[Seoul, South Korea] Myeongdong 명동 is Seoul’s famous neighborhood known for its affordable beauty shopping and eateries.
It is always swarming with visitors and is a home of several famous Korean beauty products.
Amongst the hustle bustle and popular sights and wonders, you will find loads of Korean street food from the evenings till late night.
And if you are bored of the usual cafes (emmm… like O’sulloc Tea House which is always flooded with Singaporeans), here are the 10 warm and comfortable cafés and desserts in Myeongdong to catch a break from your endeavors and enjoy a good time with family and friends.
(Oh yeah, I didn’t include any of the usual Korean Coffee Chain stores such as Angel-In-Us and Twosome Coffee because you can just find them just about anywhere in Seoul.)
Stylenanda Pink Hotel
37-8 Myeongdong 8-gil, Chungmuro 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm
6 Stories Of Clothes, Accessories, Desserts and Coffee
Well, this is not my type of café but I can see its appeal.
Head to the café at the 5th floor, be enchanted by some of their baristas (who may look like Korean pop styles), and don’t forget about the roof-top if taking that #OOTD shot is your ultimate goal.
Decorated in perfectly delicate pink shades, the Pink Pool Cafe is a slice of girly paradise.
Trendsetters and coffee lovers can enjoy a drink and a snack from the cafes extensive menu. The Pink Pool Café serves up a pretty menu of drinks from Shakes, Tea, Ade, to “Diet” drinks of Real Tomato Juice, Lemon Detox Water, Coconut Juice and Burdock Tea (6500 Won – 7000 Won, SGD7.90 – 8.50) for the health-conscious, considered slightly above the usual café pricing.
Those heading to have something on their Instagram would order the Cotton Candy Ice Cream, Coffee or Slush (9000 Won, SGD10.90) which are eccentrically decorated huge puffs of cotton candy made for photo purposes.
Center Coffee 센터커피
89 Myeongdong-gil, Jeodong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Opening Hours: 8am – 9pm (Mon – Fri), 10am – 10pm
Coffee Place By Award-Winning Barista
Center Coffee whose flagship is at Seongdong-gu, has quite a following. Not many tourists have discovered this Myeongdong branch yet, so if you need a place to just indulge in coffee and quiet time, this is it.
This is a coffee-focused café, and so you won’t expect the usual cakes and bites. It is opened by barista Sang-ho Park, who was the champion in 2013 UK Brewers Cup and 2015 Coffee in Good Spirits.
Other than the usual Americano and Flat White, you get choices of single origin Drip Coffee and Coffee Cocktail.
The interesting choices are the Coconut Cream Latte (6,000 Won) and Ssuk Latte (6,500 Won) – otherwise known as mugwort which is a herb commonly used in Korean cooking.
Billy Angel Cake Company
16, Myeongdong 7-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul 04534, South Korea
Opening Hours: 11am – 11pm (Mon – Sun)
Café Inspired By Charlie’s Angels
The movie Charlie’s Angels inspired the distinctive name of the café. It first started in July 2012 with the sole purpose to serve a cake whipped with love, using quality ingredients at an affordable price.
At Billy Angel Cake Company, they combine delicious desserts with art and music to give you an unforgettable and heavenly experience.
Head down to enjoy a slice of their signature cakes, including Red Velvet cake (7000 Won), Carrot Cake (7200 Won) and Milk Crepe (7500 Won).
While their cakes are generally more pretty than delicious – especially the Galaxy Cake, what they can offer is a huge offering and sweet treats till very late at night.
Coffee Libre 커피리브레
74 Myeongdong-gil, Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, 서울특별시 South Korea
Tel: +82 2 774 0615
Opening Hours: 11am – 9pm (Mon – Sun)
Hidden Award-Winning Cafe At Myeongdong Cathedral
This small branch of Coffee Libre in Myeongdong boasts a quite unusual location, as it is situated within the Myeongdong Cathedral complex.
