Review: Cafe Meow is Not Kitten Around

Photo of cats in the Cafe Meow cat lounge on Jan. 23 provided by Cafe Meow

Luís Escobar, staff writer

Do you like cats? Do you like coffee? Do you like coffee and cat puns for some niche reason? You’re in luck, because Cafe Meow has all three in a cute little bundle! If you’re ever in Uptown, be sure to make a reservation and meet all their fuzzy friends, as it’s not every day you get the chance to go to a cat cafe.

Cafe Meow was the first cat cafe to be established in Minnesota, joining the Minneapolis  Uptown community back in February 2018. Recently, they also opened their second location in New Hope. Cafe Meow has partnered with no-kill shelters (such as No Kitten Left Behind-MN, The Rescue Crew and more) to provide the cats in their lounge, even offering the cats up for adoption. So far, over 700 cats have been adopted from Cafe Meow in their partnerships with various shelters. 

When entering the cafe, it’s broken into two sections: the cafe lounge area and the cat lounge area. Workers told me that it was to guarantee the cats’ safety and that cats aren’t overwhelmed with the constant traffic of people within the cafe. The cafe lounge’s decor is homely, reminiscent of a cabin, with wooden tables, chairs and even a park bench. Want to read a book cozied up with your coffee? They provide a rotating selection on their bookshelves! You can find newest hits and books made by local authors.

Once I was able to get into the cat lounge, the atmosphere was the same, but it was clear to me that this was a space entirely considerate of the cats’ comfort and needs. There were scratching posts as legs for tables. On the walls, there are spots for cats to both nap and explore their area. Toys are strewn across the floor for people and cats to interact with. It’s pleasant to see a space that was entirely committed to the comfort and care of their creatures. 

One employee was willing to share a few thoughts on their experiences with the cafe. “It’s a lot less busy than other cafes I had worked at previously, which is definitely a lot more sustainable I’d say. Some days, it is more of a challenge, and we always have people coming in to see the cats, but it’s really nice to have, like, a hard limit on people who can go and see our cats.”

My order consisted of their house special, the Calico: a mocha with caramel and coconut from Fair Trade Source Coffee. The baristas were kind enough to hand it to me within the cat lounge, which was very much appreciated as I had a kitten on my lap. It was sweetened to perfection, being curved with a bitter espresso shot. I also ordered a pumpkin muffin to go with the order, made in a local bakery with ingredients sourced from local farms. It was earthly sweet, more tame than a store bought muffin of any sort, which I appreciated. Both the Calico and the pumpkin muffin were a great first impression on what their menu offers. You can find their full menu on their website! 

Whether it’s finding a great place for ethically sourced coffee, spending an hour with dozens of cats or finding a getaway in the dreary winters, Cafe Meow has options for everyone. This visit was more than pleasant, and I will definitely be returning to expand my palate and be in my personal heaven. 
You can find their Minneapolis location at 2323 Hennepin Avenue South. They are open Tuesday-Thursday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m.-7 p.m. If you’d like to support any of the shelters mentioned above, be sure to find them on social media. Cafe Meow also accepts direct donations if you’d like to support them in another way. Be sure to plan your visit and make a reservation for their cat lounge — you’ll have a purr-fect experience!