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The coolest cafes in Seoul: A guide for coffee aficionados

The coolest cafes in Seoul: A guide for coffee aficionados
PHOTO: Instagram/Soha Saltpond

Seoul’s café culture is as diverse and dynamic as the city itself, with each café offering a unique slice of Korean life and creativity.

Known for their innovative approaches to design, cuisine, and coffee, these spots offer much more than just a caffeine fix. From extraordinary concepts to hidden gems, explore some of the most unique and inspiring cafés in Seoul that are must-visits for locals and tourists alike.



A post shared by NUDAKE (@nu_dake)

Tucked away in the chic district of Gangnam-gu, NUDAKE is a haven for both art aficionados and pastry lovers. Known for its unique collaboration with the contemporary brand Gentle Monster, this café doubles as a gallery, featuring avant-garde art pieces and surreal desserts that look too good to eat.

Their artistic cakes paired with meticulously brewed coffee make for a transcendent sensory experience.

What to try: Kimchi Oniwassant (K₩6000) (S$6), Peak Small (K₩28000), Creamy Matcha Latte (K₩9000), and Croi Choco Latte (K₩9500).

NUDAKE is located at 50 Apgujeong-ro 46-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea. Open daily 11 am–9 pm.



Stepping into Sinleedoga, located in Mapo-gu, feels like entering a warm, rustic retreat. This café is famed for its traditional Korean aesthetics blended with modern touches. The peaceful ambiance is perfect for sipping on their signature drip coffee while enjoying a selection of homemade Korean desserts.

What to try: Creme Brulee (K₩7000), Peach Tea (K₩5400), Crepe Cake (K₩7600), Black Sesame Latte (K₩6400).

Sinleedoga is located at 20-12 Jandari-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea. Open daily 11am–10pm.



Cheongsudang offers a blast from the past with its traditional Korean hanok structure in the heart of Insadong. Although a bit expensive, this café is ideal for those looking to enjoy a quiet moment with a cup of tea or traditional Korean beverages like sweet rice drink (sikhye) amid the hustle and bustle of one of Seoul’s most tourist-friendly neighbourhoods.

What to try: Strawberry Castella Cake (K₩18,000), Matcha Formage Cake (K₩14,300), Prickly Pear Cactus Tea (K₩7800), Sweet Pumpkin Sikhye (an aquired taste; K₩6800). 

Cheongsudang is located at 31-9 Donhwamun-ro 11na-gil, Jongno District, Seoul, South Korea. Open daily 10.30am–9 pm. 

Soha Saltpond


In the increasingly popular area of Ikseon-dong, Soha Saltpond is a dream, boasting a charming quaint and loaclised atmosphere. Known for its specialty salt-flavoured pastries and salt-infused coffee variations, this café presents a unique palate that is both intriguing and delightful.

What to try: Mentaiko Salt Bread (K₩3500), Soha Soft Salt Bread (K₩3500), Milk Cream Salt Bread (K₩4000), Iced Salted Chocolate (K₩6300).

Soha Saltpond is located at 21-5 Supyo-ro 28-gil, Jongno District, Seoul, South Korea. Open daily 9am-9pm. 

Café Onion


Located in the historic Seongsu-dong, once an industrial area, Café Onion is a converted metal factory that maintains much of its raw, industrial charm. With exposed beams and untouched walls, it serves as a backdrop for one of the most bustling café scenes in Seoul, known for its artisanal bread and eclectic mix of traditional and modern brews.

What to try: Pistachio Croissant, Hazelnut Chou Chou, Olive Bacon Pizza, Mija Tea

Café Onion is located at 5 Gyedong-gil, Jongno District, Seoul, South Korea. Open Mon-Fri 7am–10pm, Sat-Sun 9am-10pm.

Malic Coffee


For those who wander into the area of Yongsan-gu, Malic Coffee is a treasure trove of specialty coffees with a focus on single-origin beans meticulously brewed to perfection. Its understated decor and the passionate baristas make Malic a must visit site for true coffee enthusiasts.

What to try: Signature Nutty Cream Latte (K₩6000), Basque Cheesecake (K₩7500)

Malic Coffee is located at 48 Itaewon-ro 54-gil, 한남동 Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea. Open Mon-Fri 8am-9pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-9pm. 

ichi seoul


ichi seoul is where modernity meets comfort. This café impresses with its selection of gourmet coffee and contemporary Korean snacks. The minimalist decor, combined with floor-to-ceiling windows, provides a perfect urban escape for digital nomads and casual meetups.

What to try: Matcha Strawberry Latte (K₩7000), Basil Melon Ade (K₩7500), Mugwort Crumble (K₩7500)

ichi seoul is located at Gangnam-gu, Gangnam-daero 158-gil, 21 2층, Seoul, South Korea. Open daily 11am–10pm. 

Layered Yeonnam


Layered Yeonnam is celebrated for its Victorian-inspired interiors and an impressive array of baked goods. Their fluffy pancakes and artisanal coffees are a weekend brunch favourite, making it a hotspot for both locals and tourists.

What to try: Spring Onion Cream Cheese Scone (K₩5500), Pretzel Scone, Blueberry Cheesecake, Fresh Orange Ice Tea, Einspanner 

Layered Yeonnam is located at 161-4 Seongmisan-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea. Open daily 10am-10pm.

1in1jan (Irin Iljan)


1in1jan or Irin Iljan, located in the lesser known Eunpyeong Hanok Village on the outskirts of Seoul is a boutique café that prides itself on its artistic décor and innovative coffee drinks.

It’s a popular spot for young creatives and those in search of inspiration or a quiet corner. The five floor casual spot has also been featured in Korean reality shows like Heart Signal, thanks to its beautiful view.

What to try: Almond Cream Iced Latte, Banana Rice Cake

1in1jan is located at 534 Yeonseo-ro, Jingwan-dong, Eunpyeong District, Seoul, South Korea. Open Tue-Sun 10am–9.30 pm.



Vonzrr offers a cozy retreat with an interior designed to feel like home. The café features comfortable couches and round tables, creating an inviting and relaxed atmosphere perfect for unwinding or catching up with friends. Known for its high-quality brewed coffee and delectable treats, Vonzrr combines comfort with culinary excellence.

What to try: Miyangaru Milk Tea, Marianne Milk Tea, Baci Di Dama Cookies, Cinnamon Carrot Cake

Vonzrr is has outlets in yeonhui-dong, and seongsu. 



Located in the vibrant district of Yongsan-gu, YYY transforms seamlessly from a trendy café by day to a lively bar by night. This dynamic spot is known for its cool vibes and versatile atmosphere, complemented by outdoor seating that offers a perfect place to relax and socialise.

During the day, patrons can enjoy specialty coffees and an array of international bites, while the nighttime brings a shift to creative cocktails and a more spirited ambiance. YYY embodies the cosmopolitan spirit of Seoul, making every visitor feel right at home.

What to try: Blueberry Cupcake (K₩6000), Salty Caramel Cupcake (K₩6000), Hand-made Tzatziki Dip + Veg sticks (K₩ 10,000), beer, natural wine, cocktails.

YYY is located at 743-1 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea. Cafe open Mon-Fri 11am-6pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-6pm. Bar open Wed-Mon 6pm-12am. Bar is closed on Tue.

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This article was first published in City Nomads.

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