Many living in Korea might think of Itaewon as the place to go for clubbing, foreign bars, and international restaurants. COVID-19 has hit the area hard with many of these places going out of business. However, many of the independent coffee shops in Itaewon have survived. For most, you will need to walk a bit of a distance from Itaewon Station; however, trust us when we say they are worth checking out. Many are struggling to stay open, and we must keep supporting these local shops. Here are the best independent coffee shops in Itaewon if you don’t find your favorite on this list please make suggestions in the comment section below, and we will look into it.
We also did an article on the best independent coffee shops in Gangnam so make sure you check that out.
This independent coffee shop in Itaewon is not easy to find. C.Through is a small cafe known for the fantastic latte art (cream art) done by the establishment’s owner. The latte art menu consists of many different types of art. The menu will have pictures from which you can choose. The owner (Mr. Lee Kang-bin) will draw these pictures only on cold coffee so remember that before ordering. You will be allowed to take pictures and videos as he draws. The price is costly for a single cup of coffee, but the experience is what you are paying for. Regular drinks will run around 8,000 won; however, if you want the drawings they will cost 30,000 won.
Address: 37, Noksapyeong-daero 40-gil, Yongsan, Seoul, South Korea
One of the best independent coffee shops in Itaewon is Passion 5. Dessert lovers will love Passion 5. They have some of the best pastries you will find in Seoul. They have a variety of ice cream, bread, sandwiches, pastries, and cakes. The bakery is on the first floor, and the cafe is on the second floor. Remember to get their milk pudding. It is a very short walk from Hangangjin Station exit 3, one station away from Itaewon station.
Address: 272 Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Those that enjoy coffee shops strictly for the quality of the coffee will love this independent coffee shop in Itaewon. Hell Cafe has great coffee, however, it is not a place to go with a group of friends as the location is pretty small. Those who love coffee will enjoy Hell Cafe because they roast it themselves. The coffee is very strong and very different from Korean coffee. We would recommend their cappuccinos which are made in front of the customer.
Address: 76, Bogwang-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
This coffee shop in Itaewon is known for its Instagram-friendly rooftop and overall European vibe. It is a five-story cafe, and each floor has a different style and concept design. Make sure to check out their media space which is located on the third floor. However, when going to Sayoo, the rooftop is a must. It tends to get crowded after lunch and dinner, so make sure you get there early.
Address: 5 Itaewon-ro 54-gil, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
What more can you ask for in a coffee shop? 5Extracts has comfortable seating and is one of the best cappuccinos in Seoul. It is small yet cute, and they offer outdoor seating. The staff is very friendly, and it is just a great cozy place to have a cup of coffee. It is not as busy as the others on the list, so you should not have issues finding a seat.
Address: 214 Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Come for the sweet jazz music and stay for the coffee. Their hand drip is one to remember, and the owner is very friendly and is always willing to give advice on the best places to go in Seoul. The loft turns into a bar after 6 pm, which also is great for cocktails. Loft230 is one of the most underrated coffee shops in Seoul.
Address: 683-126 Hannam-dong, Yongsan, Seoul, South Korea
Those who love pancakes, coffee, and a great view will love Pancake Shop. It is a rooftop cafe that overlooks the city of Seoul. There is also a great view of Namsan Tower. The interior is filled with cool posters and illustrations and colorful furniture. Don’t worry about getting stuffed with their pancakes; they are served in small yet delicious quantities. Pancake Shop is one of the most underrated coffee shops in Itaewon so spread the word.
Address: 22 Noksapyeong-daero 40da-gil, Itaewon 1(il)-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Chan’s Bros is small but very quaint. They are known for their superb coffee, so they can charge a premium for them. They have two branches that are located a few hundred meters apart. While they don’t sell many baked goods, you come for their coffee.
Address: 222-1 Noksapyeong-daero, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Kenya Kiambu Coffee
This is one of the few independent coffee shops in Itaewon that offer a great view of Namsan Tower. While they don’t have a lot of options regarding food, their coffee, which is sourced from Kenya, is amazing. Kenya Kiambu Coffee is also a great place to work. They offer free wifi and plenty of tables and are a great place to hold meetings in Itaewon.
Address: 243-36 Itaewon, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Everything But The Hero
The owner of Everything But the Hero is the brother of the famous Korean actor Jo In Sung. The cafe has a very sophisticated and cool interior and vibe. The coffee shop is known for its hand-dripped coffee and dutch coffee. Best of all, for every coffee you order, you get complimentary chocolate to go with it. The only
Address: 210-68 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Check out our article on the best independent coffee shops in Hongdae here.