Coffee and Free Wifi in the City

Monday, May 03, 2010

Written by Daniel Gray

These days, I don't know anyone that doesn't have a wifi enabled laptop, cellphone, or personal media device. With the looming release of the iPad and other tablet like devices, many cafes and bars in Seoul are equipping their establishments with free wifi. Here is a rundown of places that you can get a coffee and wifi access.

*Note: This is not a ranking, the cafes are listed alphabetically.*

Aa Design Museum
There is a design museum in the basement and a giant open cafe on the main floor. There is a garden outside for smokers, the main floor has many tables for people having conversation, and there is a loft area with many electric outlets for people who are there to do some work. They have excellent panini sandwiches and cakes (both of which are homemade) there as well. 


Signal Strength: Good
Noise Level: Average
Average Price for a drink: 5,000 ($5)

Location: Hondae: Go out Sangsu Station Exit 2

Electric Outlets: many
Restrictions: None
Other information:The museum is usually open to the public on weekdays. Wine and Beer is also available.

Beansbin Coffee
Made famous by their main store in Samcheongdong (north Seoul, by the Blue House), here you can get decent coffee and a sandwich for only 5,500 won. They also do waffles piled high with ice cream and various other toppings. Not a bad place to go.


Signal Strength: Good
Noise Level: Low

Average Price for a drink: 4,000 ($4)

Location: at Sinsa Station, Samcheongdong, and Samgaki Station

Electric Outlets: A few

Restrictions: None
Other information: They have free trade coffee.


Caffe Bene
The newest cafe chain in Korea that's very bibimbap (many things all-mixed-up). It's a book/cafe concept that does sandwiches, waffles, gelato, coffee, and smoothies. Surprisingly, they do them pretty well. The cafe is stylish and spacious. This is usually where I get my cup of Joe while I do some writing.


Signal Strength: Great
Noise Level: Average

Average Price for a drink: 4,000 ($4)

Location: All around Seoul
Electric Outlets: A few

Restrictions: None
Other information: Waffle and Gelato Combination isn't bad. They make the waffle fresh and the gelato is ok, also it's not overpriced around 5,000 won ($5).

Krispy Kreme
Warm donuts right out of the fryer and a decent cup of joe is what you'll find at Krispy Kreme. The only problem that there usually aren't many seats and it's very noisy.


Signal Strength: Average
Noise Level: Loud
Average Price for a drink: 3,000 ($3)

Location: All around Seoul
Electric Outlets: 1 or 2
Restrictions: None
Other information: Free Donuts when the red sign turns on.

London Tea
A new little cafe that does tea, coffee and brunch. It's right down from Crown Hotel (it's easiest to get to if you get off the 143, 401, 406 bus at Crown Hotel). They have great Banana Pancakes and desserts and the barista can make a crema rich espresso.


Signal Strength: Good
Noise Level: Low

Average Price for a drink: 4,000 ($4)

Location: Down from Crown Hotel
Electric Outlets: 2

Restrictions: None
Other information: Great food and the owner is very nice.

Madagascar
A photo gallery/cafe that is spacious and open. This location has been featured in several Korean TV dramas. It's located on the backside of Sookmyeong Woman's University so it is usually filled with well behaved girls studying hard.


Signal Strength: Good
Noise Level: Average
Average Price for a drink: 5,000 ($5)

Location: Go out Hyochang Park Station Exit 2 and walk straight.
Electric Outlets: many
Restrictions: None
Other information: There are many photobooks to peruse.

Starbucks
Here you will need to be a resident of Seoul and have a Foreign Residency ID number. Once you register, you will be able to use free wifi for 4 hours. If you don't have an ID then you will have to sign up through Nespot which costs 3,000 ($3) won per hour or 12,000 ($12) won per day. It's usually packed with people talking, so I recommend you bring a pair of headphones if you are planning on getting work done.


Signal Strength: Good
Noise Level: Loud

Average Price for a drink: 4,100 ($4)

Location: All around Seoul
Electric Outlets: A few

Restrictions: You must have a Korean Foreign Residency Card
Other information: Get the Americano, for most places usually won't let the drip finish brewing so you might get strong or weak coffee.


Strawberry Shortcake by Hong Sung Sa
Very cute cafe that specializes in strawberry shortcake. The desserts are topnotch and not too expensive. The coffee could be better, but the coffee and cake sets are cheap; so I can't complain too much.


Signal Strength: Average
Noise Level: Average
Average Price for a drink: 4,000 ($5)

Location: Down from Hapjeong Station Exit 5
Electric Outlets: a few
Restrictions: None
Other information: Get their cake and coffee sets.

Suji's
In my opinion, the very best brunch place in Seoul and they have the best sandwiches as well. At Suji's they make their own deli meats in house and will refill your coffee if you need it. Sundays when I was growing up meant the Sunday papers and pancakes. Now it's the New York Times on my laptop and brunch. Suji's seems like a good place to do it.

Signal Strength: Good
Noise Level: Average
Average Price for a drink: 5,000 ($5)

Location: The main shop beginning of Itaewon near the McDonalds
Electric Outlets: a few
Restrictions: None
Other information: Suji's has dropped their prices by 30% in the last year, so it's not as expensive as it used to be.

Tom N Tom's Coffee
The coffee ain't that good and neither is the food, but they have free wifi. Here the food is at least creative. You can get a big tower of bread topped with whipped cream or a dog pretzel: a hotdog wrapped in pretzel.


Signal Strength: Good
Noise Level: Average
Average Price for a drink: 5,000 ($5)

Location: Throughout Seoul

Electric Outlets: a few
Restrictions: None
Other information: None.

Other places with free wifi:

All American Diner in Itaewon
Beer O'Clock in Sinchon
Ediya Coffee (not in every location) around Seoul
Macaroni Market in Itaewon
19st. Neal's Yard in Itaewon
Phillies in Haebangchon
Rocky Mountain Tavern in Itaewon
Sam Ryan in Itaewon
Tomatillo in Jongak
Wolfhound Pub in Itaewon

You Might Also Like

1 comments

Subscribe