25 Unique Themed Cafes In Seoul, South Korea

Enjoying a great meal is only part of dining out, the ambiance, social aspect, and service play a big role as well. Dining at a Michelin-star restaurant is like a fanciful getaway from reality. Just as easily, a small-town staple can teleport you to a bygone era. Whether humble mom-and-pop eateries or nationwide franchises, the right setting can make dining out a delicious escape. That’s especially true of South Korea’s themed cafe culture. Immersive and experientially unique, cafes there have evolved to become much more than places to grab a quick cup of joe. They are aesthetic playgrounds for locals and tourists alike.

Suppose you enjoy getting your caffeine fix while in the company of live animals, Korea has it. If you have a concerning Hello Kitty obsession, fret not, there’s a themed cafe for you. There are countless imaginative and Instagram-worthy cafes to experience in South Korea, and here are a few that we recommend.

Read more: Restaurant Foods That Always Taste Better Than What You Make At Home

Cafe Layered (Scone-Themed)

Cafe Layered interiorCafe Layered interior

Cafe Layered interior – cafe_layered/Instagram

Whether you’re already an authority on tips for making the best scones or a novice when it comes to the pastries, Cafe Layered should definitely be on your bucket list. Inspired by European bakeries, the inside feels like a boulangerie. The interior is mostly white with an eye-catching display of doughy options as the only pops of color. Offering delectable sweet and savory scones, satisfy your pastry cravings with cinnamon pecan, jambon beurre (or bacon and butter) scone sammies, and more. After your fill of scones, try one of Cafe Layered’s several cake options, which range from red velvet to cheesecake. The menu also features coffee, tea, and juices and there are several locations throughout Seoul.

instagram.com/cafe_layered

2-3 Bukchon-ro 2-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Soha Salt Pond (Salt-Themed)

Soha Salt Pond interiorSoha Salt Pond interior

Soha Salt Pond interior – sohasaltpond/Instagram

Soha Salt Pond is like being transported back in time to the height of Seoul’s Hanok-era architecture, the country’s traditional style of home. A beautiful salt pond is the centerpiece of this themed cafe and it’s surrounded by an equally amazing space filled with a wide array of salt-infused pastry options. Under warm lighting, choose between an assortment of croissants, savory and sweet buns, and of course, hot coffee. Soha Salt Pond’s signature salt coffee, served with a chunky salted rim, is one of the menu’s most popular. Bread is baked on the spot, so as a result of its popularity, the queue time requires a bit of patience.

instagram.com/sohasaltpond

21-5, Supyo-ro 28-gil, Jongno District, central Seoul, South Korea

Viva Salon (Toy-Themed)

Viva Salon interiorViva Salon interior

Viva Salon interior – vivasalon_toycoffee/Instagram

Reignite your inner child at the toy-themed Viva Salon. Colorfully youthful, it’s covered wall-to-wall with classic cartoon characters, memorabilia, and unique branded products. Viva Salon’s toy selection is a veritable child’s dream. You can enjoy a cup of cartoon-themed beverages flanked by Sesame Street, Peanuts, famous Disney characters, stuffed animals, and more. There are also fun Winnie The Pooh and Wallace & Gromit-themed coffees that are so cute, you’ll want to just take pictures of it. The menu is filled with many amusing beverages. Along with the cafe’s colorful drink offerings, customers can purchase toys to take home as well.

instagram.com/vivasalon_toycoffee

84 Poeun-ro, Mangwon-dong, Seoul, South Korea

Cafe Munei (Cake Sandwich-Themed)

Cafe Munei interiorCafe Munei interior

Cafe Munei interior – cafe_munei/Instagram

One of the cleverest themed cafes in South Korea, Cafe Munei is known for making a savory sandwich that resembles a cake. Rather than icing, the “cake” is covered in a layer of whipped cream, donning decorations that further suspend disbelief. Hidden beneath the sweet and creamy exterior is a two-tier sandwich that requires a fork and knife to enjoy. Cafe Munei masterfully marries the sugar with the salt to give you a wholly unique experience. Along with the cake sandwich, the menu features an assortment of desserts and beverages to enjoy. Projections of beach scenery cover the walls of Cafe Munei’s minimalist setting, leaving the pastries as the centerpiece.

