Our Guide to the Top Cafés in Seoul, Korea
Seoul is very famous for their cafés, each being very different from each other. They focus a lot on unique interiors and special pastries to set them apart from their competition. On both of the trips we took to Seoul, I discovered several cafés, and as a coffee and pastry lover, I'd love to recommend five of my favourites to you.
1. OUR Bakery
OUR Bakery is very famous for both their pastries and specialty coffees. The café is a collaborative project between stylist Seo Hanyoung (known for her styling work with several K-pop idols including Boa and 2NE1) and food culture brand CNP Food. The interior is has a dark-toned modern and contemporary feel to it, with a lot of metal mixed in. I had a light lunch there, which consisted of a garlic olive bread stick, a flat white, and a chocolate palmier to go. Honestly, the coffee there for me was just average, but I highly recommended their pastries. I didn’t realize that the chocolate palmier would be so good! When I took the first bite after arriving back to the hotel, I immediately regretted just getting one.
Address: 10-11 Dosan-daero 45-gil, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Etcetera is just around the corner from OUR Bakery, but has a totally different vibe. It's very brutalist (a lot of metal, cast aluminum, glass, and concrete), with a touch of warmth from the the many beautiful bonsai trees that were carefully placed (and are for sale). Jeongwha Seo is the local designer who designed the furniture and lighting. He said the concrete structure of the whole shop allowed him to have the autonomy to mold different shapes of furniture. This was by far my favourite café interior-wise, however they do not serve any pastries, only hand drip coffee (3 kinds to choose from).
Address: 28 Eonju-ro 170-gil, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
3. BUTTERFUL & CREAMOROUS
I encountered this café in Gangnam by total chance. We were supposed to be visiting a store, but weren't sure on the address, then the taxi driver stopped in front of this mysterious all black café. Feeling curious, we got out of the taxi and decided to give it a try. Their food is very instagramable with very interesting packaging. The café also has outdoor area, which is perfect for a sunny day, and reminded me of the cafés in Paris where you can sit, sip espresso, and people watch.
Address: 662-11 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
4. Luft Coffee
Luft coffee is very spacious with a clean and Nordic interior. They have 2 big communal tables for people to have meetings or hang out. I had a very interesting cube-shaped butter toast, which looks hard but tasted really soft. They also had my favourite dessert, Mont Blanc, but in a cube toast version. Luft's simple design, good coffee, and excellent pastries make it one of the most comfortable cafés to spend your time in (I could sit and work here all day).
Address: 208, Samil-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
5. Tea Collective
The minute you walk into Tea Collective you'll feel relaxed. It's full of natural soft light, beautiful ceramics, warm woods, and the smell of tea. They have an incredible selection of the highest quality 100% locally grown and harvested teas, as well as their own blended teas with fresh seasonal ingredients. Snacks range from vegan cereals to pastries to salads (the menu aways changes). They also have monthly studio events featuring like-minded creatives from around the world, and tea workshops. I left feeling inspired, appreciative, and recharged.
Please let us know if we missed any of your favs! I'd love to add more to my list for next time.