A day at the dog cafe (and no, you don’t eat them)

It’s an understatement to say that Seoul has a thriving café culture.

I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a city with quite so many cafés all over, in every nook and cranny, tiny unique one-shots outnumbering the big chains, places with hand-written menus and strange knick-knacks covering the walls. And I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a city with such a variety of theme cafés: there are ones you can visit solely to play a mass of board games, to get your toes nibbled on by tiny flesh-eating fish, to borrow from their library of books and just ensconce yourself in a reading chair for a few hours, to be surrounded by everything Hello Kitty, and even to dress up in wedding gowns and get your photo taken.

But the theme cafés that really attract me are the pet cafés – Seoul is an intensely crowded city, and when the majority of the population lives in small apartments (mine is ridiculous!), pets aren’t so common. As a result, some savvy entrepreneurs have come up with the idea of cat and dog cafés, which you can visit and (for the price of a coffee), spend a few hours playing with the animals.

I grew up around pets, so I really start to miss them when they aren’t around. My friend Amy is also a big animal person, so one monsoony afternoon we finally decided to visit the most famous dog café in Hongdae to get our canine lovin’ on.

The café was packed when we got there, as everyone else and their mother had the same idea to escape the rain. Dogs of all sizes were running amuck, under tables, atop window ledges, over couches and between legs. From giant sheepdogs to tiny poodles, there was something for everyone – some of the dogs belonged to the café owner, but others were brought in by patrons.

There was a wall of treats that you could buy from, and some of the dogs had obviously been overindulged (one golden retriever looked like a seal on legs), and while most of the dogs were pretty lackluster by the time we got there, there were still a few running about looking to climb all over you and attempt to steal your drink.

We bonded with some of the tiny ones, and they left tiny red paw prints on our legs.
It was a perfect way to pass the afternoon ♥

(and no, at this café, dog is not on the menu!)

Getting there:
Take line 6 to Sangsu Station, exit 1. Walk straight until the first large intersection with Parking Lot street (so-named for all the cars that are parked right down the middle of it) and turn right. Take the 3rd left; Bauhaus is on the right, 2nd or 3rd story, about 40 m down.


13 Responses to A day at the dog cafe (and no, you don’t eat them)

  1. Megan 23 July, 2011 at 04:59 #

    That is adorable! My dog is so antisocial though that I don’t think he’d do too well at a cafe like that!

    • na-o-mi 25 July, 2011 at 02:06 #

      Surprisingly, most of the dogs were really well behaved! I guess the resident dogs are used to being around a lot of strangers all the time :)

  2. Lisa 24 July, 2011 at 05:37 #

    What a great idea!!! I’d love to see one in London! Thanks for sharing, I know where I’ll go if I ever get to Korea.

    • na-o-mi 25 July, 2011 at 02:07 #

      Yep…theme cafés! They’re the way to go :)

  3. Heather 24 July, 2011 at 07:50 #

    Bau House is a genius name, and that dachshund is such a cutie.

    • na-o-mi 25 July, 2011 at 02:07 #

      There’s another dog café in the neighborhood called Sunnyne, but that doesn’t sound half as good!

  4. Faith 25 July, 2011 at 09:13 #

    That is so cool, I love the idea of themed cafes. And doggies! That’s fantastic :)

    • na-o-mi 27 July, 2011 at 18:03 #

      It’s totally adorable…..and from what I’ve heard, much more fun than the cat café ;)

  5. Kristin Savage 30 July, 2011 at 08:59 #

    Bahhh! I love your blog (traveling + cafes = love in my heart).

    I found you on bloglovin’ under “up and coming” travel journals, I am bringing you up by one follower ;)

    Cheers, see you around the world.

    ~ KristinSavageTravels.blogspot.com ~

    • na-o-mi 5 August, 2011 at 02:13 #


  6. kate 31 July, 2011 at 22:30 #

    Oh wow! I’ve never heard of such a thing! what a fantastic idea :)

  7. Sailor 4 August, 2011 at 15:57 #

    Wow that is interesting. I wish they have something like this on cruise ship. Once you are in the sea you miss your pet.
    Cruise Pictures

  8. Charis 2 September, 2011 at 01:00 #

    Such a sweet idea!
    Wish we had a place like that here..

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