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Some people say if something tastes good, it has to be bad for you. We understand that they’re usually talking about sugary, salty, or fatty foods, and nutritionally speaking, they’ve kind of got a point.

But while we definitely wouldn’t classify any of them as low-calorie, diet-friendly snacks, we still can’t bring ourselves to use the word “bad” in describing these adorable cat cakes and lattes.

Chicken wings and miso pork cutlet are Nagoya’s most famous culinary contributions to delicious dining, but for everyone who remembered to save room for dessert, you’ll also find the Nekomame Café in the central Japanese city. Although it first built a name for itself locally through word of mouth, telling the world about cats and cakes are two of the things the Internet does best, and the bakery is now attracting attention from all over Japan.

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Nekomame’s sweets are handmade, which means that not only are the kitties delicately styled, each one has a slightly different expression, depending on which staff member drew it.

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Of course, you could argue that cats’ paws are as cute as their faces. Nekomame’s bakers would agree, which is why they also make these Cat Paw Couverture Chocolates, made with extra cocoa butter that gives them a taste far bigger than you’d expect from their petite size.

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Similarly gourmet is the baked cheese cake, which uses almost no flour but instead is packed with rich cream cheese imported from Denmark.

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While Nekomame sells confectionaries to go, there’s also space to eat inside the café. As if there wasn’t enough cat-based cuteness going on already, the plates are cat-shaped, and the staff will also draw yet another chocolate feline on the porcelain for you.

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Another bonus to eating inside the café is that it lets you sample the more than 20 different drinks it serves, such as coffee and matcha green tea with latte art.

▼ Cat cappuccino

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If you even want your beverages to satisfy your sweet tooth, Nekomame also has melon soda floats and blended chocolate cream concoctions.

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While the kitties are the bakery’s star attractions, their makers can also craft feline-free cakes, make to-order for special occasions like birthdays and weddings.

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▼ We’re particularly fond of this clever design for a function at a club for Go, the traditional Japanese board game.

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But even as these cute creations put a smile on our face, we felt tears welling in our eyes over how far away Nekomame Café is from our Tokyo offices. Thankfully, there’s a way to at least sample their wares, as batches of their adorable cat cookies can be ordered online.

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It’s not a perfect solution, but they should at least tide us over until our next trip to Nagoya.

Restaurant information
Nekomame Café /ねこまめカフェ
Address: Aichi-ken, Nagoya-shi, Nakagawa-ku, Nishinakajima 1-101, Maruyasu Heights 1st floor
愛知県 名古屋市中川区西中島1-101 マルヤスハイツ1F
Open 10 a.m.-8 p.m.

Sources, images: Nekomame Café website, Nekomame Café Facebook page
[ Read in Japanese ]