As the peninsula starts to open itself up to the world from 1st April, many people are starting to plan their trips to Korea. What better place to start your journey than one of the busiest cities in the world: Seoul. Be it culture, tradition, or shopping, one cannot deny that one of the best attractions in Korea is their cafe culture. Not only are they known for good coffee, but they’re also known for their carefully and beautifully curated spaces.
Here are 3 cafes in Seoul near Seoul Station that you definitely have to visit in 2024.
1. Dotori (도토리)
A very unusual building amidst the tall and modern buildings around it, Dotori stands out as a unique fairytale landmark. Giving off vibes similar to that of Ghibli Studios, this brunch-style cafe has certainly become the talk of the town in 2024.
Apart from the mysterious and abandoned-looking exterior, the interior exudes a clean and cozy ambiance, almost like a wooden cabin in the woods. Old, rustic furniture, roots and weeds hanging out from ceilings, brick walls, everything you need to feel like you’re somewhere far away from the city.
They specialize in yogurt bowls and sandwiches, also selling a wide range of yogurt and granola which you can take home. It’s a really lovely environment to be having a cup of coffee, enjoying some breakfast, and just watching the morning go by.
I thoroughly enjoyed my hours here – the atmosphere, the food, the feel of the entire place. It was as though I was sitting in a cabin in the woods, enjoying the rustic feel of the interior, taking in every bit of the calm and soothing warm lights.
Name: Dotori Yongsan
Address: 25-6, Hangangdae-ro 52-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Operating Hours: 09:00am – 11:00pm (Mon-Fri)
2. Urban Plant Seobinggo (어번플랜트 서빙고) (Currently Closed)
Urban Plant has a few outlets, the main one being in Hapjeong Station, and another cafe in Seobinggo. Urban Plant started with the concept of being eco-friendly. Their buildings, interior design, raw materials, and food are all known to use sustainable ingredients and materials to create a greener earth. While working towards a noble cause, they certainly did not forgo taste and design.
Once you go up the steps, you’ll be greeted by a large reflection pool, crossing the brick steps into the cafe itself. A glasshouse, fitted with minimalistic seats, tables, and a zen garden through the middle, sits around the reflection pool. The very first thought upon entering the space is of peace: Soothing melodies, pleasant colors, and soft sunlight fill up the room through the glass walls.
Everything in the cafe was built with recycled materials – with the walls being recycled plastics, recycled stone, and the roof using recycled wood. The interior design takes on a minimalistic approach and focuses on the surroundings of the cafe to brighten and illuminate the space.
The drinks and cakes are unique and the staff serves them to you together with an explanation of how to properly enjoy them. Each item has multiple steps to enjoy the dish and is carefully curated and explained to be an experience in itself. Overall an excellent cafe that has begun to become trendy in recent times. It’s usually packed on the weekends so it might be better to patronize on weekday mornings.
Name: Urban Plant Seobinggo (Currently Closed)
Address: 7-4 Seobinggo-ro 59-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (Currently Closed)
Operating Hours: 11:00am – 09:00pm (Currently Closed)
3. Solbangul Bakery (솔방울 베이커리)
Hidden in one of the streets along the busy Jongno district lies the Solbangul Bakery. A touch of modernity meets tradition in this classy Korean Hanok-style bakery that brings a whole new meaning to a ‘hiding place in the city’. Albeit its small exterior, the bakery is long and goes deep in, with lots of seating space facing a small garden.
Upon entry, smells of freshly baked bread waft through the air. On the right, is a wide selection of baked goods, and on the left, is the counter. The place is extremely clean and modern-looking, with a first floor, second floor, and a private area.
Through the corridor, you can see a lovely garden in the middle of the compound. The seating arrangement is arranged so that it’s facing out, and people can enjoy the serenity of the picturesque simplicity.
It’s a lovely place to hang out with friends, do some work, or even just take some time to be quiet on a warm spring day, looking out and watching how the sun rays form contrasting lines along the tree trunk. It is in these little moments that you realize life has just passed by, and your soul healed a little more.
These are the top three cafes in Seoul near Seoul Station that is trending in 2024. Definitely worth checking out if you’re planning to be in the area, and if you wish to go cafe hopping. Each cafe gives off a different vibe and it’s a never-ending joy to continue to search for these places amidst the busyness of life.
Name: Solbangul Bakery
Address: 89-15 Seosunra-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Operating Hours: 11:00am – 09:00pm