“And it was all yellow.” The lyrics to Yellow by Coldplay were the first thing that came to mind as we entered Urban Beach, a cafe located just a 10-minute walk from Hongdae Station. South Korea may have 4 seasons, but it’s summer all year round at this cafe where you get to walk on actual sand.
Everything is yellow & covered in sand
With yellow taking centre stage as the cafe’s accent colour, Urban Beach reminds us of warm summer days. Though cosy and compact in size, there are plenty of seats in the cafe so there’s no need to fight for one.
The cafe is designed to look like a sandy beach where you can make-believe that you’re on vacation. Sauntering through sand in the cafe was quite an experience, and fortunately, our shoes weren’t ruined by the granular substance.
The clear acrylic tables make a cool addition to the cafe as they give off the illusion of a wider space. Besides, they also make for a timeless yet practical piece that seamlessly blends in with the vibrant cafe. The material is shatter-proof, which means there’s no need to worry about placing these tables on an uneven surface.
Vibe-y playlist with beach-themed desserts
Our time at Urban Beach flew by because we were vibin’ to a solid playlist that had us turning to Shazam every other minute. Better yet, there’s the joy of browsing through vinyl records here – from Sam Smith and Lauv to movie soundtracks such as La La Land, the collection was truly a feast for our ears.
We take our coffee and desserts seriously, and the experience at Urban Beach was elevated as beach-themed goodies such as madeleines stole the limelight. The madeleines are baked in shell-shaped moulds, and the design perfectly fits the cafe’s theme. What a smart and apt move to sell madeleines at Urban Beach, might we add.
The madeleines (KRW3,900, ~USD2.87) come in a range of flavours, which are switched up every now and then. Flavours that have been a firm favourite of customers include cheese, matcha lemon, and earl grey.
At Urban Beach, customers must order at least 1 drink each during their time there. We decided to give their Iced Americano (KRW5,500, ~USD4.05) and Vanilla Latte (KRW6,500, ~USD4.79) a shot.
The Vanilla Latte is the perfect choice for those in need of a sugar rush, but if you’d like something fancier, opt for the Vanilla Einspanner (KRW7,000, ~USD5.17) instead.
Directions to Urban Beach
The cafe is a good reflection of the hip and happening atmosphere of Hongdae, where trends and aesthetics are prioritised above everything else. If you want to immerse yourself in the youthful culture of South Korea, add Urban Beach to your itinerary, stat.
How to get there:
- Head to Exit 3 of Hongdae Station.
- Walk straight until you see a 7-Eleven convenience store across the road.
- Cross the road and walk straight from 7-Eleven.
- Make a turn into the corner on your left and you should see Urban Beach.
Urban Beach is a no-kids zone.
Address: 3F, 245 Donggyo-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Opening hours: Fri-Tue 12pm-10pm | Wed-Thu 12pm-9pm
Contact: Urban Beach Instagram
Also check out:
- Maxim Plant: 5-storey coffee lab
- Boss Donkaz: old-school pork cutlet restaurant
- Woo Lae Oak: Michelin North Korean restaurant
- Woodae Yang-gob: beef intestines grilled KBBQ style
- Baskin Robbins Samcheong-dong: hanok-themed store
Cover image adapted from: TSL
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