Cafe Hopping in Gyeongju: 10 Yummy Cafes Tour

The Magnificent Ten: Gyeongju’s Cafe Scene

Gyeongju is one of my favorite cities. Luckily it’s only a little over an hour away from Daegu, so I can visit often. The city is a captivating destination steeped in history. As you step into its ancient streets, cafe hopping in Gyeongju becomes a delightful journey that immerses you in the city’s rich tapestry while offering a vibrant and inviting atmosphere. Gyeongju is the city with the most World Heritage Sites in Korea. This ancient city gracefully blends traditional and modern cafes, each with its own unique allure and offerings.

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In this city of wonders, every cafe holds a story. They serve as gateways to the past, allowing you to experience the essence of Gyeongju’s rich history. Whether you choose to sample traditional Korean flavors or enjoy Gyeongju coffee culture, each cafe offers a unique opportunity to explore the city’s culinary and cultural heritage.

Do you know what to look for in a group tour?

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Cafe Hopping in Gyeongju

Gyeongju’s cafe scene is a perfect reflection of the city itself—a harmonious blend of the old and the new, the traditional and the contemporary. It invites you to savor a taste of the past while embracing the vibrant energy of the present. So, venture into the enchanting world of Gyeongju’s cafes, where every sip and every bite becomes a gateway to the past and a celebration of the city’s enduring legacy. Here are 10 cafes that do just that.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Ffreci Brunch Cafe
Rhapsody in Blue
Sannae Grove Cafe
Page9 Cafe
Basila Cafe
Aden Cafe
Yeo Gi Dang
Eyst1779
Interfall Coffee
LLOW

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Ffreci Brunch Cafe

Ffreci Brunch Cafe in Gyeongju is truly amazing. It’s a cute and cozy storefront cafe that I absolutely adore. As soon as you step inside through the weathered blue doors, you’ll find yourself in a small courtyard with a stone floor, creating a charming entrance. The cafe is bathed in filtered light, which beautifully illuminates the honey-stained wood and highlights the large windows that overlook the street, adding a warm and inviting touch to the overall atmosphere.

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Korean Traditional Architecture

One of the most captivating aspects of Ffreci Brunch Cafe is its traditional Korean open beamed ceiling. This architectural feature reflects the rich heritage of Korea and adds an authentic and distinctive charm to the cafe. The intricate designs and craftsmanship of the ceiling are truly mesmerizing, showcasing the beauty of the hanok-style architecture that has stood the test of time.

But Ffreci Brunch Cafe isn’t just about its ambiance; the food is equally delightful. When you visit, I highly recommend trying their open-faced shrimp salad on a bed of fresh greens, topped with a delicious wasabi mayo. The combination of flavors and textures in this dish is simply exquisite.

For the Sweet Tooth

For those with a sweet tooth, their french toast is a must-try. It’s light, airy, and served with a generous serving of fresh fruit, making it a delightful treat for brunch. And if you’re in the mood for something comforting, their corn soup, garnished with homemade croutons, is warm, savory, and sure to satisfy your cravings.

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The Brunch Experience

To complete your brunch experience, I suggest washing it all down with a refreshing cherry ade. Its fruity and invigorating taste will provide the perfect accompaniment to your meal, leaving you feeling refreshed and satisfied.

Before you leave, don’t forget to mention that Stacey sent you! It’s always fun to share a little inside joke and who knows, Ji Su, the passionate owner who moved to Gyeongju from Seoul after getting married, might just have a surprise in store for you.

📍Ffreci 쁘레씨
970, Poseok-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do

http://kko.to/njcuxRt59_

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Rhapsody in Blue

Rhapsody in Blue is a captivating music-inspired cafe located within the same building as the Kpop Museum in Gyeongju. I know,– Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin and K-pop share the commonality of being forms of music. However, their similarities end there. They diverge greatly in terms of style, genre, cultural influences, and historical context. “Rhapsody in Blue” is a classical composition blending elements of jazz and orchestral music. While K-pop is a contemporary genre characterized by its catchy pop hooks, electronic beats, and big group performances.

