For fun cafes in Seoul, Hongdae is the place to be. The nearby Sinchon area mainly offers the big franchise coffee chains, but there is one which may be considered a bit more independent: the Hello Kitty Cafe. Curiously, there’s one in Taipei (Taiwan) and there used to be one in Hong Kong as well. However, there’s none in Japan. Hello Kitty’s Kawaii Paradise at the VenusFort in Odaiba, Tokyo comes close as they sell pancakes there, but it’s more of a theme park.
There is a Hello Kitty Cafe in Hongdae and in nearby Sinchon. I haven’t been to the Hongdae one which I heard is larger. But the Sinchon one is as much pink as the Hongdae one and that’s all that matters, right? ^___^ The website of the cafe doresn’t work properly though as the navigation on the top doesn’t work. Text is rendered unreadable unless you switch the text encoding (in the “View” menu of Safari and Chrome) to “Korean Windows”. Fortunately there is a second navigation below: Click on the leftmost kitty and a list of locations will be displayed. Click on the yellow button on the right to display a map.
For the Hello Kitty Cafe in Sinchon, get off at Sinchon Station (the one between Hongik University and Ewha) line 2 exit 3. Walk down the street until you reach the Nature Republic cosmetic store and then turn right. Keep your eyes on the small side streets on your right, as the Hello Kitty cafe is in one of them. The cafe is open from 11am to midnight.
So how is the cafe?Hello Kitty Cafe sells cakes and coffee and unless you order something with whip cream, they will “draw” an image of Hello Kitty on your drink. The cakes are all kitty-themed as well, as are the tables, the walls, posters, jewelry… even the steps and the windows are decorated with images of Hello Kitty!
That’s pure Hello Kitty heaven – or hell, if you are not into the cute Japanese cat.
Of course they sell Hello Kitty toys as well and since she’s a nice cat she also wears the Korean traditional Hanbok. And what about a Hello Kitty Fan?
Somewhat unsuitable was the background music from hip-hop/rap artists like 50 Cent. Maybe they didn’t want to overdo it with the sugar-coated goodness… By the way, Hello Kitty Cafe also offers free wifi, the password is “kitty”.
I’m not much of a coffee drinker so I can’t say how it compares to other coffee shops. Cake and coffee did taste ok.