The Coolest Coffee Shops in Seoul (by Jieun)

It is not too much to say that coffee has become a big part of Korean culture in the last few years. According to a research by Seoul Metropolitan Government, there are over 18,000 coffee shops in Seoul as of December, 2016. From big names like Starbucks to small local shops, Seoul provides you a variety of options when it comes to coffee. This article is for those who love coffee, but are seeking something more than just a cup of good latte. If you are tired of the same coffee chains you see everyday, don’t miss out!

 

  1. LEESAR COFFEE ROASTERS

Leesar Coffee Roasters is located in a quiet residential area in Sangwangsimni (상왕십리). As you get there, you might wonder whether you are in the right place or not. When you are not sure, just look for the wolf!

Leesar Coffee Roasters has a very unique atmosphere; mostly it’s because its interior design keeps an interesting balance between vintage and modern concepts. This small coffee shop is filled with objects that don’t seem to go with coffee, but that mismatch is what creates it very own vibe.

All these vintage pieces of furniture, from old television to traditional Korean tables, are the signature objects of Leesar Coffee Roasters. The interior design changes from time to time, so this place might not look like this when you visit. However, whatever you get to see will be a pleasant surprise; it wouldn’t disappoint you.

Enough about design. What about its coffee? Leesar Coffee Roasters, as you can see from its name, is a coffee roastery as well as a coffee shop. It provides coffee beans to various coffee shops in Seoul, so that tells something about the quality of its coffee.

Although it has gained reputation for its signature coffee such as as “cafe chocolat (espresso with cacao cream),” or “cafe con panna (espresso with whipped cream), pretty much everything on the menu is a delightful experience. One thing you have to keep in mind is that most of the coffee Leesar provides comes in espresso cups; three sips and your coffee’s gone!

That’s why many people who visit this place end up ordering at least 2 cups of coffee, but no need to worry because the price is more than reasonable (less than 3,500 won).

 

Address: 9, Wangsimni-ro 31-gil, Seongdong-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 성동구 왕십리로 31길 9)

Open from 9:00AM to 18:30PM(last orders at 18:00PM) on every Tuesday to Saturday

 

  1. Felt Coffee

One word that best explains Felt Coffee would be minimalism. No sign, no table or whatsoever. Great coffee and killer music selections are what fills this amazing space located at a quiet neighborhood of Sinchon (신촌).

As there is no table(it only has a few stools), one might assume that it is inappropriate to visit with friends. Nevertheless, because of its bold decision to keep everything minimal, people can actually focus more on their companions and share great conversations too.

I mentioned this earlier, but one of the many reasons why people love Felt Coffee is that its music selections are exceptional.

Music is played with a turntable and three speakers at each corner of the walls. The cover of the record is always displayed right next to the turntable, so you can always find out what’s being played.

Of course, Felt Coffee is no music hall, so coffee is what completes this place. All their espresso variations come in reasonable prices, and are absolutely great.

My recommendation would be Fell+Cole Affogato, which uses handmade ice cream of Fell+Cole, a fun and unique ice cream shop also located in Mapo-gu (마포구).

Address: 23, Seogang-ro 11-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 마포구 서강로 11길 23)

Open from 8:00AM to 18:00PM on weekdays, and 11:00AM to 18:00PM on weekends.

 

  1. Idle Moments

Idle Moments is a comfy coffee shop where you can “idle” along with great drinks and even greater desserts. It is located near Hapjeong Station (합정역), line 2 of Seoul Metro (서울 메트로).

One of the most popular coffee here is “vienna coffee,” which is hot black coffee topped with cold whipped cream. The whipped cream is extremely soft, and it goes perfectly well with bitterness of the coffee.

“Cafe au lait,” espresso with hot milk added, is also a good choice if you want to warm yourself up on a cold day.

But if you visit Idle Moments, you should never forget to treat yourself with its amazing apple pie! Its signature apple pie is available on every Wednesday(there are exceptions sometimes though). You’d better hurry if you want to try it, because It’s often sold out if you visit late at night.

Compared to the places introduced earlier, Idle Moments is a little pricey (ranging from 5,000 to 6,500 won), but its cozy atmosphere and amazing desserts make up for it. If you want to spend a quiet afternoon with good dessert, then Idle Moments is just the right place for you!

 

Address: 93, Jandari-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 마포구 잔다리로 93)

Open from 13:00PM to 23:00PM on Wednesday to Monday (closes every Tuesday)

 

Reference: 우리 동네 마을 상권 분석 웹사이트 (http://golmok.seoul.go.kr/sgmc/trdarstatis/get_signgu_trdar_stats.do?level1=1&level2=1#sigunguCombo)

 

Article by Jieun from Korea, a Senior in Business Administration

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