When you think of South Korea, you might first think of K-Pop, the many skincare and beauty products available, award-winning dramas and movies, or the delicious local food – but what about the café culture? Did you know that South Korea has over 90,000 cafes and coffee shops across the country? This means that there is an abundance of coffee to drink, delicious cakes and pastries to eat, and cute, Instagram-worthy aesthetics to admire. So, to help narrow things down a little, we’ve collected what we think are the best cafés in Seoul!
Brunch in Seoul
It’s a lovely morning in Seoul and you’re looking for the best brunch spot in town. Well, look no further than Grain, located in Seodaemun-gu – not far from Hongdae. Along with classic dishes like pancakes and avocado on toast, you’ll find the ‘build your own brunch’ option. Here, you can choose 4 to 6 items and build your own delicious brunch to start the day with. The star of the show is their earl grey zucchini bread!
Seoul, Seodaemun-gu, Yeonhui-ro 11ga-gil, 53 KR 서울특별시 2층 (2nd floor), Grain Seoul
서울 서대문구 연희로11가길 53 2층
Instagram: Grain, Seoul
You might know that partying into the early hours in Itaewon is popular among Seoul’s residents, but hidden down one of the smaller streets in the neighbourhood is a fantastic brunch spot inspired by the Land Down Under. Summer Lane’s Australian brunch menu includes avocado & salmon waffles, yoghurt mixed with fruit & granola, and smashed avo on toast. However, the highlights of the menu are their delicious snacks on offer. Feel like a true Aussie, and indulge in a Lamington, an Anzac Biscuit, or Vegemite on Toast!
Seoul, Yongsan-gu, 49 Itaewon-ro 55ga-gil, Summer Lane
서울시 용산구 한남동 738-13 1층
Instagram: Summer Lane, Seoul
Coffee in Seoul
Stone & Water
If you find yourself in the eastern side of the city, you’ll find the Olympic Park, Lotte Tower, and even JYP Entertainment for K-Pop fans! Before you start your exploration, why not start the day with a coffee? In Songpa-gu, you’ll find Stone & Water Cafe. The modern interior and an open counter space, where you can watch the baristas prepare the beverages, makes for a cool and relaxed atmosphere. This café showcases their passion for coffee and baked treats perfectly – try their classic ‘hand drip’ coffee, their signature Caramel Stone Latte, and a delicious sweet treat for after.
Seoul, Songpa-gu, Bangi-dong, 168-5
서울특별시 송파구 가락로 283
Instagram: Stone & Water, Seoul
Halff Coffee Seongsu
The Seongsu neighbourhood isn’t short of a café, so it can be hard to choose which one you want to visit. Halff Coffee is a modern, minimalist cafe that offers lattes that look too good to drink- they’ll be the focal point of many an Instagram story! They combine cream and Coffee with a variety of flavours to choose from, and it makes a great treat after exploring Seoul Forest and the surrounding streets of Seongsu.
Seoul, Seongdong-gu, Seongsu-dong 1(il)-ga, 12 Seoulsup 4-gil
서울특별시 성동구 서울숲4길 1
Instagram: Halff Coffee, Seoul
Tertre Café is slightly more challenging cafe to get to, but the views are 100% worth it when you do. Located not too far from Ihwa Mural Village in Seoul, you will find this cafe up on the hill, along the winding streets. The view of the city is one of the best, and if you time your visit right, you might catch the sunset! They have a rooftop to explore and classic drinks such as an americano or vanilla latte – or even a glass of wine. They also have some signature drinks to check out, so grab one and relax as you watch the sun go down over the city.
46 Naksan 5-gil, Changsin-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
서울 종로구 낙산5길 46
Instagram: Tertre Café, Seoul
Aesthetic & Quirky
Mamma Mia Dosan
Another great area to explore in Seoul is Apgujeong Rodeo, and here you can find the flashy cars, the best dressed people, and many aesthetically pleasing cafes. The Mamma Mia Café boasts bright pink walls on the outside, and calming blues and flowers on the inside. Hanging flowers from the ceiling, cakes that look too good to eat, and some amazing brunch options – it really is too pretty to miss when visiting Seoul.
45 Apgujeong-ro 42-gil, 압구정동 Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
서울 강남구 압구정로42길 45
Instagram: Mamma Mia Dosan, Seoul
943 Kings Cross
When watching the first Harry Potter, I’m sure we all had the same thought: I want to try the birthday cake that Hagrid gifts to Harry! Well, in 943 Kings Cross, you get the chance to do just that. Happee Birthday Cake, Butter Beer and Jelly Beans are just the start of what is on offer here. Don’t forget to get your photo taken with the many props available, or look like you are running at the wall to find Platform 9 and ¾ – but please don’t actually run at the wall!
Seoul, Mapo-gu, Seogyodong, 24 Yanghwa-ro 16-gil, 943 King’s Cross
서울 마포구 양화로16길 24 1층~4층
Instagram: 943 Kings Cross, Seoul
The word Greem (or 그림) means drawing in Korean, which is a very appropriate name for this café. At Greem, you’ll enter a 2D world of drawings – the furniture, the floor, the walls, and even some of the cups look like they are all part of a drawing! It’s one of the best cafés in Seoul, and coffee and cake in 2D is a great way to end a day exploring Hongdae!
Seoul, Mapo-gu, Seongmisan-ro, 161-10 카페 1.5층, Green Cafe
서울 마포구 성미산로 161-10
Instagram: Greem Café, Seoul
Ordering Food & Drink in Korean
Once you’ve spotted the best cafés in Seoul, you need to know what to order! Here are some common words that you’ll find in cafes in Korea.
Cafe – 카페 (ka-pe)
Coffee – 커피 (keo-pi)
Americano – 아메리카노 (a-me-ri-ka-no)
Latte – 라떼 (la-tte)
Cake – 케이크 (ke-i-keu)
Doughnut – 도넛 (do-neot)
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