Top 6 Franchised Korean Coffee Chains in Seoul (카페)
Personally, I wasn’t a fan of coffee, until I arrived in Seoul. The Korean cafes were not only nicely decorated with a quaint charm, the whimsical themes of each individual cafes was so personal and also the quality of food, drinks and service was top notch, something really hard to find in Singapore without paying a high price. Not to mention, there’s no service charge in most of these places but free stuff keep pouring in.
Today, we’re going to look at our top 6 favorite Korean coffee franchises in Seoul.
Note that we’re talking about FRANCHISES, not individual cafes. Overseas, I learned that there is a difference between these franchises like Starbucks and Coffee Bean(also known as coffee shops), and cafes (usually individually owned). We left Starbucks and Coffee Bean out because we would be focusing on Korean Coffee Chains today. ^^ But the Starbucks and Coffee Bean in Korea are also really good.
This was also where I brandished my survival Korean list in my phone to get my orders.
1. Ediya coffee (이디야 커피)
The prices of the drinks here are seriously low! But don’t let the low prices fool you, the quality of the drinks aren’t terrible.
In fact, if you visit this particular branch in 상수역 (sangsu station, line 6), you’d find the best cappuccino for around 3000 won in town.
Oh, they have nice fresh blended fruit smoothies for 2000 won too. We love the strawberry banana smoothie!
Picture credits sclim1210.blogspot.com
2. Tom & Toms Coffee (탐 엔 탐스)
Our top pick for this chain is it’s Mint Chocolate/Mocha Tommcinno. We know there’s supposed to be a branch in sunny Singapore but somehow, they don’t quite make it the same way as they do in Korea. This drink is super awesome in summer.
Also, the cafe space for this chain is usually quite spacious, sometimes taking up a whole building.
image credits www.menupan.com
While you’re there, don’t forget to try their cream cheese pretzel too!
3. De’ chocolate Coffee (디초코릿 커피)
Just realized De’chocolate Coffee and Holly’s Coffee are under the same company while googling their homepages. Lol.
I first got to know about this franchise when I was looking for a place to while the time away waiting for the girlfriend to finish her work. It’s located in the LG Gwanghwamun building (광화문역). She’d come down from time to time during tea time and this place is perfect for her to brainstorm new ad campaign ideas for THEFACESHOP brand.
The choice of music, for one, is extremely good. I think I’ve discovered lots of Korean indie-bands this way. And also youtuber, David Choi.
The staff here are super friendly and they are super nice. After going there without fail every working day for 2 weeks, they started to add in little perks like upgrade my drink size for free and on the very last day of my stay in Korea, they even gave me a whole tin of truffles a.k.a bons bons (RSP 35,000 won). ^^
The gentleman not in uniform was the store manager, and when he left the cafe to seek a new career, he even treated my girlfriend and her colleagues to waffles and coffee! This kind of top notch hospitality makes De’Chocolate Coffee our bias. ^^
The Belgian waffles, chocolate drinks and yogurt drinks are to die for here. The baristas also have great skill in latte art. We believe we have sampled every single item on the menu. That’s how much we love this place.
4. Holly’s Coffee (할리스 커피)
Next up, we have Holly’s Coffee. The pricing of their coffee is somewhat in between Ediya and Starbucks. (The most expensive coffee chain in Korea would be Coffeebean I believe)
We recommend trying the Raspberry Mocha here! It’s not too sweet and you can clearly taste the raspberry in the coffee.
5. Cafe Benne (가페베네)
Homepage in Korean (But they do have localized homepages for different countries)
Actually, this cafe is pretty nice for its shaved ice(called bing-su) in the hot summer days in Seoul. And it is also pretty popular. However, I chose not to frequent it that often because every time I went there for free wifi, there’re always swarms of loud ahjummas and ahjussis or, screaming school girls who’re always super excited over everything. -.-
They are pretty aggressive in their global expansion. Just realized they have a branch in Singapore as well! ^^ Maybe #Team SOCK will make it our next spot to check out for coffee.
6. A Twosome Place (투썸플레이스)
Seriously, the affogato here is to die for. (Vanilla ice cream with a shot of espresso drizzled over it) So are their cakes.
The cakes are also super appealing and some of them quite tasty. Frankly speaking, most Korean bakeries have very pretty looking cakes but most of the time, they look better than they taste (by a far mile). I was a little worried that twosome place would turn out that way, but my fears were unfounded. I heard from my girlfriend that quite a lot of Korean office workers would choose to buy cakes from this cafe to celebrate another coworker’s birthday.
Image credits http://www.tripadvisor.com