[Updated] 15 Unique and Interesting Theme Cafes in Korea!

Sure lattes and cappuccinos are nice. But Korea’s added some extra fun to cafes with some really unique themes. Find out where you can pet dogs and cats, see Charlie Brown, play Jenga, go camping and even get your bike fixed!

[6 June 2013: Has been edited with updated locations]

Book/Study Cafe in Gangnam, Seoul

So you’ve got some homework to do, but your brother is watching wrestling super loud, your mom is yelling super loud and your dad is farting super loud. That’s it, time to go to a cafe! But then everyone there is super loud too! Well… if you’re in Korea, you can always head over to a study cafe. Many are run just like libraries (no chatting) and they might even be better because they got lots and lots of caffeine! So they’re perfect places to fuel your sleepy eyes and give you enough peace and quiet to study.

Tip: Some book cafes in Korea are just regular cafes with books and people chatting, but many are on the quiet side.

Recommendation: May Island (메이아일랜드)
Address: 서울 강남구 역삼동 816-6 용일빌딩 4, 5층 (Seoul, Gangnam-gu, Yeoksam-dong 816-6, Yongin Bldg 4F & 5F)
Maps: Google
Closest Subway Station: Gangnam Station (Line 2), Sinnonhyeon Station (Line 9)
Blogs (for pics): omg0609 (Korean), 배추 (Korean)

 

Fish Pedicure Cafe in Myeongdong, Seoul


Namu Guneul is a cafe we highlighted in our cafes to get free refills. And there you can get refills of coffee and bread to drink and eat to your hearts content. But you won’t be the only one eating. Namu Guneul in Gangnam has tiny cute little fishies that love to eat you (your dead skin to be exact). It’s a funny feeling if you’ve never experienced it, but it might be a more comfortable alternative to the traditional Korean way of getting rid of your dead skin (paying an ajumma/ajeosi to scrub you crazy hard!).

Address: 서울 중구 명동1가 37-1 4층 (Seoul, Jung-gu, Myeongdong, 37-1 4th Floor)
Maps: Google
Closest Subway Station: Myeongdong Station (Line 4), Euljiro-1-Ga Station (Line 2)
Blogs: Tripologist (English), TheHangulGames (English), CarlosAbroad (English)

 

Hello Kitty Cafe in Seoul


The Japanese-born character is so cute that Korea had to make its own cafe dedicated to Hello Kitty (either that or a multi-million dollar corporation, but who knows?!), and it’s definitely one of the cutest places to sip on a latte in Korea. Make your way over here if you want cuteness overload with Hello Kitty decorations, cups, desserts and even Hello Kitty latte art. It is quite popular and it does get a bit crowded at times, but it’s perfect for those in need of a little (aka A LOT) of pink in their lives ;).

Address (Click for maps): Hongdae Location (서울시 마포구 어울마당로 94-3), Shinchon Location (서울시 서대문구 명물길 36-6), Incheon Airport (Near Departure Gate 24 – past customs). Samcheongdong location (서울시 종로구 삼청로 106). See official website for more locations.
Closest Subway Stations: Hongdae University Station (Line 2), Shinchon Station (Line 2), Anguk Station (Line 3)
Blogs: MissTamChiek , Tumblr with Hello Kitty Cafe Pics

 

Photography Cafe in Incheon, Gyeonggi

Photography is so bomb. It’s so awesome that Korea has cafes dedicated to the art of snapping pictures. We found Cafe’ra in Incheon, and they put up nice photography on the walls as well as display some photography memorabilia around the store. But the cool part comes in if you’ve got your own DSLR camera. If you order a drink, they will allow you to use their camera lenses to just mess around with in the store. Come here and test out a few lenses. And stop drinking so much coffee so you can buy your own!

Cafe’ra
Address: 인천시 연수구 송도동 18-1 302커낼워크 302동 225호 (Incheon-si, Yeonsu-gu, Songdo-dong 18-1)
Map: Google
Closest Subway Station: Central Park Station (Incheon Line 1)
Blogs (for pics): 38sebal (Korean), jhtn38 (Korean)

 

Charlie Brown Cafe in Seoul

Source

The lovable Charlie Brown not only has a cafe in Seoul, he has an entire chain all throughout Korea (click here for official website)! And although Hello Kitty is a one-kitty wrecking crew, at Charlie Brown Cafe, you’ll get the entire Peanuts entourage. With Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Lucy and the rest of his pals on cakes and cookies, you might even hesitate to take a bite out of these uber cute characters. No wait… Actually… Take a bite out of Lucy. She never holds the ball for Charlie Brown :(!

Tip: Although many blogs online say Charlie Brown Cafe is in Hongdae, it has since closed. There are two in Seoul (directions for one below) the other near (Gimpo Airport – click for map). There’s also a very small one inside Incheon International Airport (near boarding gate 12 in the Duty Free Area after customs).

