Lonely Planet Writer

Hello Kitty mania hits Southern California as first US cafe opens

The United States had a taste of Hello Kitty mania last weekend when the first ever Hello Kitty Cafe opened its doors in Southern California.

The cafe, which is located close to to the Ferris Wheel at Irvine Spectrum outdoor shopping centre, opened its doors to the public for the first time on Saturday afternoon. The pop-up cafe, the first of its kind in the United States, attracted hundreds of hardcore Hello Kitty fans over the weekend who travelled to the cafe to taste its feline-themed delights. 

Serving up colourful macarons, pink ribbon-shaped biscuits and an assortment of other cute Hello Kitty-themed treats, the cafe proved so popular that there were queues of up to 3 hours and the cafe ended up closing early.

The cafe is housed in a pink, portable shipping container which opens up to reveal a counter and outdoor patio. Apart from colourful desserts and drinks, it also sells Hello Kitty merchandise such as bags and teddy bears.

It is expected to remain at its current location for at least a year, according to cafe creator Sanrio. While this is the first exclusively Hello Kitty-themed cafe in the United States, there is a Sanrio cafe located in Hawaii that has many Hello Kitty-themed treats and merchandise available for purchase.

This news follows the opening of a Hello Kitty-themed train in Taiwan and a Hello Kitty-themed jumbo jet, which started flying between Taiwan and Texas in June of this year.