If you are looking for the best things to do in Seoul, trying out some of the best cafes in Seoul with actually good coffee—and not just aesthetics—should absolutely be at the top of your list!
Seoul is heaven for coffee lovers! For every coffee shop you see, you are guaranteed to find two more around the corner, however, lots of them aim to be aesthetically pleasing and photogenic and tend to leave the quality of the coffee and the barista training slide, and as much as I love a beautiful cafe interior I still need a good cup of coffee to go with it.
So if you want to explore the best cafes in Seoul with actually good coffee, you are in luck, this is the list that I compile after my three month stay in Seoul:
The Best Cafes in Seoul for Good Coffee
Cerulean was the first great coffee I had in this city, and it changed me, before this, I had had inconsistently okay coffees in aesthetic-looking places, and I had accepted that that was my fate in Seoul, but Cerulean Insa gave me hope that this city wasn’t just about the looks but also about the quality of the coffee.
This modern-looking coffee shop in Insadong allows you to choose between two of their coffee blends—my favorite one being their burgundy blend with chocolate notes—and you can enjoy your coffee of choice in the hanok space in the back of the building, or in the glass-walled patio in the front of the cafe.
This is definitely one of the best cafes in Seoul, so if you find it, make sure to pin it in your maps because it might be hard to remember how to get there again.
Four Stones is one of the best cafes in Seoul for a good coffee and one of those places that just ticks all the boxes for me; the place is as gorgeous as their coffee is good.
Walking into the space is very easy to see that this place thought everything through, the coffee is taken seriously and the beautiful white-walled space with wood-trimmed ceilings invites you to take a seat at one of their numerous tables, or if the weather allows there is also ample space in their patio to sit and enjoy a strong cup of coffee.
For something unique make sure to try their signature Four Stones latte, a strong and sweet drink, that will give you the wake-up kick you need.
If you are looking for a strong cup of coffee and a perfectly frothed latte look no further than Astronomers Coffee, a modest little basement cafe located in the young neighborhood of Hongdae.
As you step down to the Astronomers Coffee you are welcomed by a bare-boned coffee bar that kind of looks like someone stubbornly decided to start a coffee shop with whatever they had at hand, which I love, but nonetheless delivers a strong espresso and beautiful latte art.
Namusairo is another great option if what you are looking for is a good coffee to get you through your day. Also located inside a beautiful traditional Hanok house, this is the perfect place to get caffeinated if you are close to the Gyenbokgung Palace.
If is not already taken when you get there, make sure to check out the cute sitting area up in the attic in the room at the back, and make sure to remove your shoes before you go up.
Address: 196 Sajik-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Coffeology Specialty Coffee
The name gives it away, this specialty coffee shop in the Insadong neighborhood will not get your attention with instagramable interiors and stupidly photogenic pastries, it just gets straight to the point and delivers a good cup of coffee for the business people in the area.
The location is so simple that it easily goes unnoticed, I discovered it by accident but became a fan after having a perfect latte to go—which I give extra points for since I feel like for some reason lots of places sabotage their coffee when you order it to go.
Address: Susong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Sudal cafe is without a doubt one of the best cafes in Seoul for good coffee, and I can very confidently say this as I have made this my working space during our 3-month stay in Seoul, and their coffee has not even once disappointed me, their lattes are always prepared to perfection!
Their menu also offers a variety of teas, cakes, and some of their signature coffees, such as the Viennese, and a delicious mocha, which is great if you need that extra kick of caffeine and sugar.
Address: 49-14 율곡로 Jongno-gu, Seoul
Blue Bottle Coffee
The trendy Blue Bottle Coffee is not native to Korea, it is actually a California-based company, however, they have a few locations around Seoul, and even though there are thousands of coffee shops to try in Seoul I believe we cannot talk about good coffee in the city without giving a shoutout to Blue Bottle.
Blue Bottle has been one of the most consistently excellent coffees I had had in this city and I do believe it has to do with the Korean precision and dedication to coffee because somehow the coffee here tastes better than when I had it for the first time back in San Francisco.
Also, their mocha is one of my favorite ones ever, so definitely give it a try if you like chocolate.
Grandpa Factory Cafe
Tucked away in the up-and-coming Seongsu neighborhood you will find a wide variety of unique cafes, from the incredibly elaborate ones, like NUDAKE, to more rustic ones, like the spacious and inviting Grandpa Factory Cafe.
Grandpa Factory cafe is one of the best cafes in Seoul’s Seongsu neighborhood, the location is beautiful and cozy, it even has a tree house you can drink your coffee in, they have an extensive food menu, which is rare in Korean cafes, and their coffee is carefully prepared and served.
Definitely a cafe worth checking out if you are exploring this fu area of Seoul!
Komfortabel is a moody and elegant cafe in the Anguk neighborhood and one of the best cafes in Seoul for good coffee.
The place is straightforward, their menu is short, you can choose between two types of blends for your espresso-based drink, and there might be two to three options for a small pastry to nibble on.
This Scandinavian-inspired cafe also provides wifi and plenty of seating space, which makes it a great spot to work from.
This place really ticks all the boxes for me, a gorgeously designed space with great coffee, and in a vibrant neighborhood worth exploring, so make sure to check it out!
A very expected coffee arrival in Seoul is the Japanese coffee company Arabica, which combines everything that Koreans love, great coffee and beautiful design, so is no surprise that as soon as they open their location in the Coex mall people were lining up daily in order to try their coffee.
It took me almost until the end of my three-month stay in Seoul to actually find the place empty enough for me to have the patience to wait for the coffee, but honestly, it did not disappoint.
The place is simple and clean, all white decor and gold details, which I love, the espresso-based drinks are strong and you can tell they take their time making sure every drink is prepared to perfection, which is why even though is relatively new to the city, I would definitely consider Arabica one of the best cafes in Seoul for good coffee.
Seoul is the perfect destination for any coffee lover, and while this list might be short I think it is a great place to start your journey of trying out the best cafes in Seoul for good coffee—and not just aesthetics. Have you visited any of these great cafes in Seoul? Which one is your favorite?
If you are looking for more fun things to do in the city with all that caffeinated energy, make sure to check out our post on 50+ unique things to do in Seoul.
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