24 Best Coffee Shops in Seoul 2022 – Written by a Local

coffee shops in seoul can be found occupying practically every corner. For coffee lovers, the Korean capital is a caffeinated paradise.

what’s special about the cafe scene in seoul is how unique and quirky everything is. Forget your humdrum chain stores and your standard starbucks lounges!

Reading: Best coffee shops in seoul

coffee shops in seoul tend to follow different unique themes. these range from the artsy and inspiring, to the eccentric and downright wacky.

Do you want to have a neon pink latte in a barbie dream house? you got it!

Want to feel like you’ve entered the wacky world of a cartoon comic? you have that too.

seoul coffee shops offer something for everyone. this rings true whether you enjoy discovering weird and wonderful places seemingly created for social media where you can take lots of great photos, or if you just want to find a place that serves some great specialty coffee.

This list contains places that belong to both categories. I used to live in seoul and have made a special effort to find all the cute cafes. all for the purpose of blog research, of course.

the best coffee shops in seoul

seoul cafes were instagrammable before being instagrammable was even a thing. Some of the best places to hang out are listed below, from the most sophisticated to the most quirky.

green coffee, seoul (그림카페)

where: 239-20 yeonnam-dong, mapo-gu, seoul

Good coffee is paramount to establishing a good roastery. however, so is the design and ambience of the place.

greem cafe (그림카페) has been a local favorite since it opened a few years ago. its name has changed several times over the years (it was previously known as yeonnam-dong 239-20).

Monochrome green coffee interiors create an optical illusion. Entering this place makes visitors feel as if they have entered the world of a comic book.

Not only are the walls, ceilings and furniture monochromatic, but even the cutlery and cups are designed to resemble flat drawings. As far as instagrammable cafes go, this place is as unique as it gets.

soosoo coffee gannam

where: gangnam-gu, tehran-ro, 129

soosoo coffee gangnam is a unique concept cafe near yeoksam station, in the heart of seoul’s chic and sophisticated gangnam district. the cafeteria has been designed to resemble a laboratory, with breakout areas located in rooms surrounded by glass paneled walls and a bright white color palette.

Since it first opened in 2019, this little Seoul cafe has delighted thousands of locals and tourists alike. It is simple, yet modern and elegant. even better? this place is not just about aesthetics. soosoo is known locally for brewing some of the best coffee in seoul. the drinks are made with a mixture of Ethiopian, Colombian and Mexican coffee beans. If you don’t feel like coffee, one of the café’s specialties is their Korean ssukcha (쑥차) tea made with milk. things tend to be sweeter, so ask for less sugar if you prefer stronger drinks. the basil scones, lemon cookies and truffle and cheese scones served here are the perfect accompaniment to your drink.

coffee shop with flower garden

where: 33-12 supyo-ro 28-gil, ikseon-dong, jongno-gu

flower yard cafe in ikseon-dong is a beautiful seoul cafe located inside a traditional hanok building. This place has been featured in several Kdrama series including “Goblin” so it’s quite popular and often crowded (worth the wait though). fresh flowers adorn the walls and window frames, and towards the rear of the premises is a small shop. where you can buy potted plants and bouquets. It’s a bit pricey compared to other places, but it’s a good place for a drink or light brunch.

Their selection of fruit teas is especially nice. flower yard cafe was formerly called “madang cafe” so if you hear people recommending madang this is the place they are talking about!

kenya kiambu coffee

where: 36 hoenamu-ro 44-gil, yongsan-gu

kenya kiambu coffee in itaewon is a hidden gem among the best coffee shops in seoul. from the outside, it looks like a relatively unsuspecting coffee shop chain. however, from the inside, you have some of the most spectacular views of seoul from here. Giant floor-to-ceiling windows give you a direct view of Namsan Tower and the lush forested hills of Namsan Park. this is a great place to visit at any time of day, but the view is particularly magical at sunset. the cafe interior features exposed brick walls, industrial ceilings with exposed pipes, and wooden furniture. the walls are adorned with obscure sculptures and paintings from around the world. In many ways, this gives the cafe an atmosphere of heading to the home of an eccentric relative who has collected various memorabilia and obscure trinkets from around the world.

