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In my search to find the most enjoyable activities in Edinburgh, I ran across the newly opened Chihuahua Cafe. What could be better than cuddling eight small dogs for an hour? In my opinion, not much. Edinburgh’s Chihuahua Cafe just might be the happiest place in town, especially judging by the massive smiles that all the patrons leave with.

What is a Dog Cafe

In 1998, the first cat cafe opened up in Taiwan. Its massive success prompted them to open up all over the world. As can be expected, cafes for other animals soon followed. Although there doesn’t seem to be any clear reference where or when the first dog cafe opened, in December 2017, Scotland saw the opening of its first dog cafe. Chihuahua Cafe is aptly named for the eight rambunctious chihuahuas who run around and entertain the patrons.

Chihuahua Cafe Fun

Cat and dog cafes (not to mention rabbits, ferrets, birds, snakes and even goats) are usually organized with the animals from a single owner. They often have to follow strict animal laws in the country they belong to, and the cafe environment is organized for the best treatment of the animals. After all, they are the pets of the owner, and no one wants their pets to be mistreated.

The Story Behind Chihuahua Cafe

Edinburgh’s Chihuahua Cafe is the brainchild of Tanya. She wanted to share the joy she receives from her eight chihuahuas with the world. Ama was her first dog. After adopting seven more, she conditioned her dogs into being around other humans by bringing them to different social events. Finally, it was time to open the cafe. Securing a space in Edinburgh’s historic New Town (this quarter is over 400 years old), the cafe opened its doors in December 2017, making it the second animal cafe in Edinburgh after the Maison de Moggy Cat Cafe in the Old Town and first dog cafe in Scotland (second in the UK behind Newcastle).

Tanya has a team of staff, including her mom, who help with the dogs. This includes resetting the cafe between each session, serving guests and walking the dogs in the nearby Princes Street Gardens. The cafe also offers an AirB&B Experience to walk the Chihuahuas in the gardens from time to time.

Chihuahua Cafe Staff

The ABC’s of Chihuahua Cafe

All eight chihuahuas at the cafe are girls. Just to make it easy, they are named alphabetically. Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound like Irina or Iona will be joining the pack anytime soon.


Ama is the founding member of the cafe and the eldest at 5 years old. I spotted her immediately as I walked in with the mini tennis ball in her mouth. She alternated between chasing after her ball and relaxing. She’s distinctive with her long black and tan hair. DOB – 04/11/12

Ama at the Chihuahua Cafe

Lady Bee

A word of warning – Bee loves giving kisses! Prepare to receive tons of affection from this white chihuahua. She also loves attention and will jump into any of the games the other dogs are playing. DOB – 02/11/16

Lady Bee at the Chihuahua Cafe


Perhaps the most independent of the dogs, Cleo didn’t interact with me a lot. The one time I took notice of her was when she was at the bottom of the doggy pile – literally. DOB – 25/11/16

Cleopatra at the Chihuahua Cafe


Although she’s a girl, the Duchess seems to be the alpha. Well, that could possibly have something to do with visiting on her birthday as she received the royal treatment in her birthday dress. She certainly got the lion’s share of doggy birthday cake. DOB – 08/02/17

Duchess at the Chihuahua Cafe


Also known as Sassy Pants and Elsa May, this snow queen was the poser. She was always getting in front of the camera and standing regally. It’s easy to identify her lilac coat. DOB – 02/02/17

Dad Feeding Elsa at the Chihuahua Cafe


When they say that Fae Fae is the diva, they’re not kidding. Whenever my hand was idle on the ground, she went over an sat on it, expect another massage. She absolutely loves cuddles and would position herself on everyone’s knee to receive them. DOB – 10/03/17

Faery at the Chihuahua Cafe


This cutie is often likened to a Golden Retriever by her mom. She loves her toys and sometimes would just sit quietly beside me with one in her mouth. Although she might not be named after a queen, she could pose just as well as Elsa. DOB – 02/03/17

Gatsby and Elsa at the Chihuahua Cafe


It’s almost impossible to pick one dog as cutest above the rest, but if I had to it would probably be Hepburn – AKA Red. I think she might have also been the smallest (hard to judge when you’re talking about Chihuahuas). DOB – 14/03/17 (the youngest)

Hepburn at the Chihuahua Cafe

Book at the Chihuahua Cafe

The cafe is located at 15 Frederick St above the Boozy Cow Restaurant in Edinburgh’s New Town. There are seven 50-minute sessions available from Thursday to Monday (Tuesday and Wednesday are the dogs’ days off). Tickets are £10 ($13) per person per session. You also have the option of booking a double session (available for the 10:00, 12:30 and 15:00 slots) which will also give you a chance to have the dogs to yourself during the 10-minute transition period. Make sure you book in advance as they do get sold out. Walk-ins are accepted at the beginning of each session if space is available.

Cakes and drinks are available for purchase individually in the cafe, or you can get a package with both for £15. Personally, I’d recommend just going for the dogs, but that’s just me. Not that the food isn’t good, but the dogs are the real attraction here. But seriously, don’t let that stop you from getting some food; this is a cafe after all!

Quick links

Is Chihuahua Cafe Worth It?

ABSOLUTELY! Excuse me for shouting, but unless you absolutely hate dogs, this cafe is simply awesome. I had the biggest smile on my face the entire time I was there, and long after I left too. In fact, if you’re in need of some therapy, this is as good as it gets. Even though the cafe has only been open a few weeks, there are regulars already onto their second loyalty card (8 visits gets you 1 free). I know I’ll be back for sure!

Chihuahua Cafe Therapy

Insider tip: Book your visit (one of them) to coincide with one of the chihuahua birthdays listed above. You’ll get to see the staff in their birthday hats, and feed the dogs birthday cake (peanut butter cupcakes).

