Korean Themed Restaurants and Cafe’s – Part Two

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Korean Cafes

Here is part 2 of our Themed Cafes and Restaurants Post.  For the restaurants please read Part One here.

Now onto the cafes!  Korea is filled with cafes and all of them are so lovely!

I have never really been a cafe type person one, because I don’t really like coffee and two, the idea just never really appealed to me.  That is, until I went to Korea.  In Korea, it seems as if every cafe as its own little vibe going on which is so welcoming, so calming, so cozy and so comfy.  I love the atmosphere that each cafe seems to be able to create. Cafes in Korea are the best places to chillax with friends and the best part of all – you only ever have to order one drink and you can stay there as long as you like – seriously – people do work on their laptops for hours!  You never get that “can you leave now?” vibe from the waiters!

Unfortunately, I’m yet to find a cafe in Sydney that has quite the charm of a Korean cafe!  But I intend to keep searching~

One of the first cafes we went to in Korea really captures this charm and vibe that all Korean cafes seem to have in common.

See this is what I mean, what would you call this vibe?? I just love it so much!! It’s so homely!
Message walls/trees seem to also be a common feature of the Korean cafe culture. They are basically a collection of photos, drawings and hand written messages that people stick up on a wall or hang up on a tree in the cafe.
You might be thinking…why is this photo here?? Well, another common trait in Korean cafes is the presence of notebooks whereby people use to draw, leave messages or play games with friends. Most amazingly, you wont see one penis, curse word or sexual image in these books!! Can you just imagine what kind of things would be in these books if a cafe were to include them in Australia…? Yeah…let’s not even go there..
Some more cafe decor!

One of the many cafes Siree and I stumbled across was actually a couple cafe!  We walked in not realising, and it was filled with couples! None the less it was a really amazing cafe.  I loved it and it’s vibe!  It totally lived out those Christmas scenes in Hollywood movies where its snowing and cold outside but the stars of the movie are cuddled up inside their immaculately Christmas decorated homes, by the fireplace…*sigh*…so lovely.

Yum!!

Some delicious food and drinks commonly sold in Korean cafes, which are not sold or easily found in Australia include:

  • Pumpkin Lattes – seriously delish!
  • Chestnut Lattes
  • Green tea lattes
  • A variety of teas – floral, fruity, herbal, traditional – sometimes there are mixes of all of these.
  • Waffles, sweet breads, parfaits

Tips:

  • If your looking for cool cafes, majority of them are located up in the second level of buildings, so when searching don’t just look for places on ground level, look up!

Hardcore Themed Cafes!

Unlike the general Korean cafe vibe, there are numerous cafes in Korea that go ALL out!!  Here are some of our experiences:

Hello Kitty Cafe

Wow.  Always in my life I have wanted to visit one of the notably famous Hello Kitty cafes.  I have always been jealous of seeing my friends photos and finally, I was able to experience it myself.

If there was one word to describe the Hello Kitty Cafe it would definitely be PINK OVERLOAD. Okay two words! So much so that it kinda makes things hard to see, the lighting on your face is terribly unflattering (would not recommend for first dates! haha) and the photos didn’t turn out so nicely because of the light!  But it does keep with the vibe so all’s good!

We  forced  brought along two of our male Korean friends to this restaurant and upon entry, they instantly commented on their masculinity decreasing …!  However, being the good hosts they were, they swallowed their pride and joined in as enthusiastically as they possibly could haha.  We appreciated the effort..

Wow, it looks so majestic! Haha any man would be scared of this building
Interior decor! Pretty cool right. I mean they have Hello Kitty shaped chairs!!!
The food is also Hello Kitty themed!
Our drinks :) So cute!
Our entire order!

If I’m to be really honest, the food here is only mediocre, but then again you don’t really visit the Hello Kitty cafe to eat spectacularly good food.  You visit for the vibe and novelty, and judging by that aspect, visiting  The Hello Kitty Cafe is worth it.

Directions:

Follow the pink line on the map

Original map from Visit Korea website.