The thing that makes Coffee Libre stand out from other coffee shops in the city is the fact that the owners are dedicated to coffee.
This is from sourcing the best coffee beans in the world, and choosing to have different brewing methods.
They are especially known for sourcing their single-origin coffee beans via fair-trade directly, and obtaining highly regarded CoE (Cup of Excellence) beans as well.
As one of the top independent roasters they participate in various coffee-related events in Korea, and top baristas worldwide claim to have used their beans in the World Barista Championships.
Innisfree Green Café 이니스프리그린카페
65-2 Myeongdong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea (Euljiro 1(il)-ga Station Exit 5, Seoul Subway Line 2)
서울시 중구 명동1가 65-2
Tel: +82 2776 0117
Opening Hours: 9am – 11pm (Mon – Sun)
Korean Beauty Café With VR Experience At Myeongdong
Talk about Innisfree, and some of my friends will sing praises of its beauty products, face masks and cosmetic products.
So an Innisfree Green Café 이니스프리그린카페 will naturally (pun not intended) make them excited about its offerings.
This Innisfree Green Café at Myeongdong is work of a brilliant extension of the beauty range, with its vibes and offering very appealing to the target of young females and the working class.
Its offerings are a selection of ‘healthy’ food and drinks, from “Real Juice” (7,000 Won), Jeju Greentea beverages of latte and cappuccino – very O’sulloc (3,000 Won onwards), Shaved Ice (8,000 Won), Cloud Tiramisu (7,500 Won) and Yogurt Bowls (8,000 Won).
Not entirely my kind of food, but it would be a great resting spot for those who indulge in too much street food downstairs.
50-10 Myeong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Tel: +82 10 2797 4210
Opening Hours: 8:00am – 10:00pm (Mon – Sun)
Minimalist Cafe With Hawaiian Concept
Hawaiian concept, minimalist look, located opposite the heart of Myeongdong street.
Huge open space, a large communal table in the middle, yet with several other corners to just relax quietly.
There is no music blasting from the speakers, so you can drink your favourite coffee in peace. In addition, there are a couple of outlets which makes it an ideal spot to get some work done.
A small selection of pastries baked in-house is available, from Stick Bread (2,800 Won, SGD3.40), Sausage Bread (3,800 Won, SGD4.60), Olive Cheese Bun (3,500 Won, SGD4.20).
The clean yet tropical setting with its easy-going atmosphere make Luft Coffee somewhere you can catch up with friends over coffee and pastries, while the Seoul workers can also be seen grabbing a cuppa before commuting to work.
O’sulloc Tea House
12 Myeongdong 7-gil, Myeongdong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Opening Hours: 10am – 11pm (Mon – Sun)
Popular Korean Green Tea Cafe In Seoul
Somehow, almost every friend I know who been to Seoul has found (will find) his/her way there.
Many will use the opportunity to get the O’Sulloc Matcha Green Tea Milk Spread – I usually buy the Milk Tea boxes and green tea powder.
The Myeongdong branch includes three floors which has seating areas, tea merchandise section, and even a meeting room. Level 1 feels more of a take-and-go, while Level 2 are filled with groups of friends just chilling their time away.
Drinks wise, the recommended include the Osulloc Green Tea Latte (5,500 Won for Hot, 6,000 Won for Iced), Jeju Tangerine Milk Tea (7,000 Won), Green Tea O Fredo (7,000 Won), and Apple Honey Tea Latte (7,000 Won for Hot and 7,500 Won for Iced).
People usually get their hands of some of the Green Tea Roll (5,000 Won) or Green Tea Tiramisu – which is what I prefer. O’sulloc Tea House (Myeongdong, Seoul)
3F, 32-5 Myeongdong 2-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul (Myeongdong Exit 6)
중구 명동8길 17 (명동점), 명동, 서울특별시, 100-809, 대한민국
Tel: +02 3789 3102
Opening Hours: 10:00am – 10:30pm (Mon – Sun)
Triple Chocolate Bingsu And Delicious Hot Chocolate Drinks
This chocolate-centric café would need some Naver-mapping and searching, as it is not located on street level.
