South Korea is a lot smaller than Australia when it comes to size, but it has a ridiculous amount of cafes in comparison. You can literally find a cafe in front of you with every two steps you take. Here’s a tiny Korean lesson: Cafes can be expressed in two ways, ‘카페’ or ‘커피숍’, the latter being ‘Coffee Shop’.
Although I am not a coffee expert or whatever, I love going to cafes. They have the artsy fartsy environment I can write, read or chat to a friend in. It’s a lovely place to be in. I was definitely all starry-eyed when I realised how many cafes Seoul truly had. I decided that if I was ever going to have the chance to step into all these cafes, I’d have to start hopping now.
This little gem is located on the streets of Hongdae. My friend and I stumbled across this cafe after a long night of exploring all the boutique shops there. Cafe Ronin is open from 2PM ~ 3AM. It serves assorted coffees, fruit drinks, cocktails and desserts. And of course, free Wi-Fi. Pictured above is the “first half” of the cafe.
The decor is a bit homely with a few vintage decorations. I was very impressed by the projector displaying various black & white films throughout the night. It added a nice artsy aura to the entire place.
They had really random and odd items on display, but it gave it some detail. I found my eyes wandering to these items, trying to determine what they were.
This was one of my other favourite decors in the cafe! Angel wings on the light bulbs. My iPhone couldn’t really capture how pretty they were.
With a candle lit on every table (except for the one in the first picture…), and floral cushions, Cafe Ronin was a very nice place to sit and chat with your friends. My friend ordered a strawberry & banana smoothie and I ordered a strawberry juice, both were made freshly. They were very refreshing. I just wish I had the time and appetite to order a few more things. The customer service was excellent, and the clerk guy (with distinct long luscious hair) was kind enough to provide English translations when we didn’t understand some things. I would go back there again, only because my time there was much too short.
The Pie Hole
This small space of delight is located in a nook of Sinchon, not too far from Yonsei University. When I mean small space, I am not kidding. The Pie Hole was crammed with six tables, not including the one outside, creating a very cozy environment. I’m not too sure about the opening hours of this cafe, as I didn’t get the chance to have a look. They offer assorted home-made desserts, drinks and free Wi-Fi. They also have a few reading books (Korean only) available.
I visited The Pie Hole with my roommate, Ms. Ooh Lala, and if you didn’t know already we are both exchange students attending Yonsei University. All the customers inside happen to be Yonsei University students as well. Like I said, the cafe was very close to the university.
I ordered a fresh strawberry smoothie and blueberry New York cheesecake. I find that a lot of the “smoothies” in Korean cafes are extremely icy, and this was no exception. It’s such a pity because the little place is extremely nice. I will have to visit again to try out some other drinks. As for the cheesecake, it wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t spectacular. I question whether it was really…home-made…
Overall, The Pie Hole would make a really awesome reading and study spot, since so many university students frequent there. I found it to be a little uncomfortable to speak or laugh loudly as I was so cautious of other customers (we were all rather of close proximity to each other).
Cafe Two Chairs is located literally around the corner from the East Gate of Yonsei University. It is a cafe specialising in tea and hand drip coffee. They also offer a lot of desserts.
Lights and furniture decor are a big part of what makes up Two Chairs. All sorts of fancy wooden tables and chairs and lamps are scattered around the cafe, making it all very exciting for customers to choose where they’d like to sit. They provide larger tables for students around the corner from Yonsei University to study, and comfier couches for the older peeps to sit around and chat.
It was a little late into the night for my roommate and I to order coffee of any sort, so we opted for tea. We really wanted to try their coffee though, we heard they come in fancy cups. Anyhow, we both ordered our own tea. Ms. Ooh Lala ordered “Women’s Activity” (pictured as the floral tea set), which is a tea made by 10 assorted ingredients. I ordered a mango and passion fruit tea (the pink/white tea set), which was nicer than I imagine.
Compared to the the previous two cafes. I would really say that Two Chairs is a place for everything. To talk to a friend, to read, to study, to just watch the cars on the street, anything. It’s a lovely, lovely place and I will definitely return to try some of their french toast and smoothies (I have a new found thing for smoothies).
Here’s to more cafe hopping! :)