[Seoul] The photogenic qualities of the places we sip our cuppa of Joe is every bit as important as the quality of the coffee itself.
There are always trendy new themed cafes and coffee shops popping up in Seoul.
Zapangi, with its neon pink vending machine entrance is one that has quickly captured the hearts of Seoulites and expats in the city, both of whom will line up patiently outside so as to capture the perfect shot.
Zapangi 자판기 (meaning “vending machine” in Korean) is situated in Seoul’s Mangwon-dong, a hip up-and-coming neighbourhood filled with artisan hangouts, microbreweries and independent boutiques.
You can reach the cute coffee place via subway. Simply take lines 5 or 6 and leave the Mangwon station 망원전철역 through exit 2. (Mangwon-dong sits between Hongdae and Sangam-dong.)
Most people are drawn to Zapangi for the sheer purpose of getting that cool capture for their Insta of them bursting out of a vending machine.
That is massively underestimating Zapangi though, this place has so much more to offer than simply good selfie potential.
The presentation of the food and beverages here is simple yet endearing. Zapangi does not have an extensive menu but it does offer its fair share of tasty treats and decadent desserts.
The cafe’s tagline is “bottles and tins” and this is reflected in its simple presentation – cold beverages are served in milk style glass bottles, cakes are served in tins.
Zapangi’s “tin cakes” are served in perfectly polished metal tins with cute printed stickers that point towards what is inside.
The adorable confectionaries sold are often incredibly intricate and visually appealing – for example, cupcakes designed to look like a mermaid is diving inside.
The flavours range from a rich, decadent chocolate cake to slightly more subtle-sweet fruit cakes.
You can get the Coffee (6,500 Won, SGD7.90), Blue Berry / Peach (7,000 Won SGD8.50), Sweet Potato / Dark Chocolate (7,000 Won, SGD8.50) to the most photogenic “Mermaid” (9,500 Won, SGD11.60) Tin Cakes.
If you are a coffee aficionado, you can of course find all of the classics here – Black, Milk, Soy Coffee and Latte (4,500 Won – 5,500 Won, SGD5.50 – SGD6.70).
For photo purposes if you are not ordering a dessert, consider opting for one of the Aurora or Mermaid “Mocha” drinks (7.500 Won or 9,500 Won).
The chocolatey drink was rich and incredibly sweet, served with a phenomenal mound of whipped cream and sprinkles.
Zapangi is a little pricier than your average coffee shop, but not abnormally so compared to most other “themed” places. A coffee will set you back between 5,000 – 6,000 Won, and a dessert between 7,000 and 9,000 Won.
400-2 Mangwon-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
서울시 마포구 망원동 400-2
Tel: +82 2-325-8185
Opening Times: 10am – 11pm (Mon – Sun)
Google Maps – Zapangi
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* Written by DFD’s Seoul Correspondent Melissa Douglas. Daniel’s Food Diary paid for food reviewed unless otherwise stated.