Cafés in Korea





In Seoul, I have visited many kinds of cafés. Café-hopping is very popular among tourists and locals. Korea is well known for the many different themed cafes, like Harry Potter and Studio Ghibli, as well as dessert cafés. Cafés that are solely used to relax, talk with friends, and eat new kinds of bakery items are what most are used to talking about on their visits to Korea, but there are many other kinds.

I have already mentioned a few of the themed cafés available in Kore, but there are also those based of music and books available. Manhwa cafés are very popular, and not only is the café themed, but the food and drinks available there are often named after characters or book titles from popular manhwa. Another popular kind are animal cafés. These come in many shapes and sizes, including dog, cat, meerkat, and raccoon. There are many other kinds, even those with a mix of different animals. One can play and take pictures with the animals, some offer food during these activities, but not all of them do.

My favorite café is a Manga Café. These do not really exist in the United States. They are for ‘renting’ out a space and taking manga from the shelves present in the café or bringing in your own to read. Now, when I say renting out a space, I do mean that one does pay to be there, but it could be the equivalent of $1-$2 per hour. Reading is not the only thing one is able to do there, I personally like to study, it was the best place for me to study for midterms; one can also play board games with others they come with, or just watch a movie and have a snack. The café is set up like cubicles with a bed or mat on the ground or bunk beds for you to sit in. It also has a range of drinks and food one can order while they enjoy the space. These cafés would be similar to a book easy where one can study or read while drinking coffee. Except these have better food and drink options, and I could take a nap on a comfortable bed if I wanted to.

There are also PC cafés, where you can rent a computer for 30 minutes or more. These computers already have PC games downloaded on to them from many different gaming services, like League of Legends and Genshin Impact. Sometimes these games need updates and that can be hard on the time that you have paid for, but the more popular games are usually up to date. These cafés also have some of the fastest WIFI and are popular for fans to use for ticketing sites when their favorite idols go on tour. I have used them solely for this reason.

Cafés come in many shapes and sizes, but the most important part of any visit is that one feels comfortable being there. Every café has its own charm, whether that be great dessert or a comfy place to lay down, but what if there is always a line when you want to go? Or if you feel rushed due to how crowded it is, or you can only go there in a group and not by yourself? What makes cafés really great in Korea, is that there are so many to try. If you like the food but not the place, then go find another one. If you love the place and food, then you always have a place to run back to if the next one you try is too busy or you don’t love it. Just go out and find what’s best for you.