In the past few years, cat cafés have really blown up. They came to us by way of Japan (where, hot tip, you can also visit owl cafés) and quickly became a mainstay of metropolises across the U.S. And why not? You get your delicious cup of joe and you get to bonus-snuggle a cat?! Yes, please! *raises hand*
However, we are a little more skeptical about the newest iteration of animal café: The Rat Café. The San Francisco-based pop-up is charging $50 a head to be led into The San Francisco Dungeon (at Fisherman’s Wharf) to sip coffee and enjoy snacks alongside some snuggly rats.
If it seems like a stunt, well…you’re not wrong. “The bubonic plague section [of the San Francisco Dungeon Tour] got us thinking about what we could do with rats,” Dungeon director Matthew Clarkson told Eater San Francisco. “People in the Bay Area love to celebrate food, and they’re always looking for the next thing to wait in line for.”
Okay, so technically you won’t be dining alongside the rats—these are not the Bubonic days of yore and even a dungeon-themed rat café is held to modern standards of health regulations. But you will enjoy food and drink, and then once everything has been cleared away, you can, indeed, pet some cute li’l rats.
Despite the unease that many people associate with rats, they are actually extremely intelligent animals who make for very entertaining and loving pets. And just like in cat cafés, the rats in the rat café are all rescues looking for forever homes. They come by way of Rattie Ratz, a rat rescue and adoption agency that has successfully rehomed over 250 domestic rats.
The rat café will only be open for a few days in July. For future rat dining options, we recommend you find restaurants who have failed their health inspections.
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