Seoul cafes

One thing I love about Seoul are the local cafes.

I found it impressive that while there are a couple of Starbucks franchises scattered across the city, both Koreans and tourists flock to the more unique and charming local cafes.

We made it a point to visit some of them :)

The CNN Cafe

"Managed by YBM, Korea's largest English education company in conjunction with Turner Asia Pacific, CNN Café opened at the Jongro branch of Young Poong Bookstore this week. 
It aims to attract the growing number of the self-employed seeking a coffice (cafe-office) and students who use coffeeshops as a place to study or hang out. As well as a study-distracting CNN ticker, the café offers free Wi-Fi, computers and printing services."

Months before the trip, I was aimlessly Googling through the net when I came across an article about the CNN Cafe in Seoul.  Being a media practitioner, it definitely spiked my interest so, of course, I made sure it was part of our itinerary.

There was nothing spectacular about the coffee nor the food.  I just found the idea that there's this cafe dedicated for news-mongers totally cool ;)

Drink coffee while listening to news from around the world.
Caffeine buzz.

B1 Young Poong Bookstore
Young Poong Building 33
Jongno-gu Seorin-dong
(서울특별시 종로구 서린동 33번지 영풍빌딩 B1)
+82 2 723 6674      

The Coffee Prince Cafe

The cafe wasn't even open yet when we arrived but there were already people lined up outside.  As popularized by the Korean drama "Coffee Prince", this cafe charmed us with its quaint design and cozy interiors.  The coffee ain't so bad too ;)

The owner is probably used to people going there just to take photos so the baristas made sure that everyone inside ordered a cup of coffee each.

커피프린스 1호점
Hongadae, Seoul, South Korea

The Roasting Factory Doo Roo

In Hanja, "doo roo" means "wafting fragrance of beans".  Appropriately named, the cafe boasted of its hand-dripped espresso and roasted beans.  We chanced upon the Roasting Factory Doo Roo after walking around the Bukchon Hanok Village.  It kept us warm not only with their coffee but with their comfy and slightly rustic interiors.  I didn't actually get to try the coffee and the pastries but Tonee said they were a bit too pricey for the taste.

Located at the entrance of the Bukchon Hanok Village
in Gahoe Dong, Seoul, South Korea

Cafe 195

Okay, so the name of the cafe is debatable.  Madel tried to check its name on the receipt but everything's in Korean. So there haha.

We saw this coffee place after shopping around Insadong.  We haven't even gone more than three steps into the coffee shop, we were already impressed by its contemporary design.  The whole shop was very spacious with paintings hung on the walls and shelves stacked with books.

Insadong, Jongno-Gu
Seoul, South Korea

Holly's Coffee

Now this is Seoul's version of Starbucks.  One thing I loved about Holly's is their coffee teabags which you can buy for 5,700 South Korean Won per pack (USD5.17).  Each pack contains 12 coffee teabags.  Not bad eh?  Naturally, I hoarded a couple of packs :p

There were so many other cafes I wanted to check out but four days just wasn't enough to go to all of them.  Definitely another reason to go back to Seoul :)


  1. I like the Roasting Factory Doo Roo (whatta mouthful) best! haha It's cute that they have a variety of coffee shops, unlike here we mostly have the mainstream brands.

    At in fairness ang sarap pumorma sa Seoul!

  2. True! There are a lot of sidestreet cafes which I wanted to check if only we had more time. And the more amazing part is that these businesses are thriving! I mean you would think a small unassuming cafe would close down after a year, but in Seoul, no :)

    And yes, porma galore in Seoul! haha.

  3. I miss Seoul now... TT.TT
    Wish I'll be there tom... weather forcast: Snowfall at -2deg >.<

  4. Ooh... snow! I miss Seoul too! Now I know why you're so fascinated by the megacity ;) When are you going back? Sama kami ni Patricia! Heehee.

  5. I love your piece about the cafes. Ganda rin ng pictures! Tara, balik tayo, sama tayo kay Tonee! :)

  6. Each of the cafes look so cozy and welcoming, except for the first one lol I also find the name intriguing and all, but it looks like a fast food place... Not that it's really bad or something, but just not as cozy or welcoming... If you know what I mean? lol

    1. Haha, actually! I was just intrigued because being a media drone, well, these nerdy things get my attention hahaha.

  7. Koryn, these cafes around Korea made me yearn to have my own in the Philippines. Def not starbucks. I have never been to those places you visited:)

    1. Right? :) I was really impressed that there were so many local cafes as opposed to franchises! Each with their own unique cozy designs. I could spend my day in one of them just reading and relaxing :)


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