Many cafés look the same: wooden shelves, coffee bar, and regular lattes. But what if you entered a restaurant and saw everything–the walls, the dishes, and the food itself–represent your favorite character, book series, or TV show? These shops exist all over the world, and they’re called character cafés.
Although most of these pop-up cafés only stay open for a couple of months, some of them eventually turn into permanent establishments. A Harry Potter-themed coffee shop, Pokémon and Marvel restaurants, and a Hello Kitty café, there’s no limit to fantastical character restaurants. Here are the coolest fiction-themed cafés across the world.
Disney’s Aladdin Restaurant In Sydney, Australia
If you’ve watched Aladdin wishing that you could be in that world, take a trip to The Grounds in Sydney, Australia. In 2019, The Grounds transformed its floor into an Aladdin-inspired restaurant, with golden archways and hanging blue lanterns.
When the restaurant first opened, it displayed a full barn set up with hay barrels and a live camel. Now, you can still order character-inspired drinks like the “Friend Like Me” tea–served in a magic lamp, of course. Although the café closed in June, you can still find pictures of the desserts online.
Pokémon Café In Toronto, Canada
If you want to catch ’em all, you’ll want to visit Toronto, Canada in 2020. A Pokémon-themed pop-up bar is scheduled to appear in June 2020. The venue promises Pokémon-themed burgers, drinks, music, trivia nights, and costume award shows.
If you can’t wait that long, there’s a permanent Pokémon café in Nihonbashi, Tokyo. You can go there any time of year to get some Pikachu curry, Jigglypuff cheescake, or Bulbasaur veggie burger.
The Marvel Restaurant In Florida, U.S.A.
Universal’s Island of Adventure in Orlando, Florida, has transformed its Cafe 4 room into a Marvel-themed dinner buffet. Not only is the restaurant decorated like a scene out of a comic book, but actors dressed up as superheroes make their rounds so that every guest can receive pictures and autographs.
The menu contains a plethora of options that are more formal than a coffeehouse café. Rosemary chicken, macaroni, shrimp, meatballs, salad, pizza, and “heroic” desserts are all available to dish out buffet-style.
Care Bears Café In Kumoya, Singapore
In spring of 2015, the Japanese-French cafe Kumoya replaced its usual decor and menu with Care Bears. The Care Bears Café offered character-shaped burgers, katsu, pasta, and rice dishes, as well as parfaits, waffles, and milkshakes.
The café was garnished with hanging stars and walls decorated with rainbow-colored bears. Customers relived their childhood as they ate bear-shaped food with Care Bear songs blasting and plushies sitting right next to them.
The Charlie Brown Café In Hong Kong, China
In honor of Charles M. Shultz’s most popular comic series, Hong Kong opened up a Charlie Brown Café. The restaurant is adorned with giant sculptures of the Peanuts gang, including the world-famous beagle greeting guests at the door.
The coffee shop serves over 40 beverages, including Peanuts latte art. The most famous dish has to be the Snoopy rice, which is shaped like the comic book beagle. Each table has a different character engraved in it, and the movies play on TVs as customers eat.
Winnie The Pooh Café In Seoul, South Korea
If you visit Disneyland in Seoul, South Korea, keep an eye out for the Winnie the Pooh café. Called the Hunny House, this pop-up café became a popular hangout when it first appeared in early 2019. The restaurant features Winne-the-Pooh-themed coffeehouse items like drinks, desserts, and even non-alcoholic cocktails.
Like many character cafés, the Hunny House sells merchandise specific to this shop. It has Winnie the Pooh plushies, coasters, tea steepers, mugs, bags, and notebooks featuring all your favorite characters.
Toy Story 4 Cafés Throughout Japan
When Toy Story 4 debuted in 2019, the movie also sponsored four character-themed cafés in Japan. The pop-up restaurants appeared in Osaka, Nagoya, Hokkaido, and Tokyo for a couple of months in the summer. The café included a full toy box of characters, a Toy Story-inspired menu, and trivia nights.
When visitors order, they choose one of many character-inspired meals and drinks. These include the Duke Caboom Stunt Burger, the Gabby Gabby & the Bensons afternoon tea set, and the Slinky Orange Yogurt Smoothie.
Alice In Wonderland Café In Massachusetts, U.S.A.
Fall down the rabbit hole, and you’ll end up in the Alice in Wonderland tea room in Foxborough, Massachusetts called Alice in the Village. Unlike other character-themed restaurants, Alice in the Village offered full High Tea service, Afternoon Tea, and Nursery Tea, each providing several courses.
When the café opened in April of 2019, guests were greeted with an “Eat Me! Drink Me!” menu, including cake pops, scones, crumpets, macarons, and an extensive tea list. You can also choose between a Mad Hatter tea room or a Queen of Hearts tea room.
Harry Potter Café In Los Angeles
Potterheads have their own hangout spot in Los Angeles, California. Nimbus Coffee is a Harry Potter-inspired café that opened in June 2019. Inside the coffee shop, you’ll see a wall of wands, antique trunks, and paintings of celebrities as Hogwarts wizards and witches.
For now, you can only buy magical drinks such as “strawberry veritas” and “blueberry polyjuice,” along with pastries. Nimbus employees have hinted that house-made dishes may be added in the future.
The Hello Kitty Grand Café In Irvine, California
While several Hello Kitty cafés have popped up in Asia, the first official United States shop appeared in Irvine, California. Sanrio America (the American branch of Sanrio Japan, which invented Hello Kitty) created an adorable, tasty experience for anyone who loves pink and bows.
