Mac Tabby Cat Cafe Review
As the name suggests, Mac Tabby Cat Cafe is a cafe with cats! They have two locations, one in Charlotte and one in Concord. The Concord location is only about 30 minutes from Pfeiffer. While I have only been to the Concord location and will be referring to it in this review, I can assume the Charlotte location holds itself to a similarly high standard based on the praise I’ve heard from other patrons. I’m picky about my cafes, I tend to judge based on food/drink quality, atmosphere, and “Studyability, aka, could I be productive there? Before I even begin, I should mention that my glowing review of Mac Tabby is not because I’m biased because: cats. I’ve been to plenty of cat cafes, and while I won’t mention names, none of them exactly smell lemony fresh. Walking into Mac Tabby to a blast of clean, citrusy smell was not what I was expecting; despite the 12 or 13 cats in the cat area at any given time, the entire cafe stays immaculately clean and always smells good. Neither did the employees at the other places so clearly care so deeply about their jobs and the cats.
Regarding refreshment selection, they have a variety of coffees, sodas, some alcohol for the over 21s, and the generic grocery store tea menu if you’re feeling a bit basic. I found my order first try and stuck to it. An employee recommended their “Lavender dreams” latte with oat milk, and I’m queer, so how could I resist? If I order something with lavender, I want to taste it, and the flavor is good and strong! This goes for all their coffees, sweet, rich, and good strong flavors. Their other beverages, such as lemonade and fancy sodas, are also delicious, so say my (picky) mom and dad! But I am a slave to coffee. All their non-alcoholic drinks run around 4-7 dollars, so average coffee shop prices and well worth it! They have a small selection of sweets like cookies, muffins, and cake pops up at the register, which I have never personally tried, but they do look quality. They also have merch: stickers, pins, earrings, t-shirts, hoodies, etc., which I have bought plenty of, and it is definitely quality!
The atmosphere of Mac Tabby is something I could rave about, and I cannot overstate how nice it is to be in there. With soft, color-changing lights, cozy nooks and crannies, colorful and comfortable seating, genuinely good music playing at a decent volume, and plenty of cat-themed decor, it is a sensory delight without being a sensory overload. It’s hip without being tryhard and modern without being cold or clinical. If for some reason, it's not to your taste, they have a beautiful covered porch that always catches the sun with a view into the cat room. And let's be honest, for all the praise of Mac Tabby’s cafe elements, the real draw is the cats.
The cat room is separate from the rest of the cafe, and they have sessions you can book with the cats to keep from overcrowding. 30 minutes is 8 dollars a person, and 1 hour is 12. And believe me, it is totally worth it and goes by much quicker than you would like! The cat room is just as welcoming as the rest of the cafe, and it's clear that the cats feel happy and safe there as well. Unlike a lot of other cat cafes, and with no criticism towards them, Mac Tabby has no permanent residents. Every single cat you meet, lounging in the sun or batting at your keys, is up for adoption through Princeton’s Meow cat rescue. They come and go frequently, a testament to the rescue’s success, so there’s always someone new to meet! There's a big screen in the corner of the cat room with pictures to tell you who’s who among the cats and a QR code to take you to the website. For the sake of curiosity, I have gone to the website to look at the application process, and it's all super straightforward! If you’re looking for a new furry friend, it's not my place to sway you, but may I recommend Victoria? She’s my absolute favorite, a sweet and sassy older girl who’s been at the Concord location for a while.
Between the coffee, the atmosphere and the cats Mac Tabby is shaping up for a perfect score. In fact the only place I can fault it is in “Study-ability.” It is entirely possible to be productive in Mac Tabby, as mentioned their set up lends itself well to a place to hunch over some homework, and they do have wifi. However, be honest with yourself, if you go to a cat cafe you’re going for the cats. It's much too hard to focus! Case in point, I tried to write this review at Mac Tabby, and I barely wrote a sentence! Do not come to Mac Tabby to try to study, 0/10 “Study-ability” unless you have superhuman self-control! Other than that, this place is 10/10. I can’t stress enough how great the cat part of their cat cafe is. I’ve definitely become somewhat of a regular at Mac Tabby, and it's so fun to get to know the cats and then watch them find their forever homes. If you have a bleeding, sappy lil heart like myself, come on Wednesdays when pickups happen, and adopters get to take their cats home. I feel very strongly about this one, it's one of my favorite places. I’d break the scale for Mac Tabby but seeing as this is my first review, I should probably set a standard: 10/10 and would recommend it. Come find me sitting in the corner with my fruity little coffee petting Victoria! All the praise to Mac Tabby Cat cafe!
Victoria at the Cat Cafe