Spent about a week in Seoul and Busan sight-seeing, soul-searching and of course, cafe-hopping but unfortunately I did not manage to go to as many coffee shops as I had hoped because I was focused on sight-seeing. But anyways without any further ado, below are the coffee places that I visited while in Seoul.
One of the most picturesque streets in Seoul, Samcheongdong-gil stretches from Gyeongbuk Palace and Samcheong Tunnel. The street is lined with charming buildings, often incorporating designs from olden and modern days. Even though there were many people, the street felt safe and peaceful.
Churro 101, which is located right in front of the maeul (neighbourhood) bus stop, serves generous portion of coffee and churro with a cool tagline – “Better than a boyfriend” 😛
Cafe Breezin is popular with tourists and locals. The cafe has a good view of the street, perfect for those who just want to chill and watch passers-by. The cappuccino was good and their season’s special, strawberry waffle, had a really good texture and it was not too sweet – easy on the palate.
How to get to Samcheongdong-gil:
Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 1.
Go straight 100m and turn right onto the alleyway next to Pungmun Girl’s High School.
– Continue straight along the road.
Get off at Jeongdok Public Library Bus Stop.
– Maeul Bus (Village Bus) – Jongno 11
Get off at Anguk Station, Jongno Police Office, Insa-dong Bus Stop.
– Green Bus: 7025
– Blue Bus: 171, 272
On the other side of the Han River, is a street in Sinsa-dong called Garosu-gil lined with trendy shops and cafes. Reached the street before lunch time on a weekday and there weren’t that many people.
Of course I had to stop by Coffeesmith while in Garosu-gil. Opted for their Daily Drip Coffee which was subtle, light bodied and refreshing.
Sprout Coffee is a bright and airy cafe situated in one of the alleyways. The cafe latte was really good. It had a good balance of milk and espresso, with a hint of nuttiness.
How to get to Garosu-gil:
Sinsa Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 8.
– Go straight (250m), until you see the street on the left.
Ihwa Mural Village
One of my favourite vantage points in Seoul is a pavilion in Naksan Park. Nearby Naksan Park is a popular tourist area and where many dramas were filmed, Ihwa Mural Village. While rediscovering Ihwa Mural Village, I stumbled upon a cafe adorned with drawings of cats. The cafe served pourover and you get to choose the origins of the coffee beans. I opted for Ethiopian Yirgacheffe because it is characterised by its distinctively fruity flavour profile and a bright, floral aroma.
While rediscovering Ihwa Mural Village, I stumbled upon a cafe adorned with drawings of cats. The cafe served pourover and you get to choose the origins of the coffee beans. I opted for Ethiopian Yirgacheffe because it is characterised by its distinctively fruity flavour profile and a bright, floral aroma. Sipping the warm coffee at the cafe’s balcony while enjoying the cool spring breeze was a great way to unwind after the somewhat steep climb from the subway station.
There were other interesting coffee shops around Ihwa Mural Village.
How to get to Ihwa Mural Village:
Hyehwa Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exit 2.
– Walk for about 200m. Turn left at a street called Dongdung-gil. Keep walking until you reach the Lock Museum. After about 50 meters, turn right to a street called Naksan Gongson-gil then walk until you reach Naksan Park.
South Korea’s coffee culture and scene always amazes me. Strolling at Haeundae Beach in Busan, I was surprised to see vending machines just for coffee – I didn’t recall seeing one back in 2014. Even at the supermarkets and marts, customers are spoiled with the many choices of coffee drinks being sold.
If you’ve visited Seoul before, share with us your favourite coffee place(s) by commenting below 🙂
Thank you for reading!