From exit 9 out of Hongik Station, walk straight along yanghwa – ro and turn left into Hongik – ro.  Turn right into the third street on your right.  The Hello Kitty cafe is hidden up a little alley street, so keep an eye out on your left.  The cafe is clearly visible when looking up into the alley.

Cats Living – Cat Cafe

Right next to the Hello Kitty Cafe, is Cats Living – a fully fledged cat cafe with real cats running around!!  I’d only ever seen cat cafes whilst watching my favourite KPOP stars visiting them in Korean Variety shows, so naturally I always wanted to visit one myself – after all I love animals!!

But I have to admit, it was not exactly what I was expecting…I guess TV really does put a glossy shiny bubble of shazaam over everything, making it look extra spiffy that you tend to forget about the possible negatives of such a cafe.  I mean the cafe looked nice and some of the cats were kinda cute too (SOME WERE SERIOUSLY EVIL)…but the smell was terrible!!  I was honestly not expecting that at all! I don’t know what part of my brain put together the fact that a place with 12+ cats all in one room would not smell, but I was so shocked that I actually remember saying to Siree “I don’t want to do this anymore..”  I don’t know I guess the thought of eating and drinking in a place with such a smell was kinda off putting…

Nevertheless, it was a very unique experience and I’m glad I did go even though I felt highly uncomfortable…

And I guess after a while you do get over the smell…

The front!
Cute signage! I love this aspect of Korean cafes and their use of signs and drawings.  Also I may be mistaken here…but I think they spelt “open” wrong haha. Konglish! Love it!
Some of the cute cats!  I like the ears on the one of the left haha
The cat on the left was so cutely tragic. Poor thing was so old and I felt sorry for its eyes!!
The decor was also very fitting. I though this idea was really cute.
More of the interior. I really liked that cage chair!
Nawww. Siree and I couldn’t tell how many cats were bundled in here – I’d say 3? Maybe just two lol!

Directions

Follow the pink line on the map

Original map from Visit Korea

From exit 9 out of Hongik Station, walk straight along yanghwa – ro and turn left into Hongik – ro.  Turn right into the third street on your right.  Cats Living is located right next to the Hello Kitty Cafe so keep an eye out for that in an alley on your left ( Cats Living is not visible when you look into the alley way only the Hello Kitty Cafe is). As you walk towards the Hello Kitty cafe you will see Cats Living.

Price

The entry fee to the cafe is 8,000 won which includes a drink.  The drinks provided here are the standard drinks you might find at Starbucks, so they aren’t that great but its better than nothing.  Again though, you visit for the cats not for the food/drinks.

Tips

When you enter Cats Living there is a protocol foreigners may not be aware of.

  • Upon entry, you are required to take off your shoes.  Your shoes can be locked away in a locker and you will be provided with slippers.
  • Sanitize your hands at the door.

Charlie Brown Cafe

I think out of all the themed cafes, Charlie Brown was my favourite.  Maybe because I really love Charlie Brown – I think the drawing style of the characters is super cute!  Also I remember watching the cartoon series when I was younger – it was so cute and hilarious!

The front of the cafe! It looks so cute!  Charlie is soooo cute!!
One thing I really liked about the Charlie Brown Cafe was that they actually served your drinks in actual Charlie Brown mugs, whereas the Hello Kitty Cafe and Cats Living served their drinks in paper/plastic cups.
More of our drinks! Snoopy and Charlie Brown dusted chocolate.
Cuteee!
I liked all the figurines that decorated the cafe! Especially seeing the way Snoopy’s character has changed through the decades.
Our buzzers were too cool!
Cool lighting!

Directions

Follow the green line on the map

Original map from Visit Korea

From Hongik station, exit via exit 9 and continue walking straight along Yanghwa -ro.  Turn left into Hongik – ro and walk straight until you reach Honik University’s front gates.  Facing the gates, turn right down Wausan -ro and turn into the second street on your right (it should be after a small park).  Continue walking straight down that street, down the length of the small park.

 

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