One of my favorite things to when I’m in Samcheong-dong (삼청동) is have tea in a traditional Korean house, aka a hanok. Actually, there are quite a few hidden spots down the quiet alleyways away from the hustle and bustle of Seoul’s fast paced life. Some are modern style coffee shops wrapped in the traditional exterior of a hanok, while others preserve the charm of traditional Korean tea culture both inside and out.
I’d say Cafe LN lies somewhere in the middle. The entire cafe embraces the simplicity of lacquered natural wood and cream flourishes, leaving your eye to wander across the traditional geometric patterns of the windows and on to the lovely little courtyard at the center of the cafe. Both the interior and exterior hold the unique characteristics of traditional hanok architecture, though the furniture leans a bit more to the modern side.
I’d have to say my favorite part of the cafe is all the windows. They really open the space up and let in tons of natural light. When the weather’s nice, they open all the windows to let in a cool breeze that sweeps through the entire cafe. Even when it rains or snows, the windows create a beautiful ambiance. Needless to say this cafe makes for beautiful photos. I particularly love going there in hanbok, it really makes the experience and photos more memorable.
Aside from the cafe’s alluring appearance, it also has a nice menu to compliment it. If you’re looking for a more traditional experience, they have a great selection of teas. I recommend giving their omija-cha (five flavor tea) a try. The omija berry is known for having five distinct layers of flavor: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and spicy. While I can’t say I could taste all the flavors in the tea, it was definitely flavorful. And if tea isn’t… well… your cup of tea, they also have a few great coffee options.
Whatever you choose to drink, you have get an order of their grilled green tea rice cakes (녹차떡구이) to go with it. While grilled rice cake is a fairly common street food, the green tea used in these rice cakes really sets them apart. The taste is subtle, but oh so good. It comes with a honey matcha dipping sauce that really brings out the tea flavor and adds just the right amount of sweetness. It’s my absolute favorite thing off their menu. I seriously get cravings for these things.
So, if you’re visiting Korea or just looking for a break from modern life, try slipping on a colorful hanbok and have a cup of tea at Cafe LN.
- 10:00am~10:00pm, Monday~Saturday
- 10:00am~09:30pm, Sunday
- 서울특별시 종로구 북촌로5나길 5 (화동)
- 5, Bukchon-ro 5na-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul