1. New York City’s First Japanese Cat Cafe is in the Lower East Side

Koneko cat cafe

Although this last one isn’t so much a secret, it’s well-worth highlighting. If you’re a cat or animal lover, head to Koneko (located on 26 Clinton Street), New York City’s first Japanese cat cafe. Unlike Meow Parlour, this cafe is modeled directly after Japan’s immensely popular pet cafes, where you can actually sit and have glasses of sake with a cat in your lap.

Founded by Benjamin Kalb, a chef and classical pianist, the Koneko pet cafe was inspired by Kalb’s trip to the Calico pet cafe in Japan. Designed by Co-Office, the modern decoration of the cafe includes cat-related cartoon graffiti and cushy seating for both humans and cats.

The cafe has three different sections including the loft area called the Upper Cattery, the small lounge area known as the Lower Cattery, and the outdoor patio area which is aptly referred to as the Catio. Koneko serves artisanal Japanese fare, wine juices, and sake. It costs fifteen dollars to spend an hour in the cafe with its 20 cats, and a portion of the money goes to the Anjellicle Cats Rescue, an organization whose mission is to save at-risk cats from New York City shelters.

Lower East Side Tour & Tasting

Kehila Kedosha Janina

Next, check out 10 Fun Facts About NYC’s Essex Street Market, A Lower East Side Survivor