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Interior of Waku Waku, a 2D cafe in Manchester
Interior of Waku Waku, a 2D cafe in Manchester
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Chinatown (Manchester)

Waku Waku


Waku Waku highlights a generational gap. You could say it’s just like going for lunch in that A-Ha video or you could say it’s a cool 2D café inspired by manga and anime. Whichever.

The purely black and white décor is a bit discombobulating. Firstly, everything looks like it’s made of paper. It’s not. Nevertheless, plonking your weight down on a chair is a bit of a leap of faith. Also the black and white lines, like a room full of (very good) doodles from a notepad, can make your eyes go a bit funny.

This optical illusion café is the first in the UK but they are very popular in Korea, Japan and Taiwan. The drawings – all done by hand – take in everything from Mount Fuji to famous artworks in black and white cartoon form. Pose with your ice cream float next to Klimt’s The Kiss and The Great Wave off Kanagawa by Hokusai.

It’s an Instagrammer’s dream but Waku Waku does food too. You’ll find things like pork katsu udon, sashimi rice bowls and vegetable tempura don as well as sweet treats and some very colourful drinks. Quite a contrast to the black and white décor.

Waku Waku, 54 Portland St, Manchester M1 4QU
Tel: 07435 969498 www.instagram.com/wakuwaku_uk Our review Read 14.5/20
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