Felis Cat Cafe and Ristorante: Dining with Felines

On Wednesday we headed to Utsunomiya to hit up a restaurant I had noticed while driving through a couple of weeks earlier. The sign is a giant picture of a cat’s face and the name is Felis: Cat Cafe and Ristorante. After we drove past I was left wondering: is this a cafe FOR cats, where they can meet their friends for a cocktail after a hard day of laying in a sunny spot on the carpet? Is it a cat-themed restaurant where all the cat trinkets you can think of adorn the walls? Or ::no it couldn’t be could it:: is cat on the menu?

When we got home that night a quick Google search led me to the Felis website and despite the very sketchy aut0-translation I came to understand that this is indeed a ristorante, specializing in Italian and Mediterranean food, and a cat shelter that promotes adoptions and foster homes for wayward cats. WHAT. THE. SHIT. Carbs and rescue animals, two of my favorite things.

While there are a few pics on the website of a cat sitting in the middle of a restaurant, it was all kind of ambiguous and my Americanized sense of health codes assumed that all the pretty kitties would be in some kind of special, cordoned off cat-living-space. Because…they’d have to be…right?

WRONG. Here’s me just after being seated at Felis:

Just beside our table…the lounge.
The view of the rest of the restaurant from our table:

Vesper, wearing a dog shirt at a cat cafe: great style and a strong sense of irony.

She seems to be thinking: I’ve got this stick with a string on it, why are all these cats running from me?!

That is a classic cat side-eye.

So where was I…cats, cats, cats are all over the place…OH YES, the food was amazing! I ordered a ginger ale with ACTUAL ginger. A spicy, carbonated, dream come true.

Dave had organic pork, mixed greens and rice after our soup and salad.

We had a spicy pasta primavera, but the baby would only eat if she could also clutch a cat toy.But I digress. Back to the cats.

After much discussion, we decided that if we were there to adopt a cat, we would choose the one pictured below for two reasons. 1) He has a mustache. So that’s obviously key. 2) He stealthily stole part of a peanut butter sandwich out of my bag (I’m always prepared for all scenarios) which shows a lot of gumption! We would name him Lanny McDonald.

It’s time to go home, but there’s a cat on our coats! Best. Restaurant. Ever.

Admittedly, a dining experience which is shared with animals isn’t for everyone. But we are some of most animal loving people you know who have very little concern for germs and no fear of pet hair. The place, however, was extremely clean and very well kept, naturally with some cat hair sprinkled around but NOT in the food! The service was AMAZING (in part because, BONUS OF THE DAY!, one of the staff is an American who could speak to us in English) and we left the whole experience on cloud nine. I’m happy to say we could open our wallets and loosen our belts all in the name of helping animals find a home.

8 thoughts on “Felis Cat Cafe and Ristorante: Dining with Felines

  1. Why did you not discover this while Julie was visiting? Oh my God, can you imagine her working in that restaurant? Perhaps Julie should scrap the Psych program and just open something like this!

  2. I’m sure you especially liked it becasue you miss your four legged kids. They were great to have come visit and welcome anytime.

  3. P. S. This is the kind of adventures that only happen living abroad…kind of Twilight Zone-like. It’s like our Christmas Eve spent in China in a bar with a stripper wearing a Santa hat dancing with a live snake. Weird…

  4. Your friend Sarah Ketvirits shared this with me as she knows I am a cat lover. What a lovely story. Thanks for sharing and for all the wonderful picture. We need a place like that in Chicago! p.s. your little girl is beautiful!

    1. Brandi, if you come to Nikko I can promise a trip to Felis! Also, I was trying to remember your dietary guildlines and I *think* what Dave had from salad to soup to main course would fit the bill! Yay! P.S. I LOVE THAT YOU HAVE A MUSTACHE CAT!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s