Does anyone else love going to cafes? The twinkly music cafes play, the smell of warm baked goods, and just the overall cozy feeling of cafes– these are all what makes the experience of going to a cafe so comforting. I love discovering new cafes, and I also like how each cafe has its own unique characteristics. Well, for those of you who don’t know, Seoul is the ultimate hub for cute, aesthetic cafes. From small, vintage-vibe ones to theme cafes dedicated to a whole concept such as Harry Potter, there are endless different kinds of cafes in Seoul. Personally, I prefer ones with lots of windows and greenery, but during my last trip to Seoul, I got to explore so many different cafes. Based off of my experience, I decided to share some of my favourite, must-visit cafes in Seoul.
I stumbled across this cafe one day when I was visiting my dad at his work. His company building is near Yeonam-dong, which is a trendy neighbourhood in Seoul. This cafe was right around the corner, and when my sister and I saw it, we just knew we had to go in. The outside consisted of a pastel-yellow door with victorian style curtains. My sister absolutely loves the aesthetic of the victorian era, and this cafe was just the perfect fit. Inside, we were greeted with the warm, buttery smell of freshly baked scones. Later, we discovered that Cafe Layered is known for its English-style scones, as well as a variety of different cakes. After what seemed like hours, my sister and I finally decided on a matcha cheesecake and a fresh cream scone to share. Also, this being Seoul, we couldn’t leave without getting an ade (which is a sparkling juice kind of thing) to share. Everything was so delicious, and the decorations inside the cafe just made our mood even better. I think half the fun of going to cafes is just sitting there on a cute chair, surrounded by little decorations, and feeling like you’re in some fairyland. Well, with Cafe Layered, I felt like I was taken back to the victorian era. It was such a fun experience, and I highly recommend you visit.
ICE BOOBING CAFE
I’m sure by now, you’ve heard of Korea’s famous shaved ice dessert, bingsu. If you haven’t, bingsu is a traditional Korean dessert, made up of shaved ice or condensed milk topped with all sorts of delicious toppings. The traditional toppings are sweetened red bean, mochi, along with a drizzle of condensed milk. However, in more recent years people have experimented with more fun toppings such as peach puree, chocolate, matcha, mango, and even cheesecake. My grandma lives near buam-dong, where Ice Boobing Cafe is located. Ice Boobing Cafe is a little cafe tucked away in a hidden alley. However, it is so popular that you can see people waiting in line for hours to go in. Luckily, when my family and I went, there was just enough room for us. We got two different bingsus to share, the black sesame flavour and the strawberry flavour. I LOVED the black sesame flavour. It wasn’t too sweet, yet it had this perfect creamy, melt in your mouth texture. It also came topped with injulmi (a type of sweet Korean rice cake), which is my favourite. The strawberry flavour was amazing as well. It was basically shaved condensed milk topped with fresh strawberry puree, but it was so delicious. My recommendation is to visit during the weekdays right at opening time to avoid a big lineup. But this cafe is definitely the perfect mood booster on a hot, sticky day.
For my gluten-free friends, this one’s for you. In Korea, it is very common for cafes to sell individual slices of cakes for you to enjoy. I know this might seem strange, since in North America bakeries usually just sell whole cakes for special events such as birthdays. However, in Korea, many people enjoy going out and meeting friends for a mid-afternoon dessert date. I think this is an excellent idea because come on– the hassle of pre-ordering a whole cake is just annoying. This way, you can enjoy cake any time you want it! Well back to my point about this being for gluten-free people– Cafe Sosohage specializes in gluten free cakes, made with rice flour. It does not affect the taste at all, in fact, I personally think that it makes the cakes taste even better. Because they use rice flour, the cake is so much lighter and fluffier. So even if you are not gluten-free, I still recommend you check it out. I also love the name and aesthetic of the cafe. Sosohage in Korean means little things and is often used in a sentence to show how we find joy in the little things. This is so fitting with the cafe, because it’s a small, cute kind of vibe, and also because little things such as cake can bring so much happiness 🙂
Writing this blog post has just brought back so many good memories from Korea. I miss it so much, and can’t wait to visit again this summer. If you get the chance to visit Seoul, treat yourself and give one (or all!!) of these cafes a try. I hope you enjoyed reading this, and hopefully, I didn’t make you too hungry 😉
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