instagram.com/munei_cafe

2-3F, 11 Marennae-ro 4-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Cafe Teteum (Teddy Bear-Themed)

Cafe Teteum interiorCafe Teteum interior

Cafe Teteum interior – tashaliawatii/Instagram

For those who aren’t into toys so much as they are into cuddly-soft teddy bears, Cafe Teteum is the South Korean destination for you. Opened in 2022, entering this themed cafe is like unlocking a teddy bear-topia. From its caffeinated selection of beverages and wall-lined artwork to its cute merchandise and table coasters, Cafe Teteum is a growling good time. The location consists of two floors and along with bear-inspired beverages and merch, it also sells tasty food. After you’ve got your filling of edible goods, take advantage of any number of selfie-ready spots throughout the cafe.

teteum.com

15 Donggyo-ro 36-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea

The Amoene Cafe (Upside Down House-Themed)

The Amoene CafeThe Amoene Cafe

The Amoene Cafe – เอะอะก็เกาหลี/Facebook

One themed cafe that’s sure to turn your frown upside down is The Amoene Cafe. It takes immersion to a surreal place and gives you an experience that goes beyond mere interior decoration. The building is a topsy-turvy structure that looks more like an art installation than a cafe. As soon as you walk through the heart-shaped entrance, you find windows askew and ceilings on the ground floor. Inside is spacious and perfect for meeting up with friends. You can hang out for a bit, study, take selfies, or simply stop by to discover why Americanos are so popular in South Korea.

instagram.com/amoene_cafe

471 Seondu-ri, Gilsang-myeon, Ganghwa-gun, Incheon, South Korea

Aquagarden Cafe And Aquarium (Aquarium-Themed)

Aquagarden Cafe & Aquarium interiorAquagarden Cafe & Aquarium interior

Aquagarden Cafe & Aquarium interior – aquagarden_korea/Instagram

Enjoy a latte in the company of fish at Aquagarden Cafe and Aquarium. As the name implies, it’s a themed cafe that allows guests to submerge themselves in an underwater world, figuratively speaking of course. Aquariums are the main attraction here and this place has lots of them. A colorful dance of swimming fish is a pretty sight to see. The watery worlds at Aquagarden aren’t any ordinary fish bowls either, they are massive and teeming with life. A large tree extends from an aquarium located in one corner of the cafe, lush with greenery. If the fish don’t hypnotize you, make sure to order something too.

instagram.com/aquagarden_korea

Songpa-gu, Olympic-ro, 300 (Lotte World Mall), Seoul, South Korea

Nuldam Space (Letter To The Future-Themed)

Couple inside Nuldam SpaceCouple inside Nuldam Space

Couple inside Nuldam Space – nuldam_space/Instagram

While many themed cafes focus on evoking excitement, pop culture, and art, Nuldam Space offers a more endearing experience. In place of a colorful selfie-ready aesthetic, customers are invited to write a letter to their future selves and have it mailed back to them by the cafe at a later date. It’s a genius idea, the walls in Nuldam Space are lined with cubby holes; one for each day of the year. You can pen the letter over a cup of joe and secure it with an old-world wax seal. Little touches like that add even more value to the experience. Nuldam is vegan-friendly and has three locations throughout South Korea.

instagram.com/nuldam_space

24 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Cheong Su Dang (Bamboo Forest-Themed)

Cheong su Dang entranceCheong su Dang entrance

Cheong su Dang entrance – cheongsudang_/Instagram

In today’s bustling world, it’s important to take time to slow down. Cheong su Dang is another Hanok-style cafe that promotes the value of slowness. Relaxing and made for group seating, the traditional setting is juxtaposed by young patrons who come to hang, study, or stand anxiously in line for one of the signature cakes, Castella and Fromage. The presentation of the desserts is stunning and looks closer to prop food. Wherever you sit, nature is nearby. For example, an inviting bamboo forest greets you at the entrance. Although it seats 85 patrons, Cheong su Dang is known to attract a long line so be prepared for a wait.

instagram.com/cheongsudang

31-9 Donhwamun-ro 11na-gil, Ikseon-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Rain Report (Rain-Themed)

