There are some 540 Caffe Bene outlets in South Korea to date, according to Korea Real Time 19 April 2011 publication. The speed at which new outlets open in South Korea is amazing considering that the first outlet only opened in April 2008, barely 3 years ago! Caffe Bene gained a lot of popularity because it was used in many Korean entertainment interviews and drama production. In particular, there was a memorable scene in the popular hit drama “Secret Garden” (시크릿 거든) starring Hyun Bin & Ha Ji Won (현빈, 하지원) that was shot at Caffe Bene. ^^
Before I visited Seoul last month, I had not watched this hit drama yet, but had heard a lot about it and also of Caffe Bene. Thus when we happened to pass by Caffe Bene in Myeongdong, we decided to try it out. This is conveniently located very near to Myeongdong subway station exit 7 or 8, near the Migliore dept store & CGV cinema (the outlet is where the arrow is in the map below). It is open daily from 8 am to 11pm from Mondays to Thursdays, and 8 am to 2am from Fridays to Sundays.
The cafe occupies a 3-storey building by itself. There is a very cosy feel once you enter the main entrance, tastefully decorated in natural colours.
Very cosy & cool right? They have 1 level for film screenings/ books, and another level for music stuff, the first level is “normal” – with the counter for ordering your food & beverages & for those who simply want a place to drink & eat. 🙂 Oh, and even the food & beverage menu is rather interesting, but of course one needs to pay “a price” for it hehe. Here’s what I had:
The Peach Fruit Ade drink (KRW 5,800, about S$6.70) was very refreshing & there was small bits of the fruit in the drink. It was like drinking fruit soda. As for the Strawberry Yogurt Waffle, (KRW 4,000, about S$4.60) it was supposed to be a healthier choice as the yogurt is non-fat, but both of us thought the taste was a bit funny. Maybe with normal cream on the waffle the taste would be better. But oh well, never mind, for the sake of a healthier diet! 😛 Nonetheless the waffle was very good & the strawberries very fresh. 🙂
This is a really nice cafe to chill out at if you are looking to enjoy some drinks, gelato or waffle after a long day of shopping or sightseeing. Though not exactly the most economical cafe chain to go to, but it’s worthwhile paying Caffe Bene a visit just to rest & relax & maybe soak in the “K-drama ambience” haha……
For more details on Caffe Bene, check it out at http://www.caffebene.co.kr/main/.