Dining with Goats at Sakuragaoka Cafe, Shibuya
Animal cafes are all the rage in Tokyo these days. Cats, birds and even jellyfish grace restaurants citywide. But Sakuragoaka Cafe in Shibuya has them all beat.
The cafe is tucked away on an uphill side street, and as you approach you’ll see a caged play area out front, home to a pink goat named Sakura and a brown goat named Chocolat. These adorable goats are the owner’s pets, and they certainly draw a lot of attention. People are constantly stopping to take pictures and coo over how cute they are together.
The cafe itself also has a calm atmosphere, conducive to warm coffee and long conversations. The lights are low and the seating is incredibly comfortable, featuring plush sofas draped in colorful throws. There is even some goat-side seating on a patio outdoors, and yes, there is a slight musk coming off the animals, but it’s not nearly as bad as you might expect since the pen is kept incredibly clean. Consider the mild musk an aromatic addition to the goat cafe experience. One thing to note is that there is no non-smoking area, so if you’re not a smoker the patio may be your best bet.
The food is Japanese-inspired Western, and you’ll find things like fried chicken, hamburgers and pasta on the menu. But the lunch spread is quite limited, so it’s best to visit after 5:30 p.m. to take advantage of the wider selection on the dinner menu.
Though Sakuragaoka is known as “that goat cafe,” there’s no actual goat on the menu. There are, however, two signature desserts: the “Chocolat Soft” and “Sakura Sundae” parfaits. I tried the former, but for ¥600, it wasn’t anything special. I think I prefer the goat to the dessert.
If you’re looking for a simple meal in a comfortable atmosphere, Sakuragaoka cafe is worth a visit. Just make sure to say hi to Sakura and Chocolat.
Address: 23-3 Sakuragaoka-cho, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo
Open: Mon–Fri, 8:30 a.m.–4 a.m.; Sat 11:30 a.m.–4 a.m.; Sun 11:30 a.m.–12 a.m.