Where to get your fill of cute but mediocre food

We live in an age where sometimes, unfortunately, style over substance is much preferred. But we get it—there are days meant to be lived just for the 'gram, and for those days there are character-themed cartoon cafes. While most of them tend to be on a temporary pop-up basis, some are hardy enough to be in it for the long run. Here’s where to get your fill.

My Melody Cafe Singapore (open since Jun 2018)

The newest character to join the scene, Sanrio rabbit girl My Melody creates a little pink paradise in Suntec City with a strawberry-themed garden cafe. Hello Kitty’s best friend may be the Beta in the relationship, but she has a few tricks up her own sleeve. Inside the cosy 38-seater, dine on mains like the Princess Bunny ($18.90), a plate of Japanese curry rice in My Melody’s image; Eggs Benedict dish Little Pink Riding Hood ($23.90) complete with pink Hollandaise sauce; and a variety of sugary pink desserts. The entire menu was designed by local chef-Instagrammer Little Miss Bento—a nice touch that saves it from being just another insincere conglomerate gimmick. #01-361, Suntec City Mall

DreamWorks KouKou Cafe (Mar 2018)

This cafe from DreamWorks Studios specializes in bite-sized, dumpling-shaped characters. It’s the first DreamWorks cafe in the world—but more importantly, one of the only character cafes to feature an Asian menu. Have your fill of Kung Fu Panda, Madagascar, Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon, and Trolls-themed kong bak paus ($13); if you want something more filling, there are mains like the Ogre Pho Beef and Night Fury Steak Rice ($18.50). #05-04/05/06, Bugis+

Cartoon Network Cafe by The Soup Spoon (Nov 2017)

As people who grew up watching Cartoon Network’s dedicated lineup of inappropriate “adult” cartoons, this just might be one cartoon-themed cafe we can get behind. The establishment opened in collaboration with The Soup Spoon Union is less concerned with the frills of decorating, and dives straight into making the dishes fun. Pick up the Powerpuff Potpie ($10.90), Adventure Time BBQ Drumlets ($8.90)—and definitely everything We Bare Bears-themed. That’s the Angus Ribeye Steak ($23.80), Grizzly Beef Burger ($18.80) and Pan-pan Carlzone ($10.90). #B1-12, Waterway Point Mall

Gudetama Cafe (Oct 2016)

How a sleepy egg became one of the cutest characters of all time will forever be beyond us; but resist the logic and grab a piece of the cuteness at Suntec City, home to the first Gudetama Cafe in Singapore. The plating here is by far the most detailed (even though it’s essentially just drawing half-lidded eyes and a mouth on everything)—the Gudetama Lobster onsen ($16) is sure to elicit a chuckle. For actual taste, go for plates like the Rib “I” Don’t Care ($28.50) and the Gude Pudding ($16.90)—apple crumble and vanilla soft serve. They’re also the same people behind the My Melody Cafe.  #01-61, Suntec City Mall

Hello Kitty Orchid Garden Cafe (May 2016)

It’s almost three years since Sanrio’s star cat finally brought her globally successful franchise to Singapore. The outlet at Changi Airport Terminal 3 is decorated to an orchid theme, as all Hello Kitty cafes in the world are themed differently—usually in line with the country’s identity. Open 24 hours, the 84-seater has strangely become a staple in the Changi Airport dining portfolio. Of the savory and sweet menus, the Cowabunga Wagyu beef rendang ($24) and Enchanted Forest ($17.90) plate of prawn tortillas are actually worth trying. Sadly, you’ve only got about a month left to visit the cutesy place; the cafe will close permanently this February. Arrival Hall Central #01-22, Terminal 3, Singapore Changi Airport

DC Super Heroes Cafe (Sep 2015)

In what we’re guessing was a bid to recruit more fans over to the waning DC Universe, Warner Bros. opened an official cafe dedicated to the Justice League at The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands, in 2015. On offer are items like the Green Lantern Plant Planet Pizza, Clark Kent’s Crispy Fried Chicken Burger, and Man of Steel’s Bulgolgi Beef Sandwich (for when Clark Kent mans up enough to eat beef). The cafe has since opened a second outlet at Takashimaya L2. #01-03/04/05, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands

Hungry Heroes (Nov 2014)

Trying to make the world a friendlier place is Hungry Heroes, which brings together both Marvel and DC characters in one place. The menu plays it safe with hearty, non-themed American favorites—think ribs, steak, burgers and the like; a constant stream of beer promos confirms that the cafe is more adult-friendly than it first seems. To make up for it, the decor includes life-sized figurines and busts of your favorite superheroes, alongside walls of framed posters that would make any comic geek proud. 33 Tessensohn Road

Charlie Brown Cafe

Surely only true Snoopy fans dine here, you muse aloud; but you’d be surprised. Practically an institution in Cathay Cineleisure Orchard now, the Charlie Brown Cafe is the first Peanuts-themed cafe and restaurant in all of Southeast Asia. An impressive menu of over 70 dishes offers American food and beverages—but most of them actually have nothing to do with the band of characters. For fans, there are options like the Chicken in A Blanket ($10.80) that features a cartoon face stamped onto your crepe, or coffee that comes with Snoopy latte art; otherwise, fill up on Western cuisine staples like risotto, pasta, wings and lasagna. Don’t fancy the humiliation of being seen eating here in town? They’ve got another outlet at OneKM Shopping Mall in Katong.  #04-01 Cathay Cineleisure Orchard