Pet-friendly cafes are hard to come by. And generally, when you do manage to find one, they end up being a disappointment where your dog has to sit miles away from you in some enclosed area, so they won't scare away the other customers who don't like animals.
When we first heard of Tayo Bear, we were pretty sceptical too. But, after a quick look at their Instagram and a couple of reviews by people who had already been there, we decided to check them out. With a dog in hand.
Unfortunately, my dog decided to take a mud bath an hour before we had to leave, so we couldn't actually take him. But, we did manage to see a couple of other peoples dogs who had come in. So, it's all good.
When they said fancy, they meant it.
The cafe in itself isn't large, but, with lots of space for the dogs to roam around, pastel-coloured furniture and a variety of seats for you to sit on, the ambience here was lovely. They've got the normal tables and chairs if you want to get the usual cafe vibes, and there are high seats for when you want some space from your dog and then the cushions for when you want to be covered in dog slobber.
They also have a small area on one side that's more of a private room which seemed perfect for when you want to throw a birthday party for your dog. And considering how there aren't any doors, your dog will still have enough space to roam around while he/she's there.
Tayo Bear, that's named after Tayo, the owner's labrador caters to both humans and dogs alike. And when we said cater, we didn't just mean doggie treats and stuff. We meant actual food.
Yup, those aren't for humans. From cupcakes to smoothie bowls to biscuits, Tayo Bear does a whole bunch of not-the-usual-dog-food options and we are loving it. So, the next time you want to get your dog a birthday cupcake or a brunch date, we suggest bringing them here so they won't overdose on sugar.
Oh yeah, they've got vegan dog cookies that dogs actually eat too.
The Human Food
The human food menu at Tayo Bear includes the options of pies to french toast and such a few tea/ coffee-based drinks.
We started things off with a Hot Chocolate (Rs. 689). A chocolatey, milky cup of warmth, the Hot Chocolate was actually quite nice. Served with a cookie on the side, we enjoyed it. But, for Rs. 689, we did think that it's a bit much in terms of pricing.
The Baked Chicken Pie (Rs. 750) was more up our alley. A ceramic bowl of spicy minced chicken, veggies and cheese topped with a layer of mashed potato, we loved it. It wasn't particularly heavy and there was a really nice balance between the potato starch and the spiciness of the filling which helped a lot. Plus, it's served with half a pepper breadstick.
If you do happen to go to Tayo Bear, we highly suggest getting this French Toast (Rs. 870). Comprising of 3 thick, slightly crunchy dense pieces of brioche dunked in milk and egg, we loved it. The bread is topped with a layer of Nutella, whipped cream, strawberries and coconut flakes and considering how there was a lovely balance of sweetness to the chocolate, allowing the taste of the bread to pull through, it was great.
The Lychee Iced Tea (Rs. 590) was lovely. Icy cold and giving strong hints of tea with lychee just chilling at the bottom of the glass, it's perfect. But we should warn you that the drink in itself is quite sweet. So, if you don't love lychee, you just might dislike this a tad.
Now since we're all done with the human-ish stuff, let's get to the good stuff.
The absolute best part of coming to Tayo Bear is the dogs. Since we went on a Saturday afternoon, we managed to meet 4 other dogs apart from the resident Tayo and we're so so happy we did.
From boxers to a chocolate brown Cocker Spaniel to not one but 2 labs, our gloomy afternoon turned into one that was the absolute best because of these beauties. So, even if you don't have a dog, choose a busy time (weekends) and drop in for a visit to see some cuties.
The owner seemed pretty chilled with people coming in just to see the dogs. so, there's nothing stopping you from coming down to check them out, really.
As for the staff at Tayo Bear, including Tayo herself, we have nothing to complain about. They're super friendly from not giving you weird looks every time you squeal when a new dog walks in, to helping people who need help with handling their dog(s) to bringing your doggo water to keeping Tayo from staring at you while you eat.
We loved it. When Tayo Bear said that they were dog-friendly, we didn't think it would even remotely be to this extent. And since they are, we have nothing else to say but that if you do like dogs, this is the perfect cafe for you!