Pet cafés have become very popular in countries all around the world, and New Zealand is no exception. So, if you will be relocating to New Zealand or vacationing in this beautiful country, there is a good chance you’ll want to find a pet café. Where can you go? That depends where you’ll be, but towns all around the country offer pet-friendly options.As New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland offers a tail-wagging selection of cafés and other eateries that welcome dogs. Outdoors only, please, but that doesn’t diminish the enjoyment. You and your canine companion can relax at a sunny sidewalk table or on a shady sunny terrace or patio, depending on the venue. Exactly the right thing to do on a warm summer day. Or even in the cooler weather of spring or fall.
A couple of places you should consider sampling:
- Geeks On Sainsbury, Morningside
Granola waffles done up in a beautifully tempting presentation. Eggs benedict layered with crispy agria potato. Your dog won’t be the only one drooling. You’re welcome to linger if you have time, and the service is reportedly super pet-friendly.
- Takapuna Beach Café, Takapuna
Thirsty pups can conveniently get a drink, thanks to drinking troughs thoughtfully placed at three different heights. You can enjoy a bite and a beverage yourself, then the two of you can hit the beach just a few steps away.
And speaking of the beach, Takapuna is hardly your only option. New Zealand is replete with beachy play options for dogs and their people. Whether you’re mostly interested in a hike with a splendid view of the ocean or an up-close-and-personal encounter with sand and surf, you’re in luck. Just don’t forget to take water and sunscreen, for both you and your pup.
If you’re in Hawke’s Bay, you’ll find several dog-friendly cafés with open-air seating and pooch-perfect service, including:
- Little Blackbird Cafe in Market St, Hastings (check out the fresh juices and softshell crab salad with lime and chili)
- Mister D (they have a courtyard, accessible through the side door)
- Milk and Honey on Hardinge Road in Ahuriri (another beachy favorite that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner accompanies by coffee drinks and wines)
- George’s Restaurant on Havelock Road (where your pup will be greeted with treats as well as fresh water and, just maybe, can cadge a bit of your rosemary battered fish and chips)
Catting around at pet cafés
We don’t mean to ignore the cat population. In fact, we can all thank felines for the creation of pet cafés and for the growing popularity of these establishments. There is something simply irresistible about petting a cat, and few things are more amusing that watching cats and kittens at play. If you can enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and a snack at the same time, so much the better, right?
BaristaCats is one place you will want to visit. They promise a full-on feline experience with their resident rescue kitties. (Some are available for adoption.) There is a fee for one-hour sessions, and they also offer periodic kitten parties and – yep – cat yoga. Meow!
FANCY MEOW Cat Cafe was the first of its kind in Rotorua. They also charge a fee to spend an hour with their cats and kittens, to ensure the resident felines aren’t overwhelmed by fans. You may reserve a time in advance, though.
Not everything is good to eat
You may stick to restaurants and home cooking as food sources. But many pets – especially dogs – like to taste-test random plants outdoors, too. They go beyond sniffing to give things a little lick, and some might even bite off a portion and chow down. This can be a serious concern, as many plants commonly found in backyard gardens and in the wilds of New Zealand are poisonous for pets.
You’ll want to learn about that, if your dog or cat is the overly-inquisitive type. It’s smart to recognize plants that pose problems to the humans in your family as well. New Zealand is so beautiful, it naturally beckons people and pets to explore the outdoors. You want to have fun, but you want to stay safe, too.
Thank heaven for pet cafés! They’re there to serve you and your furry companion when hunger overtakes you, and they serve as destinations as well, providing opportunities to explore culinary offerings around town wherever you live and around the country as you travel.