One thing that becomes immediately apparent upon walking down any street in South Korea is that coffee shops are incredibly popular. Multiple cafes reside on the same streets, and often times, they are several stories tall. The most amazing part is they always seem busy. ALL OF THEM, ALL THE TIME. It’s insane the amount of coffee that is consumed in this country!
While there are some Starbucks’ in Seoul, the majority of the cafes are either Korean chain brands, or smaller independent stores. Each cafe, chain or independent, is usually themed, and they are all adorable. It’s actually pretty ridiculous how many adorable cafes there are here! A popular decor theme here is the vintage/rustic look, so you see a lot of cafes that look like they came straight out of an Anthropologie catalog. Since this is one of my all-time favorite stores, these are my kind of places!
Unlike back home, cafes and coffee aren’t really popular morning places. The coffee is less about the caffeine (it’s usually weaker than in the States anyway), and more about the social aspect. Most cafes are packed from dinnertime until 10 or 11 p.m., full of couples on dates. Because most young adults in Korea live with their families until they are married, cafes are a good place to sit and talk on a date without their parents hoovering around. While I completely understand this cultural difference and I know most cafes won’t be open in the morning, sometimes it still irks me in the morning that I can’t grab a coffee on my way to work, since most of my favorite places don’t open until 10 a.m. On the bright side, making my own coffee has definitely saved me money!
Here’s a little taste (pun intended) of the cafes of Korea:
Which one would you most like to sit and have a coffee date at?