Café culture...Hongdae specialty! Pt. 1

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee Pt. 1

Of course it's not all you see in Hongdae but one of the things that this place is famous for is it's coffee shops! Yours truly walked around town cafe hopping just to do this review for you. ;) These places are all within walking distance of JK House so if you come and stay here we can give you a map of some of the cool coffee shops in the area we think you should check out!

Let's start with the really famous big ones that EVERYONE talks about because they're unique and/or have been featured on TV. 

For those of you who have seen the Korean drama "Coffee Prince" with Gong Yoo *drools* you should know that it is a real cafe in Hongdae! They made it for the show and they just turned it into a real cafe after. I went there once a few months ago. The service was bad and they don't let you take pictures until you've ordered a drink. They're a bit rude and there are so many other cool coffee shops to go to the only reason why you would subject yourself to this is because...Gong Yoo was there...<3 hehe...I think they are closed for the time being because I just stopped by today and it wasn't open. Here's a link that has everything you probably need to know about this cafe... About Coffee Prince Coffee Shop

서울시 마포구 서교동 337-2
337-2 Seogyo-dong
Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Me eating Hello Kitty's Face
Next on the list...

The Hello Kitty Cafe!

If you love this adorable pink will love this cafe. Everything from the cake, to the coffee have her face on it. They sell little trinkets and things inside too just in case you didn't get enough of this cat and you wanted to take some home with you. I also went to this cafe a few months ago but I stopped by today to take this picture. If you don't experience this for yourself, you won't know
what I'm talking about. When you step in the door you notice that your skin has turned pink...oh wait no that's just the light reflecting off of everything inside the cafe. PINK PINK PINK EVERYWHERE!!! O.O You don't believe me? Go see for yourself.

서울시 마포구 서교동 358-112.
358-112 Seogyo-dong
Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Then I proceeded to go through CNNgo's top 5 Cafes in Hongdae list. We'll start with Coffee Lab.

1. Coffee Lab (2 locations)

The original location is pretty cool looking. The interior is very modern chic meets vintage cool with a bit of a dark steel laboratory feel to it. The ceiling is covered with chairs, the waiters are hot hot hot, and the coffee tastes great. The owner roasts his own beans that are sold by the bags as well as by the cup. They have the suggested coffee for the day and their very famous "Mad Scientist" blend which I have yet to try. I had their suggested coffee yesterday with a brownie and ice cream 1/2 (which is a smaller version for solo visitors). The coffee was really good but the brownie was a bit dry. It's not like the rich chocolaty American brownies we are so used to. Needless to say, the hot waiters make up for it ;)

The 2nd location is smaller. I think it is a Coffee Lab Express. I'm not sure because I didn't actually get to go in but I did snap a picture of it on my way back to JK House. This one is located on one of the big streets that has the Starbucks and Taco Bell. This would be on the same side as Taco Bell.

Address (Coffee Lab):
서울시 마포구 서교동 327-19
327-19 Seogyo-dong
Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea

I'm not sure what the exact address is for the express but when I find out, I will be sure to update this.

 2. Cafe Suda

The exterior doesn't look that nice but the interior makes up for it. They've got books and magazines on shelves with empty wine bottles next to comfy arm chairs making it feel pretty relaxing. There are different types of chairs and tables as well as a little lofted area for people who like to sit on the floor and enjoy their meals. The music there is great because they have a lot of indie stuff playing. It's a good change of pace because most of the other places only play the same KPop songs over and over again.

 Their menu was pretty simple. Coffees, teas, 'ades, sodas, and even beers and wine. They are known for their herb roasted chicken sandwich with cucumbers and mayo. That's what I had for lunch with my iced Americano. The sandwich was good and it came with some banana lightly drizzled with chocolate. It really hit the spot. I was a little disappointed with the coffee but...the music made up for it. They also have a small selection of salads and the prices were pretty reasonable. I'd like to go back again and try a salad.

서울시 마포구 서교동 338-3
338-3 Seogyo-dong,
Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea

3. Ding Dong Café

I had brunch here today and it was pretty good. It calls itself a "Traveler's Cafe" and so the interior is decorated to match that theme. The walls are covered with pictures and maps of people traveling around the world. They've also got world clocks set in different time zones (that don't work...which was a bit disappointing) to top it all off. There are different areas to sit including an outside patio for those who do not fear the summer heat. The bright walls and chairs contrast well with the vintage feel of the place. It feels like a time traveler's cubby where they left their memories while they continued with their travels and occasionally came back to drop off another memento. Maybe that's why the clocks are's the only place where time stops so the traveler can rest. I'm being a bit too poetic I think. Back on track...the menu! Drinks, waffles, brunch, sandwiches, and more! They have a lot to offer and I'd like to go back and try something else if I get a chance. The Kpop they had playing was a bit disappointing but their coffee wasn't too bad. It's a nice quiet place to read in the afternoon because it's not crowded with people so if you get a chance...go have brunch and relax!


서울시 마포구 서교동 333-24
333-24 Seogyo-dong,
Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea

To be continued...expect pt. 2 to be coming soon!