very first catfé, Meow Parlour. Opened in 2014 by Christina Ha – co-founder of sister store and neighbor, Macaroon Parlour which is the tandem café portion of this experience– and Emilie Legrand, it’s the place to be if you are looking for a bit of relief from the daily grind. For as little as $6 (tax excluded), per half hour, you can get your therapeutic fix of cattitude – up to a maximum of five hours, as long as you reserve online. Of course walk-ins are welcome, however, there is no guarantee that Meow Parlour will be able to accommodate anyone without a reservation. Booking systems open two months in advance – if that’s any indication. They also have designated hours for chaperoned children under the age of nine to ensure that both children and kitties have a paw-sitive experience.
As if spending countless hours pro-cat-stinating with our friendly, neighborhood kittens wasn’t enough…Meow Parlour also hosts Drag Bingo one Saturday a month – complete with snacks, games and prizes. They also host cat yoga four times a month, if that’s your thing – it’s totally our thing! Oh, and did we mention that all of these cats are adoptable through Meow Parlour’s very own non-profit division, Meow Parlour Cats? You’re welcome.
2017 via The Neighbor’s Cat
We’re so lucky to be surrounded on all sides by lovely eateries, great shops and bouncin’ bars – for the occasional after-work happy hour bribery – so imagine our surprise when we found out we could add cat cafés to that growing list and that we could combine our love of cats and our love of happy hour in one – and we absolutely did when we rented out Koneko for our Kitten Palette launch party back in October 2017.
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Koneko is “America’s First Cat Café and Sake Bar” according to their website. You can litter-ally have your cake and eat it too. It features three levels including an outdoor catio for your entertainment. What we love about this café is that, differing from Meow Parlour, the cat space is separated from the cafe sitting space by a large, glass partition. So you can choose to catch up on your latest Netflix binge, throw yourself into some work, or crack open a new book alone or surrounded by 20 totally adoptable cats. If choosing the “surrounded by 20 totally adoptable cats” option, because duh, just be sure to reserve online and slip them the $20 per hour fee. Reserve during their Kitty Brunch Special between 11am and 1pm on Thursday and Friday – for an extra $10 bucks – to receive a tasty breakfast item and beverage of your choice. Celebrity Bingo Night and Drag Queen Karaoke Battles are just a few of the events you can attend at Koneko on any given night. Seriously, what are you waiting for?
Brooklyn Cat Café
Never fear Brooklynites, there’s space on this list for you too at Brooklyn Cat Cafe, Brooklyn’s very first -and only- catfé; sparked from an incessant need to get cats rescued off the street and into foster or permanent homes. “A central facility where rescuers, foster families, and potential adoptees could meet together” – Brooklyn Cat Café is organized by non-profit Brooklyn Bridge Animal Welfare Coalition and run by a team of volunteers. They even have two cafe turtles and two cafe rats (the latter of which sometimes act as caretakers for orphaned kittens)! Since it’s the only café that is owned by a local non-profit, it routinely engages in community outreach in the form of classes (about animal health, local history and wildlife) as well as animal-assisted therapy programs to support survivors of trauma! So, if you’re in the neighborhood, and looking for a new fur friend to take home, consider stopping by to find the perfect cat to give a fur-ever home to. It’s only $7 per half hour for walk-ins ($6 for reservation) and children under 3 are free! On top of all of that good good, Brooklyn Cat Café also hosts frequent movie nights and Caturday Yoga –this is totally your thing.
So while none of these locations allow house cats to be brought into the facilities (sorry Cathy, no city style catfé adventures for your kitty) how could you not take advantage of such a purr-iceless ex-puur-ience. All of the kitties at these establishments are looking for their forever homes, so consider adopting a cat -or two- to create your own mini-catfé in the comfort of your home. Whether engaging the frisky felines over at Meow Parlour, getting your drink on with the cool cats over at Koneko, or volunteering some time to the kooky kittens over at Brooklyn Cat Café…you’re bound to have a claw-some time!