RAINREPORT interiorRAINREPORT interior

RAINREPORT interior – rainreport_official/Instagram

A newer themed cafe on the scene has found a way to recreate the calming experience of a rainy day. Aptly-titled Rain Report Cafe, it literally rains inside, yet thankfully, no raincoat is required. Sip premium coffee to the sound of relaxing droplets, the menu has a wide selection that also includes cocktails, ice cream, and pastries. Joining the various water installations are HD screens that display continuous rainfall. Outside of the cafe, the rain continues, falling into a pond with stepping stones that you can traverse. It’s definitely the place to go for those who prefer a quieter setting, of course, if you don’t mind getting wet.

instagram.com/rainreport_official

258-63 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Nudake Haus Dosan (Abstract Dessert-Themed)

Nudake Haus Dosan interiorNudake Haus Dosan interior

Nudake Haus Dosan interior – swankywacky/Instagram

The pastries at this elegantly minimalist cafe are the definition of creative. Nudake Cafe is located in the multi-level store Nudake Haus Dosan, one of several experiential retail locations owned by designer eyewear brand Gentle Monster. Stores often feature unique art installations that create an immersive feel for customers. The Seongsu location is like attending a modern art dinner party where the cookware is made from dough. Nudake Cafe only adds to the experience by offering wildly creative desserts that look unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Even the pastries and cakes are presented like pieces at an exhibit so keep your camera phone ready.

nudake.com

Multiple locations

Cheese Industry (Cheese-Themed)

Cheese Industry interiorCheese Industry interior

Cheese Industry interior – suvinci_/Instagram

There’s a themed cafe in South Korea that will surely make all of your cheesy dreams a reality. Appropriately named Cheese Industry, it’s most known for its cheesecakes that resemble cheese wheels, amongst other dairy-rich appetite-whetting offerings. From wooden cows that move to cascading LED marquees that read “Cheese Industry,” to the farm-like aesthetic, you’ll be moo’ing with glee. Along with cheese-infused desserts and beverages, there are also cheese-less options. Like many themed cafes in South Korea, Cheese Industry is a hot spot for locals and often has a line outside.The cheese-perience is most certainly worth the wait, not to mention, the Instagrammable opportunity.

instagram.com/cheeseindustry

Multiple locations

Witch’s Kitchen (Witch-Themed)

Witch's Kitchen exteriorWitch's Kitchen exterior

Witch’s Kitchen exterior – 마녀주방/Facebook

Referred to as Manyeojubang in its homeland, Witch’s Kitchen is a place that’s in a state of perpetual Halloween. The main difference is that rather than ghouls, ghosts, and things that go bump in the night, it’s dedicated solely to witch lore. Dimly lit and scarily immersive, the interior is like entering a dark fantasyland that’s somehow spooky and inviting. After the aesthetic puts you under a spell, enjoy a cauldron’s worth of food and beverage options. The menu features a wide range of savory Korean dishes served in cookware that fits the theme, and the purveyors experiment with some witchy cocktail recipes that look like drinkable potions and are served in IV pouches.

witchskitchen.co.kr

Multiple locations

Daelim Changgo (Industrial-Themed)

Daelim Changgo interiorDaelim Changgo interior

Daelim Changgo interior – danielfooddiary/Instagram

You’ll find more than a warm cup of joe at Daelim Changgo, it’s also an art gallery and community hot spot. It’s a spacious warehouse with a rustic industrial aesthetic and looks as if it were an actual factory once upon a time. Red brick walls are worn, beams are exposed, and the floor is plain gray concrete. As unfinished as it may sound, the aged look is what makes Daelim Changgo so charming. There are two stories of space for patrons to enjoy solo or with a group of friends. Under a large transparent sunlit roof, enjoy a menu that features a large selection of pastries, desserts, and caffeinated drinks.

78 Seongsui-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Petite France (French Village-Themed)

Petite France South KoreaPetite France South Korea

Petite France South Korea – petite_france_korea

South Korea does an awesome job of recreating the feeling of visiting a foreign country. Petite France is one such place as its French village-themed and looks as if it were lifted from French soil and transported to Seoul. It was inspired by “Le Petite Prince,” a 1943 book authored by Saint-Exupery. There, locals can immerse themselves in French culture along Korea’s countryside. The property features 16 buildings, some of which can be rented by guests. Stop by the cafe for different types of coffee and enjoy the spectacular view while sipping away. If that weren’t exciting enough, Petite France has a youth training facility, a marionette experience, and more.

m.pfcamp.com/page/page6

1063 Goseong-ri, Hoban-ro, Cheongpyeong-myeon, Gapyeong-gun, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea

943 Kings Cross (Harry Potter-Themed)

943 Kings Cross exterior943 Kings Cross exterior

943 Kings Cross exterior – sqqqqqyk/Instagram

Dive into the magical world of Harry Potter at 943 Kings Cross. Inside you’re welcome to explore five distinct floors with varying themes. The first floor recreates the wand shop, a necessary stop for young spellcasters. There’s food and beverages available too, as you’ll need sustenance for your wizarding adventures. Down in the basement, you can peruse a selection of magic potions (a.k.a. alcoholic beverages). Move up to the second floor to visit a cafe inspired by Hogsmeade. After you’ve procured a cup of joe, enjoy it with friends on the third floor, where the Hogwarts Great Hall is. The fourth and final floor is the wizard dormitory, another lounge area for you to relax in, rent wizard robes, and take pictures for the ‘gram.

instagram.com/943kingscross

24, Yanghwa-ro 16-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Greem Cafe (Line Art-Themed)

Greem Cafe interiorGreem Cafe interior

Greem Cafe interior – Greem Cafe 그림카페 / 2D Cafe/Facebook

Stepping into Greem Cafe is like entering an illustration. It resembles a 2D outlined version of a storybook-style cafe or a cartoon. From the tables and chairs to the walls and countertops, one thing’s for sure, you can snap some insanely cool pictures there. Sometimes referred to as Café Yeonnam-Dong 223014 (its address), Greem is considered a modern dabang or updated version of a traditional South Korean tea shop. While you can certainly purchase coffee, tea, pastries, and more there, the real attraction is the immersive design. One caveat to honor before getting your selfie on is first to purchase one item from the menu.

artworkgreem.com/?ckattempt=2

Multiple locations

Sinleedoga Cafe (Hanok Village-Themed)

Sinleedoga Cafe interiorSinleedoga Cafe interior

Sinleedoga Cafe interior – sinleedoga/Instagram

Nestled in a small alleyway in Hongdae is a cafe from another period: Sinleedoga Cafe. It’s located in a trendy South Korean neighborhood where its traditional aesthetic stands apart from the surrounding urbanized landscape. Inside, you’ll find a nice mixture of the past and present spread across three separate floors. Sinleedoga thankfully offers more than looks though as it specializes in creative beverages like the Nurungji Latte, made with scorched rice. After you find a place to sit, enjoy your latte paired with one of the menu’s array of pastries and desserts. The ambiance is warm, welcoming, and a nice escape from the city.

instagram.com/sinleedoga

20-12 Jandari-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Sanrio Lovers Club (Sanrio Character-Themed)

Sanrio Lovers Club interiorSanrio Lovers Club interior

Sanrio Lovers Club interior – sanrio_lovers_club/Instagram

South Korean locals can obsess over classic Japanese cartoon characters. Sanrio Lovers Club is dedicated to one of the most popular animated worlds to come from Asia. You may have heard of Hello Kitty, but if not, it’s an overly cute cartoon cat created by Sanrio and one of many characters. Two words best describe what you’ll find at Sanrio Lovers Club: pink and cute. From wall to wall, ceiling to floor, you’re surrounded by pinktopia. There are pink and purple lockers plastered with Sanrio stickers, pink lounge chairs with puffy Sanrio characters, and even the bathroom has a wall covered by Sanrio plushies. You might just forget to buy coffee.

instagram.com/sanrio_lovers_club

18 Wausan-ro 19-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Koriko Cafe (Kiki’s Delivery Service-Themed)

Koriko Cafe exteriorKoriko Cafe exterior

Koriko Cafe exterior – cafe_koriko/Instagram

Another Japanese cartoon-themed place takes inspiration from one of the world’s most legendary animation studios, Studio Ghibli. Koriko Cafe gets its name from the place where “Kiki’s Delivery Service” is set. The building even looks like the bakery that Kiki worked at in the film. Inside, rather than overdoing the Ghibli inspiration, it’s decorated in a humble cottage style that’s found in many of the studio’s popular films. Bits and bobs of ornaments throughout the cafe are a cherry on top of the overall experience. As you might expect, the menu is filled with tasty options inspired by Kiki’s Delivery Service too.

instagram.com/cafe_koriko

223-96 Yeonnam-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Check Grow (Library-Themed)

Check Grow interiorCheck Grow interior

Check Grow interior – check_grow/Instagram

The name of this cozy-themed cafe doesn’t give much away but one visit will surely turn it into a favorite go-to. Check Grow (referred to as Chaegro) is a two-story library-themed cafe with a beautiful view. Inspired by a desire to break from the hustle and bustle of societal expectations, it’s meant to provide an escape and serve as a return to self. When life’s expectations begin to weigh you down, Check Grow encourages you to stop by for a coffee and connect face-to-face with people, books, and yourself. Those in need of a good book can participate in Check Grow’s reading club as well.

checkngrow.modoo.at

31 Mapo-daero 4da-gil, Mapo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul

Ddo-Ong Café (Poop-Themed)

Ddo-Ong Café interiorDdo-Ong Café interior

Ddo-Ong Café interior – rest.lust/Instagram

Drinking coffee has been known to send people running to the restroom. Well, at a unique coffee shop called Ddo-Ong Café, everything is about poop. Only someone with poop on the brain could imagine some of the funny (or funky) things you’ll find there. Childishness is welcomed at Ddo-Ong Café. From poo plushies and massive bean bags to poo seat cushions and poo-inspired beverages, it’s certainly worth getting gassed about. The menu offers customers a choice between solid or mushy poo coffee that ranges in color from dark brown to tarry green. Even funnier, there’s a sweet corn-filled option as well. The best part of the experience is the toilet bowl coffee mugs.

facebook.com/ddoong.cafe/

Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu 4th floor of Ssamzigil mall, Seoul

However You Want Cafe (Paint-Themed)

However You Want Cafe interiorHowever You Want Cafe interior

However You Want Cafe interior – however_yeonnam/Instagram

Coffee pairs well with all sorts of activities, and at However You Want Cafe, customers get to flex their creative muscles while enjoying a warm mug. Paint is the theme and it’s incorporated into every inch of the cafe. Each room is a solid color and throughout, the cafe is decorated with theme-centric items like painter’s coveralls, paint cans, brushes, and more. Sauces and creams resemble vivid multi-colored paint that you’re meant to pour atop cakes and pastries. Even the beverages resemble a vibrant rainbow gradient. However You Want Cafe is easily one of the best places to snap a cool picture.

instagram.com/however_yeonnam

45-6 Yeonhui-ro 1-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Cafe 1in1jan (Eunpyeong Hanok Village View-Themed)

Cafe 1in1jan interiorCafe 1in1jan interior

Cafe 1in1jan interior – 1in_official/Instagram

While there are many traditional-style cafes in South Korea, no place is more transportative than Cafe 1in1jan. With five floors for you to enjoy coffee on and a jaw-dropping view of the sprawling Eunpyeong Hanok Village beside the Bukhansan mountain range, each sip is like drinking a bit of South Korea itself. Despite its massive size, it’s a popular spot for locals and is frequently filled with tourists. The basement level is a gallery space, while floors one and two are the cafe. Floor three is a showroom for wooden furniture maker Karimoku, and four and five belong to 1in1sang restaurant.

instagram.com/1in_official

534, Yeonseo-ro, Eunpyeong-gu, Seoul, South Korea

Coffee Hanyakbang & Hyemindang Desserts (Traditional Medicine-Themed)

Coffee Hanyakbang interiorCoffee Hanyakbang interior

Coffee Hanyakbang interior – coffee_hanyakbang/Instagram

A themed cafe that’s also a historical treasure in South Korea is Coffee Hanyakbang. Hanyakbang means “herbal medicine shop.” Once the home to Heo Jun, the chief physician for the royal hospital, it is now a coffeehouse and bakery. Visiting the small establishment is like being a guest of Heo Jun as it still retains much of the original 1920s aesthetic. The cafe still contains furniture from China’s Song Dynasty. World War II artifacts pepper the interior design, adding to the overall historical feel. Even the drip coffee-making method used there is old world. Directly adjacent is the Hyemindang bakery which serves complimentary desserts in a similarly traditional setting.

smartstore.naver.com/coffeehanyakbang

16-6 Samil-daero 12-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea

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