South Korea, the nation of Kimchi has turned in recent years to a nation of coffee shops. In a city with more than 17,000 coffee shops (source: reuters), it’s not surprising that some of them are among the most extraordinary and bizarre themed cafe joints in the world! Korean themed cafes include ring making cafe , cat, dog and even sheep cafe, Hello Kitty themed cafe, Lego Cafe, selfie cafe and a photo studio cafe. Just think of a concept – there’s probably already a cafe in Seoul just like that!
Travelling in Seoul, It’s impossible to avoid the cafe craze. When I was planning our trip, I made sure to include a visit to some of its more unique cafes and I will be sharing those experiences here during the next couple of weeks. The first cafe experience I shared was from the Poop Cafe in Insadong. Today I’m going to take you to a different neighborhood – Hongdae and another quirky, yet more subtle, cafe place – La Douce.
Hongdae is a neighborhood named after its neighboring Hongik university. It is known for its urban arts, clubs and boutiques. If you visit during the weekend you will probably get a chance to see some local artists performing on the streets. For us, it was also the perfect place for coffee-hopping, something you should definitely experience if you’re to visit Seoul. La Douce was hop #2 out of the 4 cafe places we visited that day.
What makes La Douce so unique? They specialize in 3D latte foam art and their signature cake is shaped like an iconic slice of cheese, Tom & Jerry style! Besides the cheesecake, they also make mille crêpe cakes, strawberry shortcakes and cream rolls. The place is not very big and has a french flare to it. Well, except for the music, which is tailored for the young crowd and consisted of mostly American pop like Justin Bieber and Maroon 5.
We arrived at La Douce at 17:00 and the small place was packed full of people. We were offered to either take out or sit inside by the cake counter and wait for a table to become available. We didn’t wait too long, and in the meantime sifted through the guest book and enjoyed watching the magician barista create the most adorable fluffy 3D foam art.
The menu is only available in Korean but the nice waiter explained to us, in perfect English, what drinks are available and which cakes are on display.
We didn’t wait long to be seated – and in less than 10 minutes we were already at our table, enjoying our drinks and cake. To drink we ordered iced latte and hibiscus lemonade.
My coffee was topped with adorable foam art in the shape of a teddy bear. We could spot foam cats peeking from other tables as well.
Much like Game of Thrones’ Oberyn Martell, my foamy teddy bear looked splendid up until the very end.
The lemonade was mildly sweet and had flowery notes.
The food and drinks not only looked impressive but also tasted very good. The cheesecake had the thinnest orange coating made from cacao butter. Its sponge base was soft and moist and the mousse was just perfect. It was so good that I had to eat it slowly. I simply never wanted it to end. We paid 20,500₩ / $18 / 69₪ which we felt were justified.
If you’re also planning cafe hopping, you’ll be glad to know the cake isn’t overly sweet, which makes continuing the journey much easier.
La Douce Online: