Most cat cafes focus on the cat-visiting part of the business rather the food and drink. That’s okay by me, as the point of going to a cat cafe is to witness some purring, get in a few pats, and toss around some toys. It’s hard to focus on two of my loves (cats and food) at the same time, and there are plenty of non-cat options if I’m just looking for a falafel or some spring rolls. But sometimes you hit the jackpot and find yourself eating well-crafted food in a tasteful, modern environment with a cat sitting in the chair across from you.
MINKA Cat Cafe is located in the Āgenskalns neighborhood of Riga, Latvia, approximately a 30-minute walk from Old Town. Five former shelter cats call MINKA their home, and they make perfect companions for lunch or dinner. The cafe serves beer, wine, and alcohol in addition to coffee drinks. There is no admission charge, and the prices are very reasonable. The full menu can be found on their Facebook page. I visited for lunch on a weekday, and there were guests at only one other table. But the place can get crowded at other times, so reservations are recommended if you don’t want to risk disappointment.
Black and white
Spinach quinoa salad
My lunch date
It was pure luck that I landed in Blue Cat Cafe. A friend and I stumbled on it while walking home to our Airbnb late at night during a trip to Austin. Of course I insisted it be our first stop the next morning.
The cafe was started with funds from a Kickstarter campaign and sports both good food and creative decor. Yes, it’s a bit over the top cat-crazy, but in a good way. In typical Austin style, the food comes from a food truck and includes a variety of vegan Tex-Mex dishes. Coffee drinks are also all vegan. Visitors order outside, and servers bring everything in when it’s ready. It’s also possible to eat out in the courtyard.
Some of the cats are adoptable, while others are permanent residents. A three-collar system identifies the status of each cat. Those with green collars are in need of homes. A red collar indicates that a cat is in the process of being adopted. The remaining cats are permanent residents.
Location: 95 Navasota Street, Austin, TX, USA
Opening hours: Monday through Thursday, 10 am – 9 pm; Friday and Saturday 10 am – 10 pm; Sunday 11 am – 7 pm
Admission charge: $3
Cats: Some are adoptable though the Blue Cat Foundation
Price for a small latte: $3.00