The inspiration for Puppy Cubby Café
, a cosy hideaway near the Shaanxi Nan Lu metro station, came when owner Rex Ting, who grew up with eight dogs in Australia, wanted his own daughters to have the experience of owning them.
His family travelled to Japan several times a year and while there, he and his wife would take their daughters to various dog, owl and cat cafés until they decided to open an animal café of their own in Shanghai.
All of the café’s puppies are under a year old. From pugs to toy poodles and French bulldogs to Pomeranians, it has 14 puppies of 11 different breeds and a trainer who formerly worked with dogs in the army trains all of them in-house. It’s not uncommon to find most of them cuddling up with the young guests, taking a nap and snoring in piles, or posing for selfies with kids.
As the dog play area and food area are completely separated, Puppy Cubby has a big focus on hygiene – dog fur won’t be flying into your mini’s snacks and the dogs won’t get sick from sneaking customers’ café food.
This separation also allows customers to have a more relaxed experience with the dogs without having to worry about their food and drinks, and also allows more timid young guests to chill in the café without having to interact with the dogs if they prefer.
In terms of the menu itself, the café has a line-up of mainly drinks and desserts. New Zealand cream is used in all of its desserts, which are Japanese-inspired (think matcha soft serve ice cream and fruity parfaits). Belgian waffle pops arrive served on a stick and with a side of cream and fresh fruits. Apart from its sweet offerings, the café has one savoury option on its menu right now: a Parmesan cheese hot dog, which is served with ketchup, mustard and gooey melted cheese.
For kids who won’t stop begging you for a pet, this one’s sure to be a hit.
By Janelle Chew and Kimberly Ng