Seoul is back in action and with borders lifted, everyone is flocking to the well-loved South Korean city for a holiday. When in Seoul, cafe-hopping is a must. The South Koreans take their cafes seriously – from the coffee and cakes, to the decor and even merchandise.
One that is gaining immense popularity is Shinleedoga Cafe, a huge hanok-style cafe Hongdae near to Hongik University, and it is frequented by students and young locals. You’d never expect to find a modern hanok-style cafe right in the middle of Hongdae.
There is no lack of cafes within Hongdae but Shinleedoga Cafe stands out for its interior and vibes. The entrance is unassuming, you might just walk past it and brush it off, thinking it is another hanok where nobody stays. But follow the stone-lined path and you would be greeted by a mysterious dark alley. And this alley takes you to the cafe that sits within the hanok.
The cafe has a simple yet modern interior. Coupled with the historical exterior, it is alluring and exudes a cosy vibe.
There are both indoor and outdoor seating, and we took a while to take in the beauty of the place when we first stepped in. On the inside, seats are scattered in a random manner, and during the daytime, the sunlight diffuses through the full glass windows to warm the space up.
The cafe is equally charming during the night and it is a cosy space where you can hang out to enjoy a drink and dessert.
There are outdoor seating too, and in winter, there is a campfire where you can roast marshmallow.
The cafe also has a rooftop on the third floor where you can catch a glimpse of the city.
On its menu, expect a mix of caffeinated and non-caffeinated drinks, as well as a small selection of bakes. Check out the Black Sesame Latte that is highly popular! While the bakes were nothing life-changing, we thought it was really nice that we could purchase marshmallow on sticks to roast at the campfire during winter.
Shinleedoga Cafe Hongdae
20-12 Jandari-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea