Café Craze – Welcome to Korea (part 1)

Cafes are a huge part of the Korean experience. In fact, studies show that Koreans now consume more coffee than they do kimchi and rice! From chain cafes to cat cafes, Korea has just about every type of café imaginable. One of my goals for my four-month exchange is to hit up as many themed cafes as possible, and I’ll be sharing my café craze with you all!

 

Café Talk

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First up, the Kakao Talk themed café. I’m sure my fellow exchange students have learned that sending text messages is not all that common here in Korea. Instead, everyone exchanges ID’s on KaKao Talk- Korea’s beloved communication application. Using Kakao Talk is essential for life in Korea, and the app is so popular that it has even become the theme of a particular café: Café Talk.

Located in the Gangnam area, the café is hard to miss with its bright yellow exterior and familiar logo design.

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The café has a bright and warm atmosphere, and with many seats and available outlets, my friends and I found ourselves studying at this café for a few hours.

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Café Talk has an impressive drinks menu, with both caffeinated and non-caffeinated drinks to choose from. They have coffees, teas, juices, and smoothies as well as some food options like honey bread (pictured below). Not sure what to order? Try their “Talk Specials”- Honey Americano and Honey Latte!

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Address: 723-15 Banpo 1(il)-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Directions: Take Line 7 to Nonhyeon Station. Take Exit 3 and continue walking straight for 3-5 minutes. Café Talk will be on your right.

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You Are Here Café

Korean language classes start this week for all exchange students, and if you’re looking for a café to develop your Korean language skills, the You Are Here café is the place to go! YouTube watchers are probably already familiar with this café, a collaborative effort by the creators of the YouTube channels Eat Your Kimchi and Talk To Me In Korean.

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Located in Hongdae, a district filled with quirky and unique cafes, the You Are Here café fits right in. The café’s exterior resembles a house, and is filled with spots for studying as well as rooms to learn in. It even has a video booth for customers to record a short clip about the posted question or topic of the week that. The video clips are then complied together and will end up on their YouTube channel.

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On specific days of the week, the café hosts language casts, which are meet-ups for people who are interested in learning languages. Anyone is welcome to stop by and join in! For those exchange students who want to learn and practice Korean outside of a classroom setting, this is the perfect place for you! Just pick a table, introduce yourself, and start talking! It’s a great way to meet new people and share languages and cultures.

The You Are Here Café also boasts a diverse menu filled with assorted cakes, sandwiches, and a plethora of different flavored milkshakes. I recommend the powerballs, a quick and healthy snack, as well as the croque monsieur! (Pictured below)

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Address: Donggyo-ro 25-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul

Directions: Take Line 2 to Hongik University Station, exit 1.

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This café isn’t as easy to find as Café Talk, so for those who get lost easily, the owners have filmed a handy video instructing you how to get to the café:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8cxZm0iHFQ

 

Article by Kristi from Canada

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