taste of koreatown

KCON Travel Guide: Local Korean Cafes

In a few weeks, dearest reader, you may find yourself in Los Angeles, alone, wandering the streets, schlepping to the nearest Mobil station which promises coffee. But those, my friend, are false promises. We, at KCON, want to save you from the inevitable onslaught of “Hawaiian Dark Roast” and “Chocolate Brownie Lattes.”

Of course, KCON is the main attraction, but what about the place where you can get a taste of Korean “café culture?” Koreatown. Of course there are some K-town quirks that could disorient any visitor.

1) Many coffee journeys begin in the early morning hours, but most K-Town cafes don’t open until 11 am (with the exception of Caffebene and Tom N Toms). Why? Because Korean café culture is much more about socializing and enjoying the ambience (which is usually swanky) than just the cup of coffee itself. So, many cafes open late and close late.

2) Since there is so much tasty, interesting food scattered around K-Town, I wouldn’t recommend eating a meal at a café. Of course, the cakes and waffles are always a good bet, but, try not to be drawn into the promise of cheap 불고기 (bulgogi). 

3) Expect to pay a little more if venturing into a trendy, non-chain café. Usually, all drinks (even hot tea) are around $6. Paying for ambiance seems a little crazy, but worthwhile on a short KCON-cation.

Today, let’s talk about cafes where you can get your caffeine fix, have a long chat with friends, experience a traditional tea house, or even study all night.



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