Once insude, you get where they were going with the name. The cafe offers a unique experience by combining coffee and entertainment. The blue devor, walls adorned with thousands of vinyl LPs, CDs, and vintage music equipment are impressive. This nostalgic decor adds a charming touch, taking you back to a time when record players were the primary means of enjoying music.

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The Kpop Museum

Adjacent to the Kpop Museum, Rhapsody in Blue provides a perfect opportunity to explore beyond the museum’s confines. While the museum might not be of personal interest to everyone, the cafe’s allure is undeniable. In fact, the beauty of the lotus pond situated behind the museum was the initial reason for my visit.

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When it comes to enjoying your coffee, the cafe offers multiple options. You can choose to relish your beverage indoors, on the inviting patio, or even venture a short distance to the serene lotus pond. Each setting offers its own ambiance, allowing you to find the perfect spot to relax and savor your cup of coffee.

📍 CAFE RHAPSODY IN BLUE
9, EXPO-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do

http://kko.to/JAbLlvIVmC

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Sannae Grove Cafe

Yesterday, despite the darkened skies caused by an approaching typhoon, my husband, Steven, and I decided to embark on a cafe-hopping adventure. We were determined not to let the weather dampen our spirits during the long holiday weekend. Our destination was the picturesque Sannae Grove Cafe, located just outside of Gyeongju, where we hoped to find a taste of travel-inspired dining amidst the clouds.

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As we arrived at Sannae Grove, the first thing that caught our attention were the stepping stones placed across a reflection pool, leading to the massive hinged door that stood before us. The door seemed heavy at first, but with a gentle push on the handle, it effortlessly pivoted on a single axis, smoothly gliding open. As it swung, the captivating interior of the cafe gradually revealed itself, one pivot point at a time.

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A Fusion of Architecture

Inside, we were welcomed into the enchanting world of Sannae Grove Cafe. The fusion of architectural elements was striking, with white adobe walls harmoniously blending with traditional hanok open trestle beams and cutout storage, reminiscent of the pueblo design found in Southwest United States. It was a visual feast that transported us to a realm of tranquility and serenity. I liked it.

As we explored the inside of the cafe, we were fascinated by its unique design features. The cavern-like entrance led us to a spacious seating area with Mediterranean windows that stretched from floor to ceiling, allowing natural light to flood the space and providing a breathtaking view of the grounds below. It was a sight to behold.

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Stepping Stones & Reflection Pools

The attention to detail was evident in every corner of Sannae Grove. The reflection pool and the stepping stones added a touch of elegance, while the massive hinged door served as a grand entrance, inviting us to uncover the wonders within. Each pivot of the door revealed a new facet of the cafe, creating an element of surprise and intrigue.

While the cafe’s ambiance was exceptional, we couldn’t help but wish for more options on the menu. The selection was rather limited, consisting mostly of cookies, cakes, and open sandwiches. However, we did find solace in a hot herbal tea that was perfect for the chilly day spent high up in the clouds.

📍Sannae Grove 산내그로브
734-14, Munbok-ro, Sannae-myeon, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
http://kko.to/s21MX3dbG

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Page9 Cafe

Yesterday, my husband, Steven, took charge of planning our activities in Gyeongju, and he did a fantastic job by dedicating a whole day to exploring Bomun Lake. We started our adventure by visiting Page9 cafe, a brunch cafe located near the Gyeongju Colossal Coliseum, which drew a laugh from us due to its imposing presence.

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Pizza, Pasta and Much More

Page9 cafe offered a delightful selection of desserts, sandwiches, pasta, rice dishes, pizzas, and specialty coffees and lattes. We decided to share a large bowl of shrimp pilaf topped with fish roe, which turned out to be incredibly delicious. To our delight, the shrimp were already peeled—a detail that often irks me, so I appreciated the extra effort they put into it.

The cafe itself was a spacious, single room that featured a prominent Page9 statue, serving as a visual divider within the space. As we indulged in our meal, we savored refreshing beverages like peach iced tea and mango passionfruit ade. We leisurely observed the foot traffic around the lake, enjoying the lively atmosphere, all while pondering the intriguing bite-like chunks that were mysteriously missing from our table.

