"Cafe hopping" is one thing you must do in Seoul as the city offers abundance of unique cafes with different ambiences. One of the most visited cafes by locals is Coffee Hanyakbang (커피한약방) located in a narrow alleyway at Euljiro. The cafe is quite hidden behind the old shops but it is located near the Euljiro-3-ga subway station so it is quite easy to find. Once I walked through the alley, the cafe kind of reminded me of the old Chinese movie with the nostalgic ambience and pieces of heritage. Yes. Coffee Hanyakbang offers a unique and vintage vibes with its Chinese decoration, traditional architectures, and antique furnitures. Another thing that makes this cafe special is they roast their own beans manually which guarantee the freshness, the strong aroma of the coffee, and the rich flavors of the beans.
One thing that should be kept in mind is despite the hidden location, this cafe is always full of people. So i recommend the best time to visit is before lunch (the cafe opens at 8 AM from Monday to Friday and 11 AM on Saturday), after 4pm or after dinner time (around 8pm).
Hanyak Bang (한약방 in Korean) means Korean herbal medicine shop. Just like how earnestly people brew the herbal medicine centuries ago, I guess the shop owner hopes to brew the coffee earnestly in order to guarantee the good quality of each cup of coffee.
Right in front of the coffee shop, there is a dessert shop called Hyemin Dang that sells cake and bread. It is a different shop from Coffee Hanyak Bang but seems they work together so you can bring the coffee from the Coffee Hanyak Bang to this dessert shop or the other way around.
They serve a variety of desserts such as black tea and green tea chocolate (KRW 1,200), Fig Tarte (KRW 4,000), Omija Mousse (KRW 6,100), Earlgrey Choco Lemon (KRW 6,100), Fromage Yuzu (KRW 6,300), Raspberry Chocolate Cake (KRW 6,000), Chocolate Croissant (KRW 4,000) and other desserts.
Translation of above image: "This is the place of Hyeminseo where Heo Jun used to treat the patients."
Source: google image
They have the normal hand drip coffee (KRW3,500) , special hand drip coffee (KRW4,000), Latte (KRW3,800), Cappuccino (KRW3,800), Caramel Latte (KRW4,000), Vanilla Latte (KRW4,000), Maple Latte (KRW4,000), Mocca Latte (KRW4,000), Espresso (KRW3,000), Affogato (KRW4,000), Espresso Con Panna (KRW4,000) and Dutch Coffee (KRW5,000).
If you don't drink coffee they also have the non-caffein drinks such as Fresh fruit juice (KRW 4,000), Wine Ade (KRW5,000), Fruit Tea (KRW4,000), Hot Chocolate (KRW 3,500), Iced Chocolate (KRW3,500), Milk (KRW2,500), Soda (KRW3,000), Organic Flower Tea (KRW4,000), Grains Latte (KRW 5,000).
The coffee shop itself also serves their own dessert such as sandwich (KRW 5,000), cake (KRW 3,500), bread (KRW 3,000), cookie (KRW 1,000), and chocolate (KRW 300). And the seasonal menus are Cup Bingsu (ice shaved) and Sangria in the summer and Glühwein (aka Vin Chaud or mulled wine) in the winter.
They roast their beans inside the cafe and it allows the customers to see how they roast it. (The lady behind on the above image was roasting the beans)
Since I can't drink hand drip or espresso or other too strong coffee, I ordered Caramel Latte (KRW 4,000) and my friend ordered Ice Chocolate (KRW 3,500). And we also ordered the Earlgrey Choco Lemon and Chocolate Croissant. I really love the Caramel Latte, unlike the other coffee shop's Caramel Latte, their Latte is not that sweet and I still could taste the strong and rich flavor of the beans and the aroma is really great.
The coffee shop has 3 floors while the dessert shop has 2 floors and each floors has different interior and ambience. When we came here (we reached around 3.30PM on a Wednesday) the cafe was really crowded and the only seat left was on the second floor of the coffee shop.
Coffe Hanyakbang 커피한약방
> Address: 101-34 Euljiro 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul 서울시 중구 을지로2가 101-34
(click here for map)
> Phone: 070-4148-4242
> Operating Hours: Mon~Fri 8.00 AM~10.30 PM ; Sat 11.00 AM~10.00 PM ; Sunday closed
By subway: From Euljiro-3-ga station (subway line 2), exit no. 1, walk down the street until you see the first junction, turn right, the cafe is located at the back alley