Best cafes and coffee shops in Seoul, South Korea
Extra shots, please
As the temperature dips this season in Seoul, we're seeking shelter in the open arms of a hot cuppa. Or iced, if you're one of those who's into savouring an ice-cream cone on a cold wintry day. While Japan might be touted as Asia's authority as far as specialty coffee goes, the capital of South Korea isn't doing too shabby for itself either. Below, we round up our favourite spots.
There's nothing elaborate about Felt. Tucked away in the heartlands of Hongdae, the coffee house attains its understated charm from floor-to-ceiling windows, communal benches and baristas (that are too suave to be true) serving up quality cups of coffee. There's no tables, no fancy Instagrammable walls but you'll find yourself lingering for quite a while.
Maison Kitsune has finally set its sights on Seoul —and we're thrilled about it. The first flagship here reminds us of its outpost in Tokyo, with an entrance leading up to a bed of greenery. The only difference is that it's a one part café, and part retail for those with a penchant for the iconic fox.
Entering Coffee Hanyakbang is like stepping into a different realm back in time. Well, the route to itself already feels like a maze — but all is forgiven once you walk through the door. Adorned with antique furniture and vintage props, there's a certain palpable energy in the busy café. Packed with the working crowd as well as the occasional tourists, people flock to this obscure hole-in-the-wall for spot-on hand drips, espresso shots and flavoured lattes.
This top independent coffee roaster has three outlets sprawled out in Seoul, but our favourite has to be the one situated outside Myeongdong's iconic cathedral. Specially known for sourcing their single-origin beans via fair trade, every cup here is sealed with consistent quality.
Set in a traditional tile-roof house, the quirky establishment will give you the option of paper or metal filters for your pour-over. That's a choice that goes a long way when you're serving the coffee cognescenti. We're also game for their freshly baked goods any day.