Neko is Geelong’s newest Japanese cafe

Neko is Geelong’s newest Japanese cafe

Words by Keegan Bennett, Photo by Miryam León on Unplash

The Asian cafe is bringing fresh ingredients and homemade Japanese meals to Geelong.

A popular coffee shop on Ryrie Street has undergone a rebranding for 2021. John Doe Specialty Coffee has become Neko, a Japanese themed café, filled with Japanese staples and a range of cat-themed décor, (Neko or ネコ is the Japanese word for cat).

The owners say the aim is to bring a Japanese/ Asian style café to Geelong and considering the popularity of the four-legged feline in Japan, cat-themed décor is a step in the right direction.

The new menu has been revamped with several Japanese dishes, including a handful of Donburi (Japanese rice bowls), a Soba Noodle Salad, and my favorite, the Takumi Tofu Donburi, a nod to Initial D an anime about street racing in Japan’s famous tōge, or mountain-pass roads.


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The owners say the change was inspired by a love of travel and a passion for other cultures.

Of course, Neko will still be serving the same coffee that patrons of John Doe have enjoyed for a while now, with the café being a favorite in the area.

Neko is open 7am – 3pm on weekdays and is closed on weekends.

Check them out at 237 Ryrie Street, Geelong, check out the menu here.