Coffee shops are hardly difficult to find in Korea. You can barely walk twenty meters without stumbling across a Starbucks, Holly’s Coffee, or an independent hand-drip cafe. Themed cafes are also in abundance, from sheep petting zoos – sadly sans sheep now since they got too fat and had to be sent back to the farm –  to bridal fancy dress havens where you can dress up like Miss. Havisham and scare the shit out of your boyfriend), there are several cute and quirky ways to drink an espresso in this country.

Hongdae’s Café Puzzle edges on being a themed café since you can, quite obviously, spend an afternoon jigsaw puzzling here. Being here feels somewhat more grown-up than gleefully running after the dogs at Bauhaus, or indulging your inner kitsch craving at the Hello Kitty Cafe, though. There is a muted atmosphere at the space that is most likely due to the sheer number of calming herbal teas they have on offer, along with the intense concentration required to reconstruct a cut-up version of The Last Supper.

At around the 5000w mark for a beverage, Café Puzzle isn’t the cheapest place to grab a cup of Twinings. But, if you plan to spend a few hours here poring over a jigsaw then it’s most definitely worth it, especially considering there’s no charge for using a small selection of the puzzles (the rest start at around 18,000 won). In fact, the eclectic, homely decorations and serene nature of the staff (who never make you feel like you’ve outstayed your welcome even after you’ve made a delicious slice of cake last 90 minutes), encourages you to stay put for much longer than you planned to.

Or maybe that’s our excuse for wasting an afternoon on such decadence when we should have been doing something far more constructive.

To get to Cafe Puzzle take the subway to Hongik University on line 2. Head up exit 9, turn right and walk continue walking this street that flanks Man Studio until you see Cafe Puzzle above Face Shop. Cafe Puzzle is across from Primo Bacio Baci, on the third floor. Thanks to Abby (in the comments!) for these directions.

Know any more cool cafes in Seoul? Let us know in the comments or on . We’re always looking for reviews!


Print Friendly