Seoul-Busan Backpacking 2011 – Coffee.Cafe.Caffe.

Hi all,

Today I’m just gonna update you with a short entry. But I think this short entry will make you know Koreans better. Hehe. Why? Because I think cafes are like a part of their lifestyle now. It had been ours too throughout our short stay in Korea, as we frequent Starbucks so much during our trip.

Walking around Seoul, you’ll see people holding their own cup of coffee almost all the time. And most of the time, they will be drinking Americano. Why Americano? I have yet to figure that out but every time I go into a cafe to buy my drink, there will always be locals asking for that drink, A-M-E-R-I-C-A-N-O. Hehehe.

You will see LOTS of coffeehouses in Korea. Besides Starbucks and Coffee Beans, other outlets are mushrooming all throughout the country (okay at least Seoul and Busan – since those are the places I’ve been to anyway). As much as we were intrigued to get in those cafes, me and Shambie always end up going into Starbucks. Shambie was addicted to its Java Chips Frap.

Let’s skip Starbucks and Coffee Beans shall we? I’ll share some photos and info on the cafes you can see in Korea and perhaps you can visit them during your trip. But before I go on with the famous coffee shop chains in Korea, let me share with you the most special (and expensive?!) cafe we went to during our trip in Korea.

Gallery Café Manolin


..walk up the staircase, the cafe is on the first floor..

Some of you might be wondering why is this cafe so special. And to be honest, that was what I felt too at first. One of my travel buddies, who’s a drama enthusiast enlightened me about this gallery cum cafe. Gallery Café Manolin belongs to actress Goo Hye Sun.

Walking around Apgujeong prior to visiting this cafe was a bad idea. Thank god my onnie (big sister), Saturn offered to bring us here. The cafe is situated in the midst of a French settlement in Gangnam area. So, if we were to look for this place on foot, it would have been very challenging.

You might also wonder why is this coffeehouse called a “gallery-café”? This is because there’s a gallery in the cafe that displays Goo Hye Sun’s artwork. Too bad, when we came, the gallery was closed for re-construction (talk about bad-timing).

We were greeted by her sister (I guess -LOL), and she was so amazed to know that we found out about the cafe through the internet. Hehe. She greeted us and showed us around the cafe, before we sat down.


You can have your drink outdoor too.

This cafe has a very warm, homey feel to it. Yes, the price of the coffee might be higher, but it’s a comfortable place to just sit and chat with your friends here. Me and Saturn onnie did. 🙂

My coffee latte, and Saturn Onnie’s Americano


Celebrities that have visited this cafe.

You can read more about this café in this blog. The author managed to go to the gallery when she went to Manolin in 2009.

* * *

The following are some coffee chains that you could see all over Korea (Seoul and Busan in my case). I didn’t visit any of these coffeehouses (so sorry, time was not enough to visit ALL, and like I said we always end up in Starbucks). ( -_-“)

So, unlike me, I think if you’re heading to South Korea soon, please visit these coffeehouses and experience the ultimate Korean lifestyle, in this case, in terms of their love towards coffee (or Americano?) LOL

Most of the time, you would recognize these coffeehouses through the Korean dramas that you watch. The names might be different in the dramas, or the outlet might not be the exact one, but if you’re a Google freak (like yours truly), you could get all the info that you need. Too bad I can’t help you with that.

So these will be just a short introduction or information on the coffeehouses.

Coffine Gurunaru

Coffine Gurunaru in Busan

This coffeehouse was featured in SBS hit drama “49 Days”. In the drama, actress Lee Yo Won worked in this coffee house known as “Purple Coffee”. You could see this coffee house all over the city, surely can’t miss the purple exterior of it.

Cafe Pascucci


This coffeehouse is perhaps one of the most frequently featured in dramas. I can’t remember which one but most are in the daily dramas, not miniseries. It’s an Italian brand, and there are about 15 outlets around Seoul if Mr Google serves me correctly.

This coffee shop opens as early as 7 am, but I’m not sure whether it applies to all outlets. You will need to check this out yourself (LOL – again, I’m not helping!)

