Café Quest: Coffee Hanyakbang

by Cale Noonan
Groove Korea (

Truly the most hidden of cafes, Coffee Hanyakbang is a two-floor establishment nestled down an almost shoulder-width alley. Hanyakbang is a traditional style Korean pharmacy, and the café’s interior certainly reflects this. Beautifully stained wooden walls and classical Chinese decoration coupled with a wide array of classical and jazz records played on their turntable provide a wonderfully soothing ambiance. Whether alone or with another, the first floor is the perfect place for a smaller get-together, but for larger groups, the second floor offers tables with more seating.

Coffee Hanyakbang also prepare their own beans using a small drum roaster, making the coffee darker and richer than other coffee shops. Offering original blends and single origin coffees, the baristas can also produce coffee based on individual preferences. The Ethiopia Koke Honey is always on the menu, brewed fresh at the hand-drip station with a uniquely pleasant flavor, a mix of amazing sweetness and definite floral and tea notes. If you are not a huge coffee drinker, Hanyakbang also offers various teas and juices, as well as hot chocolate, that are just as satisfying.

Address: Coffee Hanyakbang Euljiro 2-Ga 101-34, Jung-gu, Seoul

Station: Eulji-ro 3-Ga Station (Line 2, Exit 1)

Directions: Go straight and take the first right. Walk until you see a tiny blue alley on your right. Walk until you see Coffee Hanyakbang.

Cost: From KRW 3,500-KRW 6,000 per drink and from KRW 3,500-KRW 5,000 per dessert.

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