Page9 cafe also had a distinct bookish charm, with books scattered throughout the establishment—adorned over the register and perched on the window sills. It added a cozy and intellectual ambiance to the already inviting setting.

Captivating Sunsets

One recurring theme we discovered while reading various blog posts was the captivating sunset at Bomun Lake. If one finds themselves in Gyeongju during sunset, Page9 is undoubtedly the place to be. We learned that the sunsets over the lake are renowned for their striking red hues, with stunning photographs to prove it. It left us yearning to witness such natural beauty firsthand.

Additionally, the cafe boasted a lovely garden, easily accessible from within its confines. This added touch of nature enhanced our overall experience, providing a serene and tranquil environment to enjoy our time at Page9.

📍 PAGE9
132-24, Bomun-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
http://kko.to/W_p_PuDMi

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Basila Cafe

If you love big, beautiful sunflowers, then you need to visit Basila Cafe in July when there is a sea of them to admire. That’s why I discovered Basila Cafe in Gyeongju. The cafe is a traditional-style hanok, snugly anchored to one end of a reservoir and bursting with sunflowers. Every angle of this place is picture-perfect, and despite the crowd, it never felt crowded.

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A Seat with a View

I found a great seat to people-watch, set my things down, and went inside to order a latte and an apple turnover. The cafe is lovely, with airconditioning seating that offers a view of the patio, sunflower fields, reservoir, and beyond to the mountains, But the best views are outside on the patio. I could tell it had rained earlier because the clouds were still overhead. The air was still filled with moisture, creating a pleasant ambiance that made sitting outside bearable.

While my latte was yummy, the apple turnover had an unnatural taste, so I ended up picking at the crust and leaving a heap of mush on my tray. I would suggest opting for a coffee or trying something else on the menu.

Sunflowers Galore

The cafe is surrounded by thousands of fully matured sunflowers, creating a light and airy atmosphere. It attracts couples, groups, and families with young children. The main building of the cafe has upper, lower, and balcony seating. Don’t forget to explore the interior courtyard with its stepping stone water feature. There is additional seating available in two other buildings, with one entirely made of floor-to-ceiling glass.

Parking is available, although some spots might be a little tight. Each outdoor table has an umbrella to provide shade from the sun. Just be aware that where there are sunflowers, there are bees.

It still works. One of my favorite tips is to ask the waiter or anyone you meet at an activity, like a restaurant, cafe, or shop, to recommend another place similar to it.

I would definitely go back to Basilla Cafe for the stunning views it offers. If you’re planning a trip to Gyeongju soon, I highly recommend adding it to your itinerary.

📍 Basila 바실라
88, Hadongmosan-gil, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do

http://kko.to/yuBwgTYDao

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Aden Cafe

Bomun Lake

Aden Cafe is truly the “Greatest of All Time” (GOAT) when it comes to hanok cafes in Gyeongju. This gem quickly gained popularity and continues to thrive with thousands of positive reviews, maintaining an impressive 4.4 rating on Naver.

Situated on a prime location along the picturesque Bomun Lake, Aden Cafe is undeniably beautiful. As you enter the courtyard, you’ll cross a bridge adorned with a lily pond, adding to the serene ambiance. The main hall awaits, with large windows along the back, inviting abundant natural light.

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Beautiful Hanok Cafe

Before grabbing a tray, it’s best to secure a seat first. In my opinion, window seats on the first floor provide a better view than those upstairs, unless you prefer to enjoy the scenery from the outdoor terrace.

Once you have a seat, it’s time to indulge in Aden Cafe’s offerings. It’s worth noting that the coffees here may be slightly pricier, but judging by the crowd, it seems that price is not a concern for most visitors.

The seating options vary, with some chairs covered in leather and others featuring cowhide, providing a unique touch of diversity. The interior of the cafe has an earthy aesthetic that is difficult to put into words. Hanging foliage adds a natural touch, and a grand decorated tree serves as the centerpiece. Honestly, the best way to appreciate the ambiance is to check out the captivating pictures.

