Seoul is a fascinating city that offers you the modern as well as the traditional. Whether ancient palaces or fancy skyscrapers, Seoul has got it all. While visiting all these memorable attractions, don’t forget to take a moment to unwind. During your afternoons, stop at some of the most interesting cafes in the world. You will have the unique opportunity to cuddle with puppies, create your own rings, take photographs with fun characters and cute pastries, savour traditional delights such as “Bingsu” or even be mesmerized by “coffee cream art”! Here are the top 5 picks of cafes in Seoul:
#5 Line Friends Store & Café
In 2011, LINE FRIENDS were created as sticker characters of mobile messenger “LINE” and became a huge hit around the world! Currently there are 46 stores found in 9 other countries, attracting both children and adults alike. In Seoul, it is situated in one of the trendiest parts of town – the Garosugil neighborhood. This isn’t any ordinary store though, but more like a 3 story theme-park with giant sized stuff toys, slurpy ice-drinks, sprinkled sweets, cute souvenirs, and many more fun attractions that will ignite the fun spirit in you! It is also a great place to take memorable photographs to upload onto Instagram. It’s no wonder that this place has a 4.5 star rating on TripAdvisor!
#4 Banji Café
This unique jewelry themed café in Hondae has got couples and friends flocking to it. Why? Because it gives people the opportunity to craft their own personalized rings, necklaces and even bracelets with the help of the staff. It comes with different colored plating, gemstones and you can even include laser engravings. Banji Café became a huge trend especially after popular Korean stars, Gain and Jo Kwon from the reality TV show called “We Got Married”, came to this café to make their own symbols of love. While waiting for the rings to be finalized, one can also relax on the rooftop under a café tent with a hot beverage. A cozy date for friends or couples!
#3 Bau House Dog Café
Many times solo travelers may feel a little pang of loneliness roaming the bustling streets of Seoul alone. What better way to cure this then visiting the Bau House Dog Café for some canine cuddles? At Hongdae, the dogs are extremely well taken care of by the staff and are always excited to see new customers walking through the door. There are Golden Retrievers, Labradors, Beagles, Huskies and even Cavalier King Charles and all types of breeds. It would be worth buying a coffee or a cold drink, as well as a bag of dog treats for just $4 extra, and making a new friend to play with for an hour or so. This café is also perfect for travelers who have their own dog! Not only can they make new friends with others with same interests, but the dogs stay occupied too, in a place they feel warm and welcome.
Tteuran is a cozy, traditional tea house café tucked away in an Ikseondong alley. This café serves authentic Korean tea and snacks inside of an 80 year old Korean hanok that is equipped with a hot ondol (traditional Korean underfloor heating). It is absolutely mesmerizing to sit on the floor and gaze out of the large glass windows into the courtyard covered with crawling vines and blooming flowers. Views for the ‘Seoul’! The menu is extensive with tea choices, of which the locals recommend the omija cha and ssanghwacha black herbal tea. These teas have a strong and earthy flavor that grows on you. If you’re hungry, definitely try the famous red bean porridge or the savory mugwort rick cakes, which are accompanied by a sweet syrup. This place doesn’t cease to amaze and is reflected in its excellent ratings online (4.5 stars on TripAdvisor!). It is a must for those interested in an authentic café experience.
#1 Café C. Thought
Recently, South Korean barista Lee Kang-bin has been making headlines for his artistry, especially in the culinary world. He is taking coffee art to the next level by pioneering in “CreamArt”. He uses food coloring to intricately draw designs on the layers of steamed milk that sits atop coffee, and has even drawn miniature imitations of famous paintings as seen in the photograph. People are in awe of his work and even go as far as to say that his “coffees are too beautiful to drink”. It is worth visiting his central Seoul café called “Café C. Through” and taking your camera or phone with you. This sure is Instagram worthy!