Yri Cafe: Musings of the Yesteryears

Visiting Yri Café (이리카페) was like stepping into a time machine. The vintage sofa, antique tables, gramophone records and endless collection of classic literature, all create a warm atmosphere of a coffee club in the 60s in South Korea. Nestled in Seong-Su Dong, a popular neighbourhood among local hipsters, this café is more than just a place for coffee. It is widely known by the local as the cradle of “culture café” in Seoul.

Founded by two literature graduates, the café serves as a regular location for readers’ club, mini concerts, exhibitions, and even a practicing studio for artists. As a living space that nurtures arts, this cafe holds fond memories, especially to the Hongik University students. Many artists, singers, and writers could remember having meetings here with other like-minded souls.

The café serves strong brews. I love their Americano, so much better than your expensive, branded chain. For those who are not into coffee, you’re given a selection of homemade teas: Yuzu, Ginger, Quince and Lemon tea. Pick up a nice hot cup of quince tea on a cold day, and an icy yuzu tea during summer. Both are packed with rich source of vitamin C which improves immunity.

Lighting was another thing I love about this cafe. The huge window provides ample sunlight to these wooden and leather chairs, making the space so quaint and nostalgic, a perfect reminiscent of the 60s in South Korea! I am sure it’d be a great photo location for fashion covers and pre-wedding shot.

Writer’s Note: Yri Café is located at Seong-su (성수동) area, a neighbourhood right beside the trendy Hongdae. There are many interesting eateries, indie cafes and designer shops around the area. You might want to check this neighbourhood out next time if you’re around Hongdae. As Hongdae is getting more and more touristy, many big franchises had invaded the cultural space. Local stores and young artists couldn’t keep up with the rentals and have to move elsewhere due to gentrification. Yri Café is one of them. I am not too sure if Seong-su it’s playful, artsy and affordable old charm, but I think it’ll soon undergo another round of gentrification too.


Contact Details:

Yri Café  이리카페
서울시 마포구 상수동 337-4/ 서울 마포구 와우산로3길 27 1층
337-4, Sangsu-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Operating Hours: 11am-2am
Tel. +82-2-323-7861, +82-70-8867-7862




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