It’s been a long time, but now, my hiatus has reached its end. A quick update on my life and times in South Korea: I am currently a second year English Teaching Assistant with the Fulbright Program and am teaching at an elementary school in Seoul. In addition to studying for the TOPIK exam (Korean proficiency exam…this bad boy requires tons of studying and preparation), I have been working on my grad school application; been serving as an advocate for the Fulbright Support Network; volunteering with the North Korean Defector Program; planning a 2 week long winter camp curriculum; adapting to the trials and tribulations of apartment living, and, all the while, I have been training hard at the gym to compete in a half marathon this spring.
It’s been so busy and I don’t feel like I’ve had much opportunity (or have been in the right state of mind) to reflect on these experiences. I have felt overwhelmed, and now a bit underwhelmed now that I am on vacation and am used to being on hyper drive 24/7. In Seoul, a city that never sleeps, I have had many distractions; many adventures and many new experiences I am eager to share. I wanted my blog to evolve a bit as my life as a Fulbright ETA has also evolved. However, at the beginning of my grant experience, I was not sure how to bridge my blog from my experiences as a first year –> second year.
During my first year, the learning curve was HUGE. Cultural adaptation in any country is a true litmus test of character and coping strategies to deal with such initial struggles. Last year, my writing was emotionally charged and I struggled a lot.
This year, having overcome many of my prior struggles, I felt that I had no basis for continuing my blog. (Don’t get me wrong, I still struggle, but this time around, it feels different…) I realize that there are other ways to share experiences and that no blog needs a “template”. In fact, variety is most likely more interesting for everyone ^_^
For this reason–drum roll–I want to focus on unique experiences to be had in South Korea. ^_^ Today’s theme is cafes in Seoul!!! Soo come join me as a count down my top 10 radical coffee shop experiences to be had in Seoul!!
10. Charlie Brown Cafe
Small but adorable, this cafe features Charlie Brown themed menus and snacks. Charlie Brown themed bugs are also available for purchase. If you want to reminisce on a favorite childhood cartoon, or are a Charlie Brown fan, this is the cafe for you!!! ^_^
- Address: Sangbong Station (line 7)
- Phone: 02 2207 7279
- Hours: 6:30AM-10:30PM
9. Cafe Travel Maker:
Sick of kimchi and rice for breakfast? Come to Cafe Travel Maker and enjoy some delicious (and well-priced) American breakfast food in Seoul! From the Obama Breakfast to delicious strawberry pancakes, there’s bound to be something to satisfy every palette! ^_^
- Address: 37, Yanghwa-ro 21-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Korea
- Phone: 070-8161-3594
- Hours: 7:00 AM-5:00 PM
8. Thanks Nature Cafe: 땡스 네이쳐 카페
Course of events: Step 1: order a delicious beverage and homemade waffles. Step 2: Frolic with sheep (Lula and Lala respectively 😛 ) Note: Sometimes, the sheep go on vacation to pastureland in the countryside. Everyone needs a vacation.
- Address: 486 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
- Phone: +82 2-335-7470
- Hours: 11:00AM-11:00PM
7. Get and Show Cafe
Welcome to LEGO LAND! At this one of a kind cafe, you are greeted by Legos everywhere and even have the opportunity to buy your own set. First, you order a drink (smoothie, tea, coffee, latte, sooo many options!!). ^_^ Next you choose your own lego adventure from the models on display. Then, comes the fun part! Putting your inner engineer to work. Whether you are looking to unwind or have a unique experience, this cafe is bound to bring out your inner child. So c’mon everyone, pop into Seoul and leggo! 😉
- Address: 04044 (Seogyo-dong) 25 Dongmak-ro 3-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul
- Hours: 11:00AM-11:00PM
6. Cereal Cafe: Midnight in Seoul
Cereal Cafes are the latest trend in cafes in South Korea. At this Cereal Car/ Bar, you can customize your own cereal bowl the way you like it. Also, a bowl of cereal could not be complete without the optional toppings of chocolate, strawberries, gummy bears, whipped cream, chocolate sauce and/or much much more…Let your imagination and your inner child run wild! Ehem, one might say that this cafe is only for people who are serious adults. Cereal is some serious business 😛 Need I say more?
- Address: 63 Nonhyeon 2(i)-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
- Hours: cereal 8:30PM-12PM, drinks 6:00PM-2:00AM
5. Cat Cafe: Goyangi Noriteo
While there are many cat cafes to be explored in Seoul, this cafe tops my list of cat cafes. You can buy a cup of Joe and enjoy the company of the chillest felines! It’s soo much fun and a great way to destress. Tip: book in advance to avoid waiting times.
- Address: 3F, 37-14, Myeongdong 8-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul 04536, South Korea
- Phone: +82 2-3789-2207
- Hours: 10:00AM-11:00PM
4. Poop Cafe: 또옹카페
This cafe is the SHIT! …In every sense of the word 🙂 From toilet shaped mugs to sparkly, pink dung macaroons, this cafe has a charm of its own. Everything was delicious and the hilarity of it all kept me entertained and laughing the entire time. On your next visit to Insadong, I definitely recommend visiting.
- Address: Insadong 종로구 관훈동 38 쌈지길 건물 4층 (Location: 4th floor of the Ssamziegil Mall)
- Phone: 02-722-1088
- Hours: 10:30AM-9:00PM
3. Dog Cafe: Bau House
Are you an individual of the canine persuasion? If so, I recommend Bau House dog cafe. Here, you can spend time with some of the sweetest dogs in Seoul whilst drinking a delicious tea, latte or coffee. If you want to turn your dog into a fashion diva, there is even some dog apparel on sale! ^_^ A final fun fact: some of the dogs are even available for adoption!
- Address: Jeil Bldg. 1F, 394-44 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
- Phone: +82 2-334-5152
- Hours: 1:30pm-11pm
2. Hello Kitty Cafe
Pink and delightfully cute, the Hello Kitty cafe is an experience to be had in Seoul. The photo opps are countless and the kitty shaped cakes and coffees decadently made and more than likely to satisfy any sweet tooth. There is also Hello Kitty merchandise sold at this cafe, so if you are looking for cute gifts or souvenirs, you’ve chosen the right place! (Note: there is another Hello Kitty Cafe to be found in Myeongdeong)
- Address: 364-14 Eoulmadang-ro, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
- Hours: 10:00AM-Midnight
1. Snob Dessert Cafe: 스노브 디저트카페
I have never been a cake person, but that all changed when I tasted the deliciousness of Snob Dessert Cafe’s CAKE!! Quite simply: this dessert cake serves the best cake I have ever tasted! They also offer a variety of teas and coffees to accompany whichever cake you decide to order. Going to this cafe feels like having a tea party with friends and it’s fantastic!
- Address: 서울시 마포구 상수동 86-53 (Seoul Mapo-gu, Sangsu-dong, 86-53)
- Hours: Mon~Thurs 11:00~23:00, Fri~Sat 11:00~24:00 (Sun closed)