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Cuteness Overload: Inside California’s First Hello Kitty Cafe

The very first Hello Kitty Café pop-up shipping container will make its debut this Friday at the Irvine Spectrum, located in Orange County, California. “We are the new Hello Kitty experience,” remarked co-owner Allan Tea. Families of all ages will be able to share desserts and beverages themed to our childhood mascot.

Opening weekend specials include a gift with purchase for the first 100 customers per day throughout the weekend. In addition, through August 15, 100 “sweet surprise tickets” will be hidden inside random pastry boxes sold at the café. Each ticket can be redeemed for a pastry and drink from the pop-up container.

hello-kitty-fruit-tart

Serving a unique menu compared to existing Hello Kitty Cafes around the world, it’s exclusive to Orange County and created using only high-quality ingredients. Here’s a complete lineup of the sweet offerings:

Birthday Cake – Vanilla bean cake, buttercream frosting and sprinkles

Strawberry Cake – Fresh strawberries, vanilla bean custard cake and buttercream frosting

Strawberry Custard Pastry Puff – Vanilla bean custard, strawberries and apricot glaze inside flaky puff pastry

Mama’s Apple Pie – Cinnamon and apples in a buttery pie crust

Chocolate Opera Cake – Sponge cake with chocolate ganache, coffee, and buttercream

Mixed Berry Tart – Blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries over vanilla custard creme

Strawberry Streusel Tart – Fresh strawberries and toasted streudel in a buttery pie crust

Hello Kitty Pocket Pie – Your choice of strawberry or Nutella filling with royal icing

Sugar Cookie – Hello Kitty-shaped butter sugar cookie adorned with royal icing.

Focusing on the beverage menu, you’ll discover a variety of cool teas, hot drinks made with local favorite Portola Coffee, lemonade, craft apple soda, and the popular Hello Kitty bow-shaped water bottle. Our preferred sips include the passion fruit iced tea made with fresh fruit puree, as well as the fresh strawberry mint lemonade. Both are less sweet than you would expect, making them perfect to pair with desserts.

hello-kitty-birthday-cake

Pricing for food ranges from $4.75-$11. And while this is a sweets-driven menu, down the line they intend to incorporate more savory options. Expect holidays and character birthdays to be celebrated here. Besides their food and drink, Café branded shirts, mugs and pretty bows will be available for purchase.

Designed to be a traveling retail concept, the Hello Kitty Café shipping container will relocate to additional U.S. destinations after its year-long residency at Irvine Spectrum. We don’t mind, because they will open a permanent brick-and-mortar café behind the shipping container next year. Tentative operating hours for the pop-up are the following (but may change at any time — hence, the tentative):

Monday through Thursday: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Friday: 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Saturday: 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Sunday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

hello-kitty-sugar-cookie

And for those fans missing out, the mobile Hello Kitty truck plans to make an appearance at San Diego’s Comic-Con convention later this month. Prepare for cuteness overload.