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Hello Kitty Cafe in Seoul, Korea! Sanrio theme cafe & gift shop, Hongdae.

hello kitty cafe seoul entrance

Life is now complete (joking, sort of)… because I’ve been to the Hello Kitty Cafe in Seoul, Korea!

I know you want to step inside this Sanrio theme restaurant, and eat Hello Kitty cake… so let’s hop right to it.

exterior hello kitty restaurant korea

First, how to get to this pink house? If you’re taking a taxi, tell the driver to go to this address: 헬로키티카페: 서울시 마포구 서교동 358-11

In English, this says Hello Kitty Cafe: 358-112 Seogyo-dong, Hongdae, Mapo-gu, Seoul

If you’re riding the subway, disembark at Honggik University station (aka Hongdae) and walk out of exit 5. The tall pink facade, topped with her signature bow, is impossible to miss.

hello kitty house, pink window

Hello Kitty’s most diehard fans come to Seoul specifically to visit her theme cafe. Try to come on a weekday and during off-hours, since this is a popular destination and the two floors may be packed. If you’re lucky, you can nab a table and plush chairs, overlooking the Kitty-faced window.

hello kitty cakes, bakery

At the entrance, you can place your order for cakes, waffles and lattes decorated like Hello Kitty (6000-10,000 won each, or $6-10).

hello kitty face cute cakes

How can you resist getting a cheesecake shaped like Hello Kitty’s face? It comes in three different flavors and colors.

desserts hello kitty sanrio cafe

The pink one tastes like strawberries. Only sweet dishes are served here, so be prepared for a blood sugar spike.

hello kitty tiramisu

I also ordered a tiramisu. I don’t usually have much of a sweet tooth, but this is one of my favorite Italian desserts.

food at hello kitty cafe hongdae

Rounding up the sugar-loaded meal: a decorated mocha and cappuccino, a pink milkshake that celebrates her 40th anniversary…

hello kitty shaped waffle

… and chocolate-covered waffle, shaped a la Hello Kitty. This one looks more like an earless Scottish Fold cat face to me.

hello kitty lattes

To be honest, the pastries are priced on the high side, and look far better than they taste.

헬로키티카페

We cut Miss Kitty open, and poked at her sugary, bland insides. Not exactly the meal of a lifetime.

big hello kitty statue

But if you’re a fangirl, the “kawaii” decor — including a Hello Kitty statue in a sparkly pink dress! — make up for it.

hello kitty theme cafe, seoul korea

On the back wall, there’s a mural showing Hello Kitty shopping in Paris. Visitors write notes or leave their signatures here. One of the customers seems to be giving me the side-eye…

korean hello kitty souvenirs

Another window shows white stones, scrawled with Korean wishes. (Photography by Ken Yuen and Noircorner)

sanrio theme restaurant

“Kitty’s room is full of fun and play!” Why not. I’m a fan for life.

seoul hello kitty shop, gifts

Downstairs, you can shop for special edition Sanrio souvenirs, including Korean-style ones. Shop for Hello Kitty items below >>

hello kitty key chain

I was tempted to get this keychain of Hello Kitty in a hanbok (traditional Korean dress).

korean theme cafe staff

Let me warn you, the hurried staff is not known for its customer service. They pointed aggressively at an English sign, to make sure we understood we had to return the plates after eating. I guess some naughty diners tried to smuggle the custom dishes home as souvenirs.

hello kitty furniture, chairs

Since the cafe has such a high turn-over, the tables and restrooms may not be satisfactorily maintained either. Perhaps I came on an off-day, but there was no toilet paper in the stalls — not even a square to spare! — and the staff neglected to mop up a spilled drink.

hello kitty fan event

However, this didn’t damper the mood of these smiling Korean girls. Most of the customers are young and female, and come here in groups.

sanrio theme park signs

The “cottage” doesn’t really exist (unless I’m mistaken), but the Hello Kitty Cafe is a must-see if you’re in Seoul, and a lover of all things Sanrio.

korean hello kitty cafe

● For more tips about places to see in this neighborhood, check out my Hongdae guide featuring Eat Your Kimchi.

