I’m currently in South Korea for my winter break. Having lived here for 6 years before moving to the UK for university, I became very disillusioned to many of the things Seoul has to offer. Now, every time I come back for the holidays, I can’t wait to go to all the cute cafés and restaurants Korea boasts.
I’ve recently become obsessed with good quality coffee. I’ve always been a coffee lover, but up until now I would be content with one of the seasonal drinks from Starbucks. These days, I’ve been actively seeking out independent coffee houses, or cafés unique to Korea, that provide some of the best coffee I’ve ever had. Here’s a review of a few places I’ve visited in the past week.
∙ peer coffee ∙
Peer Coffee is located in between Itaewon (이태원) and Hangangjin (한강진), but it takes quite a bit of exploring to find. Buried in one of the back streets, it’s a small place that is “worth being off the beaten path” as someone I know put it. The people who work here roast their own beans, so everything is fresh, and though initially a lot stronger than many mainstream coffees, the flavour of the coffee is to be thoroughly appreciated.
∙ cafe hyewon (혜원) ∙
This café is located in Hyehwa (혜화), which is a college town that has many places to eat and drink. My friend and I stumbled across Cafe Hyewon, which consists of three floors in a tall building, and decided to try it out. I ordered a caramel macchiato and she ordered her standard iced vanilla latte. The caramel macchiato was very sweet, as expected of such a drink, but having become accustomed to cappuccinos and americanos as of late, it was initially too much for me. After a few sips, however, I got used to the sweetness and it was enjoyable, though nothing special. The crown of Cafe Hyewon, however, is its strawberry rare cheese tarts. I’m a huge fan of rare cheese tarts, so I couldn’t resist buying one. It was absolutely delicious and I regret nothing.
∙ seoul club ∙
Seoul Club is an establishment that requires membership. For this reason, it’s fairly difficult to get into, unless you go as a guest with someone who is a member. Once inside however, there are a couple restaurants, a bar, a gym, a swimming pool, a library, a deli, and many other functions that members are free to use as they please. Everything is of the best quality, and therefore quite expensive.
I usually go to Seoul Club with my boyfriend, as he has membership and I don’t. We usually hang out in the deli, grab a meal and work out together there. The picture above was taken at the bar, which also serves tea and coffee during the day. I ordered a Vienna coffee (for my namesake) and he ordered an Earl Grey tea. It’s honestly been the best coffee I’ve had in Korea so far. Aside from looking absolutely adorable (presentation is always a huge thing for me–I was once profoundly disheartened when I got served tea in a take-out cup rather than a tea-pot) the coffee was smooth and the cream on top added just enough sweetness without overpowering the flavour of the coffee.
Korea has too many cafés to count, so I will doubtless be trying to find more before I head back to the UK. Let me know if you have any recommendations!
∙ vienna ∙