Doggie Birthday Cake at the Chihuahua Cafe

Update for 2020

The Chihuahua Cafe closed for a few months in 2020 due to world events, but is now open once again with enhanced health and safety measures. Sadly, Dutchess has retired from the pack. On her third birthday – August 2, 2020 – she celebrated her final party at the cafe. The message from the cafe was “Duchess had a life-changing experience over Lockdown and has decided to leave the cafe life to go on adventures around the world.” I’m just thankful I got to celebrate her first birthday with her at the cafe.

The new changes and safety regulations the cafe has introduced are as follows:

  • All bookings are final upon payment. You can request a reschedule more than 72 hours before your slot, but changes aren’t guaranteed.
  • Social distancing will be observed in the cafe, incorporating smaller group sizes.
  • Groups must book together. Pre-established groups can sit together in the cafe.
  • You must arrive 10 minutes before your slot so you can be checked in smoothly. Government regulations require that personal details are collected upon entry.
  • Late arrivals will be refused entry and their payment is forfeit.
  • Hand sanitizer is provided throughout the cafe, and you’re requested to use it before and after each activity.
  • You must be comfortable with the dogs moving between groups within the cafe.
  • The staff will wear masks and practice social distancing but might have to approach you for various reasons.
  • At this time, there’s nothing posted on the website about whether masks are required within the cafe.

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Edinburgh Chihuahua Cafe Pin

Planning to Visit Scotland?

Looking for other activities in Edinburgh, or perhaps you’re allergic to dogs? Here are some other options, as well as some recommendations on where to eat in Edinburgh.

Here’s some extra reading to save hundreds on your next vacation or stage of your journey.

Lady Bee and the Duchess at he Chihuahua Cafe

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Author Skye Class

Hi, I'm Skye. Writer, photographer, adventurer, foodie, teacher, masseur, friend, dreamer, etc. I think "normal" sucks. Let's aim for extraordinary. SkyeTravels seeks to find the good around the world, focusing on adventures, food and wellness. Be inspired. Be yourself.


  1. This looks SO amazing. I’ve been to a cat cafe in Budapest and wanted to go to one in Tokyo but ran out of time. I haven’t been to a dog cafe though but this looks like a ton of fun. How cute are those dogs?! <3

    • I hope you can get to one soon. They’re quickly becoming more popular. I’m guessing the Chihuahua Cafe is going to be booked up weeks in advance in the summer.

  2. Oh my gosh YES! I have a chihuahua that I often leave behind for my parents to babysit while traveling. So, this will be the perfect fix when I get to Scotland 3/4 of the way through my 6-month trip starting in March. Duchess is absolutely THE CUTEST. I cannot wait to snuggle her up!

    • You’re going to love it. Does that mean you’re getting to Edinburgh in August during the Fringe?

  3. WanderingCarol Reply

    Okay, so after a stop at the Boozy Cow I’ll go up to the crazy chihuahuas. I can’t think of anything more guaranteed to make me laugh. What a unique evolution of the cat cafe. Fun!

    • Hahaha. That’s a great way to put it. Edinburgh sure loves its animals. I certainly have to say that cat cafes doing even compare to dog cafes. At cat cafes, you tend to sip your coffee while you watch the cats sleep. At dog cafes, you don’t even think about food. It’s all about playing and having fun.

  4. What an interesting concept this is! You’re right, unless someone hates dogs, this place can bring a smile on anyone’s face. I would love to go and spend a couple of hours here.

  5. Chihuahua Cafe! What a brilliant idea! I’m shocked they are so socialized, the Chihuahua’s I’ve met aren’t so friendly. Gosh they are adorable, especially Ama

    • I really should get the video produced and uploaded Most of them just wanted to cuddle. It was adorable!

  6. OMG a Chihuahua Café???!! I’ve heard about animal cafes throughout Asia, though didn’t realize that they had made it to the UK. They are all such beautiful dogs – I think Cleo is the cutest. Lol sad that she doesn’t interact that much, btu I love that they don’t force human interaction on them if they’re not feeling it that day. Honestly I think I would go just for the dogs 😀

    • Thanks! To be honest, I think I was the only one getting food and drinks there, as I had the package. Everyone only came to play with the dogs, and the hour went by way too quickly. We were told that there are days the dogs just want to relax, but it was hard to believe with how much they wanted to interact with us while we were there.

  7. I love how you can feel the joy in this cafe from the people’s smiles 🙂 I highly doubt that you can visit it and leave with no smiles on your face. I am more of a dog lover than a cat one so for sure I’ll have this one on my list and looking forward to be entertained by eight chihuahuas 🙂

    • It’s true. Most of the cats in cafes just sleep all day. Dogs just want to play with you (especially chihuahuas). The couple next to me had already been there a dozen times in the couple months since their opening.

  8. I’ve wanted to visit Scotland for a while, but now?! Look at those sweet chihuahua dogs!! I’m a fan of smaller dogs, and these wee pups are beyond adorable. If I had a favorite, I’d have to choose Duchess, she’s gorgeous. This would be such a happy place to visit, and a handy spot to enjoy a coffee too of course. 😉

    • I always say that Edinburgh is my favorite city in the world, and this cafe is just icing on the cake. I hope to become a regular there, as my budget permits.

  9. We have heard of cat cafes, but never a dog cafe- nevertheless a Chihuahua cafe! Very cool. Love that you went into detail about each dog there too. Very personal and we agree, therapeutic!

    • Thanks. I think the first dog cafe in the US (Los Angeles, obviously) only opened about two years ago. They are definitely getting popular though, even if they can be more difficult to open than cat cafes.

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