● I’ve covered various Hello Kitty attractions in Asia; here are my blog posts about Japan’s Puroland theme park, and the Hong Kong Hello Kitty pop up cafe. And don’t worry if you aren’t in Asia; you can still find her products below!

46 Comments

  1. Posted March 5, 2015 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    Luv the popping colors in ur pics …dennis

  2. Posted March 5, 2015 at 10:49 pm | Permalink

    is beautiful

  3. Posted March 5, 2015 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    really COOL! Sanrio forever <3

  4. Posted March 5, 2015 at 11:45 pm | Permalink

    So kawaii! That Hello Kitty cake is to die for!

  5. Posted March 5, 2015 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    I had not visited your blog in the longest time- blue hair looks amazing on you! You look just gorge :__)

    • Posted March 6, 2015 at 12:58 am | Permalink

      Thanks for revisiting! Tons of coverage coming up from tokyo.

  6. Posted March 5, 2015 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Hi! Glad I found you. How do you feel about blogging for each other?

  7. Posted March 5, 2015 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    Very nice!

  8. Posted March 5, 2015 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    How are you enjoying it?

  9. Posted March 6, 2015 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    this is a fun photo…and fab look!

    • Posted March 6, 2015 at 12:57 am | Permalink

      It was a fab day.

  10. Posted March 6, 2015 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    I like it!
    + Great photo:)

  11. Posted March 6, 2015 at 12:33 am | Permalink

    cool!

  12. Posted March 6, 2015 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Oh how cute!!! I never knew it existed, thanks for sharing! Looks well worth the trip… one day..

    • Posted March 6, 2015 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

      Fortunately there are locations in other parts of Asia, and there’s apparently a food truck that just opened in San fran!

  13. Posted March 6, 2015 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Super cute I only wish the food was just as good. But it’s definitely still worth it to be surrounded by so much Hello Kitty.

    • Posted March 6, 2015 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      Too bad that almost all cute theme restaurants have bad food.. But I’ll still go for the experience !

  14. Posted March 7, 2015 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    aww T.T

  15. Posted March 7, 2015 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

    Sounds yum!

    • Posted March 9, 2015 at 1:11 am | Permalink

      Was not so yum but really fun ;-)

  16. Posted March 8, 2015 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    I did see it when I was there, but as I’m not a Hello Kitty fan I just snapped a pic & kept going. Gosh it’s great for photography tho. Your blue hair vs the pink interiors really pops!

    • Posted March 9, 2015 at 1:11 am | Permalink

      Korea is full of so many funny places! Where you off to next?

      • Posted March 9, 2015 at 3:54 am | Permalink

        Have to go back to Tokyo n New York again this year!! Just recently went to Ko Lipe which I loved, so that’s the beach holiday done!

  17. Posted March 8, 2015 at 8:17 pm | Permalink

    Your smile :3

  18. Posted March 9, 2015 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Oh that’s awesome! This Hello Kitty Cafe definitely kills the one I’ve just been to in Hong Kong!!

    • Posted March 9, 2015 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Agree, the one in HK isn’t great but apparently a new and better one is opening soon!

      • Posted March 9, 2015 at 3:50 pm | Permalink

        Mmmh…. Good to know :))

  19. Posted March 9, 2015 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    *______________________________*

  20. Posted March 9, 2015 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Love it!

  21. Posted March 9, 2015 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Carmine Kichi

  22. Posted March 9, 2015 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    check out Alice Oon Wednesday in Tokyo

    • Posted March 10, 2015 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      I’ve been , love it.

  23. Posted March 9, 2015 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Welcom! I live in seoul. I want meet~♡

    • Posted March 10, 2015 at 8:34 pm | Permalink

      Sadly not there anymore but wanna come back.

  24. Posted March 9, 2015 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

    Long time no see!

  25. Posted March 10, 2015 at 1:13 am | Permalink

    I’ve heard about this cafe from other die hard Sanrio fans! Thank you for your tips – I will take them into account if I ever go!

    • Posted March 10, 2015 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      Awesome, so glad you found it helpful!

  26. Posted April 2, 2015 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    I don’t know how I missed this both when I lived in Korea and then again when I went back to visit last spring :( gahh

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