When I think of cafes, I imagine modern rustic decor, cozy sofas, random wall art, and soft acoustic covers playing on loop. If we're being honest, almost all of them look and feel the same, if not for their different branding and food and drink selections.
Seoul's beloved "drawing cafe," however, digresses from the usual coffee shop aesthetic altogether. Named Cafe Yeonnam-dong 223-14 (also its exact address, FYI), this quirky establishment's interior design makes it look like you've just stepped into your very own comic strip.
Owned by its sole proprietor J.S. Lee, the concept was inspired by a short-lived TV series titled W: Two Worlds starring Lee Jong-suk and Han Hyo-joo. The show followed a surgical resident who somehow magically gets pulled into a webtoon world. Now a popular tourist spot, the entire cafe, including its furniture and cutlery, is painted all white, and outlined with thick black brush strokes to achieve that 2D illusion, and making the whole experience completely Instagrammable.
Explore the rest of the cafe, below!
Their drinks are made to serve as a nice pop of color in contrast to the two-tone black-and-white shade of the place.
Even their cutlery and mugs look 2D!
There's also a small separate area outside if you'd rather hang out in the cozy outdoors.
You can also opt to head up to their rooftop decked out with more 2D-looking chairs and tables. Even the railings look drawn on. Plus, there's a clothesline with flat cartoon clothes to serve as a fun backdrop for your IG photos.
Cafe Yeonnam-dong 223-14 is about a 15-minute walk from Hongik University subway station, and is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. except for Mondays.
Keep in mind, though, that if you're looking to fly out to Korea just to visit the cafe, make sure to step out early and be prepared to wait a while if you aren't so lucky. The cafe itself is small and, owing to its IG-worthy fame, tends to be crowded with long lines of tourists waiting to take their own photos.
Pro tip: Remember to be courteous and actually order a drink and food or two, instead of just snapping away and leaving, which has been a reported common occurrence for the shop.