Cafe Neulbo in Seoul
Aesthetic cafes in Korea are a dime a dozen, yet every once in a while, we find something that tickles our fancy. One such example is Cafe Neulbo, which allows you to make your own shrink plastic keychain as part of their cafe experience.
Make your own keychain from scratch
Image credit: @d_kkong_
For just KRW7,000 (~USD5.48), you will be provided with a sheet of heat shrink plastic and a tray of art supplies including watercolour paint, colour pencils, and coloured markers.
Traced design from the cafe’s template.
Image credit: @segenie_
You can either free-hand their drawing or trace over the templates provided by the cafe.
Image adapted from: @leejjieung
After completing your artwork on a piece of shrink plastic, cut out your design using the scissors provided by the cafe.
Pro tip: punch a hole in the plastic sheet if you want to attach a keyring to the finished product.
Video adapted from: @alabamasavannah
The employees at the cafe will then place your heat shrink plastic sheet in an oven for 20 to 30 seconds to bake it. The shrink plastic will then, well, shrink and become hard, forming the final product.
Image credit: @_he_won_
After leaving the finished product to air dry, you can then choose to affix a keyring to it.
Image credit: @alabamasavannah
If you can’t freehand a design but aren’t satisfied with the templates provided by the cafe, you can print out your chosen pictures or designs to trace over for an extra KRW1,200 (~USD0.94).
An abundance of sloths all around & inside the cafe
“Neulbo” in Korean means “sloth” and the general theme of the cafe revolves around the slow-moving animal.
Image adapted from: @lsyoung_v
The entrance of the cafe can easily be spotted thanks to its distinctive sloth-shaped store signage.
Image credit: @dawn._.lee
A teal-coloured sloth statue also greets customers before they enter the cafe.
Image credit: @vaniangelz
There is also a painted mirror with a sloth design outside the cafe, and it is a popular photo zone for many customers.
Image credit: @dawn._.lee
The sloth motif continues inside the cafe – just look at this adorable sloth doll hanging from a curtain.
Image adapted from: @gimmesunny
The atmosphere of the cafe is cosy and comfortable, and the various drawings and photos put up around the place emphasises that artistic expression is encouraged.
Image credit: @kikisunjoung
Even the icons on the menu are drawn and coloured by hand, showing the cafe’s interest in art.
A variety of beverages on the menu
Image credit: @veronicadubrova
Like most cafes, Cafe Neulbo sells an assortment of drinks such as coffee, fruit sodas, and fruit yoghurt drinks. These beverages range from KRW4,500-6,500 (~USD3.54-5.12).
Those looking for something more substantial to fill their stomachs can order the pound cake (KRW3,500, ~USD2.75) or a chocolate cream puff (KRW4,000, ~USD3.15).
Getting to Cafe Neulbo
Cafe Neulbo is the perfect place for adults who want to unwind and begin a new hobby, as well as families with young children who are just starting to express themselves creatively.
How to get there:
- From Gajwa Station, go to Exit 4.
- Walk for about 94m to Moraenae Traditional Market, Gajwa Station stop.
- Then, take buses no. N75, 761, 721, 740, 270, or 753 and alight at Guseongsan Hall stop.
- Walk for around 3 minutes and you will reach Cafe Neulbo.
Tip: Use Naver Map to navigate your way as Google Maps does not work well in South Korea.
Address: 2F, 26 Donggyo-ro 51an-gil, Mapo-gu
Opening hours: Wed – Fri, 2PM-10PM | Sat – Sun, 1PM-9PM (Closed on Mondays & Tuesdays)
Also check out:
- Amoene Cafe: A cafe that makes you question reality
- Uijeongbu Art Library: Cultural complex where Our Beloved Summer was filmed
- Nuldam Space: A vegan cafe that allows you to write a letter to your future self
- Nongshim to launch a new vegan restaurant in Lotte World Mall
- 8 Korean coffee shops from brands that are not Starbucks
Cover image adapted from: @g__zoon, @d_kkong_ and @dawn._.lee
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