Closest Subway Station: Sanbong Station (상봉역) – Line 7, Jungang Line, Gyeongchun Line (It’s inside the station.)
Blogs: Cute in Korea ala Incheon Airport (English), Korean Blogger ala Gimpo Airport (Mayfield Hotel) location

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About Keith

Keith Kim is a Korean-American living in Seoul, Korea. He likes espresso shots, photography art and he loves his Playstation 3. He started seoulistic.com as a hobby site, and is now in the process of turning it into a full-time business. Wish him luck! Check out his blog for an uncensored view on entrepreneurship, dating and life in Korea. Personal Blog: gyopokeith.com Facebook: facebook.com/gyopokeithkim Twitter: @gyopokeith Youtube: "Gyopokeith e-mail me anytime at: gyopokeith [at] gmail.com

47 comments

  1. Doralis

    I want to visit all of them…. and I don’t even like coffee. But it seems like so much fun!!! :D

  2. Marisa

    I would love to visit Study Cafe… It looks so awesome…

  3. Judith

    This is a really great article. I can’t believe how much work you put into this. Even researching the blogs, where we could read about the cafes! :) Thank you!

  4. @Judith Thank you! Yea, this one took me a while :)

  5. Sue

    Awesome post! I would love to try the fish pedicure cafe.

  6. Thanks for crediting, the other cafes look amazing! Hope to try them the next time I visit Korea!:)

  7. R.

    Thanks for the effort

  8. Peggy

    Oh wow that one with the fish is so interesting. I really hope to visit there!

  9. Jen

    I thought I’d seen all the theme cafes in Seoul, but you added a few to my list. Just a note, though, the sheep are only around if the weather is cool enough for them. :-(

  10. YMY

    thanks for the article…very informative!

  11. I really love the Charlie Brown and Study cafe. I wish that there were places like that in my city. They look very chic but quite relaxing at the same time. Great site and great YouTube channel. I love learning about different cultures.

  12. Sam Tsai

    my goodness I think I’m in love. Especially the study cafe. I could definitely use that.
    Oh, and I’ve been to one of those fish-feet things before… It wasn’t a cafe though. Just a place to sit and relax :)

  13. Carol

    The board game cafe sounds like fun!!! I love to play jenga! :)

  14. Tim

    I went to Bau House yesterday and can say it was the best time I’ve had in ages. Ditch your plans and do this RIGHT NOW!

  15. Cynthia

    Thank you so much for the update Keith! I had a great time at 나무그늘 :-D

  16. photography cafe is something new to my ears, I think I would love that.

  17. Ling

    Does anyone know how much it costs to do the entire hanbok package (makeup, photo,…) at Go Guan cafe? I’m dying to go but afraid it’s gonna cost hundreds of $ ^^

    • Jacob

      Experience (Regular hanbok + take your own photos) – KRW 20,000
      Special costume (King/Queen, gisaeng, wedding) – add KRW 5,000
      Wig – add KRW 5,000

      not sure if these prices are current… found on another blog from last year (2013)

  18. Maggie

    the fish cafe attracted me! is that expensive?

  19. Irene

    Aww… I was hoping you would post something about the dog&cat cafe there! there are these cafe with just kittens or just dogs roaming around, and I think its the best oart about visiting Korea :)

    • amy

      Cute in Korea blog did posts on some cat cafes and a dog cafe in Seoul :D She has lots of photos too. I dunno if I can post the link, but he links it above a few times.

  20. Jezebelle

    Keith, this is a fantastic site for things to do and see in Seoul, not things you would find in Lonely Planet. Love all the extra tips. Heading your way in November for my first visit to Korea.

  21. Mary

    Keith, thanks for an awesome list!
    Is there only one Book Cafe in Seoul? Or is this a franchise cafe?

  22. Elle

    Study cafe for me too….unique decor

    The only problem is i have to think what kind of subject i have to study there lol

  23. anonymous

    Hi, I’m from New Zealand and I’m really inspired by all the Korean cafes I’ve seen in k-drama and k-tvshows. I’m a college student studying graphics and I would like to design a cafe but I’m struggling with the theme. I was wondering which ones you think would be a great idea. Some of my ideas is a streetart cafe where people can express their artwork, music themed cafe where people can also express their music or a winter themed cafe which was inspired by the movie “Frozen”. If you have any other ideas please suggest them below! Would be a great help! Thanks!

  24. Awesome article.

    Here is my weblog – Houston Texas public adjusting

  25. You might want to update the address for Bau House. They moved in 2012. It’s still around the same area but you get out through EXIT 3 at Hapjeong Stn. and make a U-turn. Turn left, walk for a minute and it’s the building on your right. :)

  26. Tina

    what’s the board game called in korean?, I’ve always wanted to know its name in korean

  27. you missed cat cafe, dog cafe and maid cafe! lol.

    i know way too much about a place I have yet to visit. never been to korea but dying to go. :)

  28. opps sorry, just saw the other pages. lol.

  29. incheon

    incheon is not the city of Gyeonggi