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As a remote worker moving around the world, I frequently find myself searching for the best cafes to work from so I can enjoy the local culture while I type away on my laptop. After living in Seoul for a month, I found quite a few good ones.
Here are my recommendations for best coffee shops in Seoul where you can work remotely. (Note all of the locations are near the Hongdae area as that is where I was living at the time).
I was in love with VERS House the moment I stepped onto their patio. Everything is covered in plants and greenery and you feel like you are truly escaping from the hustle and bustle of Seoul. The owners have created a calm and welcoming environment with the unique use of plants from floor to ceiling while still avoiding the overwhelming perfume-y smell.
There are separate rooms if you need a quieter area to work. Our favorite was the C Room for “cinema room” where they played the old black and white Mickey Mouse Cartoons.
Otherwise, the upstairs area is a bit more open with good light and tables to work from. Power outlets are available, but you need to be strategic about where you sit if power is what you seek.
The drink list is pretty standard for Korea with hot or cold coffee and tea options. In general, I really enjoyed the coffee here as well as the Honey Mint Lime Tea on the menu.
Location: 44 Seongmisan-ro 23-gil, Yeonnam-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Hours: 12pm – 10pm
For a completely different and out of this world feel, head to the cozy and basement-esque Astronomers. Situated off the main street, this cute café is a single room and is less busy than many of the other cafes in Seoul which makes it a perfect place to put your head down and get some work.
Despite its darker lighting, I never felt cramped in this space. It definitely has a small family business feel to it with only 1 barista and a resident cat who mainly sleeps near the front. Again, power outlets are available but not in abundance so stick to the tables close to the wall if you will need to plugin your computer.
While they don’t take the opportunity to play around galaxy theme in their menu, the coffee they serve is on point and the owner takes great care in providing great a great cup of coffee whether it’s an Americano, Latte or Espresso.
Location: 22-30 Yanghwa-ro 19-gil, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Hours: 12pm – 11pm
Coffee Lab is another coffee shop in Seoul that has found a way to curate a great experience for visitors. Always buzzing with people, but never too loud made this a frequent go-to spot for me and my fellow Digital Nomads. I especially enjoyed the use of portafilters to decorate their ceiling.
We mainly worked from the small tables near the windows at the front which provided a good amount of natural light. Plus it was right by the many power outlets in the shop and a bit away from the more lounge areas where people would gather to visit.
The menu was pretty standard but I never had a bad cup of coffee and the service was really good.
Location: 14 Wausan-ro 29-gil, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Hours: 8am – 11pm
Veranda Cupcake isn’t a true coffee shop but instead a café focused on cupcakes and other sweet treats. We stumbled upon this place after eating dinner in the area. As it was already late, we didn’t really want coffee so this was the perfect café for late hours working. Their menu consists of coffee, smoothies, juices and desserts. And of course, cupcakes!
Cupcake Veranda is located on the 2nd floor of the complex with small tables backed up by multiple lounge areas that look out over the veranda. Nights in Seoul in late May/early June can be quite enjoyable so having this open air option was nice.
The lighting was good and the general feel of the décor emoted happiness with the use of light pastels. We found a few power sockets in the middle, but in general this café would be better used in short time frames, for meetings or as a good way to mix up the routine.
Location: 384-7 Yeonnam-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Hours: 12pm – 10pm
Coffee Smith was my go-to when I wanted something close to home. Its wooden décor was simple but it’s 3 levels of working options made it ideal despite it always being busy. The bottom floor was mostly a floor for socializing, while the 2nd floor was set up for working and studying.
I personally liked the 3rd floor when they opened the wall windows and it was completely open air. Air quality in Seoul is a major issue so it makes sense there aren’t a lot of open-air cafes and restaurants, but some days are just too nice to stay indoors.
The coffee here is just okay. Which is about what you would expect from a chain establishment, but the convenient location and multiple levels of space made up for it. Plus you can find other large and nice Coffee Smiths around Korea so you’ll always know what you are getting.
Location: 9-21 Changcheon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, 2 ~ 4F
Hours: 10am – midnight
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