Seoul café guide

Craving top-notch coffee in well-designed interiors? Here's a neighborhood guide to our favorite cafés in Seoul
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Seoul is notorious for being obssessive when it comes to coffee. Get off at any subway stop in the city and you'll find at least a dozen cafés and coffee shops within easy walking distance. As the coffee culture continues to grow in the city, so does the list of chain coffee branches—but like any city, the chains aren't usually the best places to go for a substantial cup of joe.

If you're looking to fulfill a gastronomical need beyond your daily caffeine dosage, don't settle for a Starbucks. Move beyond the giant corner-hogging franchises on the main streets, and you'll find your reward in precise pour-overs (called "hand drip" in Korea), perfectly-timed espresso shots, and beautiful, tight cappuccino foam. Keep your eye out for the delectable pastries and breads that many of these shops also sell.

The best places for coffee in Seoul

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The best cafés in Hongdae

With so many artsy cafés around, how can you tell which are just for show? These places look good and have great coffee, too. Which is surely the point, right?

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The best cafés in Itaewon

In a neighborhood known for its independent frame of mind, Itaewon’s coffee culture is avowedly hip and fiercely competitive. Every other storefront is a café around here—so let us guide you to the best…

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The best cafés in Gangnam

Walk into the wrong place in this hood and you'll end up paying incredibly high prices for sub-par coffee. So walk into these amazing cafés instead…

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