Move over Starbucks! The cool crowd is here.
South Korea is famous for many things; kimchi, glittery KPOP idols as well as crazy amounts of stairs. And that’s just to name a few. What most people don’t realize is that South Korea, particularly Seoul, is also very much thriving on the café scene.
Here’s our take on some of the cool places where you can get your caffeine fix with some dessert on the side😉
Disclaimer: These cafes are not halal-certified and one or more of these cafes may serve alcohol. Do remember to check with the waiters/baristas before making your order and do dine at your own discretion.
1. Anthracite Coffee – Hapjeong
If coffee runs through your veins then this place is definitely for you.
Credit: Anthracite Coffee
Anthracite Coffee lends its name from one of the highest quality of coal. Much like the name suggest, they boast a reputation of serving one of the best cups of coffee in Seoul.
The shop is one of Hapjeong’s hidden gems, with its unique location in an old converted shoe factory. The rustic yet spacious interior gives off a cool vibe which makes you want to hang out there for hours!
Credit: Carey Ciuro
Gotta admit, we LOVE the smell of coffee and at Anthracite Coffee, you will definitely get that and more. Literally defining “fresh”, Anthracite roasts their beans on site and grinds the beans to order!
Their friendly baristas will serve your coffee at an optimal temperature so you don’t burn yourself while savouring every delectable drop.
Anthracite Coffee also has a selection of desserts and pastries such as cakes and scones which are a good companion to your choice of coffee. While most of the sweet pastries should be Muslim-friendly, do remember to enquire on the ingredients for the savoury ones.
#HHWT Tip: Anthracite Coffee also has outlets in Itaewon and Jeju island if you’re ever in that vicinity!
Price: ₩5000 – ₩7000
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat (11:00 am – 12:00 am), Sun (11:00 am – 11:00 pm)
Address: 10 Tojeong-ro 5-gil, Hapjeong-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea / 서울특별시 마포구 토정로 5길 10
Directions: Take Line 6 to Sangsu station (Line 6 – Brown), Exit 4. Turn left after 7-Eleven and then turn right at the end of the road. Turn right again just before UNI Art Hall and the café will be on your left.
2. Get & Show Café – Hapjeong
If you grew up loving Lego blocks then this café has to be on your itinerary! The shop is easy to spot since there’s a giant Lego man above the door and the Lego characters in the display window makes it hard to miss.
Customers get to browse through a huge collection of merchandise such as Lego Super Heroes, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars and so much more. There are literally loads of models for you to purchase or rent out and play for a while.
Yep, we said rent! Renting a set of Lego bricks costs ₩4500 for 30 minutes and ₩150 for every minute after. Forget drinking coffee, get lost in building your own Lego set! This totally makes the experience a lot more fun for everyone.
While the drinks they offer are somewhat standard such as Americanos, lattes and smoothies, you will definitely love their Lego food items! Lego man chocolate and Lego brick candies are just some of the offerings they have for you to sample.
#HHWT Tip: Get & Show has two (2) branches in Hapjeong and are quite close to each other so don’t fret if you can’t get a seat.
Price: Drinks: ₩4500 – ₩8500, Food: ₩5000 – ₩13000
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun (11:00 am – 11:00 pm)
Address: 25/27 Domak-ro 3gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul / 서울시 마포구 도막로3길 25/27
Directions: Take Line 6 to Hapjeong Station(Line 6 – Brown or Line 2 – Green), Exit 5. Take the first right and then the third left. Continue down this road for 3 blocks and Get & Show’s 2nd branch will be on your left. To get the first branch, continue walking straight for a few more meters and look out for it on your left.
3. Thanks Nature Café – Hongdae
Are you tired of all the cat cafés scattered across Seoul? Don’t really think you’re up for a dog café? Why not try a sheep café instead! The café is adorned with anything and everything sheep related from plushies to figurines. And sometimes the owner will let the sheep roam free within the premises.
So do grab a chance to play around with these fluffy creatures will sipping a cup of their delicious mocha!
Credit: Thanks Nature Cafe
- The sheep will only be in the café during the cooler months of the year so do check ahead with the owner to find out if they’re around during your trip!
- Be careful not to miss the stairs down as they are situated at the basement level.
Credit: Thanks Nature Café
Thanks Nature Cafe offers a wide selection of coffee-based drinks from frappucinos to hand drip coffees as well as dutch coffee. For those not so inclined to caffeine, don’t go crying in a corner. There are loads of teas and smoothies that you can also try! Waffles seem to be the main food offering here and we’d recommend sharing as the portions are rather large.