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A View of the Lake

If you step out to the lake, you can catch glimpses of Gyeongjuland’s bigger rides on your left, adding a touch of amusement to the scenic setting.

Aden Cafe offers a variety of delectable treats. While my husband, Steven, wasn’t thrilled with the cream in his chocolate croissant, I thoroughly enjoyed my honey bread and iced peanut butter latte.

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Before leaving, don’t forget to visit the gift shop conveniently located near the entrance. It’s hard to miss, and you might just find something delightful to take home as a memento.

📍 Aden Cafe
424-34, Bomun-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
http://kko.to/wZvxtALxV


Yeo Gi Dang (It is Here)

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The name Yeo Gi Dang, meaning “It Is Here,” may seem unusual for a cafe, but it adds a touch of intrigue and curiosity to the establishment, inviting people like me to wobder what is inside. This time, my curiosity paid off.

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A Cozy Veggie Cafe

Yeo Gi Dang is a hidden gem in Gyeongju—a cozy cafe that only opens for a few hours a day, known to those in the know. It’s a place where you can savor the delights of Korean vegetarian cuisine, such as the mouthwatering Shiraejeon, a savory pancake filled with scallions, shrimp, and squid perfectly fried to crispy perfection. Another must-try dish is the Doenjang Jjigae, a comforting Korean Soybean Paste Stew that pairs wonderfully with the siraegi rice.

And while I’m no vegetarian. However, the food was filling and full of simple ingredientd which can be a blessing herr in Korea.

Located near Seochulji Temple, Yeo Gi Dang offers a unique dining experience. This charming restaurant, with its old yet ever-new atmosphere, captivates visitors from the moment they step inside. The only downside is that it’s open exclusively for lunch, making it a coveted spot to visit.

Limited Cafe Hours

During my recent visit at 1:20 pm, I was fortunate enough to be one of the last customers of the day. It’s a testament to the popularity of this establishment, as it fills up quickly with patrons eager to indulge in the delectable vegetarian dishes it has to offer.

If you have the opportunity to visit Gyeongju, I highly recommend checking out Yeo Gi Dang near Seochulji Temple. It’s a place where you can appreciate the artistry of vegetarian cuisine and immerse yourself in the serene surroundings of this historic city. After your meal, take a leisurely stroll near Seochulji to soak in the tranquility and beauty of the area.

📍It is Here 여기당
34, Chilburam-gil, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do

http://kko.to/qzkvy2-7rO

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Eyst1779

Eyst1779 is a unique little cafe located near the Woljeonggyo Bridge in Gyeongju. It provides a refreshing escape from the lively ambiance of Hwanglidan-Gil. Hwanglidan-Gil is known for its Instagram-worthy spots. It has lots of charming restaurants, adorable cafes, gift shops, and bookstores. So this place offers a serene respite from all that.

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Instagram Ready

The cafe itself is undeniably Instagrammable, but it’s rather impractical. There isn’t enough seating. And if you’re alone it can be rather awkwatd too.

The space consists of three small rooms, with an art piece serving as the central focal point and seating area. Unfortunately, all the seating options are communal benches or part of the art installations. As much as I wanted to find a chair, I had no choice but to sit outside in the courtyard, although the heat made it a less comfortable experience.

Each room features a large picture window offering a view of a pond with a small waterfall. I had to politely ask a couple to move so I could capture a few pictures. They had good intentions, but there was a slight misunderstanding. It gave us a good laugh. They thought I wanted the gentleman to take my photos. As if I was looking for an amateur Ang Lee.

I decided to try the specialty latte—a thick and creamy espresso drink. However, I found it to be just okay and quite expensive at 8,000₩.

A View of Woljeonggyo Bridge

One advantage of this cafe is the free parking available in the vicinity. It’s also conveniently close to the Woljeonggyo Bridge and a charming traditional restaurant called Yosokkoong. Yosokkoong has a cozy setting reminiscent of Japanese-style dining, with separate wooden rooms in a park-like environment overlooking a serene pond. Additionally, the trolley service runs nearby, making transportation more convenient.