The coffee here is strong, rich and delicious. Hot and cold coffee drinks are made from Kenyan coffee beans, although other beverages (including sangria!) are also available. Kenya’s Kiambu Cafe is quite spacious and never crowded. it’s a place where you can spend a lot of time working on your computer or reading a book, without feeling like you’re occupying a table.

mamma mia gangnam

where: 45 apgujeong-ro 42-gil, apgujeong-dong, gangnam-gu

New concept cafes are constantly popping up in gangnam and a new favorite is mamma mia gangnam. This bright pink cafe next to Dosan Park looks like a dollhouse. As you enter, you’re greeted by charming Victorian furnishings, stunning china, and walls adorned with antique mirrors, paintings, and artwork. the menu is constantly changing, as is the decor. At Halloween and Christmas, for example, cafe owners go all out with larger-than-life sculptures out front, and themed cakes and drinks. Desserts are the highlight of coming here. a cafeteria room is filled with table after table of self-service cakes and desserts, with each sweet featuring the most unique designs. This place has clearly been created with Instagram in mind, but the food and drinks here are also good, albeit more expensive.

943 harry potter coffee king cross

where: 24 yanghwa-ro 16-gil, seogyo-dong, mapo-gu, seoul

The 943 King’s Cross Harry Potter Cafe in the heart of Hongdae is a must-see for anyone who loves the magical world of Harry Potter. The cafe is spread over four floors, each of which is designed to resemble the interior of Hogwarts.

its entrance is designed to resemble platform 9¾, the fictional train platform at london’s king’s cross station. There’s a station where you can pose with broomsticks and take some photos, as well as an area where you can dress up in Hogwarts uniforms after the Sorting Hat has selected your house. the areas where you can sit and drink a steaming hot cup of coffee or a refreshing butterbeer, have been designed to resemble the griffindor common room and the great hall. A cup of coffee here costs between 7,500 and 9,000 won. the quality is pretty good, but you’re visiting more for the atmosphere than the craft coffee.

fritz dohwa coffee company

where: 17 saechang-ro 2-gil, dohwa-dong, mapo-gu

If you’re looking for great coffee, you can’t go wrong with Fritz Coffee Company Dohwa. this place is hands down one of the best coffee shops in seoul. the drinks are prepared by an award-winning Korean barista and the facility is housed inside a converted old mansion. What more could you want? the old traditional house features wood paneled walls and floors and antique wooden furniture. sculptures and dark ornaments can be found in every corner of the room, and hanging out here feels like you’ve been transported back in time. Fritz is spacious enough to accommodate many people and feels like a place where you could spend hours reading a book or writing in your journal. the beans used here come directly from coffee growers around the world. they are then ground and roasted on the spot. you can drink your coffee the way you want, whether you fancy a flat white, cappuccino, latte or cold brew. French-style pastries are another reason to come here.

If you’ve spent any time in Seoul, you’ll notice that European-style croissants are hard to come by. But Fritz sells several varieties of fluffy, crumbly croissants. Fig Croissants, Blueberry Walnut Croissants, Chocolate Croissants, and Peanut Croissants are made in-house each morning and served hot from the oven.

sable coffee seoul (카페 사브레)

where: 28 songpa-daero 46-gil, songpa-dong, songpa-gu, seoul

seoul is full of fun themed cafes (as this list proves). the only problem? once word gets out about one, everyone seems to gather there and it’s hard to find a seat. however, there are still some lesser known hidden gems. one such place is cafe sable in songpa-dong.

the name is displayed in Korean only, and you will notice the same on naver maps. this idyllic little spot is located near jamsil tower and seokchon lake cafe street. it’s a perfect starting point to enjoy a cup of coffee and a piece of cake before exploring this small street, full of independent boutiques, coffee roasters and art galleries. Like Fritz, this coffee shop is located inside an old Korean residential property. even though it’s been transformed into a coffee shop, you feel like you’re visiting a friend’s house for coffee. for example, there’s a garden out the back, with modest patio furniture scattered about where you can sit and chat with friends. the interiors have been decorated in a beige color palette and are simple yet modern. the menu offers a selection of coffee drinks, teas, cakes and light meals. for something unique to this place, you can order their pebble sandwiches. these are small candies that have been designed to look like rocks. each one has a different flavor and consistency.