Price: Drinks: ₩5000 – 8000 won, Food: ₩5000 – 14000 won
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun (11:00 am – 11:00 pm)
Address: B121, Seogyo Prugio Store, 486, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Directions: Take Line 2 to Hongik University Station(Line 2 – Green), Exit 9. Turn left to go up hill at the first intersection. Walk towards Hongik University’s Main Gate. Look out for a lighted sign that reads the café’s name.
4. Café Comma – Hongdae
Warm coffee (or tea) and good book. Sounds like my ideal escape from reality.
This book café is located just outside the Hongik University station and is home to many, many, many, many books like almost 3000 of them. Comma is really popular with the university students as it is a conducive environment for them to get some studying done. Just be sure to keep the noise level down if you want to avoid deathly stares from others around you.
Café Comma offers a standard range of drinks such as coffees, teas and fruit ades and is slightly on the pricier side. As for food, there aren’t much options available and while tiramisu is the most popular item, unfortunately, it also contains rum (alcohol) hence is not Muslim-friendly. In this case, we recommend to stick to their drinks instead.
Credit: Viktoria Jean
Price: Drinks: ₩4500 – ₩6500, Food: ₩5000 – ₩8000
Opening Hours: Mon – Sun (7.00am – 12.00am)
Address: 1F, Seopo Bld, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Korea / 서울시 마포구 서교동 364-15 1층 (서포빌딩)
Directions: Take Line 2 to Hongik University(Line 2 – Green), Exit 3. And that’s it! The café is just outside of Exit 3.
5. Plant Café – Itaewon
Credit: Seoul State of Mind
Much related to its name, Plant Cafe is one of the few vegetarian/vegan food & beverage outlets in Seoul.
The quaint cafe is located in Itaewon, the hub of international cuisine in Seoul. The shop itself can comfortably seat around 8 to 10 pax which makes for a cozy environment to have lunch on a lazy afternoon.
If you’re hankering for a detox from all that Korean barbecue then come here you must. Plant Café will change your view on vegetarian cooking. We for one would never have imagined that a vegan mushroom and tofu burger could look and taste so good!
Credit: Seoul State of Mind
Plant Cafe offers a variety of delectable baked goods such as cookies, muffins and brownies. Just seeing the multitudes of desserts makes my mouth water and the chocolate cherry cake comes highly recommended!
Price: Drinks: ₩5000 – ₩7000, Food: ₩5000 – ₩15000
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat (11.00am – 8.00pm), Closed every Sunday
Address: 63-15, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul / 서울시 용산구 이태원동 63-15
Directions: Take Line 6 to Itaewon Station(Line 6 – Brown), Exit 4. Then walk straight until you see Sneak Soul (a shoe store) on your left. TURN LEFT into the small alleyway with steps, immediately next to Sneak Soul. Cross the intersecting road and go straight into the next alleyway next to Greek on the Grill. Continue a few buildings downhill and PLANT will be on your right.
6. Takeout Drawing – Hannamdong
This two-story building actually serves a dual function – it is both art exhibition space as well as a café.
Credit: Daniel Food Diary
With unique names like Flower, Bloomed from Ashes hot chocolate and Magma Acacia, it’s no surprise that the drinks at Takeout Drawing are inspired by the artists’ themselves.
Paul’s Meringue Factory (₩7500) is perhaps the most visually appealing beverage offered by Takeout Drawing. A cup of smooth espresso is topped with peaks of melt-in-your-mouth meringue that is perfect for dipping in your coffee.
Credit: Daniel Food Diary
Another interesting drink item is the Storming Ant (₩7000), comprises of organic black sesame foam which erupts when topped with hot or cold milk.
Credit: Takeout Drawing
The drinks and desserts are definitely Instagram-worthy so you should expect to pay slightly higher prices for these edible works of art. Whether you’re an art lover or simply in search of some creativity, Takeout Drawing is a great place to go for inspiration!
Price: Drinks: ₩4500 – ₩13000, Food: ₩2000 – ₩8000
Opening Hours: Mon – Fri (11.00am – 11.00pm) & Sat – Sun (12.00pm – 11.00pm)
Address: 683-139 Hannam-dong, Yongsang-gu, Seoul / 140-892 서울 용산구 한남동 683-139
Directions: Take Line 6 to Hangangjin Station(Line 6 – Brown), Exit 3. Proceed to walk straight down Itaewon Road and it will be on your left, near to a Hyundai car dealership.
7. Café Hoho Myoll – Sangsu
While most hipster cafés in Seoul are more inclined towards minimalistic industrial-based décor of steel and wood, Hoho Myoll café is anything but.
The store is filled to the brim with eclectic knickknacks that every seat in the store will give you a different view of things! Overall, the store gives off a very homely vibe that makes you want to snuggle up with a good book and a warm cup of hot chocolate.
