- Here are a few general cafe-hopping tips to keep in mind:
- Here are 10 of the best Yeonnam cafes to visit on your cafe-hopping trip:
With cafes and coffee playing such a prominent role in South Korean daily life, cafe-hopping is almost obligatory when visiting South Korea. One of the best places in Seoul to find cafes is Yeonnam, a neighborhood just northwest of Hongdae. The area floods each weekend, with Seoulites looking for the trendiest cafes to hang out at. Going to a cafe is one of the most affordable activities to do in Seoul so make sure you start in Yeonnam.
With so many choices, knowing where you should go is hard. You can only go to many places and drink so many coffees daily. In this article, we’ve picked 10 of the best Yeonnam cafes to visit while cafe-hopping.
Here are a few general cafe-hopping tips to keep in mind:
- Like other Seoul neighborhoods, some of Yeonnam’s independent and smaller cafes don’t strictly follow the opening hours posted on their storefronts or map apps. Sometimes they will close early if there isn’t enough business. Because of this, be prepared with multiple alternatives if your top choice is closed when you try to visit.
- When you’ve picked out a cafe, find seats before ordering anything. If no seats are available, you will probably have to take your drink to go. Sometimes a barista may ask how many people are in your group when you enter and tell you if enough seats are available. If you’re lucky enough to find seats, claim them by placing your bag or personal items down and ordering at the counter. Everyone leaves their bags at their seats in South Korea because stealing is relatively uncommon.
- A lot of cafes require that everyone who sits at the cafe buy a drink, even if you’re already buying a dessert or pastry. No one can hang out in the cafe without making a purchase. This rule is also typical of most Seoul cafes.
- Some cafes may also have time limits to manage the flow of customers. Typically, time limits are only in place at the most popular and busy cafes, so it’s unlikely that you’ll encounter this sort of policy. It’s still good to remember. If you encounter a time limit policy, don’t worry about running out of time, as many time limits give you plenty of time to consume your treats and drinks.
- If you’re hoping to bring your laptop to work at a cafe, make sure the cafes have wifi and allow laptops in the first place. I’ve only encountered a small number of cafes that don’t allow customers to use laptops. Typically, this policy is only in place at particularly popular or touristy cafes. While it’s unlikely that you will encounter this policy on your trip, it’s good to keep this in mind.
Here are 10 of the best Yeonnam cafes to visit on your cafe-hopping trip:
Cafe Layered (카페레어드)
When you enter Cafe Layered’s Yeonnam location, a spread of cakes and scones greets you at the door. The beautiful desserts match the cafe’s charming interior, filled with British paraphernalia (Try to find all the Princess Diana images). Its charming decor has gained a lot of attention from Seoulites, possibly making the cafe one of the area’s most popular. We recommend embracing the British theme and trying the Earl Grey cake, which is a perfectly light and moist dessert to pair with your coffee.
Cafe Layered Address: 161-4 Seongmisan-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 성미산로 161-4)
Cafe Neulbo (카페늘보)
Cafe Neulbo is all about taking it slow. Neulbo, or 늘보, actually means sloth in Korean. At Cafe Neulbo, people can take a break from their busy lives and enjoy drawing. You even can turn your pictures into keychains to keep as a souvenir. The slow-living and wholesome atmosphere of Cafe Neulbo is perfect for a rejuvenating weekend afternoon.
Cafe Neulbo Address: 2F, 26 Donggyo-ro 51-angil, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 동교로51안길 26 2층)
Yeonnam Cherry Blossom House (연남동벚꽃집)
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As its name suggests, Cherry Blossom House is known for its cherry blossom trees. In the spring, this Yeonnam cafe’s terrace is the perfect spot to get a photo with baby pink flowers. Even when the cherry blossoms are not in bloom, Cherry Blossom House is a great place to get coffee. We recommend trying the aesthetically pleasing Blossom spanner.
Yeonnam Cherry Blossom House Address: 50 Donggyo-ro 29-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 동교로29길 50)
Kokorokara in Japanese roughly translates to “from the bottom of my heart” in English, and you can be sure that all the sweet treats at Kokorokara cafe are made with love. At Kokorokara, you can try a wide range of their specialty dessert and pudding. The cafe sells pistachio cherry, mint chocolate, and cheese flavors. This cafe evokes the atmosphere of Parisian cafes with the pops of primary colors and checkered tile stairs to the entrance.
Kokorokara Address: 41 Yeonnam-ro 1-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 연남로1길 41)
Cake Dabang (카페다방)
At Cake Dabang, you can decorate your cake for 30,000 to 40,000 won, depending on how many decoration materials you use. Cake-decorating cafes have recently become popular, so getting a reservation last minute may be difficult (You could also try the Kondae location!). Even if you cannot decorate your cake, Cake Dabang has colorful ready-made cakes for you to enjoy.
Cake Dabang Address: 1F, 13 Donggyo-ro 51-angil, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 동교로51안길 13 1층)
Brady’s Coffee Bar (브래디스 커피바)
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This small Yeonnam cafe has a rustic feel, with wood furniture and white textured walls. The light and relaxing ambiance make this the perfect place to unwind with a cup of your favorite beverage. While Brady’s Coffee Bar is a smaller cafe, it still offers everything one could want from a cafe: a good atmosphere, good food, and good photo opportunities.
Brady’s Coffee Address: 2F, 23 Seongmisan-ro 23-Angil, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 성미산로23안길 23 2층)
Cheongsudang Gomyeong (청수당공명)
You may have seen Cheongsudang’s popular Insadong location on Instagram or TikTok, but did you know that the cafe also has a location in Yeonnam? The Yeonnam location opened in 2021 and is just as beautiful as the Insadong location. With greenery and lanterns hiding the cafe from view on the street, Cheongsudang Gomyeong offers a whimsical and tranquil respite from the city.
Cheongsudang Gomyeong Address: 152 Seongmisan-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 성미산로 152)
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If you’re looking for a more substantial meal, consider checking out Konsider. This bakery’s specialty is bagels. You can order one of the nine types of bagels. The variety continues with Konsider’s unique cream cheese flavors. You can pair your bagel with maple bacon cream cheese or fig walnut honey cream cheese. The mix-and-match options are endless at Konsider.
Konsider Address: 119 Donggyo-ro 51-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 동교로51길 119)
Urban Beach (어번비치)
Urban Beach continues Yeonnam’s reputation of having unique cafes. This cafe is beach-themed and has sand inside the cafe. Urban Beach’s interesting interior makes it one of the best Yeonnam cafes for taking pictures. If you want to embrace the beachy vibes of this cafe, we recommend trying the summery passionfruit ade. Come here to have a beach day without even leaving the city.
Urban Beach Address: 3F, 245 Donggyo-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 동교로 245 3층)
Yeonnam Jang (연남장)
Yeonnam Jang’s art deco interior aesthetic sets it apart from other cafes in the neighborhood. However, this cafe is famous because it was a filming location for the 2022 K-drama Business Proposal, starring Kim Se-jong and Ahn Hyo-seop. This cafe is quickly becoming a popular spot for drama fans and coffee lovers. The cafe also serves pasta and other foods if you want a filling meal.
Yeonnam Jang Address: 1F, 22 Yeonhui-ro 5-gil, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul (서울 서대문구 연희로5길 22 1층)