Must Visit Cafés in Seoul| Eating in Seoul on a Budget

Need to live on a budget in Korea? Well, here is how you can do it without having to starve yourself 🙂

Free Coffee Refills
Hongdae– “the Famous Lamb”
Open: 8:00AM – 11:00PM (Sunday’s open at 10:00AM)
Address: 서울시 마포구 동교동 203-30
(Seoul, Mapo-gu, Donggyo-dong 203-30)

In Donggyo-dong (few blocks down exit #1), there’s a local hotspot with great outdoor seating, fantastic sandwiches, and free drip coffee refills. They also have a wide variety of high-end coffee like Kenya AA, Columbia Supremo, and Ethiopia Sidamo. If you want something sweeter, they also serve excellent fruit smoothies! With free refills and excellent coffee, it’s an excellent and cost-efficient place to spend a relaxing afternoon.

Incheon – “3rd Floor Coffee House” (3층 커피집)
Open: 10AM – 2AM
Address: 인천시 남동구 구월1동 1463-2 로데오플라자
Incheon, Namdong-gu, Guwon-1-dong 1463-2 Rodeo Plaza)

This refill specialty cafe in Incheon allows you to get refills of Americano (hot or ice) all day and night (open 10AM to 2AM). Don’t like Americano? No problem, you can get other drinks for 1,000 won after your first order. They have a wide range of beverage selections. From fair trade coffee to traditional Korean teas to fresh fruit juice. So drink your fill!

Miss Lee Cafe (별다방 미스리)
Address: Star Miss Lee Cafe Season 3 Myeongdong Seoul Jung-gu 199-12 Floor
Nearest train station: Myeongdong station line 4, exit 5, 6 or 7

Season 1 by Miss Lee Cafe in Insadong Seoul Jongno-gu, 2nd Floor Gwanhun 144
Nearest train station: Anguk station line 3, exit 6

Star Miss Lee Cafe Daehakro Season 2: 1-74 Dongsoong dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, 1st floor
Nearest train station: Hyehwa station line 4, exit 1

This is a super girly chain store with a young student feel has stores located at Myeong-dong, Daehakro and Anguk Station.You’ll be shocked at the amount of notes pinned up to the wall. If you’re a couple and want a cute couple experience, head over here to write each other cards for your 100th day. They also offer free refills for any drink selection, which includes Korean teas.If you need more than that to tickle your fancy, order food, read comic books, or eat some free Korean snacks (과자)!

Mindelle Yeongto (민들레영토)

This Korean cafe is a chain frequented by many college students for its cost-saving refill system that cost only 5,500 won! They have stores located at Shinchon, Hongdae, Jeongno (near Myeongdong) and Jeongno (near Jonggak). It’s a great place for thirsty people to just hang out and get some free wifi.

Free Americano, Latte, Cappuccino Refills Hongdae-Cafe Jakiya (자기야)
Open: 12:00 PM – 11:30 PM
Address: 서울시 마포구 서교동 332-22
(Seoul, Mapo-gu, Seogyo-dong 332-22)

Unlike most of the coffee refill outlets, Cafe Jakiya not only offers free americano refills, they also let you drink free refills of the more expensive lattes and cappuccinos. If you like to sit and study for a few hours at a time, order a latte or cappuccino and choose any of the three for your refill (if you order americano, only americano refills). Sandwiches and cakes are also available.

Samcheong-dong-Dorothy and Pie (도로시)
Open: 11AM – 10PM
Address: 서울시 종로구 삼청동 58-1
(Seoul, Jongno-gu, Samcheong-dong 58-1)

Samcheong-dong being one of Seoul’s coolest cafe streets, it’s named after Dorothy of Wizard of Oz fame. Say hi to Lion and Tinman on your way in to get yourself some of their popular pecan pies. While you’re at it, get an americano (with refill) to wash it all down. If you’re not a fan of Wizard of Oz, maybe you’ll like their cool dog that just hangs out with the customers.

Free Coffee and Bread Refills
Tree Shade aka Rest Tree (나무그늘)

This Korean cafe caters to hungry coffee and tea drinkers. They have branches located at Gangnam Station, Geondae, Noryangjin, Dapsimni, Shillim, Samcheong-dong, Wangsimni, Yeongdeungpo (in Times Square Mall). In addition to offering free coffee and tea refills, it also offers unlimited servings of bread. Pick up any book to read while you head over to the self-service bar, where with any purchase you can drink to your heart’s content of coffee and tea and pile on three different types of bread to make up for missing your breakfast. Try not to go overboard though; they ask for 5,000 won for any left over/uneaten bread.
Refillable Ice Cream
Apgujeong – “The Quad” (더 쿼드)
Open: 9AM – 12AM
Address: 서울시 강남구 신사동 622-3
(Seoul, Gangnam-gu, Shinsa-dong 622-3)

This is a spacious and elegant cafe that offers free ice cream refills! With free refills for yogurt ice cream (limit 1), grapefruit smoothies made on the spot, and an excellent green tea bing su, you should definitely check out this cafe in Apgujeong. However, you may not save that much money if you order drinks!! Espresso drinks can go over 10,000 won.