The Worlds Most Unique Coffee Shops

Sometimes you awake seemingly tired in the morning thinking nothing but “coffee, coffee, coffee,” and all you care about is ingesting some of the dark beverage. But what about those leisurely times spent sitting in a coffee shop reading a book, getting some computer work done, or chatting with an old friend. Location and atmosphere is king. Modern and cozy coffee shop designs are ubiquitous these days, but the desire to hang out in weirdly themed cafes has been on the rise. Cultural novelties don’t seem to be an essential part of urban life in only Japan anymore (although there are tons in Tokyo). Check out these unique coffee shops from all around the world:

Chillout Café – Dubai
Imagine chillin’ (literally) at a carved ice table, sitting in a carved ice chair, surrounded by ice sculptures while you enjoy a latte. Sounds cool right? Chillout Café is the first ice lounge in the Middle East that’s dropping temperatures as low as 21 degrees Fahrenheit.  They also sell shirts and jackets – a very smart business endeavor if you ask me.

Cat’s Store Neko no Mise – Tokyo
Seriously, there are boat loads of bizarre cafes in Japan with insides for outsides and robots that serve your coffee, but I thought this one was the most interesting. Neko (Japanese for cat) Cafés actually originated in Taiwan, but they swept Japan like pet dander in springtime. Customers get their caffeine fix and their feline fix at the same time. Cramped apartments in Japan often limit pet compatibility, so this is a great idea…as long as your don’t mind cat fur in your beverage.

The Sweatshop – Paris
Here you get to enjoy a caffeine buzz AND the ambiance of an illegal sweat shop! Sounds great right? No idea why they picked this culturally inappropriate name for a arts and crafts café. At The Sweatshop the patrons don’t need to bring anything to read or do, sewing machines are fastened right into each cute little table.

Photo by Fabrice Fortin for Paris by Appointment Only™

Photo by Fabrice Fortin for Paris by Appointment Only™

Forbidden Starbucks – China
Starbucks is actually coming up with a ton of interestingly unique interior and exterior designs these days, but this one in the Forbidden City was pretty ordinary. Just the location was unique. Walking back in time through the extravagant emperor’s dwellings of ancient China just to enter a ordinary fully-loaded Starbucks on your next turn? It was rightfully closed in 2007 because of an onslaught of reasonable cultural protests. Considering all the tea in China…they should just open a tea house.

Aoyama Flower Market Tea House – Tokyo
Ok, ok, one more in Japan. There are just so many good ones. It’s a tea house not a coffee shop, but this place is incredible if you think you would enjoy a flower/plant oasis. There are even plants inside the tables. It must smell amazing. 

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