In the café, everything from the walls to the backs of chairs has a Hello Kitty bow. You can pour yourself tea from a Hello Kitty pot, or snack on cat-shaped cookies and cakes. And of course, this café includes exclusive character merch.
Star Wars Café In Paris, France
Not far from the Notre Dame sits the café Odyseey, which is decked from head to toe in memorabilia from Star Wars. The inside has silver walls and hexagonal windows that mirror the Death Star. Even the menu has been translated to Aurebesh, the language used to write the Galactic Basic.
Since 2016, customers have watched Star Wars movies while listening to John Williams’s music score in this restaurant. Like many Paris cafés, the shop serves crepes with sneaky sci-fi referenced names.
The Lord Of The Rings Restaurant In Texas, U.S.A.
Most people wouldn’t expect to find the depths of Middle Earth in Upper Kirby, Texas. But at the beginning of 2009, a restaurant opened that paid homage to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings books and the movies. The Hobbit Café is decorated like a hobbit house, only filled with Lord of the Rings memorabilia.
The restaurant features miniature movie sets, official artwork, and a life-sized model of Gollum. Although it was originally a vegetarian restaurant, Hobbit Café later served loaded nachos and burgers as well.
Cartoon Network Café In Punggol Waterway Point, Singapore
So far, you’ve seen plenty of restaurants inspired by one TV show or movie series. At the Cartoon Network Café in Singapore, you can see several of your favorite shows. In particular, this restaurant features the shows Adventure Time, Ben 10, We Bare Bears, and The Powerpuff Girls.
In collaboration with Cartoon Network, Soup Spoon Union decorated its café with cartoon wallpaper, plushies, and a drawing corner. Their potpie, steaks, desserts, and rootbeer floats are all decorated with Cartoon Network characters.
The Jurassic World Café In Osaka, Japan
In the summer of 2018, a Jurassic World Café opened in Japan to celebrate the newest movie in the Jurassic Park series. The chefs at this restaurant went out of their way to make the food look Jurassic-themed. For instance, they made an edible volcano that spewed curry lava.
One of the desserts was a dinosaur egg cake which had a realistic dinosaur eye peeking out of the dessert. One dish is covered in what looks like powdered cocoa or coffee, and you’re handed a brush to sweep it off and unveil the archaeology.
My Little Pony Café In Tokyo, Japan
In 2017, a colorful restaurant celebrating friendship and cuteness popped up in Harajuku, Tokyo. The My Little Pony Pinkish Café is a buffet restaurant that’s known for its colorful, horse-themed desserts.
While most pop-up cafés give their customers a themed coaster, the My Little Pony Pinkish Café gave its visitors a set of face stickers. Customers could take pictures with the giant Pinkie Pie plushies, drink a Rainbow Dash Cotton Cloud Candy Soda, or eat Twilight’s Magical Ice Cream Parfait.
Peter Rabbit Garden Café In Tokyo, Japan
Those wandering through the streets of Jiyugaoka, Tokyo may come across an adorable rabbit-themed café. This coffee shop is the Peter Rabbit Garden Café, inspired by the world of Beatrix Potter. Unlike other character cafés, this one includes a terrace filled with plants, giving off an English countryside feel.
When you sit at a table, you’ll likely be sharing a seat with a plush of Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny, Cottontail, or Mopsy. The food consists of bunny latte art, English scones, and cheese tart pieces.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Café In Tokyo, Japan
Children’s book author Eric Carle received his own character pop-up café in Ginza, Tokyo. The colorful food and drink dishes were inspired by his most beloved book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Every table in this whimsical café had paper placemats and coasters with Eric Carle’s artwork on it.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar Café displays wallpaper and shelving full of Carle’s artwork and books. You can buy plushies, hand towels, posters, mugs, socks, and even bath bombs with the book’s theme.
Digimon Café In Tokyo, Japan
Are you more of a Digimon lover than a Pokémon fan? Lucky for you, a Digimon café opened in Tokyo, Japan, to celebrate the show’s 20th anniversary. Instead of shaping the dishes like characters, most food items are inspired by them. For instance, Gabumon’s horned burger includes a cone chip as a “horn” and a star-shaped patty.
Like many character cafés, the Digimon café offers its fair share of latte art and character-inspired desserts. The restaurant remained open for three weeks in July.
Kingdom Hearts Café In Osaka, Japan
In 2017, Square Enix opened its own Kingdom Hearts-themed café in Osaka, Japan. The restaurant featured decorations and food celebrating the beloved video game Kingdom Hearts. Original artwork for the game hung in golden frames, and glass display cases held plushes, artwork, models, and copies of the game.
Those who went to the café got to keep their original Kingdom Hearts placemat and coaster. The food came beautifully themed, such as “The Promised Sandwich,” “The Dragon Witch’s Soup,” and colorful soda and alcoholic drinks.
Kirby Café In Tokyo, Japan
Instead of swallowing his enemies, Kirby filled other peoples’ tummies in autumn of 2018. The pink Nintendo character got his own pop-up café at the foot of Skytree in Tokyo. The restaurant gave customers decorative plates that they could take home with them, along with a character-shaped meal.
In the Kirby Café, you either got food shaped like Kirby or Waddle Dee, or received a plate with ceramic figurines that you could keep. Along with that, customers received one of six coasters with original Nintendo artwork on them.