While figuring out where exactly I was staying in Hongdae, I printed out the map on how to get to my hostel from the limousine bus stop. The map was marked with restaurants and cafes to use as landmarks while navigating through the backstreets of Hongdae. To my surprise, on this map a location was marked as “Hello Kitty Cafe.” I’m not the biggest fan of Hello Kitty, but there is something about themed cafes that really excites me, so I knew then that I had to go. (Or okay maybe I am a LOT excited about Hello Kitty…)
It is PINK in here. It was a little blinding, but I felt so happy once I stepped inside! The music consisted of club dance music too so that definitely contributed to the upbeat atmosphere. I couldn’t decide what to order at first since all the cakes and drinks looked super cute and yummy, but I decided to go with the prettiest treats because how often is it that I get to go to a Hello Kitty-themed cafe?
After ordering, I made my way to one of the many seating areas in the cafe (all of the cafes in Hongdae seem to be ridiculously large with multiple floors). How cute is this?? The chairs were ridiculously comfortable and so cute with the pink bow! I settled into my large chair after snapping this photo and began to read some books about the Korean War…maybe it wasn’t the most appropriate reading to do in this setting, but I was in Seoul to present at a conference on my research after all! There is free wireless here – I wish I had known that so I could have brought my computer. Note: pretty much every cafe in this area has free wifi and it is FAST. I will definitely keep that in mind the next time I go back to Seoul because while my hostel internet refused to work consistently, I never had problems with wireless internet at the cafes.
After a pretty long wait (about 30 min) because of the amount of people in the cafe, I finally got my order. I had the sweet potato latte – so cute! Unfortunately I messed up Hello Kitty’s nose while bringing my tray up to my seat, but the rest of the outline stayed pretty much intact. I liked the subtle sweet potato flavor, but otherwise the drink tasted like hot milk and was a little boring. Of course being the Hello Kitty Cafe, the drink was pricier that usual (I think 8,000 won or a little less than $8) and way overpriced for my standards, but I saw it as a one-time splurge.
I also ordered a strawberry cake (this cake comes in vanilla and chocolate as well with matching colors), but I had to order the pink cake because why not go all out while in an all-pink cafe? I really didn’t expect this cake to taste good, but I ended up really enjoying it. The inside of the cake was very fluffy and moist with layers of sponge cake and strawberry mousse (the strawberry layers inside were made with the some material as the outside of the cake). It really felt so light and like I was eating a cloud.
Apologies for this somewhat scary photograph, but the layering of the cake was just so perfect that I had to show it! The icing around the edges was so soft and fluffy – I like how the cake was also not too sweet. The whiskers and eyes are make out of chocolate, which added a nice complimentary taste to the strawberry and spongecake.
While the Hello Kitty Cafe isn’t somewhere to go to get great drinks and food, it’s a great stop to make as a tourist, and while the drink wasn’t good (which seems to be all too common from my experiences at Seoul cafes), the cake is worth a trip to this cafe.