Vegan's Chronicles + [seoul]

Cafe-holic

Hi, my name is Mipa, and I'm a cafe-holic.

I've realized that on average, I go to cafes about 3 times each week! I don't even go for the drinks, I just go for the ambiance, to get out of my house, and to get inspired. Working and drawing at cafes is so much more productive for me. Cafe-searching is also a great way to explore a certain neighborhood. I have gotten to know Hongdae a whole lot better after looking for specific cafes and just wandering the streets. I think this blog is turning into a vegan food/cafe blog!

So first up, there's a great gallery cafe in Hongdae called 'KKOOMM.' The owner guy does some interesting portrait photography and puts them on display on one side of the cafe, and then on the other side, there is an exhibit of someone else's art (that side changes every 2 weeks). He seems like a really nice chill man and hopefully next time I can talk to him about his photography! Maybe I can twist his arm into showing some of my illustrations. ha.

I ordered a lemonade (6000 won), sat by the window and drew, people-watched, and caught up on emails, for about 3 hours. Every one there was busy working, so it was really peaceful. I've realized that the best coffee shops to go to are book cafes, workroom cafes, or gallery cafes (yes, there are so many different kinds). These ones aren't like the chain coffee shops that are crammed with bodies, everyone jabbering away.

Directions: Start at Hondae University Station, Line 2, Exit 4. Follow the arrows on the map. You will walk for about 5-7 minutes.

Next, is a cafe called the 'Joyful Book Cafe,' where people go to be productive. It's a very tiny, cozy space with lots of interesting books and miniature toys lining the walls. When you're there, you feel like you're in a friend's house, just chillin' to some good tunes. There's also an outdoor patio for smoking or uh... sun-tanning?

For its size, this place is surprisingly popular as it filled up with people and some even had to find somewhere else to go because there weren't any free tables. Unfortunately, their menu is all in Korean, so if you can't read Korean, you might want to ask the waiter for help. Their ice tea (5000 won) was far too sweet for me... I'll go with an herbal tea next time.

Directions: the closest subway stop is probably Hapjung Station (one stop after Hongdae Station), Line 2, Exit 4. Walk straight from the subway exit, turn left at the end of the block. Walk straight for about 5-7 minutes. It's on the second floor, right above 'Arista Coffee,' on the right side of the road. Closed on Sundays.

Oh, and I found this interactive map of Hongdae that might be useful for foreigners: http://hongdaeipgu.com/ It's mostly in English and it pinpoints some popular spots in the area.