Top five cafes to check out in Seoul

cafe seoul mangwon
“Jane Cafe” in Seoul

Seoul is brimming with cafes – though I haven’t found one that make really good lattes. But unlike the ones in Singapore, they are spacious and there’s always room to sit down to rest the tired legs and have a cuppa.

As travellers, cafes are important. They’re an important place where you can rest your legs after a long shopping trip, or simply, a place to use the toilet.

That being said, each of these cafes have a certain unique flair, hence my recommendation. I don’t profess to be an expert in Seoul and South Korea, having only been there once. If you have any suggestions, feel free to drop a comment and I’ll be happy to include them in this post. Thanks!

Tip* – most cafes in Seoul sprinkle cinnamon powder on lattes and cappuccinos, so if you’re not a big fan of cinnamon, tell them in advance. 


Top five cafes to check out in Seoul

cafe at Mapo Dong
Jane cafe at Mang Won, one of the top cafes to check out while in Seoul
Credits: Friend L

1. Jane (A friend helped to translate, and the Korean word sounds like Jane)

Address: Street along Mangwon Metro Station

How to get there: Mangwon Metro Station (Line 6), Exit 2. As you emerge from the staircase turn right into the street that follows. Walk straight until you see the storefront.

What I like about it: The cafe is tiny and it’s easy to miss given the big coffee chains nearby. But the decor is really cute – handmade paintings line the wall and you get the feeling that you’re in someone else’s garden. The beef burgers that go for 4,000 won is delicious, bursting with flavour. They have shrimp patties if you don’t eat beef.  The lattes? An economical 2,000 won.

There’s no wifi here though.

Great for breakfast or tea.

Hand made paintings on the wall - Cafe in Mangwon
Hand made paintings on the wall
Cafe near Mangwon
Lovely place to sit down and chill, like you’re in someone’s garden
Cafe in Mangwon
The lovely bulbogi (beef) burger, 4,000 won
Coffee to start the day @ Mangwon Cafe
Coffee to start the day @ Mangwon Cafe

* * *

Holly's Coffee - Ice mocha for 5,000 won
Holly’s Coffee – Ice mocha for 5,000 won
Holly's Cafe high tech order beepers
Holly’s Cafe – high tech order beepers that even show advertisements!

2. Holly’s Cafe (Hapjeong)

Address: 374-1, Hapjeong-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul

How to get there: Nearest MRT: Hapjeong (Line 2 and 6), Exit 7

What I like about it:

I chanced upon this cafe one early morning, at 7.30am. It spans three floors – the decor is exquisite and the windows overlook the street below. There’s even a library filled with Korean books. There were no customers when I arrived and it was really peaceful. As I looked down, I chanced upon a demonstration (totally legal of course) forming. The police by the side, with students draping Miss Universe type of banners across their bodies. The leader, a student in his twenties with geeky spectacles read out his speech – though very few bystanders seem to care, and much less the cars that rolled on by.

I like the Mocha – 5,000 won.

Wifi works very well – get the password from the counter.

View from the Window seat of Holly's Cafe - there's a deminstration going on.  (Seoul, Hapjeong)
View from the Window seat of Holly’s Cafe – there’s a demonstration going on.
Holly's Cafe
Holly’s Cafe (this is what looks outside) Credits: (The one in Hapjeong looks slightly different)

* * *

Angel-in-us Coffee - Hongdae, Seoul
Angel-in-us Coffee – Hongdae, Seoul

3. Angel-in-us Cafe

Address: Donggyo 162-4, Mapo-gu, Seoul

How to get there: Hongnik University (Line 2)

What I like about this:

The tiramisu tasted like any normal cake – though I’m not sure if it was one of the contributing factors which rendered me sleepless for an entire night. As for the ice latte, it’s pretty strong and good. The second floor oversees the streets of Hongdae, it’s bustling and makes a good spot to people watch, or simply to look at Seoul’s nightlife from a bird’s-eye view.

Wifi works very well here too.

The view of Hongdae from my seat at the second floor - the tiramisu cake tastes okay.
The view of Hongdae from my seat at the second floor – the tiramisu cake tastes okay.

* * *

De Chocolate Cafe, Erwha University
De Chocolate Cafe, overlooking Ewha Women’s University

4. De Chocolate Coffee Cafe

Address: Ewhayeodae-gil (overlooking the entrance of Ewha Women’s University).

How to get there: Ewha Women’s University (Line 2), exit 3. From the exit, walk straight in the direction of the shopping district. You will come to a stop at the entrance of Ewha Women’s University. The cafe is on the left.

What I like about this?

It’s cappuccino has the thickest foam I’d ever come across. Great if you’re a foam lover.  The story goes that while we were shopping along the streets of Ewha University, I had to use the toilet urgently after indulging in some really spicy army stew. Hence we popped by this place. It spans three floors, and the view overlooks the Ewha Women’s University, which seems like a breeding ground for romance, with its castle-like architecture and bright-green carpeted grass.

This place has Wifi too.

De Chocolate Cafe, Cappuccino, Ewha Women's University
De Chocolate Cafe, Cappuccino
That's how thick the foam is - at least 5cm @ De Chocolate Coffee Cafe, Ewha Women's University, Seoul
That’s how thick the foam is – at least 5cm.


* * *

OSullocs Cafe Myeong Dong
Osulloc’s at Myeong Dong

5. O’Sulloc’s Cafe (Myeong Dong)

Address: 47-1 Myeong-dong 1-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea

How to get there: Take the metro to Myeong Dong station (Line 4) and head towards the shopping streets. You’ll pass by it somehow. It’s significant cos there’s someone making green tea ice-cream outside for you to take and go.

What I like about this?

I love the green tea ice-cream, it’s very smooth and you can tell it’s a quality piece of work. My only gripe is the price – 6,000 won for a one big scoop of ice-cream, shared between me and Friend H. That being said, O’Sulloc’s is one of Seoul’s famous cafe chains – worth a try when you’re there : )

green tea icecream osulloc myeong dong
Yummy green tea icecream – a little bit pricey though
osullocs cafe myeong dong green tea cakes
Lovely cakes on sale
osulloc cafe myeong dong menu
Wide ranging menu that looks very posh

Do you have other cafes in Seoul to recommend? Do drop a comment in the form below!

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