Located in the heart of Myeongdong on the third floor of a building, Cacao Green is the place to look for if you are craving for some hot chocolate drinks and cakes.
This place used to be called Red Mango where they sold Yogurt Ice Cream, but now is known as Cacao Green, a café that focuses on chocolate desserts.
The signature items include Triple Chocolate Shaved Ice Set (13,800 Won), Chocolate Soufflé Set (11,800 Won), Chocolate Pizza Set (12,800 Won), Orange Chocolate Roll Cake Set (13,800 Won), and Chocolate Cake Set (7,800 Won).
The Triple Chocolate Shaved Ice looks like a Chocolate-Monster Bingsu, rather ginormous for one. Perfect for 3-4, I think.
Brownies, chocolate truffles, homemade brownie gelato, chocolate shaved iced and candied walnuts. Wah! Chocolate Gao Gao.
Café Coin 코인
54-20 Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Phone: +82 2-753-1667
Opening Hours: 10am – 11pm (Mon – Sat), 10am – 10:30pm (Sun)
Healthier Choices, Famous For Green Tea Bingsu
Café Coin is one of the oldest and most famous cafés situated in Myeongdong.
It started about closed to 20 years ago and the location of the café is very convenient for the shopaholics who want to relax their legs after a long tiring day of shopping.
The café has a unique interior with beautiful and eye-catching paintings and antique furniture imported from Japan, UK, and France.
They take pride in their selection of over 80 kinds of cakes, beverages, and snacks, with traditional Korean teas and coffees. The recommended favourite item is the Green Tea Bingsu (15,000 Won). They also serve complimentary ice-cream in summers and hot tea in winters.
10, Myeongdong 8na-gil, Jung-gu | Savoy Hotel 2F, Seoul 04536, South Korea
Tel: +82 2-3789-1980
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 11pm (Mon – Sun)
House Of Scrumptious Waffles
Here at Beansbin, you will get a perfect line up of delectable sweets, especially waffles.
The place is quaint and cozy and located in the core of Myeongdong above the Savoy Homan Hotel.
Their waffle selection is quite extensive, from the basic Belgium Waffles, to Apple Cinnamon, Fruit, Blueberry Cheesecake, Strawberry Cheese, to Fresh Mango Waffles.
Price is on the higher side though, with a Mango Waffles costing 15,000 Won and a set with coffee at 17,900 Won. At least they offer a half portion at 12,900 Won (not much cost savings, but calorie savings).
They also offer a wide variety of breakfast food and savoury items.
Isaac Toast Myeongdong
105 Toegye-ro, Chungmuro 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Tel: +82 2 752 3002
Opening Hours: 7:00am – 8:30pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
Must-Have Korean Breakfast Toast In Seoul
While there are many branches all around in Seoul, this kiosk at Myeongdong with no seating space, seems to be the most popular.
The Myeongdong outlet serves up 7 varieties of toast, including Bulgalbi (3,200 Won), Bulgogi (2,800 Won), Hot Tteokgalbi (3,200 Won), Hot Chicken (3,000 Won), Steak Ham (2,800 Won), Bacon Best (2,800 Won) and Ham Special (2,400 Won).
That is between SGD$2.85 to SGD$3.80, making it a rather affordable and filling breakfast.
I first had a Bulgalbi Toast (3,200 Won), freshly made on the spot, filled with grilled beef patty, egg, cheese, pickles and cabbage.
Upon the first bite, I realised what the hype was all about. It was simple stuff made particularly good.
There was a lot going out in a toast, with some special sauce and sweet honey which gave the bread a tinge of appetising sweetness.
Tip: There is now another Isaac Toast within the main beauty street – that has a lot less people. Isaac Toast (Myeongdong, Seoul)