Caffe Bene

pic credit:

Caffe Bene is a purely Korean coffeehouse. And perhaps the fastest growing coffee chains in Korea with 500 outlets in just 3 years. Read the interview with the CEO here.

The exterior of this coffee shop is similar to Coffee Beans & Tea Leaf, me and Shambie confused ourselves too sometimes. Hehe. And in Busan, Oryukdo to be exact, where we spent our two days at, Caffe Bene is even sold on small vans, very convenient. 🙂

With that many outlets all over the country, you’re bound to see this coffee shop in your trip. 🙂 We saw so many outlets, but there’s one in Insadong that my friend “suspected” was the exact outlet where Secret Garden‘s “foam kiss” was filmed. LOL. Not really sure though.

Angel-in -Us Coffee

Angel-in-Us Coffee in Busan

Actually I was VERY tempted to go to Angel-in-Us. But I don’t know, maybe because I couldn’t find the outlet in Myeongdong (where I spent most of my time at), so it just didn’t happened.

This outlet in Busan, where the photo was taken, was very close to where we visit some historical place Abonim took us,but then at that time I didn’t feel like drinking coffee. Plus, we were with Abonim and he was pretty (okay, VERY) tired from showing us around Kyungsung Dae. So we head home right after.

There was an outlet in Seoul Station, and I planned to at least grabbed a coffee on the last day before boarding the trian to Incheon Airport. But as I was separated from everyone (yeah, was alone from Myeongdong to Seoul Station – not that far though), so I kinda panic and just wanted to board the train a.s.a.p.

In the end, mission Angel-in-Us :- FAILED.

Tom & Toms Coffee

pic credit:

This is originally Korean too (correct me if I’m wrong). Last year I went to Tom & Toms in Itaewon, but only to grab a coffee on-the-go. so I can’t really say much about this coffee shop either. They boast of cheaper price than other shops, so yeah, again, you will need to prove that yourself. Hehe.

A Twosome Place

A coffee shop in Seoul --  A Twosome Place

Every time I switched on the TV in our room, A Twosome Place CF will always appeared. With the handsome So Ji Sub as the endorser, I couldn’t take my eyes off the flat screen whenever it’s on. When I saw this coffee shop last year, I couldn’t help but to chuckle at the “kinkiness” of the name. LOL. Thank god it’s two, not three or more. LMAO.

A Twosome Place looks a bit more luxurious than the other coffee chains. Don’t know whether it’s true or not, but it kind of felt that way. This coffee shop was featured in the drama “Lie To Me” starring Yoon Eun Hye, currently airing in SBS.

I’d pay more if he makes my coffee!

* * *

Wow, talking about coffeehouses makes me crave for some coffee right now. And I can’t help but to imagine the next Korean trip dedicated to visiting these coffeehouses. Well, maybe that should not remain as only an imagination. Hrmmmm.

Just for your information, there are MORE coffeehouses or coffee chains in Korea which are not featured in this post. I’m just sharing with you those I’m familiar with during my trip.

If you have the chance to go to Insadong, you will see a lot more coffee shops with themes and they are very cute too. There are also animal-themed cafes, such as Café Gio Cat in Hongdae.

{ Universities.Food (Part II) }

-coming soon-


7 thoughts on “Seoul-Busan Backpacking 2011 – Coffee.Cafe.Caffe.

  1. oh!!~ no! coffee will make me dizzy!!~
    skip this one XD kekeke..but I think I like to try americano one~~ *in future*
    kak fizz sedap x that americano?

    • Dear Farra,

      You could go there, and drink juice or ice blended..
      Hehehe. Doesn’t need to drink coffee. LOL
      Americano? I ruined mine with too much syrup. TT__TT
      I heard Koreans like to take their Americano black?

  2. ah!!~=.=” kak fizz…me randomly..visit cafe..
    even starbuck once for 5 month i guess…
    so didn’t know that they sell others drink too… >,<!

  3. HI,
    Do you know where to buy korean backpacks (bags you normally carry behind your shoulder ) in Korea?
    Please reply as soon as possible. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s