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Solo Cafe Hopping Gyeongju

During my last visit to Gyeongju, my husband and I wore hanboks as part of a guided tour. However, I personally prefer exploring at my own pace, wandering along the bridge and discovering hidden nooks and crannies. On that occasion, I even had the chance to meet a few recent graduates from UC Irvine. We spent a delightful time enjoying the lotus park nearby before heading home.

In my opinion, Eyst1779 is worth checking out. But only if you are already cafe hopping in Gyeongju. I wouldn’t recommend making a special trip solely for this cafe.

📍 Eyst1779
21, Gyochonan-gil, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do

http://kko.to/DUO7EiRGD5

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Interfall Coffee

Welcome to Interfall Cafe, a beautiful place where you can enjoy brunch and dessert. It has a cool beachy vibe that’s perfect for relaxing on the weekends. The cafe is really spacious with lots of seating inside and outside, including terraces and a patio. And the best part is that many of the seats have a great view or are close to a stunning waterfall.

The 3-story waterfall at Interfall Cafe is definitely manmade but it also stunning. The sound of the water cascading over the tumbled rocks and through the lush plantings is pure ASMR. On a hot day the spray from the crashing water is refreshing.

The best seats in the cafe are on the terrace overlooking the waterfall on the 3rd and 4th floos. However, the view from the ground level patio directly is lovely too.

The cafe has been awarded several design awards. The design is clean and modern with highly polished concrete floors and lots of ambient lighting. It also holds concerts in the amphitheater seating area with baby grand piano. Today, a little girl about 3 or 4 years old was performing to the delight of her parents on the other piano in the cafe.

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Songdaemal Lighthouse

We shared a chicken tenders sandwich and a slice of chocolate cream cake. Both were reccommended by our server, a nice guy from Chicago. And both were really good choices.

Make it a day trip and visit Songdaemal Lighthouse. The Songdaemal Lighthouse, also known as the Songdo Lighthouse, is situated near Songdo Beach in Gyeongju. It is a popular spot for visitors, offering beautiful coastal views and the opportunity to explore the beach and nearby attractions.

📍Interfall Coffee 인터폴커피
475, Chunghyo-dong, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do

http://kko.to/7EDN7w6dOL

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LLOW Cafe

The Yellow Cafe, also called llow by the staff. The cafe was once a rotisserie and brunch cafe. Now it’s a dessert cafe with a huge secret. Enter from the front parking lot onto the 2nd floor or from the lake onto the main floor.

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A Fusion of Traditional and Modern Elements

The cafe’s exterior resembles a traditional hanok. While the interior boasts a modern ambiance with open ductwork. It has a spacious layout. The cafe offers diverse seating options including benches, tables, and bean bags.

It artfully combines contemporary elements with subtle nods to traditional hanok features such as wooden ceilings and framed interior windows.

A wall of glass windows offers a great view of the grassy lawn and Bomun Lake beyond. A large wooden deck on the side offers outdoor seating.

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Traditional Treats

The cafe has some traditional treats and coffees. It also has some specialties like the persimmon-wrapped walnuts and cream cheese and the fresh blueberry iced latte.

I like the mix of young and old, something I also noticed at the other cafes in Gyeongju. And like Page9, there is access to the lake and a 6km walking path.

The second floor has the best view of the lake as well as a second register and dessert counter.

📍LLOW 375-16, Gyeonggam-ro, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do

http://kko.to/6s4jBYVwzI

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Conclusion

Cafe hopping in Gyeongju is a delightful way to immerse yourself in the city’s rich history and vibrant atmosphere. This ancient city offers a captivating blend of traditional and modern cafes, each with its unique charm and offerings. From cozy storefront cafes to music-inspired venues, Gyeongju’s cafe scene allows you to indulge in delicious treats while experiencing the cultural heritage of this historic city. Are you are seeking a taste of traditional Korean flavors or a modern twist on coffee? Then cafe hopping in Gyeongju promises a memorable and flavorful adventure.

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