Café Hoho Myoll is named after the owner’s cat, whom actually resides in the café. If you’re lucky, you could see Myoll lazing around the store.
Credit: Falling in Light
One of the most unique features of this café would definitely be their vintage Volkswagen van that sits INSIDE the store! The van itself has been refurbished to allow for seats as well as shelves for mugs and plates which is a great addition to the place.
Their Oreo cheesecake is entirely decadent with generous lashings of chocolate syrup and ice-cream. Yes, this would be the best time to forget your diet…
#HHWT Tip: In the warmer months, you should definitely try their patbingsu!
Credit: Carmen in the World
Seriously, don’t forget to add this café to your itinerary when you’re in the Hongdae area! You will not regret it ^^
Price: Drinks: ₩6000 – ₩9000, Food: ₩6000 – 15000
Opening Hours: Mon – Sun (10.00am – 12.00am)
Address: 93-44 Mapo-gu, Sangsu-dong, Seoul / 서울시 마포구 상수동 93-44 1F
Directions: Take Line 6 to Sangsu Station(Line 6 – Brown), Exit 2. Turn left and walk towards Hongik University. The café will be on your right. It’s easier to spot in the warmer months as they have seats placed outside the store.
8. Banana Tree – Sinsadong
Deviating from the typical coffee joints, we bring you Banana Tree Café which will literally makes you go bananas.
Credit: Seoul Foodie
Banana Tree is mainly famous for two items on their menu. The first being the whimsical Som Som latte.
Just imagine a soft cloud of cotton candy gently resting on top of your favourite latte~ Share the candy with a friend, dip it in your coffee. The world is your oyster! There are a few flavours to choose from but if you’re not much of a sweet tooth then try the regular version.
Next up is their potted plant desserts! These scrumptious little treats are made to look like real potted plants.
Credit: Banana Tree on Facebook
You definitely can’t go wrong with cake & pudding hidden under Oreo dirt and chocolate pebbles. Just thinking of it makes us want to fly to Seoul right now~ Banana and strawberry are the best sellers for this dessert but you can also try blueberry and espresso potted plants.
Price: Drinks: ₩5000 – ₩8500, Food: ₩5000 – ₩10000
Opening Hours: Mon – Sun (11:00am-10:00pm)
Address: 739-5, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul / 서울특별시 용산구 한남동 739-5
Directions: Take Line 6 to Hangangjin Station(Line 6 – Brown), Exit 1. Walk straight for about 300metres. It will be on your right hand side on the ground level.
9. LINE Friends Store & Café – Sinsadong
Who here hasn’t heard of LINE? Just in case you’ve been living under a rock, LINE is one of the most popular messenger apps in the Asia region.
Ever since the introduction of their cute & wacky characters called Line Friends such as Brown, Cony, Sally, James and Moon, just to name a few; fans of the app have been obsessed with getting their hands on LINE merchandise! What better way than to open up a café for fans to come over and hangout while taking pictures with their favourite LINE character.
The queue to take pictures with the ironic giant Brown bear is endless as it is a must have item on every fans’ to-do list.
True to its concept, everything about LINE café is about their characters. From the food products to the cups to even their café bell. We kid you not, everything is LINE Friends!
They have an enormous range of food items on their menu such as baked goods, character macarons, chocolates, pancakes and so much more that you’d be spoiled for choice!
Their most popular items are definitely the macarons and roll cakes. The white cream roll cake is super light and fluffy with just a mild sweetness while their chocolate roll literally tastes like a melted bar of chocolate. Yum!
#HHWT Tip: Apart from the Sinsadong flagship store, there are also other outlets scattered across Seoul such as in Myeongdong and Itaewon ^^
Price: Drinks: ₩3500 – ₩7000, Food: ₩3000 – ₩15000
Opening Hours: Mon-Sun (12:00 pm – 9:00 pm)
Address: 535-15, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul / 서울특별시 강남구 신사동 535-15
Directions: Take Line 3 to Sinsa station(Line 3 – Orange), Exit 8. Walk straight until you see the entrance of Garosugil street on the left. Don’t cross the street and walk straight down on the left side. You’ll find the store next to Hollister shop.
10. JIYUGAOKA 8丁目 – Cheongdamdong
JIYUGAOKA 8丁目, pronounced as Jiyugaoka Hatchome, is a highly popular café chain from Japan and has four premises in the Cheongdam-dong area. They are a specialty cake shop and restaurant which provides a super cozy atmosphere for you to have brunch with a friend.
