Upside Down Cat Café
Where I visit and gush about the newly-opened cat café in Groningen - Kattencafé Op z'n Kop!
Have you ever had one of those weeks where work is piling up, sleep seems like an impossible concept to swallow, and all you want to do is have a warm cup of mint tea and de-stress? As a law student, those weeks are every week of the academic year. And as a law student, I don’t always have the money nor the time to slowly unwind with a cup of fresh mint tea. But when I do, I make sure to visit the best places in town. One in particular has been gaining much momentum and talk among people – Kattencafé Op z’n Kop.
With a bit of help from my Dutch friends, the café translates to ‘Cat Café Upside Down’. I don’t believe that they are the first Cat Café to open in Groningen, but they are definitely the town’s new beloved baby girl. Open to cat lovers since the 11th of February on, I decided to give it a visit, accompanied by two cat-obsessed friends of mine. We had to reserve a spot online to avoid disappointment, and also because they only accept reservations during the first few days of their opening.
The Café is located right in the city centre, equidistant from the Academiegebouw (Academy building of RUG) and the Grote Markt. The first thing that intrigued me was their doors – they had 2 of them. As a self-proclaimed Café snob, I have never seen this feature. But considering the fact that cats are sassy, feline creatures that can barely distinguish the warm café from the bitter, cold, bike-filled city centre of Groningen, the two-door system is definitely a great touch. Moving on from its practicality and build, the Café features an absolutely cozy atmosphere. Wooden floors, dim lights, the sun shining from its large window front – and cats!
I managed to spot 6 different cats whilst I was there. I believe there are more than them, evident from the many food-bowls that were on the floor. There is a little passageway for the cats to crawl though on one of the walls, which I presume allows them to rest up in their own personal space when they’re tired of entertaining the energy-filled things that we humans are. Sometimes cats disappear into the passageway, and sometimes new felines creep out of them. Again, I think this is an ideal concept. Allowing cats the time and space to breathe in their own quiet environment is incredibly important. After all, the cats are an added benefit to the café, and not as a spectacle in a zoo. The walls of the café are speckled with cat shelves to satisfy their playing needs, and provide a nice spot for them to perch on during an afternoon nap. At this point in time, I am wondering why I'm not a cat.
Enough about animal rights – let’s get on to the food! A sad café is a café that has sad café (French translation = coffee). I can firmly contest that this is a brilliant, joyful café. I brought my Italian friend with me because he isn’t only a cat lover, but he also refuses to eat out, because he is Italian and he cooks great food and make amazing coffee. I needed to win him over with the outside world and the great food places Groningen has to offer, although I can definitely attest to his superb cooking skills and great coffee. He surprised all of us by trying a cappuccino from this Kattencafé Op z’n Kop. Pleasantly surprised and brilliantly thrilled, he complimented the chefs as he paid for his drink. “I am Italian so I always make my cappuccino, but yours is delicious!” To all cat-lovers who want non-dairy milk, they also have soy milk as an option. Here’s a glimpse of their simple menu.
I opted for a mint tea, because the beginning of this post would not make sense without it. Mint tea is the epitome of the EU Internal Market’s harmonisation – it is standard across the Netherlands. I also ordered a tosti – brown bread, goat cheese, parma ham and pecan nuts. It was served alongside a heaping of (Dutch) curry sauce. As I bit into the tosti, I fell in love. I was thoroughly impressed with the meticulous blend of flavours; The sweet tinge of the curry sauce, the salty splendour of the paper-thin parma ham, the mild and creamy texture of the goat cheese, and the subtle crunch of the toasted bread and pecan nuts. It’s no doubt that I will come back and order the same thing. The best part about it? It was less than €5 - directly comparable to Tosti World’s fancier tostis! Not to dispute Tosti World in any way possible, but the added company of furry cats, smiling cat-lovers, and friendly staff, Kattencafé Op z’n Kop wins.
After a chill-out session with the cats, it was time to leave our 2-hour reservation spot. I snapped a picture of the owner and an adorable cat, and I cannot wait for my return. The details of the café are below, so feel free to drop by and say hi to the cats, while grabbing a good bite of their student-friendly treats. It really is a nice addition to the city, and I wish them much success!
- See more at: http://www.groningenlife.nl/en/blogs/nicole-rusli/upside-down-cat-cafe#sthash.DEz1oHeO.dpuf
Sun, 21 February