Hongdae & Yeonnam Cafés, 2019
This is the first time I stayed at Hongdae, out of all the trips to South Korea, and if you are a café-goer, making your choice of stay at Hongdae or Yeonnam is definitely the right choice! I am going to share with you some cafés that are really instagram-worthy so you don’t have to break the bank for a private studio to have your own photoshoot. (You got to have a photographer though) Don’t expect to find a lot of FOOD photos because this is the wrong blog to go for food. You should have known, but these places are definitely worth the aesthetic.
The cafe is full of minimal furniture that gives you the zen and cozy Japanese vibe, look at all the wooden desk, chairs and frames with curtain filtering the light, that makes it just nice to stay in during a bright day. They have 2 storeys so don’t worry about seats. Do try the green tea patisseries! They open quite late (for me), at 12 noon, which would be a lunch hour for me. I would suggest you come by for tea time in the afternoon.
📍 23 Seongmisan-ro 29-gil, Yeonnam-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Welcome to NEW YORK! Donuts reminds me of New York, New York, ain’t it the same for you too? This exterior and interior just reminds me of living in New York (though I have never been there) HAHA. Okay one day I will, not by spending my parents money. I would totally come back here for the Iced Earl Grey Milk Tea, remember to say “Iced”, if not you will get the Hot Earl Grey Tea, which is a NO. The donuts in general are pretty good but not cheap, around S$10 per donut. From what I have tried, the Choco Glazed Vanilla Custard is pretty good! I liked the custard inside.
📍 223-21 Yeonnam-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Daily, 1130AM - 10PM
Yeon-nam is really full of cafes, especially on this particular street where Cafe Stamp and many other cafes which you will see later below, can be found here. It looks like a buffet but it is not (how I wish it was). They have a open kitchen concept where you can see the bakers making the pastries through a long window which is quite cool I would say. On the second floor is where the nicest spot is, for pictures of course. Ironically, I can’t tell you about how good the coffee in the cafes are because I can’t take too much coffee, so most of the time I drink milk tea here.
📍 240-4 Yeonnam-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Oh Harry Potter fans, you would have probably seen this cafe somewhere on social media. More like a museum than it is a cafe, this 4-storeys high Harry Potter-themed cafe draws long queues even before the cafe opens at 1130am everyday. More so on weekends. Tip: come before they open at 1130am to queue. That is if, you want a good seat, which I would think is the bed on the 4th floor… which is always filled. They have wizard costumes for guests as props for photos as well! One from each of the houses and everyone is limited with 10 minutes to wear them.
As usual, everyone must get a drink to be enter the cafe as ‘entry fee’. This is a very common rule in Korea cafes and they don’t recommend guests to share. Look at that super expensive birthday cake which I can’t afford. Thank goodness I am not a Harry Potter fanatic or anything. Watch my video by clicking the icon below for a tour of the cafe! Even the elevator is decorated, how on point!
Click to watch my IGTV on
Kingscross Cafe (Harry Potter Themed Cafe)
📍417 Seogyo-Dong, Mapo-Gu, Hongdae, Seoul, South Korea
11AM - 10PM (Closed On Mondays)
I’ve visited Cafe Layered in Bukcheon before (the place where you see the traditional Korean houses + try on a Hanbok), and I chanced upon it while dropping by Fluffy Doughnuts and Stamp Coffee, because coincidentally, they are all on the same street? Wow! Okay let’s just call that the cafe street, and you just need to remember one road and go there for your everyday morning cafe routine. If any cafes is not instagammable (just look at people taking pictures = ‘social norm’), it is not going to make it. Look at Layered, they even mounted a mirror right outside the cafe so they you can check how morphed you are after the delicious pastries. The ‘PUPPY CAKES’ are really popular, maybe just because they look cute and girls being girls… They come in Red Velvet and Earl Grey. Believe me, everything Earl Grey in Korea is decent and it is a food trend, I don’t know why. At least for this spring it is.
📍223-20 Yeonnam-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Daily, 11AM - 10PM
Bored of Korean food? Visit GRAIN, which is on another side of Yeonnam-dong. It can be hard to find, so I suggest you download Naver Maps or Kakao Maps and navigate your way there with the maps, because the alleys are not perpendicular and grid-like. The special thing about the cafe is you can design your own brunch. Look at my pick’s on the right. It will come up to around S$18 depending the number of items you select.
📍23 Donggyo-ro 46-gil, Yeonnam-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Daily, 9AM - 8PM
Happy cafe-hopping friends! Mel.