A sheep café in Seoul: Thanks Nature Café, Hongdae

November 15, 2015
Thanks Nature 'sheep café' in Hongdae, Seoul

If you like sheep thrills, I've herd that Thanks Nature Café is the place for ewe.

On the lamb at Thanks Nature Café: Hongdae, Seoul

Critter cafés are a dime-a-dozen in most major cities these days. Part-gimmick, part necessary fur-therapy to fill the void that is the soul-crushing reality of shoebox-dwelling in a capital city many can barely afford to live in (let alone foster a living dependant for fluffy companionship) you can hardly do the Gangnam Style dance in Seoul without jogging into a cat/dog café. But there's an animal café in the student district of Hongdae that makes them all look positively sheepish: I'm talking about Thanks Nature Café - the world's first sheep café. 
Locals, expats, and tourists alike flock to Thanks Nature Café to see their stars: Milky and Lily. For most of the year (in summer the sheep return to the farm for a much-deserved break from all the adoration they receive) Milky and Lily roam freely in an outdoor pen adjacent to the basement level café. There, the fuzzballs bask in the sighs and swoons of visitors who are allowed to pet and feed them under the supervision of their owner, whose love and care for his wooly wards is clearly reciprocated - whenever the sheep spot him they bleat 'maaaaaaah!' in the most affectionate way. Hardly woolly bullies, Milky and Lily are the gentlest, sweetest creatures who will at most turn their heads away if they've had enough. Oh, did I mention that these two lovely lambs are the cleanest sheep I've ever met? Cuddling them felt like being embraced by a giant cloud of fluffy, with a subtle sweet scent to boot... 

Thanks Nature 'sheep café' in Hongdae, Seoul

The café's basement-level location adds to the cozy charm of the place. The café is small and simply-decorated with rustic wood materials and naturally, sheep-paraphenelia: figurines, art, rocking horses (rocking sheep?) etc.


The menu reflects the café-culture-craze of Seoul; serving sweet treats like waffles, toast, coffees, and fruit sodas. Gastronomically, it's more of a tea-time, breakfast, or snack destination but let's be candid: you're there to see the sheep, not for a Michelin-star experience. That said, my banana-strawberry waffles were delicious: not baaaaaaaa-d!

Thanks Nature 'sheep café' in Hongdae, Seoul

Thanks Nature 'sheep café' in Hongdae, Seoul

Thanks Nature 'sheep café' in Hongdae, Seoul

Thanks Nature 'sheep café' in Hongdae, Seoul

Thanks Nature 'sheep café' in Hongdae, Seoul

Thanks Nature 'sheep café' in Hongdae, Seoul

Thanks Nature 'sheep café' in Hongdae, Seoul

Thanks Nature 'sheep café' in Hongdae, Seoul

Thanks Nature 'sheep café' in Hongdae, Seoul

Thanks Nature 'sheep café' in Hongdae, Seoul

Thanks Nature 'sheep café' in Hongdae, Seoul

Thanks Nature Café opened only last year and enjoyed a lot of publicity, no doubt thanks to 2015 being the Year Of The Sheep. Cat cafés? So last year. Be ahead of the herd and get your fluffy fix in Seoul at Thanks Nature Café - you can find them in Hongdae district at 486 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul. Now for the million won questions: Are you an animal café person? Which team are you on: cat café, dog café, or sheep café? Should I open an iguana café and call it 'Lizard Lounge'? x

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