I rarely make a detailed plan when traveling, and so I always end up asking others for their recommendations (theme restaurants and cafes recommendations are always appreciated!). This time, however, no one helped me out so I had no other choice but to do some online research and find some cool places by myself. Seoul is a real mecca of coffee shops — believe it or not, but Seoul is also home to the largest number of coffee shops IN THE WORLD. There’s a coffee shop literally on every corner! Starbucks? Meh, I have it here. Coffee Beans and Tea Leaves? Another chain with shops every 100 meters… I wanted something fun, something that would make a nice blog post. I checked a gajillion websites, ventured out, got lost a few times — and I managed to compile this little guide with some fun cafes to visit when in Seoul.
* you’re a woman in her 20s ✓
* you like coffee / waffles / cakes ✓
* you’re into social media ✓
* you like taking photos ✓
* you like cute / fun / unique places and theme cafes ✓
* you happen to be a fan of BIGBANG ✓
…feel free to use my little cafe guide and enjoy your time in the amazing city known as Seoul 🙂
Thanks Nature Cafe
Where? Hongdae Station, 2F Woodo building, 363-5, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu
What’s special? As you may have noticed by now, I’m a big fan of themed cafes and any type of pet cafes. I have visited a cat cafe, an owl cafe, a rabbit cafe, so how could I miss a… sheep cafe?! Yes, that’s right — a sheep cafe! Well, you won’t find them hopping around the tables, but sleeping peacefully outside in a special area separated from the cafe. They’re very clean, well-groomed and I’m sure they’re professionally looked after! The cafe offers delicious coffee and a wide range of waffles with various toppings, so a good idea here would be trying out their rich menu and then snapping a few photos with the fluffy residents. It was -11 degrees when I visited the place, so understandably the sheep — Anna and Elsa — weren’t the most energetic that day and they slept in their boxes. It was a really cute place though, and I really recommend it, even if you’re a big fan of sheep!
Dog Cafe Bau House
Where: Hapjong Station, 394-44, Sukyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
What’s special: I just wouldn’t be myself if I hadn’t visited another ‘pet cafe’ I read so many positive reviews about. Imagine a typical cafe, but with a dozen or more dogs, coming in different sizes, breeds, shapes and levels of energy as permanent residents. Before I went there, I had imagined a few toy poodles and breeds considered cute and fluffy in general. To my surprise, what I saw was pups running all over the place, and let me just tell you, they weren’t the tiniest ones for sure! And let me just add that the bigger the dog, the friendlier they were! But if you expected to be greeted by a hoard of pooches jumping all over you — you’ll be disappointed. They see so many people everyday, they seem kinda bored and the only way you can get them to play with you a little is to feed them. CAUTION! Expect a poop here and there from time to time.
Where: Nonhyeon Station, 723-15 Banpo Il-dong, Seocho-gu
What’s special: If you’re a social media enthusiast, you will know LINE and KakaoTalk and you probably use at least one of them. They both were produced by a Korean company Naver, and while LINE turned out to be a hit in Japan, Koreans mainly use KakaoTalk. I went there because I expected it to be ‘themed’ the way Japanese people understand ‘themed cafes’ = themed food, coffee art, character plush toys everywhere, some merchandise and long looooong lines. And what did I actually find? No queues whatsoever, in fact I was one of the 6 customers, which might be a good point for some, but let’s say Japan got me used to something quite opposite. The cafe did have some Kakao Talk inspired interior and apparently there was also a small store, but when I visited the place, the store was closed. Bummer. Coffee, food and waffles were not themed. But you might have more luck if you decide to visit the place. Well, at least now I can check going to a Kakao Talk cafe off my bucket list.
You Are Here Cafe
Where: Hongdae Station, Donggyo-ro 25-gil, Yeonnam-dong, Mapo-gu
What’s special: I bet 90% of my readers will know the place, but just in case, let me tell you a few words about it. This cafe belongs to Canadian YouTubers Simon and Martina Stawski (Eat Your Kimchi), who have been living in Seoul for a few years now, they’re wildly popular and I enjoy watching their videos about Korea — check them out on YT, they’re fun to watch. What will you find there? Speaker’s Corner, where you can tell the world what you think about whatever is trending right now (Speaker’s Corner on YT); EYK merchandise and some Korean study materials like textbooks, vocabulary cards etc.; study room, where you can stay for a few hours and study some language; delicious coffee and cakes! I am not a fan of cakes, so you have to trust me here — please try their Earl Grey Cookie Pie! It goes really well with their latte! The place isn’t crowded, it has very cozy interior and you might actually get a chance to meet Simon and Martina!
Where: Hyehwa Station, Jongno-gu, Dongsung-dong, 31-14
What’s special: If you’ve been following me for some time now, you’ll know that I am a hardcore fan of BIGBANG. And if you’ve ever been a fan of a boyband, you’ll know that sooner or later you’ll have your favourite member — trust me, it WILL happen. This cafe happens to belong to my super favorite — Seungri! Of course I had to come here during my stay in Seoul — I’d come here even if they didn’t have much to offer. But they actually do! You’ll find a corner with photos and autographs of Seungri and other YG group members, some merchandise and presents other VIPs (BIGBANG’s fandom) brought for their idol. There’s a huge stuffed gorilla Seungri got from T.O.P, KRUNK bears, Seungri’s CDs and even if you have absolutely no idea what I’m on about right now, you’ll definitely enjoy getting a cup of coffee there — it’s a really cool place!
Traditional Korean teahouse Gahwadang
Where: Anguk Station, 16-1, Samcheong-ro 4-gil, Jongno-gu
What’s special: We all have places we like going back to, or we plan to go back if we only get a chance. I remember my first visit to Korea in 2013 — my friend Eunji took me and my Japanese friend Kumiko to this lovely teahouse… and I fell in love with it at first sight! It is really popular among Japanese tourists and that’s no surprise to me. Japanese people love cute places with a touch of tradition and history. Add amazing tea and homemade rice cake sweets and you’ll understand what’s the hype about. The place is adorable — an old Korean house, really warm and cozy, hidden in the narrow streets of Samcheongdong. Be sure to add it to your must-go list, when you find yourself in Seoul!
Which cafe would you like to visit?
Thank you for reading ♥