Destinations

Afternoon Tea in Seoul

Do you have a keen sweet tooth? Do you drink vanilla lattes every day? guilty. With cafes on every corner, each serving cakes and bread, Seoul is sweets heaven. But what better treat is there than afternoon tea, complete with scones, jam, cream and of course those tiny sandwiches! Here’s where you can enjoy afternoon tea in Seoul:

Afternoon Tea

One of my weekend pastimes is going to as many cafes as I can. While it certainly burns a hole in my wallet, it is my way of exploring the city and trying new things. Furthermore, no two cafes are the same in Seoul. One minute you could be drinking espresso in a Parisian-themed coffee shop and the next enjoying a hearty hot chocolate in a cozy cabin-themed cafe.

We get used to drinking our regular cup of joe and watching the city float by, but why not try something different? In Western societies, we affiliate tea with crowned royals and special occasions but tea has an entirely different meaning in Eastern cultures. In countries like Korea, tea is consumed far more regularly as a natural, healing beverage.

However, tea in Seoul doesn’t just mean traditional Korean tea ceremonies, but in its diverse nature, the city has pinched ideas from all over the world. Whether you go for bougie or budget, it’s up to you.

Cafe DIOR

We all know the luxury brand Dior, with the handbags and shoes worth an entire paycheck. But, did you know that you can get a high tea experience at a Dior retail store in Gangnam?

We all know the luxury brand Dior, and their handbags and shoes that cost more than an arm and a leg. However, I’ll bet you didn’t know that Dior dish out afternoon teas. That’s right, at Dior’s Gangnam store you can fulfill your British brunch desires.

For an afternoon tea-style set up, you’re looking at 50,000 KRW per person. Expensive? Sure, but certainly affordable for a special treat, like a birthday or anniversary. At Cafe Dior, you don’t just get fancy nibbles and tipples, but the decadent atmosphere as well. Moreover, you can have your dream photoshoot — make an experience out of it!

The best item on the menu — in my view, anyway — is the Dior monochrome latte. However, you can also try brunchy items like eggs benedict and French toast, or stick to the afternoon tea set.

Cafe Dior

Address: 5th Floor House of Dior, 464 Apgujeong-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Operating Hours: 11:00am - 8:00pm Mon ~ Sat, - 7:00pm Sun

À bientôt Flower

À bientôt Flower is one of my most recent finds. A small cafe located 15 minutes from Ttukseom Park in a quiet residential area, À bientôt encapsulates the coziness of a cottage in the French countryside. Moreover, the cottage is filled with floral decor and greenery, with flowers for sale against the windows. You can even purchase the vintage knick-knacks hidden around the cafe such as an old film camera, books and a 2005 iPod Nano! Now that’s vintage.

You’ll be happy to know that unlike Cafe DIOR, this cafe is quite affordable. The afternoon tea set includes a tower of French pastries, proscuitto and poached egg toasts, cupcakes and scones. Not a place to watch your calories but at least it comes with a salad! Additionally, you have your own choice of drink; the owner recommends the Jeju orange tea. However, if you’re anything like me, you’ll end up getting coffee anyway. The signature latte was delicious.

And all of that comes to approx. 16,000 KRW per person. Affordable, right?

À bientôt Flower

Address: 56 Ttukseom-ro 44-gil, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul
Operating Hours: 11:00am - 7:00pm Mon, Wed - Sun, closed Tues

Dear Dahlia

Being vegan in Korea isn’t easy, especially with the popularity of meat dishes and European-style desserts. However, when you do find somewhere that suits your dietary needs, rest assured these places go all out. Dear Dahlia combines a plant-based afternoon tea with equally guilt-free K-beauty shopping.

On the first floor, you’ll find everything from eyeshadows and liners to lipsticks and foundation — all vegan. What’s more, the store is a beautiful peach pink and gold. In fact, it has a similar luxurious feel to that of Cafe DIOR. Overall, this cafe just exudes the phrase “treat yo’ self.” Decadent cakes on a table with plush pink pillows. Even the drinks come in sparkling diamond-shaped glasses! Whether you’re vegan or not, I highly recommend eating here. It’s simply a must if you’re lactose-intolerant!

A meal here costs approx. 30,000 KRW per person.

Dear Dahlia Dosan Flagship Store

Address: 14 Dosandae-ro 45-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Operating Hours: 10:30am - 8:30pm weekdays, 10:00am - 9:00pm weekend

Good Afternoon

Noksapyeong is a charming hilly neighborhood adjacent to the international center of Itaewon. I love this area for numerous reasons, but mainly for that picturesque view of Namsan Tower and the plethora of brunch spots.

Tucked in an inconspicious alley is another cozy afternoon tea cafe. The exterior has that typically Parisian architecture that you can see at a majority of cafes throughout Korea. When you enter the cafe, it has all the aesthetics of tea at Grandma’s house.

The afternoon tea set includes the elegant tower of pastries, scones, tarts and some canapés as well. During my visit, I opted for brown sugar bubble tea as it was one of the signature menu items. A meal here costs approx. 20,000 KRW per person.

Good Afternoon

Address: 45 Noksapyeongdae-ro 46-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul 
Operating Hours: 2:00pm - 9:00pm Tues - Fri, 12:00pm - Sat - Sun, closed Mon

So there you have it! Some of the best places for afternoon tea in Seoul. It is a definitely an experience you’ll want to take advantage of in a bustling metropolis like Seoul, so enjoy. And remember, pinkies up!

🇺🇸 Michaela Cricchio

Hello, I'm Michaela! I'm a freelance writer, lifestyle blogger, and English teacher. I have been featured in the International TEFL Academy, Shut Up and Go, and CNBC Millennial's Making It.