Moomin Cafes were ahead of the curve. Long before restaurants began creatively promoting social distancing by seating guests next to giant stuffed-animal seatmates, these charming coffee shops around the world used their own fluffy friends to accompany solo visitors.
For background, the Moomins are a fictional family of white trolls with signature round snouts and carefree, adventurous personalities. The Moomins live together in a family home in Moominvalley, not far from the Lonely Mountains. As the stars of a Swedish-language children’s book series by Toye Jansson, the Moomins have gained international fame thanks to their themed cafes across the globe.
There are eight Moomin Cafes around the world. Finland, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand and South Korea each have one cafe a piece, while Japan is home to three.
The charming cafes have repeatedly gained international attention for their signature anti-loneliness measures. At Moomin Cafes, unaccompanied guests need not fear. The cafe provides large plush Moomins to sit alongside them and other larger parties in want of company.
As the coronavirus pandemic changes the restaurant industry, several establishments have similarly taken to using plush toys, teddy bears and mannequins to keep people at a safe distance from each other.
Beyond the stuffed animals, the interior of Moomin Cafes are charmingly decorated to look like something out of a storybook. Illustrations from the picture books are painted onto the walls, and characters are created out of foods and drinks. For more one-of-a-kind coffee shop experiences, check out more of the most quirky cafes around the world.