The premises has several selections of vegetarian/seafood menus such as their gorgonzola & mushroom creamy pasta and Japanese shrimp curry. Their gorgonzola pasta has a super creamy in texture and has a very rich flavour of mushrooms.
The Japanese curry on the other hand, is much milder in terms of spice level especially when compared to the typical Malaysian/Indian curry. The curry itself is served with a poached egg, potatoes, carrots and rice.
Alternatively, if you are up for dessert then do try their strawberry shortcake! The cake is made fresh in-house by the owner and is generously layered with smooth whipped cream and sweet strawberry slices.
Credit: Lady Iron Chef
Unfortunately, the strawberry shortcake is a seasonal menu item so do be sure to visit when strawberries are in season! That’s between February to April if you weren’t sure.
#HHWT Tip: If you’re a Kpop fan then you’re in luck! JYP Entertainment is just down the street.
Price: Drinks: ₩4500 – ₩6000, Food: ₩5000 – ₩16000
Opening Hours: Mon – Sun (9.00am – 11.00pm)
Address: 1F 124-14 Cheongdamdong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul / 서울, 강남구, 청담동, 124-14번지 1층
Directions: Take Line 7 to Cheongdam station (Line 7 – Army Green), Exit 9. Walk straight ahead until you reach the big intersection. You will see a Citibank branch across the street and proceed to cross to the other side. At Citibank, turn right and walk along the street until you see a Baskin Robbins outlet. Turn left into the small road and walk to the next intersection. The JYP building will be straight up ahead with Dunkin Donuts on your left. Turn left at the intersection and the café is just up in front.
11. Innisfree Jeju House – Samcheongdong
Yep, you read that right. Innisfree has a café! If you’re a follower of their skincare products then you would know that the brand hails from Jeju Island and is a firm believer in using all natural ingredients in their products. We absolutely LOVE their hand creams!
Much like their brand identity advocates, the Innisfree Jeju House café is a total embodiment of natural goodness. The café occupies the second and third floors respectively and is super clean and spacious!
Forget coffee, Innisfree is all about their eco-friendly soda and fruit teas! Try their Pink Sea Lemonade (₩6000) for an invigorating treat on a hot summer day. Or you can also try their naturally sweet Hallabong Blender made from Hallabong tangerines grown locally in Jeju. They taste like oranges but a lot sweeter.
#HHWT Tip: The Samcheong-dong area is a treasure trove of tourist spots, the most popular Bukchon Hanok village. Don’t forget to take a stroll in the area while on your way to the café!
Their signature dessert would be the Citrus Sudachi Cake (₩6500) where thin pieces of cake are layered with citrus-infused cream. The pairing of sweet and sour is heavenly refreshing in this cake.
Price: Drinks: ₩4500 – ₩7000, Food: ₩5000 – ₩15000
Opening Hours: Mon – Sun (10.00am – 10.00pm)
Address: 104 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Directions: Take Line 3 to Anguk station(Line 3 – Orange), Exit 1. Walk straight until you meet Samcheong road then turn right. Continue walking straight up Samcheong road for about 15 minutes and you will see Innisfree Jeju House on your right next to Haagen-Dazs.
12. O’sulloc Tea House – Myeongdong
O’sulloc, (housed under the same company as Innisfree and Mamonde) is especially known for their green tea skin care products such as cleansers, toners, lotions and masks.
Their café is intended as a place for people to experience the traditional green tea culture. And much like their salute to nature, the café itself is a perfect embodiment of the concept with their abundant use of wood-based décor.
For drinks, recommended items include the O’sulloc Green Tea Latte (₩6000), the Apple Honey Tea Latte (₩7500) as well as the Jeju Tangerine Milk Tea (₩7000). The green tea latte is just about everything you can expect of the name, milky with a hint of bitterness distinctive to green tea.
As for desserts, you will be very much spoiled for choice! But we definitely suggest you try their Green Tea Tiramisu (₩5000) which is made with mascarpone cheese topped with green tea powder. Obviously.
#HHWT Tip: O’sulloc has three (3) other branches in Seoul namely in Apgujeong, Insadong and Daehakno.
Price: Drinks: ₩4500 – ₩7500, Food: ₩5000 – ₩15000
Opening Hours: Sun – Thurs (9.00am – 10:30pm) & Fri – Sat (9.00am – 11.00pm)
Address: 12, Myeongdong 7-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul / 서울특별시 중구 명동7길 12 (명동1가)
Directions: Take Line 4 to Myeongdong station (Line 4 – Light Blue), Exit 6. Turn left and walk straight for around 400m. The store should be on your right.
In terms of the café culture in Seoul, this list is just the tip of the iceberg. Better start making your own ultimate list of cafés to visit! We know we are *scribbles furiously*