How to find Coffee Prince’s Sanmotoonge Café
Dubbed as Seoul’s most picturesque coffee shop, Sanmotoonge Café is also the hardest to find café in Seoul. Tucked in a mountain corner of the charming Buamdong, Sanmotoonge Café not only serves coffee, they also serves much needed quietude and tranquility.
Mishaps and all, Feb and I had the most wonderful time finding this café. The neighborhood where it is located in is such a perfect place to get lost to. Buam-dong, an area where there are no Starbucks or Holly’s Coffee. What they have are amazing views of the mountains, modern galleries, adorable shops, and peaceful winding alleyways. It is a nice breather from the urban Seoul without even leaving Seoul; it feels like a vacation in middle of a vacation.
Getting into the Café is not for the faint of heart, it is quite a hike – a 700m walk uphill is a pain in the arse. But worry not because the walk not just offers breathtaking views of Mt. Bugak, you’ll also find other interesting café’s along the climb.
Sanmotoonge Café might not be familiar to some but believe me this Café is very popular. Its popularity is probably because the cafe has been featured in several Korean dramas, the most well known one being Coffee Prince (one of the earlier dramas of Gong Yoo, Train to Busan guy? Goblin? Anyone? No? Okay, moving on). That being said, avoid coming here on the weekends or else you’ll say goodbye to the much-needed peace and quiet.
As for the coffee, I’ll say the prices are quite steeper than most in Seoul but that’s okay, the sight of swoon-worthy-baristas will make up for it. Lol. The taste of the latte and tiramisu that we’ve ordered is not that outstanding but that’s still okay, the sight of swoon-worthy-baristas will totally make up for it. Lols. In hindsight, the view and the ambience is what you’re really paying for; price and taste will be forgotten once you’ve breathe in the magnificence and atmosphere of all Sanmotoonge.
Take subway line 3 to Gyeongbukgung Station and exit at Exit 3. Keep walking straight until you reach the second bus stop, the one with an LCD sign. Board either bus 1020, 7022, 7212 and alight at Buam-dong Community Service Center. The stops are announced in English so it shouldn’t be a problem to figure out where to get off. Once you get off immediately turn right and walk slightly uphill along the street. Turn left but do not cross, you’ll see Clubespresso on the opposite side of the road keep walking uphill. Follow the road towards a 3-level tall white building at the road fork. Take the road at the right and keep walking uphill till you see the yellow Volkswagen Beetle.