8 Brunch Spots Around Hongdae To EAT It Up & 4 BONUS Cafes Too!
Brunch places galore. It seems like that’s what the Hongdae vicinity is these days.
It’s pretty stunning to me because I’ve been living in the area for the past 9 years and gosh darn it if brunch restaurants were next to none for most of that time. Sure there were a few that popped up and then disappeared but now, they are in full force and deliciously so. If you’re in the area and want some good eats in the morning, and I highly recommend coming over to the area in the morning when the hoodlums have skedaddled and the coffee drinkers have taken over, check out these spots and choose the one that is right for you! With so many places to choose from, here is a good round up to start with and while you’re on your way, keep your eyes peeled for plenty of others.
As always, REMEMBER There is a map at the end of this post so you can find all of these places easily. Make sure to check it out!
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1. Grain (Used to be Smør)
Smør only opened at the beginning of last year but hit the scene with a mouth watering bang. It seems their brunch menu was so popular the spot which used to serve brunch and more has recently gone through a name and slight menu change. Grain is a brunch cafe with all of the good eats I had last spring and many more now too. The small cafe sits down an unassuming alley in the delightful foodie neighborhood of Yeonnam-dong. The Nordic and Danish sets are the most popular and for good reason. Just look at those yummy concoctions. The menu now has a build your own brunch menu so you can make your own perfect morning set. Hunt out the new-ish (and maybe improved though it was very delicious before) spot.
Address: Mapo-gu Yeonnam-dong 385-6 (마포구 연남동 385-6)
2. The Famous Lamb
We were met with a very healthy and scrumptious buffet at The Famous Lamb. Salamis and cheeses sat next to a tray of tomatoes and asparagus. There were bowls of fruit and plenty of bread options. It was a set that would make anyone’s mouth drool and would certainly not leave anyone wanting. Something for everyone… if you can get a table. Definitely get there a bit early if you can on the weekends as this spot is NOT off the beaten track so there are plenty of people looking to get in.
Address: Mapo-gu Seogyo-dong 447-7 (서울특별시 마포구 서교동 447-7)
If you’re looking for super soft and super delicious pancakes, then find Sarr. This is the ONLY breakfast option on the menu but it is so so good. The interior of this small cafe is chic and offers velvet seating all around. Take a seat after ordering and wait for some mouth-watering pancakes to arrive. The cafe opens at __ but expect to wait at least 20 minutes for the pancakes to get to you. Worth the wait though… oh so worth the wait.
Address: Mapo-gu Yeonnam-dong 260-25 (서울특별시 마포구 연남동 260-25)
4. Urban Plant (어반플랜트)
Urban Space just opened up at the end of October and is already making waves. The house turned restaurant is brick and mortar decorated simply with leaves and plants. There is a substantial patio area on the first floor as well as on the second floor. Omelets and egg sandwiches done very well are on the menu alongside autumn drink favorites like the maple latte. The spot still has a few kinks to work out in the kitchen, as in, they seemed to have gotten popular well before they expected and were a bit slow, but the staff is EXTREMELY nice and the food was worth waiting for. I’d definitely go back to see how much better this spot will surely get.
Address: Mapo-gu Hapjeong-dong 363-28 (서울특별시 마포구 합정동 363-28)
5. Caravan Seoul
Set in the Mecenatpolis shopping center just outside of Hapjeong Station where colorful umbrellas that are strung above the corridors welcome visitors to go shopping and dining is Caravan Seoul. Owned by some native Australians who couldn’t quite find the kind of brunch and flat white coffee house they were looking for in Seoul, they decided to open their own chic spot. The interior of this cafe is beautiful and lush welcoming diners to sit down and gab for a few hours while they sip on good coffee drinks and eat up superb food. Mecenaptolis is easy to find connected right to the subway station and is a great place to check out in the cold months where you want to quickly duck in to a shopping arcade with good eats. Find Caravan Seoul in the northeast corner of the complex.
Address: Mapo-gu Hapjeong-dong 414 (서울특별시 마포구 합정동 414)
6. Bagel MTL
(UPDATE: CLOSED AS OF JANUARY 2019; There is now a donut and coffee joint where Bagel MTL used to stand.) I’ve mentioned them before but this is a spot I still go back to when I’m around. If you’re looking for the best Montreal-style bagels in Seoul, look no further than Bagel MTL. The open faced breakfast brunch sandwiches are delicious and healthy and so so tasty. The menu is an array of open faced bagel sandwiches with everything you’d expect to top a delicious bagel. The cafe itself also has a super cool exterior all done up in lights that welcomes patrons in to this chic but homey interior. Set in a corner of Yeonnam-dong that might be overlooked, it’s a good spot to sniff out.
Address: Mapo-gu Yeonnam-dong 223-21 (서울특별시 마포구 연남동 223-21)
7. Flapjack Pantry
Flapjack Pantry has a few locations, but this is a tried and true brunch spot with a full, and I mean FULL, dish of good brunch hits. You definitely get your money’s worth here. I had the Chef’s Favourite and it hit the spot; the dressing on the salad was not overpowering or a Koreanized sweet rendition of a dressing, there were green beans, (what?!) the tomato omelet was cooked perfectly and overall I ended up stuffed. My husband’s The Burger Factory seemed to have the best of everything: a burger, bacon, eggs, a salad and fries and left him satisfied. And the English Breakfast went down smoothly too. Seriously, these are huge plates of all the morning goodness you could want. Tried and true winners and a spot I’ve been to numerous times.
