Cafe Valor: K-Drama Filming Location, Coffee & More!
Cafe Valor first drew my attention when I was planning my trip out to Incheon to stay at the immaculately designed Nest Hotel some months back but I didn’t get a chance to visit the cafe/studio until recently.
Not having spent terribly much time in Incheon, I wanted to know what there was to see and one tool at my disposal was, of course, Instagram. I ended up with a great itinerary for the westernmost coast of Incheon that included Incheon’s Chinatown, the Fairytale Village and more but just couldn’t find the time to get to Cafe Valor which really took my fancy. Was it a cafe? Was it a studio? The pictures were amazing and so I mentioned it to my vlogger buddy Arielle from Soju4Two and luckily found some time to get out there with her recently.
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I have been known to find places that did not live up to their Instagram photo-shopped fame, so I was overjoyed to see that this was not at all like that. Cafe Valor, also known as Studio Valor, is made up of two warehouses that sit opposite each other in an otherwise derelict looking area. The studio has been a filming location for various music videos, TV dramas and movies including: The Beauty Inside (뷰티 인사이드), Chicago Typewriter (시카고타자기), SoHee’s (소희) music video for “Spotlight” and others.
From top to bottom and everything in between, you could spend a couple hours here taking gorgeous photos of you and your friends.
There are simple snacks to eat and some very tasty drinks to enjoy and you should do this first as you can then take the receipt across the street to the Studio Valor area and use it to get in. Without a receipt it seems to cost W10,000 to just take photos, so why not enjoy a drink and take photos? That said, when we headed across, there was no one even manning the desk at the studio and we waltzed in and did our thing unnoticed for at least a half hour. The guy never did say anything when he did show up. For our drinks, we enjoyed a Valor Soda with strawberry and lemon and a Fresh Lemon Juice. Even the drinks are picturesque and are very refreshing. The Valor signature drink though is a peanut butter/chocolate concoction or a Haagen-dazs/milk drink that both look very delicious but a bit too heavy for us at the time.
I would definitely go back to enjoy a sweet sweet treat though.
Originally, Valor was a brand selling vintage furniture and you can see that the furniture is still for sale. In the warehouse that houses the cafe, there is a huge room and signs that request people NOT to put drinks on tables and if you look closely you’ll see price tags upwards of W2,000,000 so you definitely don’t want to leave any rings on those beauties. You break it you bought it would be a costly mistake here. That doesn’t mean that you can’t sit behind desks or on rocking chairs and take photos. There’s even a Harry Potter themed area if you’re into that. From room to room, the tables and chairs are rustic, stylish and uber picturesque. It’s a blogger/vlogger’s dream stop for sure. The cafe building has a basement with a more metallic industrial ambiance. Neon lights flicker and a “gym” set up as well as a music video style clawed bathtub in a gritty basement set up beckon the cameras. Fences and neon lights are the aesthetic appeal.
Head upstairs to the second floor and the exposed brick and chandeliers are decadent.
The second warehouse across the street is where most of the filming backdrops can be found and in the center is an extremely picturesque corridor that glows with gorgeous lighting. The corridor leads to a space with an antler chandelier above and currently big white orbs on the floor around a solo chair clearly there to get that stunning solo photo. The center photo zone is changed as are the other areas regularly so you really never know what you’ll find out there. Fog machines blow from time to time and make for an even better shot so if you visit, take a seat and wait for the magic to happen.
All around the room are hovels and apses that have a different aesthetic and props to use and peruse.
Even the lighting is fun. From rustic chandeliers to decadent ones too, neon signs and more, you really need to wander around the floors and get up close and personal where you can. We visited on a Monday morning and every space was practically devoid of people so, weekdays would be highly advisable though due to it’s location I would doubt that weekends would see a TON of people. Even if there are a ton of people, there is so much space to take advantage of.
We had a fantastic time and I would highly recommend this spot not only for photos but the drinks and sweet treats were delicious too. It is an extremely appealing cafe and studio to visit just outside of Seoul but still on the subway line. Check it out for some photo fun of your own.
Cafe Valor (카페발로)