Food Travel

Rustic Cafés of Yongsan and Mapo

There’s no shortage of aesthetic cafés in Seoul, with places such as Style Nada Pink Hotel and Mr. Holmes Bakehouse drawing in hundreds of customers a day, but there’s something about the rustic, diamond in the rough cafés that make us feel completely relaxed.

So, to help you get started on your rustic café journey, here are some of our favourite located in the spiralling neighbourhoods of Seoul.

On Ne Sait Jamais 옹느세자메

$ | 51 Itaewon Road, 54-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul | 11AM – 10PM Tues – Sun

©Marscaopne Expresso Ice Box, 03.06.2018, Instagram

On Ne Sait Jamais is a vintage-themed café in the hip area of Itaewon – it’s name comes from a quote from the beloved French book The Little Prince, meaning ‘One never knows’.

Keeping with the French theme, On Ne Sait Jamais offers many desserts inspired by Southern Europe such as the Italian tiramisu, mascarpone expresso ice box, cheesecakes and the Spanish madeleine. The cafe also serves a variety of drinks, from coffees and teas to apple and mint lemonade.

With its unique bathhouse-tiled interior and delicious sweets, this café has become a popular destination for those seeking somewhere to rest within the hum and bustle of Itaewon.

Anthracite Coffee Roasters 앤트러사이트

$ | 240 1F – 3F Itaewon Road, Yongsan-gu | 9AM – 10PM Mon – Thurs & 10AM – 11PM Weekends

©앤트러사이트, 29.06.2018,

Also located in Itaewon is Anthracite Coffee Roasters, a three-story café with industrial aesthetics and an open setting that provides a unique atmosphere for coffee lovers.

Anthracite’s Itaewon branch is one of four cafes – the first being a coffee roasting house within an old shoe factory in Hapjeong, followed by a beautiful barn-like cafe in Jeju and another located in an old mansion in Seogyo, near World Cup Park.

Mainly know for being the largest origin and blend coffee café and supplier in all of Seoul, Anthracite is also famous for it’s wide range of sweets such as green tea tiramisu, chocolate and orange pound cake, brownies, cheesecake and biscuits – all of which are made on site by their in-house pastry chef.

What makes Anthracite such a special café is how the owners pride themselves on not only providing tasty coffee and sweets but also a good experience.

Orang Orang 오랑오랑

$ | 26-14 Sowol-ro, 20-gil, Yongsan-gu | 11AM – 11PM Mon – Sat & 11AM – 10PM Sun

©ORANG ORANG curtesy of Katherine Dzbik, 26.03.2019, Instagram: kj_seoul_cafe

Run by Ahn Seong-hyeon, who had worked at Anthracite for many years, Orang Orang is a café that’s tucked away on the top of a hill in Haebangchon – one of Seoul’s rising hot-places – and has become known for its rustic and lively setting.

Located in a minimally renovated building, common to the area, Ahn sought to preserve the rough and unique characteristics of the building, giving Orang Orang a vintage vibe as well as a lively charisma.

Orang Orang’s menu includes in-house brewed coffee as well as deserts and other refreshing drinks – and if that wasn’t enough to make this café a hit, Orang Orang has nice views of Namsan and N Seoul Tower, making it the perfect rest stop for both locals and travellers.

Fritz Coffee Company 프릳츠 커피 컴퍼니

©Fritz Coffee Company by BK, 27.03.2019,

$$ | 17 Saechang-ro, 2-gil, Mapo-gu | 8AM – 11PM Mon – Fri & 10AM – 11PM Weekends

Residing in an old renovated house, Fritz Coffee Company prides itself on having direct contact with its coffee bean suppliers in India and Central America – committing themselves to ‘providing them with different support to help produce better quality beans and ultimately improve their livelihoods’.

Aside from their specially curated coffee beans, this café offers cocoa-powder decorated tiramisu, caramel croissants, danish tarts and other yummy baked goods.

Located in the boisterous district of Mapo, Fritz Coffee Company is a mixture of vintage Korean styles with a rustic, homely aesthetic that provides a comforting atmosphere for their youthful customers.


Want to discover more about Korean cafés and coffee? Check out our articles on Korean café culture HERE or read up about Korea’s interesting coffee history HERE.


Feature Image Source: ©ORANG ORANG curtesy of Katherine Dzbik, 26.03.2019, Instagram: kj_seoul_cafe

Claudia Deborah 이보라

Book-dealer by day, writer and illustrator by night—Instagram: @kikitsa.draws. Instant coffee and trot music get me through the day. My life is simple but I’m greatful for it. 나의 인생은 조금 심심하고 단순하지만, 이런 내 삶도 나에게 주어진 삶이 기 때문에 감사함을 느끼고 있습니다.



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