namusairo coffee

where: 196 sajik-dong, jongno-gu, seoul

namusairo coffee was one of the first specialty coffee places to open in seoul, and is renowned throughout east asia for its excellent offerings. when you order a coffee here, you can choose what kind of bean you’d like it made with. don’t know where to start? don’t worry. Not only can your barista recommend a coffee bean and drink based on her personal preferences, but you can also enjoy a complimentary tasting. namusairo is located inside a converted hanok house. there is seating inside and on the lovely patio in the back. You can also pick up coffee beans, mugs, and other specialty items at the store, which make the perfect gift for the coffee lovers in your life.

mesh coffee

See also: Can you put hot coffee in a plastic starbucks cup

Where: 43 seoulsup-gil, seongsu-dong 1(il)-gamesh coffee is one of the best cafes in seoul for specialty coffees and is a favorite spot for those serious about the quality of the coffee they drink. It was opened by Kim Gi-hoon (김기훈) and Kim Hyeon-seob (김현섭) and quickly made a name for itself among Seoul coffee connoisseurs.

There are no seats here: visiting mesh is more about having a perfectly prepared cup to go. but if you happen to be in seongsu-dong, you should stop by. this place is constantly busy with customers queuing out the door, a tribute to how good the drinks are.

coffee from hell

where: 238-43 bogwang-dong, yongsan-gu, seoul

hell cafe is one of the best cafes in seoul for those who really love a strong and well prepared cup of coffee. Some of Korea’s best-known baristas operate out of these facilities.

Most of the time, Korean coffee is relatively sweet. it tends to lack the punch and rich roasted flavors you usually find in the west. However, Hell Cafe is a true coffee shop and roaster that stands out from the crowd.

hell cafe cappuccinos are made in front of the customer. they combine delicately extracted espresso and fresh steamed milk. this is one of the few places in seoul that also sells drip coffee.

Coffee lovers from all over the city flock here to enjoy the rich, velvety brews. the cafeteria atmosphere also adds to the experience. hell cafe is far from “hellish”.

Fresh flower arrangements are assembled inside the cafeteria each week. patrons sit in comfortable oversized armchairs inside the café while classical music plays from klipsch speakers.

dinga cake house

where: 252-18 yeonnam-dong, mapo-gu, seoul

dinga cake house is a cute little cafe in the heart of hongdae. Complete with pastel-colored walls and a cozy, romantic interior, Dinga looks exactly like a Barbie dream house.

This seoul coffee shop has been featured in countless kpop music videos. their cakes are famous in the Korean capital.

Not only are the cakes incredibly colorful, but they’re also delicious! dinga sells her own acclaimed cookbook detailing the recipes for all of her delicious cakes and desserts.

stylenanda pink pool cafe

where: stylenanda pink pool cafe 핑크풀카페 – myeongdong, 66-2, chungmuro ​​2-ga, jung-gu, seoul

the stylenanda pink pool cafe is a vision in pink. stylenanda is actually a clothing and cosmetics store.

This elegant fashion brand is one of the most respected in Korea. At the Pink Pool Cafe, visitors can indulge in a little retail therapy and stock up on K-beauty products. then relax with a latte in the store’s coffee section.

This photogenic café is divided into two sections. you can choose to lounge in one of the bright pink recliners by the indoor pool or step up to the rooftop. the latter offers fabulous views of myeongdong and dongdaemun while sipping coffee.

Decked out in pastel pinks and blues, stylenanda has a charming and fun vibe. The Pink Pool Cafe serves everything from traditional coffees to juices, teas, and detox smoothies.

If you want to go for something unusual, order a cotton candy coffee. this is a generous cup of coffee served with an eccentrically decorated giant puff of cotton candy.

old ferry donut

where: 10-206 hannam-dong, yongsan-gu, seoul

the old ferry donut (formerly ferry toaster) is a favorite seoul dessert spot among locals and expats alike. The cafe is tucked away on a quiet residential street away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Itaewon. if you didn’t know it was here, you probably wouldn’t find the place.

