Your ultimate guide to cafe-hopping in Seoul: Mil Toast, Onion, Nudakke and more

Here are three neighbourhoods you should check out for cafe-hopping in Seoul: Ikseon-dong, Seongsu and Insadong.

Belinda Poh

| August 30, 2023
Cafe-hopping in Seoul
Cafe Onion is located minutes away from the Seongsu subway station. HallyuSG Photo: Avier Tan

Seoul is known for many things.

You can’t miss K-pop when you’re there. Talk about its vibrant nightlife and delicious food. And it’s out-of-the-world cafés.

With so many café recommendations sweeping our Tiktok feeds and so limited time, you may wonder where the best places are to fully experience Seoul’s café culture.

HallyuSG picks out three neighbourhoods in Seoul for you to embark on your cafe-hopping adventure.

1. Ikseon-dong

While Ikseon-dong has been highlighted in numerous TikTok videos and may appear overrated, it is unquestionably worth a visit.

Ikseondong is the place to go if you want to thoroughly immerse yourself in Seoul’s café culture.

It is home to many popular cafés such as Mil Toasthouse, Nakwon Station Café, and Cheong Su Dang.

cafe-hopping in Seoul
Mil Toasthouse is known for its bread with a super soft and smooth texture. Photo: Press

If you love bread and are prepared to splurge, Mil Toast will undoubtedly satisfy you. Here’s our tip: go for the toasts with filling rather than the plain ones.

If, on the other hand, you are one who prefers deserts and aesthetic locations, the other two cafés are for you.

Be prepared to splurge on these visually enticing and delicious items.

Another plus point of Ikseon-dong is the traditional Hanok houses lining the street. The architecture adds a sense of old sentimentality and nostalgia to the very modern café street.

2. Seongsu-dong

Locals and tourists alike frequent Seongsu for its cafes.

Since Seongsu-dong is not as well-known as Ikseon-dong and has fewer tourists, the prices in the cafes here are slightly lower.

Cafe Onion, Nudakke, and OUDE are some of the popular cafés in the area.

Cafe-hopping in Seoul
OUDE, located in Seongsu-dong, is known for their cruffins and cronuts. Photo: Press

If you want to try Korean pastries, these three cafés are definitely worth a try. What’s good about visiting Cafe Onion’s Seongsu branch is that you probably would not have to endure 30-minute long lines, a common experience at its other Anguk outlet.

In addition, each café offers three distinct aesthetics: industrial chic, dark and sleek, as well as clean and bright visuals.

But Seongsu is more than just its aesthetic cafes. It’s also very much well-known for its pop-up events.

Read more: A day trip itinerary to Seongsu: How best to see Seoul’s newest hip neighbourhood

A visit on a weekend to not just do cafe-hopping in Seoul, but to also discover some of Seongsu’s unique pop-ups might just sound like the perfect respite.

3. Insa-dong

If you’ve planned out a trip to the Gyeongbukgong Palace, consider heading down to Insa-dong to the cafe-hop.

Insa-dong is a place that allows you to enjoy the café scene in Korea while basking in some of the traditional scenery. Similar to Ikseon-dong, it is also lined with traditional Hanok houses.

There are many famous traditional teahouses here, such as the Shin Old Tea House. Unlike the other two neighbourhoods, Insa-dong offers a more quiet and calming environment.

It has a unique charm that should not be missed. Especially for those who wish to immerse themselves more in the traditional side of Korean culture.

Cafe-hopping in Seoul is definitely an activity you would not want to miss out on.

It is also important to note that many cafés in Seoul have a minimum order quantity depending on their store policy. Some cafés require customers to order a minimum of one drink per customer.


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