If you follow my Instagram, you know I cannot resist a cute cafe! Luckily for me, we visited Seoul this past March and there was no shortage of these cafes with amazing decor and yummy treats. There is a cafe on nearly every corner you explore in this city, and it was difficult for me to narrow down the ones I wanted to go to in the short amount of time we had. One thing to note: these cafes while cute, expect every person in your party to order one item before entering and taking photos. I imagine this is a fair way to ensure you support their business and not just take photos for the ‘gram and leave! Here are my top 5 favorite cafes that we visited during our trip.
1.) Arriate Flower Cafe
520 Nonhyeon-ro, Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Arriate was right across the street from our Airbnb in Hongdae. This area is super popular with the younger crowd and you can spot this flower cafe easily due to the beautiful flower fall exterior. The cafe has three stories of rooms filled with fake, dried, and even real flowers. Luckily this cafe didn’t require all four people in our party to order an item but we did share two drinks (of course they come with pretty flowers!). My favorite floor was the third floor with a cute flower wall and dried flowers that cover the ceiling. The drinks were quite sweet but enjoyable for the start of the day!
2.) Urban Space
5F, 23 Myeongdong 10-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Located in the middle of Meyongdong, Urban Space is not technically a cafe but a cocktail bar. Each person in our group had to order one item but you can get a drink or order a snack item. All the drinks here are extremely wild! You can order non-alcoholic versions of each drink if you prefer. They all come out in the most over-the-top presentations. The space itself is surrounded by a huge pit of plastic balls a la the usual pop up museums. There are also cute swings and a fun 360 rotating selfie stick where you can grip your phone on and record cool videos. This is a unique spot to rest after all the shopping you’ll do in Meyongdong. Pro tip: Urban Space is a few shops down from Myeongdong Kyoja.
3.) DB Story Cafe
43 Wausan-ro 23-gil, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
DB Story is probably the most unique cafe we visited in Seoul! Where else can you make your own phone case with hundreds of options to sort through and choose from? And when I say hundreds of options, I really mean hundreds! They have everything from small plastics to key chains. We spent a good hour and a half here trying to decide how to decorate our phone cases. They should have a phone case for pretty much any phone and we spent about $15 on each phone case. The more items you use, the more expensive it gets. You can also order optional drinks and have it served while you put together your phone case. I, of course, made my own food-related phone case decked out with my favorite food items and some other random cute things. DB Story is located on the second floor of the building.
4.) King’s Cross Harry Potter Cafe
417 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
This cafe was one of the most impressive ones we visited. From the outside of the cafe, you feel almost transported right to London or onto a Hollywood movie set. While not an official Harry Potter cafe, this place does a damn good job making you feel like it is. Right when you walk in, there’s a wall of over a hundred wand boxes similar to Ollivander’s Wand shop and a staircase that sets the mood. Everyone in your party must order at least one item before heading into the other rooms. I even saw an employee stop people from exploring the rest of the cafe until they ordered. In addition to the various Harry Potter-like drinks (No, they don’t have the butter beer from the Harry Potter Universal parks), they also sell beautiful cakes. We bought a cake modeled after the one Hagrid brings Harry when he first meets him. So cute! Once you order, there are about 4 floors to explore. The bottom floor has a bar that serves alcoholic drinks. The floors above are for people to sit and enjoy the cafe offerings. There’s a floor modeled after the Grand Hall, and my personal favorite is the top floor which has a Harry Potter Holiday theme with cozy beds and a Christmas tree set up. Props to King’s Cross for making a Harry Potter theme cafe without actually infringing on copyright laws.
79, World Cup-ro 13-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul 04014, South Korea
Zapangi was on the top of my list before coming to Seoul. Everything from the vending machine door to the bold pink decor sold me. They sell coffee and desserts like cakes in tin cans and crepes. I didn’t know they sold crepes before coming in so we were happy to try a couple with our iced coffee. There are about 5 options for crepes and all of them are adorable! The crepes are all sweet so it’s probably not a good idea for your first meal of the day. Regardless, the crepes are adorable and everything here is Instagram-worthy. If you get the cakes in tin cans, you can even keep the tins as a souvenir.
Did you see something that you want to go to? I’m also looking for more cafes to bookmark for my next trip to Seoul. Let me know in the comments!