The specialty of the old ferry donut is, of course, the sinfully delicious gooey donuts. there’s a wide range on offer, including donuts that feature an odd mix of ingredients (e.g. chocolate basil) but somehow just work…

For 10,000 won ($10), you can order a sample box of mini donuts in a variety of flavors. the signature drink on the old ferry is the donut latte.

an old fashioned ferry donut latte is an iced latte topped with a mini donut that’s almost too cute to consume. There’s also the Coco Vienna, a refreshing coconut iced coffee with a coconut whip floating on top.

if you want to find a nice cafe to sit and hang out, there are better places than the old ferry. However, the USP of this place is their donut creations which are quite hard to find in Seoul otherwise.

changgo daelim warehouse

where: 78, seongsui-ro, seongdong-gu, seoul

daelim changgo is a delightfully raw, gritty, artsy art gallery cafe. Changgo means warehouse in Korean. this is an apt name as the cafe is located in the converted industrial premises of an old warehouse.

seongdong-gu is not an area of ​​seoul historically known for its cafes, bars, and restaurants. however, it is quickly emerging as one of the trendiest spots in the city.

seongdong-gu was formerly a highly industrial area filled with warehouses, mills, and shoe factories. daelim changgo itself is an old rice mill.

the gritty design does well to embrace and retain the earlier character of the industrial building. for example, metal pipes and fixtures still protrude from the walls and ceilings, and burgundy exposed brick still stands.

daelim changgo has a certain je ne sais quoi that you just can’t find at your local starbucks branch. daelim changgo’s entire facility is an art gallery.

Contemporary installations by local designers occupy virtually every corner of the former warehouse. art pieces are mounted on walls, suspended from ceilings, placed between tables, etc.

daelim changgo is without a doubt one of the best places to work and feel inspired. you can sit here for hours with a coffee and a good book while soaking up the atmosphere.

hanyakbang coffee

where: 16-6 samil-daero 12-gil, myeong-dong, jung-gu, seoul

Ducking down the narrow, unsuspecting alley next to Seoul’s Euljiro 3-GA subway station rewards you with a charming hidden cafe that takes patrons on a journey back in time. the mysterious hanyakbang cafe is full of character, antiques, and pieces of korean cultural heritage.

hanyakbang means “medicine room” in Korean, and in fact, the decor of the place with its antique furniture and weathered facades is reminiscent of an old apothecary from centuries ago.

See also: How many chocolate espresso beans equal a cup of coffee

if you are looking for a good blend of strong coffee, hanyakbang is definitely one of the best places to visit. the cafeteria even roasts its own beans manually, ensuring maximum flavor and freshness. customers can choose from a selection of traditional and manual drip coffees.

chris garden 크리스가든 (formerly bossy ban)

where: 서울특별시 마포구 서교동 408-17 3층

chris garden is a pink and teal paradise tucked away down an unsuspecting alley. Unless you specifically knew this place was here, you’d probably walk right past it.

chris garden was previously known as “ban bossy boutique” and was recently renamed. you can find everything on the menu here, from sparkling cappuccinos to homemade lemonade.

Be sure to order an ice cream cupcake or two while you’re here. The cupcakes have been decorated with small floral decorations so detailed that at first you might wonder if they are real flowers.

jade mug & yumi’s dressing room

where: 117, poeun-ro, mangwon 2(i)-dong, mapo-gu, seoul

jade mug & yumi’s dressing room is a coffee shop like no other. this place is a perfect stopping point during a day of shopping in seoul.

Here, you can sip an espresso or a matcha latte while dressing up in the outfits of your favorite Disney princesses. Just about every famous and luxurious ball gown you can think of is on display here, from belle’s poofy beauty & the dress of the beast, to the pink dress of princess aurora

see garden

where: 44 seongmisan-ro 23-gil, yeonnam-dong, mapo-gu, seoul

vers garden is a quiet little oasis in the heart of downtown seoul. here, surrounded by beautiful vines, fragrant flowers, and dozens of potted plants hanging from the ceilings and windows, it’s easy to forget that you’re in the middle of one of the world’s greatest cities.

This cafe in Seoul has a green and delightfully calm atmosphere. although the place often gets packed at lunch time, this is a place you can sit for hours without being disturbed. In addition to the varied menu of coffees and drinks, Vers also serves brunch and sweets.

pont cafe seoul

where: 19-16 hangang-daero 15-gil, yongsan-gu, seoul

pont cafe seoul is a former railway office that has been transformed into a cafe in the city’s yongsan district. the space is bright and minimalist, with scandinavian-style furnishings. many of the materials that have been used to renovate the space are the same that would have been used to create the old 1940s railway office. for example bricks, metal and wood. In many ways, this helps preserve the feel of the coffee’s original purpose.

pont is a coffee roaster and prides itself on its single origin filter coffee. You’ll find a wide range of sweet and savory snacks on the menu, from cheese scones to chocolate brownies.

seoul bakery rust

where: 15 gyeongin-ro 79-gil, mullae-dong

the yeouido area is an up-and-coming hipster district near the main financial area of ​​seoul. During the 1970s, this area was filled with factories and industrial premises. today, many of these buildings have been repurposed and converted into everything from exhibition spaces and art galleries to cafes and restaurants. rust bakery is one of those repurposed spaces. the small rustic cafe still retains many of the features and fixtures of its former purpose. the coffee shop and bakery on the ground floor serve a variety of baked goods from a menu that changes throughout the day. . there is also a small patio, for sunny days. the coffee here is excellent and the prices are among the most reasonable on this list. expect to pay around 4,000 won for an espresso or an americano, and around 4,500 for lattes, cappuccinos, etc.

luft myeongdong cafe

where: 308 samil-daero, jung-gu, seoul

myeongdong is essentially seoul’s answer to high street. this shopping area is known for being home to a wide variety of high-end designer stores as well as chic high street boutiques. myeongdong isn’t really known for its coffee shops. But between the innis studio houses and free cosmetics shops, there’s a special place that’s perfect for when you need a break from retail therapy. that place is cafe luft myeongdong.

This is a nice little minimalist space, with Scandinavian furniture and potted plants and flowers scattered all over the place. all your favorite coffee drinks can be found here.

so can some darker concoctions. If you want to try something a little out of the ordinary, consider ordering a lemon olive latte, a vanilla latte, or a cold bottled beer.

ediya coffee lab

where: 636 nonhyeon-ro, gangnam-gu, seoul

ediya coffee lab has been one of the best coffee shops in seoul for strong, excellent quality coffee since it first opened its doors in 2016. it is located inside the ediya building of the same name, in the nonhyeon area of gangnam.the cafe has an industrial feel, with exposed brick walls and metal fixtures. Several coffee grinding machines are dotted throughout the facility to help you understand the process from bean to cup.

center of seoul coffee forest

where: 28-11 seoulsup 2(i)-gil, seongdong-gu, seoul

did you know that seoul is so big that it has several parks and forests within its reach? A great place to stop for a coffee after walking through the Seoul Forest is the Seoul Forest Center of Coffee, the specialty here is drip coffee, made with beans from Colombia and Panama. Various non-caffeinated beverages, teas, and teas also grace the menu.

best of all? you can see the forest through the large windows.

best cafes in seoul: frequently asked questions and things you should know

Is coffee etiquette important? probably not. In any case, below are a few things to keep in mind when visiting coffee shops in Seoul.

always buy a drink

many people go into a coffee shop to take photos and then leave without buying anything. support local businesses by buying at least one coffee!

Coffee in Korea may be different from what you are used to

Coffee in South Korea is usually very sweet. it is also weaker than the average coffee. that is unless you go to one of the places outlined above that are specifically known for their brewing skills and good beans. for example, hell cafe, mesh, namusairo, soosoo coffee, and fritz coffee company.

coffee is a bit more expensive in korea

the average price of a coffee in seoul ranges from 5,500 to 7,500 won (5.5 to 7.5 US dollars). yes, that is more expensive than average, but coffee in seoul is quite expensive. you can also expect the same at starbucks and chain places. at theme cafes, the price can often reach 9,000 won ($9) per cup.

dairy-free milk options available

When you walk into a cafe in Seoul these days, there are usually plenty of milk options available. You’ll commonly find almond milk, soy milk, and lactose-free milk among dairy options.

several iconic cafes in seoul closed during the pandemic

There are a couple of cafes in Seoul that have popped up on instagram and tiktok at some point, and many of them were shortlisted in this article. sadly, they did not survive the pandemic and have been permanently closed.

for example, hello kitty cafe in hongdae was a cafe designed to look like hello kitty’s house, but sadly not anymore. Gone is the cafeteria takeaway art drawing, and neither is zapangi, the famous pink cafeteria with a vending machine.

final thoughts

Do you have any questions about cafes in seoul or visiting seoul in general? I used to live here and would be happy to answer any questions you may have about planning your Korea itinerary.

Alternatively, if you have other suggestions for great places to grab a cup of coffee, feel free to share! safe trips!

annyeonghaseyo, melissa xo

See also: Homemade Coffee Creamer (VIDEO)


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