Top Ten Cafes in Seoul

KMK: Top Ten Cafes in Seoul

Top Ten Cafes in Seoul

It goes without saying that anyone who knows Seoul knows that Soulites love their coffee. You can’t go one block without seeing a Starbucks, DeChocolate, Coffee Bean, Coffine Gurunaru, Café Bene, NesCafe, Angel in Us, Twosome Place or any of the other multitudes of coffee chains.

However, what is harder to find are the unique non franchised cafes that stand out because of their singular nature and unusual qualities. So I undertook a mission to find these places to make your life easier.

1.Lime Tree

Lime Tree in Insadong offers a relaxing spot to grab a coffee and a sandwich after a long day looking at galleries and shopping for souvenirs.

2. Coffee Smith

With sky high ceilings and a huge open terrace you won’t want to leave Coffee Smith. Did I mention it’s on swanky garousu-gil in Sinsa-dong?

3. Café Aa

Café Aa in Hongdae offers a unique experience. You can enjoy your coffee while admiring the vast array of chairs and furniture the owner has amassed from around the world.

4. Neal’s Yard

Looking for a coffee and dessert while in Itaewon? Then look no further than Neal’s Yard.

5. Stove

Stove in Seorae has the feel of a country café. You’ll enjoy the visit and then have the whole day to explore the French Village.

6. Noi

The offbeat décor and eclectic vibe makes enjoying a coffee a brand new experience in this Hongdae café.

7. Gio Cat Café

If you’re a cat lover then you won’t want to miss this spot in Hongdae. The kitties might be a little standoffish at first but hopefully they’ll warm up to you.

8. Krema

Krema in Sinchon has an understated elegance and subtle exotic feel.

9. Café Nono

Café Nono in Samcheon-dong offers a brief respite from the boutiques and galleries.

10. Club Espresso and Café Soon

Buam-dong Cafes may be out of the way but they’re definitely worth a visit. Take a few bags of coffee home from Club Espresso or drop by Café Soon and settle in with a café latte. Buam-dong waits when you’re done.


I’m a blogger, writer, and teacher. I’ve been working in South Korea’s ESL field for the last three years. My one year contract has unexpectedly turned into a journey that I’m still on and loving.

'KMK: Top Ten Cafes in Seoul' have 12 comments

  1. August 29, 2011 @ 9:11 pm Brendon

    Wow! Will try to visit several of those top cafes in the near future when going to Korea. Your useful guides are fully appreciated. 🙂 Wishing you all the best in your whatever you do in Korea.


    • September 2, 2011 @ 1:35 pm Brian Dye

      Thanks for the comment and the compliment brandon!


  2. May 30, 2011 @ 6:02 am KMK: 12 Rules for Expat Life in Korea | Kiss My Kimchi

    […] can find a great number of places to grab a cup. I say avoid most of the chains and check out the mom and pop shops. You can find deals. There’s a spot near my work that brews a great americano for 1,000 KRW […]


  3. January 28, 2011 @ 4:44 pm kissmykimchi

    Thanks for the tip Lmac. I'll have to try the one in Sookdae because like you said the Hannam one is just so so.


  4. January 25, 2011 @ 8:48 am LMac

    Zoo Coffee in Sookdae (the one in Hannam isn't as great) is the best. Big coffees, gelato, waffles, free biscuits with coffee and outlets near all of the tables!


  5. January 5, 2011 @ 11:42 am melek

    I am really glad that I ran into your blog! I'll be coming to Seoul National Uni for summer and you will be guiding me a lot, apparently. Thanks for sharing ^^


    • January 7, 2011 @ 9:59 am kissmykimchi

      Glad to be of service, melek! Hope you stop by again and again! Where are you coming from?


      • January 10, 2011 @ 12:07 pm melek

        I'm coming from Turkey for a summer internship. Even though I won't be coming in the next 6 months, I keep checking here to learn more! Good job! ^^


        • January 10, 2011 @ 12:57 pm kissmykimchi

          Wow you do have a long way till summer! How is Turkey by the way? I'm trying to find my next vacation spot for February!

        • January 19, 2011 @ 9:21 pm melek

          Well, I don't know how objective I can be but Turkey is a great country for a vacation. Seaside? Skiing? Sightseeing? You can find them all in here but if you can tell me what you have on your mind, I can gladly help you more!

  6. October 15, 2010 @ 3:36 pm Lola O.

    I’ll have to check these out. These days I’m linking DeChocolate,especially the one in Ewha.


    • October 15, 2010 @ 8:02 pm Brian Dye

      Oooh Chocolate and Coffee two of my favorite things together! Yeah I don’t blame you for spending time there it’s one of my favs too.


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