7 Cafes I Found In The Winter But You Should Visit In The Summer In Seoul
Some places just have that vibe, don’t they? There are so many cafes in and around Seoul and I LOVE visiting as many new ones as I can find. Whether it be in Hongdae, Jongno, Pyeongchang-dong or somewhere else, I’ll find it if it’s to be found. The thing is, sometimes I get to a cafe and think, “you know, this spot would really be better in ___________.”. You can insert whatever you like there. Over the winter, there were quite a few I happened into that I just thought, dang, when the summer breezes are warm and the windows are open, this spot would be way better. So, that’s what this post is all about.
Sidenote: How amazing is the mural above. You can find this one in Hapjeong, but the artist Royyal Dog has them all over the city of Seoul and in other place in the world. Let me know if you’ve found any of his others in the comments below!
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1. Four B Basic (포비베이직)
This hot spot is really REALLY cool.. and a bit odd but in a good way. There’s an area to purchase bagels and smear that have been made in house and they are oh oh so good. I worked at Panera when I was much younger and LOVED the smears and these are even better than those. Then head in a bit further past the rock flooring and plants taking over the space and you’ll find the counter to get coffee. Get your bagels, smears and coffees and sit downstairs in the rocky corridors and green space or head upstairs to the white walled spaces. There’s also a rooftop for a view of the area. The entire building is designed beautifully, if a bit oddly, and is just cool not to mention the best place in the area to get a good bagel and topping.
Address: 426-18 Hapjeong-dong Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 마포구 합정동 426-18)
2. Minimal Kitchen (미니멀키친)
Minimal Kitchen is a cafe and restaurant that’s on a quieter side of the Hapjeong intersection. The eats are healthy and loving put together and perfect for anyone looking to get that healthy summer kick. I don’t know what it is about summer, but I tend to what light meals and those just tend to be healthier for me. This place is a great find on the quieter side of the Hapjeong intersection.
Address: 396-1 Hapjeong-dong Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 마포구 합정동 396-1)
Based on the picture above, you can tell I clearly visited while it was cold enough for my ankle length parka. However, the chandelier that hangs outside would really make you want to spend a bit more time out in front if possible… and warmer. Indoors, there are plenty of tables in rather spacious areas offering window views of the surrounding area. The croissants were extremely delicious and the orange latte really hit the spot in a way I hadn’t expected. Chic and delicious. The two best traits a cafe can have in my opinion. If you follow me on Instagram, then you know I recently posted a picture of another orange latte I had and mentioned that there was one that kicked off my adoration for them… this is the one!
Address: 386-11 Hapjeong-dong Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울특별시 마포구 합정동 386-11)
4. Snap Coffee
Snap Coffee is a small cafe with neon lights and simple design. I was ready for spring to come… even though it hadn’t quite yet and was wearing my pink and blue shirt to get the vibes flowing. This is a great and easy stop to make… if they’re open. The owner was a bit difficult to tie down for us and we stopped over a couple times BEFORE we were able to make our way in, but that’s because me and my lot usually head over AT opening time without fail. The cafe is one of those half basement affairs which means in the summer, it’ll be just the right temperature for cooling off from the heat.
Address: 14 Dongmak-ro 6-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 독막로6길 14)
If you’ve spent any time in Hongdae, you’ve probably walked past Colline when you were headed in or out. It’s sits on the busy parking street near the Hapjeong Sangsu end and is gorgeous. Flowers flowers everywhere and windows too. In the late winter, it was perfect for us because it was open when SNAP hadn’t quite gotten out of bed yet. I was surprised I’d never been inside and I LOVED it. Come summer though, there are spacious areas that can be uncovered so the seating is open and delightful. Get your hands on some of their DELICIOUS cakes and sweets and don’t forget that latte with a cotton candy cloud to bring it all together. This is also a great place to start your day if you’re in the area early. There was NO ONE there and we love when that happens.
Address: 403-13 Soegyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서교동 403-13)
You might be surprised to learn that I don’t have much a sweet tooth. I may take loads of pictures of beautifully plated sweet goodness, but the ones I really love are the ones that look beautiful, but don’t pack too much of a sweet punch. Ardechois had that for me. These gorgeous desserts were the perfect amount of sweet. The sugar wasn’t overpowering and there were crisps or fruit inside each to balance everything out. It’s a small spot that’s simply decorated with white and marble which is a great contrast to the colorful desserts you’ll just have to order.
Address: 375-4 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서교동 375-4)
When summer comes, the Gyeongui Line Forest Park in Yeonnam-dong comes to life. The entire area becomes the place to picnic and day drink and I’m fine with that. Just a block away from the park though, is this new spot called Orbit and dang it’s cool. The exterior has these columns, as you can clearly see, and one of them has a golden swing! Yes, you can actually sit on it. Summer and swinging go hand in hand, don’t they? The cafe itself is cool too and is another one of those half basement spots that will definitely be able to keep it a bit cool when the summer gets just unbearable. Stop in for a drink and a little swing to get the summer fun started off on the right foot.
Address: 152-21 Donggyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul (동교동 152-21)
Want something to do AFTER you’ve finished drinking it up at a cafe 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.
If you liked these and want some more awesome places to check out this summer, get your hands on the SUMMER Guide, Arielle Pukanecz of Soju4Two and I have put together. From off the beaten path finds to beaches and cafes with coastal vibes, we’ve put it all together so this summer all you have to do is get out and about and then we hope you’ll chill out. If you want to see a bit more about what is in the guide, check out this post where I lay out what you can expect to find inside. Happy summer hunting everyone!
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. Another great option in the area is Nine Brick Hotel. Not only is this hotel chic, but gorgeous inside and out and a bit different than many spots to stay in the area. Also easy to find on the main road and near a subway station. Guests can choose from 94 rooms, all of which exude an atmosphere of total peace and harmony.