Address: Mapo-gu Yeonnam-dong 488-4 (마포구 연남동 488-4)
8. Analog Garden (아날로그가든)
Analog Garden was a spot on my list to check out for some time because their menu was just a bit different offering some good standards like eggs with fresh avocado and a brioche topped with onion, cabbage, eggs and cheese, but it also touted Falafels and well, it was beckoning. I never made it for the standard brunch time, but the brunch meals and Falafels were perfect for dinner too. Who doesn’t like having breakfast foods for dinner? I love it. This one is a bit off the beaten path and worth the walk to find it.
Address: Mapo-gu Seoggyo-dong 446-58 (서울특별시 마포구 서교동 446-58)
Want something to do AFTER you’ve finished brunch and you’re looking to wander around Hongdae? Here are some awesome options while you’re in the area:
- Have you ever wanted to make your own neon light? You can in Hongdae! Check out this awesome experience.
- Check out the Virtual Reality Arcade inside of L7 Lotte Hotel. It’s fun for all ages. Get your tickets with Klook for discounted rates.
- Did you know you can go fishing in Hongdae? You sure can. Check out this very unique experience.
- See the Nanta Show at the Hongdae theater. Get your tickets online for a great discount with Klook.
- Escape rooms are awesome and there’s one in Hongdae too. Head there with some friends or your kids and have fun trying to BREAK OUT!
- Join a handmade ring making workshop at Hongdae Rings Village. You can design and make your own ring.
- Ever want to experience K-pop photoshoot with K-beauty makeup and hair styling? You can in Hongdae.
- Head to the Trickeye 3D Museum. Get your tickets online before you go for a discount.
As a bonus, there are a couple cafes that deserve a shout out. I came upon these after or before a brunch and they were delightful. If you want more ideas for places to hop around, check these cute spots out too!
These are just a few but there are plenty plenty more, so if you want to peruse some posts on cool cafes in the area and street art to see, check out these fun posts:
- 9 Cafes Making a Statement In Hongdae
- 7 Cafes I Found In The Winter But You Should Find In The Summer
- Street Art Not To Be Missed in Hongdae
Coffee Not Yours (커피낫유얼스)
This little hole in the wall with flowers spilling out of the door was a spot I just happened upon while walking through the Yeonnam area one day in the summer. It’s a flower lovers dream. While the cafe is small, there is a fair amount of sitting and each table is surrounded by flowers making it a bit romantic and hidden. This is a great little spot to hunt out if you’re not sure where to go or there are lines at your favorite restaurants up the street. (If you want to know of more spots in Yeonnam-dong for eats, this is a good post to start with.)
Address: Mapo-gu Yeonnam-dong 229-54 (서울특별시 마포구 연남동 229-54)
I had headed to Clarte Coffee because it offers a gorgeous set of open faced toasts that would be perfect for two in the morning. Unfortunately, I think that is pretty popular and when I rocked up with some gal pals, they’d sold out of it. Because of that, this cafe doesn’t make it onto the best brunches in the area because I just didn’t get a brunch there yet. However, their cakes were beautiful, soft and delicious and their coffees were good too. The aesthetic of the cafe is amazing too with the upper floor rocking high ceilings and loads of windows affording lighting perfection. Check it out and let me know if that set of open faced sandwiches is worth it!
Address: Mapo-gu Yeonnam-dong 383-103 (서울특별시 마포구 연남동 383-103)
Concrete Plant (콘크리트플랜트)
Just before we headed off for vacation, the family stopped into our hairdressers for some trims and styling and next door a new spot called Concrete Plant had moved in. I couldn’t leave without checking this new industrial spot out. The concrete interior makes the green of the numerous plants and the flowers really juxtapose nicely and the owner was so nice. While this probably isn’t a spot that most mom and kids are rocking up to, he was kind and offered our little one a candy cane for the holidays. This industrial aesthetic can feel overdone sometimes, but I loved this cafe and the coffees hit the spot for us with our mid-morning empty stomach caffeine urges.
Address: Mapo-gu Hapjeong-dong 360-17 (서울특별시 마포구 합정동 360-17)
Belief Coffee Roasters (빌리프커피로스터스)
Headed someplace else for an early morning meeting with Mina Pierre of Mode Ideale before she headed back to the States, we found our chosen cafe hosting an event and popped in here. Mina had been here before and I was pleasantly surprised. The coffee was great of course but the interior really opened up quite a bit and you wouldn’t quite think that from the exterior. The mismatched chairs and tables provided something for every picky individual looking for that right spot to pop a squat. It turned out to be the best choice for our morning of goodbyes.
Address: Mapo-gu Seoggyo-dong 384-3 (서울특별시 마포구 서교동 384-3)
Want to stay in this area with great cafes, restaurants and a night life of live music and art? Stay in the Hongdae district. This district is known for live music venues, restaurants and art. One place that you should check out is L7 Hotel. It’s easy to get to from the subway and has all of the amenities you would want in a chic stay. Lotte Hotel is renowned for its quality services and friendly staff, and L7 Hongdae lives up to expectations.