Hello Kitty is not just for kids' lunchboxes — and fortunately for us adult fans, plenty of businesses are recognizing that the market for the Japanese cat (sorry, I mean "girl") cartoon extends well beyond the single-digit demographic. That's why it's so exciting that the restaurant Hello Kitty Chinese Cuisine just opened in Hong Kong to serve dumplings, buns, and other Chinese classics in the form of Hello Kitty. The establishment, officially opening on June 1, serves 37 dim sum items, all approved by Sanrio. And even more exciting, all the crazy designs on the food are made from natural ingredients, so you can enjoy Hello Kitty's fur (or skin, if we're going with the whole "girl" story) knowing you're consuming high-quality flour.
In case you need more reasons to shed your shame over never outgrowing Hello Kitty, rest assured that there are also several other cafes, a food truck, a plane, and even an organic farm full of people just like you — not to mention all the Hello Kitty merchandise out there. (A word of caution: do not click that link unless you are prepared to lose several minutes of your life playing virtual Hello Kitty dress-up.) Where are these places, you ask, and how can you get there immediately? Read on!
1. A cafe accompanied by a food truck in SoCal.
For those not quite prepared to hop on a plane to Hong Kong, Orange County's Hello Kitty Cafe provides a less travel-intensive option. The cafe, full of pastries and other treats modeled after Hello Kitty, will open this summer, but for now, the accompanying food truck is making its way around the region for private parties.
2. A longer-standing cafe in Hawaii.
Orange County's cafe was not the first of its kind. Aiea, HI debuted Hello Kitty establishments in the U.S. with Sanrio Cafe, located in a mall next to the Sanrio Surprises store. Patrons can order sandwiches and desserts with Hello Kitty faces, as well as other treats, like the ones above, that don't look like anything Hello-Kitty-related at all. I can't really tell you what they're doing there.
3. An even longer-standing cafe in Seoul.
Let's give credit where it's due: Seoul set the precedent for all the other dining establishments on this list. Like the one in California, this cafe goes by Hello Kitty Cafe, though it doesn't seem like the two are connected. More adventurous than the others, this Hello Kitty cafe serves "ice flakes" topped with Hello Kitty heads, lattes with Hello Kitty's face drizzled on the top, and ice cream served in Hello Kitty cups. Of all the cafes, this one's got to take the cake, no pun intended.
4. An organic farm in Hong Kong.
The Hello Kitty Go Green Organic Farm opened last July to teach kids and other visitors about agriculture through tours and classes. There's even a "Little Farmer Program" that lets kids plant their own plots. You can bet Hello Kitty would've made me more interested in farming when I was a kid (or, you know, now).
5. A plane.
It's a bird ... it's a plane ... no, it's Hello Kitty! And a plane. A Hello Kitty plane. For real. Taiwanese airline EVA Air created this in 2013 and has been flying it since last October in celebration of Hello Kitty's 40th anniversary. So that's one (probably very expensive) way to get to all your favorite Hello Kitty restaurants around the world. Except all the flights go to or from Taipei, so you may have to find some creative routes to make that happen. The next place I'd like to see: a Hello-Kitty-themed cat cafe. Oh, except that wouldn't make sense because Hello Kitty is a girl. Right. Never mind.Images: Hello Kitty Cafe/Instagram; Sanrio Cafe, Hello Kitty Chinese Cuisine/Facebook; Hello Kitty Cafe; Go Green Life; EVA Air