Have you received orders to the Land of the Morning Calm? In South Korea the morning is the last calm moment of a day in Seoul. It is bustling city that is full of life and wonderful sights to visit. You have just been granted a ticket to one unique culture!
If you do need a break from the insane pace, not to mention the blistering summer heat or the wind ripping winter cold, venture into a themed café! With touches of cute and kooky, the following five cafes will have you petting dogs, sheep, putting on wedding dresses, saying “hello kitty” and allowing your kids to get in some fierce play. They are sure to make you smile as you sip your drink; just don’t forget your camera!
*Readers please note that upon this publication in 2017, all of these cafes are still presently open for business.*
Thanks Nature Café
Photo by Michelle Chua
The Thanks Nature Café is a great stop after visiting the Hongik University campus, and it will also allow you to enjoy your coffee with a side order of…sheep?! Yes, you read that right. At Thanks Nature, or also known as the “sheep café” you are not going to eat the sheep- just enjoy their company after ordering a yummy waffle and drink. You can feed the wooly wonders and give them snuggles. They are very friendly, and although I felt sketchy about how happy these sheep might be within city limits, they are very clean and look cozy in their mini farm house. Do you want your coffee with a side of “Baa?” It’s surely one of the stranger cafes I’ve been to, but only in Korea!
Right and Up Tip: Go for the gold with the red-bingsu waffle, a real Korean novelty of sweet red beans and ice cream.
Hello Kitty Café
Located in Hongdae, the Hello Kitty Café boasts a sweet pink interior with an adorable menu of desserts and drinks. There are several different rooms and levels to sit in, all of them glammed up in sparkle overload. If coffee isn’t your jam, one of the ice flake bowls, ades (a soda inspired drink) or the sweet potato latte might suit your taste buds. The shop offers fun mugs for the fellow kitty loving fans in your life.
Right and Up Tip: If you want the signature Hello Kitty face stamp on your drink, the café latte, caramel latte, and cappuccino are your best bets for Instagram-worthy coffee pics!
Bau House Café
Photo by Seoulful Adventures
Bau House is special because it is a DOG cafe. Now I cannot tell you how many times people have asked me, “have you eaten dog??” NO! I have not and I think many Koreans are a bit offended by the current stipulation that man’s best friend is on their dinner plate. We have heard that it can be found at some restaurants, but these are exclusive joints and you pay a hefty price for a taste of bow-wow.
What you mainly see in K-town are owners doting over their pups, and if they can’t have a dog of their own, they head to Bau House! The concept is quite clever, because having a coffee and snuggling with a dog is pretty heavenly.
When we visited we had to put our names down and wait for a free table. There is no limit on puppy playtime, so you must wait until other guests are finished. There are about 15+ dogs hanging out at Bau Haus, and all seemed happy and well cared for. If pups didn’t want to play, they were not forced to. We also saw two groups go out for walks whilst we were there, and if a pup did a piddle, someone was there within seconds to clean it up! Before you leave there are lent rollers and spray to spruce your own self up.
Right and Up Tip: We’ve heard some of the Cat Cafe’s in Seoul (yes, cat lovers there is a place for you to go too! I would like that, but I’d have to take a massive Benadryl before attempting~ cat allergies!), and heard that they pay a fee to enter the café. Bau Haus did not charge that. You could buy treats for the dogs, and you had to purchase a beverage. It might be one of the pricier coffees in the city, ranging 6,000-8,000 won, but it’s worth it for some canine company.
Princess Diary Café: Wedding Dress Café
If you have the urge to try on a wedding dress before or after “I Do,” Princess Diary Café has you covered. Not to mention you get to enjoy a coffee or delightful sugared beverage of choice. You do have to wait your turn if the dressing room is busy, but that is good because then each set of friends gets a turn picking out dresses so it is not brimming with grabbing girls.
Once your fancy frock is on, you get to take thousands of pictures with your pals in all of the quirky little vignettes! It is very kitschy inside, filled to the brim with fake foliage, mirrors, and photo-op spots. It’s a hilarious romp and makes for great memories with your friends.
Right and Up Tip: You can choose a simple package or deluxe one, depending on how fancy your dress and shoes are. Understand not all dresses are the same price!
Photo by Jenonymously
Dalki is the Korean word for Strawberry, and she looks very much like a Korean Strawberry Shortcake! Her theme phrase I agree with, “If it’s not fun, why do it?!” During the long cold winters and brutal monsoon summers of Seoul, Dalki Café is a wonderful retreat for families.
This place is like a way cooler, more intelligent and clean version of Chuck E Cheese. There are nets to dangle from, a zip line, cars whizzing across the ceiling, and huge monitors hanging up so that parents can eat or drink coffee and still keep an eye out for their child. There are also quieter areas with crafts and books. When you enter, you must remove your shoes, and check extra items in a locker. This keeps the play space clean and neat for all the rambunctious kiddos!
Right and Up Tip: Dalki Cafe is located to the left of the complex that the Olympic Park Gate is housed in, so if you go, you can see two great things in one stop!
Cover photo from The Things
About the Author
Lindsay is a military wife, mom, and writer. As a former professional dancer you can find her doing pirouettes in the kitchen whilst also flipping pancakes. She finds solace in hearing the sound of her sewing machine and a hot cup of coffee. She’s lived and traveled all over the world but believes there is always more to experience. Her blog Uplifting Anchor encourages mothers and military spouses.