“I could always go to a café  to write and could work all morning over a café  creme while the waiters cleaned and swept out the café  and it gradually grew warmer.” –  Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

Artists, lovers, and friends are flocking to the cafés  in Seoul, just like young Hemingway once did in Paris. In the past decade, the cafés of  Seoul have become the centerpiece of the city’s modern day culture. But it’s much more than what you’d encounter at a local Starbucks.  In fact, the cafés have become examples of where modernity meets creativity.


Wandering around the city’s trendiest areas, one can readily observe the the new café culture unfold–from conspicuous streets to secluded back alleys of the city.  Most notably, the Hongdae area, which is better-known as one of the most popular nightlife destinations in Seoul, boasts cafés  galore around its alleys.  Literally, the name Hongdae comes from the nation’s most prestigious art college in the area. As the city’s capital of art, the area not surprisingly attracts artists, college students and visitors to the cafés.

The cafés  showcase their diverse and colorful nature in varying ways. The exterior styles are remarkably unique while the interior ambiences are full of character. Even the café  names are creative and original. Have a look at some of these unique edifices:


Here, some spend days and nights realizing their artistic inspirations. Some simply immerse themselves in the creative spirit of the region. But all will find themselves appreciating a cup of bittersweet coffee in style.

Seijin is a rather unusual globalist living in Seoul. He is currently working as a full-time marketing strategist in Seoul.  Follow Untapped Cities on Twitter and Facebook! Get in touch with the author  @seijinjung.