Words and photographs by Hui Jun Ng
The Seoul City never sleeps; shops open till an astonishing 4.30am! Jet-lagged? Fret not. The beautiful cafes and aromatic coffees in Seoul will definitely liven up your soul. In every corner of every street, there would be at least one pretty café waiting for your entrance.
In my recent trip, I have narrowed my list to 5 cafes in Seoul that are notably worth making a trip to. You can immerse yourself into the land of Hello Kitty, sink your teeth into tea flavoured desserts, sip your beverage with 30 purring cats, eat your pasta in bowls made of bread and sample meat infused with tofu.
Let’s go on a cafe hopping adventure in Seoul!
Hello Kitty Café
Get ready to be blown away by the dramatic décors of this amazing Hello Kitty Cafe. Everywhere you look, there would be a Kitty staring right in your face – the food you eat, the latte you drink, the sofa seat you sit on, the wallpapers you gaze at, the tables where your mobile phone rests and even the toilets, are not spared from Hello Kitty.
Located in Hongdae (Hongik University) district, Hello Kitty Café is extremely popular with students of Hongik University. The food and drinks are immensely sweet and will certainly curb your cravings for desserts. To sum up this place in two words: Sugar rush. Don’t you want to teleport yourself there already and relieve those childhood memories?
Seoul 358-112 Seogyo
Tel: +82 2 334 6570
Daily: 11am – 12midnight
O’sulloc Tea House
O’sulloc is a famous Korean teahouse that serves fragrant teas and appetising tea flavoured desserts. The products are made from Jeju Island’s excellent tea-leaves. The café’s wooden modern interiors are incredibly spacious, promising you superior food and beverages, as well as quality comfort and services.
Don’t forget to order a pot of tasty sweet smelling orange black tea. Complete your meal with rounded slices of black tea cake and green tea tiramisu. Can’t get enough of O’sulloc tea? Purchase a few boxes of tea-leaves and share them with fellow family and friends!
Cheonghwi Bldg. 1st Fl.,
33-1, Myeong-dong 2(i)-ga
Tel: +82 2 774 5460
Mon to Thu: 9am – 10.30pm
Fri & Sat: 9am – 11pm
Lily Cat Café
If Hello Kitty Café isn’t enough for you cat lovers, visit Lily Cat Café where you will be greeted by approximately 30 friendly cats. The eating area and the cats’ playroom are in two separate entities, separated by a glass door. So if your companion is afraid of cats or has an allergy, he/she can still dine there and watch you play. Hygiene is of top priority and you are required to sanitize your hands before entering the playroom.
Yes, you can pat the cats and treat them like your own, exciting isn’t it? Food cannot be brought into the playroom but beverages are allowed inside. The entrance fee and the price of food are really cheap so do not miss out on this wonderful chance! Cats aside, we strongly recommend the delicious red bean shaved ice dessert and refreshing kiwi juice.
53-11 Myeongdong 2(i)-ga,
Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Tel: +82 2 318 2464
Daily: 9am – 11pm
Primo Bacio Baci
This Italian Cafe is always packed because everyone wants a portion of this goodness. It is advisable for you to visit Primo Bacio Baci with someone who can speak Korean. The English menu is not very helpful and employees are unable to speak English. Most pasta dishes are served in bowls made of bread – a trademark of Primo Bacio Baci.
Do try the squid ink pasta or classic carbonara. Dig your fork into the thick yummy pasta sauce and you will find several types of pastas submerged beneath. Best of all, complimentary mouthwatering sorbets (choose between mango and strawberry flavours) are presented to customers upon completion of their mains.
Mapo-gu Seogyo-dong 346-47
Seoul South Korea
Kyotofu is an artisanal dessert & brunch place that was first founded in New York. Located in Times Square (biggest shopping mall of Seoul), Kyotofu sells bite size savory food and desserts made of Japanese ingredients. Health gurus would be pleased to hear that tofu is the main component of these fanciful lip-smacking foods. Do not under estimate these petite dishes – they have received numerous awards in New York i.e. “Best New Restaurant” and “Best Cupcake NYC”. We also particularly enjoyed the mini crab-tofu burgers.
Great news for Singaporeans: The staff disclosed to us that they would be opening Kyotofu in Singapore soon! So if you feel like sampling these delights, you don’t have to fly all the way to NYC/Seoul.
442 Yeongdeungpodong 4(sa)-ga (15 Yeongjung-ro)
Times Square, Yeongdeungpo-gu
Seoul, South Korea
Tel: +82 2 749 1488
About the writer:
Hui Jun Ng is a Media and Communications student at RMIT University, Melbourne. She loves indulging in good food and traveling. She is part of a media productions group called CUTXPACE Productions and they recently completed a promotional video for Melbourne Art Show. You can follow her adventures in Melbourne here.