With a coffee shop on practically every corner, it’s all too easy to stay caffeinated in Seoul. But if you’ve got a fondness for flat whites, you have to be prepared to look a little bit harder for your fix.
Since originating in the Antipodes in the 1980s (both Australia and New Zealand claim credit), the flat white has gained popularity around the world. And while it’s not yet a staple menu item here, the good news is that if you’re willing to look, it’s perfectly possible to find a quality flat white in South Korea.
Here is a list of seven places coffee lovers can find a flat white in Seoul.
Chans Bros (Itaewon)
Served in a glass, the flat white at Chans Bros is tasty but tiny. At 5,000 KRW, it’s also on the pricier side. That said, the airy but cosy café is a pleasant place to spend your time. With its gentle jazz soundtrack and picturesque views of a busy main road, it’s a great spot for people watching. Order from the selection of muffins and biscuits on offer, savour your coffee and enjoy watching the world go by.
If you’re looking for a decent-sized coffee to wake you up, or you’re simply a born-and-bred bargain hunter, you can’t go past FourB for value. The roastery gives you the choice of ordering a small or large flat white for the exact same price (4500 KRW). The FourB flat white is a creamy affair, with the flavour varying slightly depending on whether you choose to go with the sweet or smoky roasted beans. Drink your coffee on its own or pick out one of the bagels baked fresh in store every day.
Summer Lane (Itaewon)
This Aussie-inspired café serves a delicious brunch and a great coffee. While the food on the menu is known for being stunningly insta-worthy (it often comes with floral garnishes), the best thing about the flat white on offer is that it is dependably simple. Milky, not too bitter, and very easy to drink. The downside is that it comes in a small glass (4500 KRW) instead of a big mug.
Manufact Coffee (Sinchon/Gangnam)
Manufact is highly regarded by coffee aficionados in Seoul. Their flat white (4000 KRW) comes in a cup, has great texture and is pleasingly creamy. Coffee beans and bottled cold brews are also available for purchase.
Caravan is another Australian-inspired restaurant that offers flat whites. With breakfast, lunch and dinner options on the menu, you can pop in at any time of the day to enjoy a decent meal and a good coffee. The flat white is 5500 KRW and is available to order hot in a cup or iced in a glass. It’s a stronger brew than most and verges on the bitter side.
Soosoo Coffee (Gangnam/Gwanghwamun)
You might have seen Soosoo pop up on Instagram thanks to the selection of freshly baked goods they have on offer, but they also have a range of different coffees available too. Their flat white (4000 KRW) is served in a glass, and while it’s a little bitter, the beans are roasted in such a way that the drink also has a sweeter taste than you might be used to.
Bill’s is a well-known Australian-inspired dining experience, with restaurants not just in South Korea but around the world. At 6000 KRW, the flat white is the most expensive on this list, but it’s reliably satisfying, particularly for Aussie expats missing coffee from home. Not too creamy, not too bitter: just right.