9 Must-See Quirky Coffee Shops in Seoul

Why settle for a regular café when you can go to one dedicated to bananas?

Check Out These Bizarre Coffee Shops

Check Out These Bizarre Coffee Shops
Facebook / Banana Tree

Themed coffee shops in Seoul are generally whimsical in nature, though some do involve creepy dolls and cookies shaped like disembodied fingers. You’ll find no North Korea-themed dining here, but it’s not unlikely that an Amsterdam-inspired café will pop up, especially in the trendy Hongdae area, where so many of these coffee shops are located. 

Thanks Nature Cafe

Thanks Nature Cafe
Facebook/Thanks Nature Cafe

Cat and dog cafés are so passé. The mammals that roam the inside and small courtyard of Thanks Nature Cafe are much fluffier: they’re sheep. The café has experienced a recent upsurge in popularity because 2015 is the year of the sheep, according to the Chinese zodiac.

May Island

May Island
Facebook / May Island

People study in cafés all over the world, but May Island, with its classroom-style rows of desks, strictly enforced quiet policy, and for-rent conference rooms, is the kind where you might actually get work done.

Princess Diary

Dreamstime

Conveniently located near Ewha Womans University, the unabashedly girly Princess Diary Cafe lets you rent a wedding dress, evening gown, or traditional Korean hanbok for an hour while you drink your coffee

Banana Tree

Banana Tree
Facebook / Banana Tree

One of the most bananas things about Banana Tree café is how some of its drinks are topped with medicine ball-sized poufs of cotton candy. Warhol-style banana motifs and small flower pots pepper this space, which was inspired by New York's Magnolia Bakery’s banana pudding.

Aircafe

Aircafe
Instagram / m0ngm0ng

Aircafe is where travel-lovers can truly nerd out. Model airplanes, flight-style seating, clocks showing the time in multiple cities, and exotic souvenirs decorate the café, which serves coffee, alcohol, and various “in-flight menus” (economy and first-class) from actual airlines.

Mustoy Cafe

Mustoy Cafe
Facebook / Mustoy Cafe

At Mustoy Cafe, a chain with locations all over Seoul, you order a porcelain doll that comes in various sizes and shapes and is yours to keep. Coffee is on the house.

 

A;t Fox

A;t Fox
Facebook / A;t Fox

A;t Fox is just as alternative as its spelling: an afternoon high tea joint that also sells makeup. The ingredients that go into the house-made teas, like bergamot and jasoyup (an aromatic leafy herb), are the same that are used in the cosmetics, so you will be beautiful inside and out.

Monster Cupcakes

Monster Cupcakes
TripAdvisor / Monster Cupcakes

While they do subvert the stereotypical whimsy of cupcakes by etching frosting in the image of veiny eyeballs, bloody knives, and crows pecking on human guts, Monster Cupcakes still manages to be very cute. In addition to the usual café fare, they serve “Monster Blood,” which is essentially artisanal Kool-Aid. 

Polar Bear Cafe

Polar Bear Cafe
MySeoulSearching / Polar Bear Cafe

This museum café (note: it’s a museum of stuffed animals) on the outskirts of Seoul, in the small artist’s village of Paju, is modeled after the polar outskirts of the world. Some of the baristas at Polar Bear Cafe are human, and the rest are large mechanical bears who serve drinks from a vending machine.