Seoul, capital of South Korea, is a destination for tourists across various age groups especially those who are keen in Korean fashion, beauty products as well as Korean cuisines. There seems to be limitless shopping streets and trendy cafes around Seoul. Among the numerous cafes is a pinkish theme café - the Hello Kitty Cafe that attracts both the young and the old.
The popular-themed café nestled within major shopping district
Hello Kitty is a cartoon character originated from Japan by the Sanrio group. Despite that, Hello Kitty has gained the love of many fans across the world including Korea. There are currently only three Hello Kitty Cafes in Seoul; one located at Hongdae, which is near to Hongik University along a popular shopping and food district for the students and youngsters; one at Sinchon street near Ewha Woman’s University with similar shopping and food options. The third branch is located at Myeongdong - another popular tourist spot for its wide range of beauty stores. All 3 branches are equally popular with tourists and the locals across all ages.
Good range of pastries and drinks to choose from!
All 3 cafes open daily from 10am and close at 10pm or 1030pm depending on the branch. The menu selection is pretty wide, offering wide range of pastries and beverages. A cup of latte and the waffles are recommended for snacks! However, if you visit the cafe after 8pm, you may find yourself disappointed, as most of the cakes would already been sold out. To avoid disappointment, I would suggest going early or during lunch time!
Café is painted in pink and decorated with Hello Kitty plush toys and figurines
Prices at the Hello Kitty Cafes are generally more expensive compared to other local cafes in the vicinity. The quality of the food and beverages are average too. Nonetheless, the ambience of the pink cafe decorated with pictures and plushies of Hello Kitty makes it worth the visit, especially for the character-lovers. Additionally, the beverages are decorated with pictures of the character or pastries are molded into the shape of the character, making it as a unique cafe experience.
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A place to relax and people-watch
In the day, most of the customers are tourists with young children or young couples. In the evening, you will find more local working adults as well as young couples chilling out.There are plenty of tables on both 1st floor and 2nd floor so you do not need to wait for tables unless there is a huge crowd ahead. If you are lucky, you would see young couples debating on whether they should step into the cafe, as it is usually the ladies who want to chill there with the reluctant guys! That is a pretty amusing sight.
Get your Hello Kitty souvenirs from the store
At each cafe, there is also a Hello Kitty merchandise section where you can visit before or after your meal. The store sells a good variety of Hello Kitty products including plushies dressed in the traditional hanbok (Korean costume). This makes for good souvenirs to bring home!
Snap a picture with the world’s popular Hello Kitty!
Upon entering the cafe, you would notice that most customers, especially tourists, will start snapping pictures even before they place their orders! There are many photo opportunities around the cafe including the bathroom, so do take your time and explore slowly! The cafe practices self-ordering and collection. Therefore, during crowded hours, you may want to get a table first. Depending on the crowd, the serving of food at the collection counter is relatively fast. You are also required to return the tray after finishing your meal. Service is fast and polite but you may find that some areas of the cafes contain pastries crumbs left over from the previous patrons.
Hello Kitty Cafe: A great chill out place with photo opportunities
Hello Kitty lovers should certainly visit this cafe. For parents with young children who love the character, this would be a good choice and experience for the kids. Shopping lovers around these key shopping districts would also have an additional choice to chill and snap some adorable pictures while resting your tired feet!
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