Korea loves its coffee, no doubt about it. That’s why in several popular areas there are streets called Cafe Streets (카페러기), which is dedicated to just caffeine. There are cafe after cafe all with good coffee, eats and ambiance. Find out where to go to find these awesome cafe streets in Seoul!
Since the area near Gangnam Station is such a transportation hub with tons of buses and the really busy line number 2, it’s one of the most popular places to meet up and hang out for business professionals and college students alike. Up until a few years ago it used to be strictly bars and restaurants, but with the construction of Line number 9’s Sinnonhyeon Station (신논현역), a cafe street eventually blossomed in this busy hang out spot. And there is some serious cafes here. Many of the cafes are housed in entire 3-4 story buildings dedicated to the art of caffeine, nearly unheard of in Korea!
Tip: Although this isn’t a cafe, if you’re looking for American Style Pizza, there’s the super delicious Brick Oven Pizzeria. It’s so bomb, it deserves a good mention here.
Also close by is an interesting Book/Study Cafe found in our 15 Unique and Interesting Theme Cafes in Korea post!
Note: The greater Hongdae is quite large. And there are several coffee streets. See below for all maps.
Hongdae is Seoul’s number one area for artists, musicians, designers and other people that require looking out a window and thinking for long periods of time. And of course that means Hongdae has one of the highest concentrations of coffee shops in Seoul. You too can stare out windows Korean drama style dreaming about that sexy guy in your Econ class at your pick of cafes in Hongdae. And you will definitely have a lot to choose from. Instead of one street dedicated to cafes, there are actually several cafe streets with tons of great ambiance, their own specialties and of course good coffee.
Note: There’s tons of popular cafes (there’s just so many!). Here’s a few on these cafe streets.
Popular Cafes (Click for reviews/pics): aA Design Museum, Coffee Lab, 5 Extracts, Cafe Ttoma, CacaoBoom
How to get there (Click for maps): Hongdae Cafe Street 1, Hongdae Cafe Street 2, Hongdae/Hapjeong Cafe Street Hapjeong/Sangsu-dong Cafe Street. These are high concentration areas for cafes, but don’t be afraid to get lost. There’s tons!
A number of these Hongdae cafes are found in Eric’s Top 10 Cafe Recommendations list
Hongdae is where all the wannabe student artists hang out, and Samcheongdong is where all the successful ones go. The sheer amount of art galleries in the area is probably one of the main reasons why the area has turned into one of the best places to go for a cup of coffee in Seoul. Here you can grab a cappuccino and dream up the next Gangnam style dance in a few cafes housed in really cool traditional Korean buildings (it’s very close to Bukchon Hanok Village). But even non-hanok cafes have their own unique character and ambiance for the artsy crowd too.
If you’re looking for hanok restaurants, check out our Hanok Restaurant list.
All of the previous cafe streets are well known tourist stops with weekend crowds that rival a Jay Park concert in the middle of a Singaporean teenage hangout mall. But Buamdong is one cafe hot spot that not too many tourists know about. It’s set in a quiet residential neighborhood between Inwang and Bugak mountain, and that’s why it’s awesome for a unique combination of nature and coffee. It’s also another street for art lovers as many of the residents of Buam-dong are artists themselves. And like most artists around the world, many don’t have art as their main source of income. Many tend to make a living by selling you coffee in quaint little cutesy cafes with their own artistic twist
Looking for other things to do? Check out our Bucket List of 101 Things to Do in Seoul!
Popular Cafes (click for blogs/pics): Pics of several cafes, Flat 274, demitasse
How to get there: Gyeongbokgung Station, Exit 3 – Take bus 7022, 7212, 1020 to Buam-dong Community Center (부암동주민센터). (Click for map.)
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