Travel Highlights

Your guide to guilty pleasure: Top 5 Desserts Cafes in Itaewon

  • Tag Food Tour Trend
  • Date05/13/2015
  • Hit40416

Your guide to guilty pleasure: Top 5 Desserts Cafes in Itaewon

Desserts; An irresistible concoction to satisfy our sweet tooth. No other words can be sweeter and alluring to our taste buds than this. A mellow cup of hot Americano is undoubtedly a good complement with desserts but new trends has it that they can go along with a pint of cold beer or even served solely as entrées.

If you are really looking into something exotic and scrumptious, here are 5 of the best dessert cafes awaiting you in the neighborhood of Itaewon! They are guaranteed to brush off all your worries, leaving only with happy smiles. Although there maybe concerns with the up-rushing number of calories as well as the price tags, but do not worry, everyone deserves some guilty pleasures once in a while.

Since when do we accustom to going for such addictive desserts after a meal? First started from the mid 16th century, the French came up with the idea to provide a dish to clear one's palate at the end of each meal or serving. As the word desserts derive from the French word 'desservir', where 'des'- refers to 'clearing the table' and '-servir' refers 'to serve' respectively.

Although, their versions back then were more conventional and gourmet-style, trends today have gradually changed into mixing diverse recipes and combining unique cultures into one dish. In line with that, Itaewon in Seoul would probably be the best place to taste cuisines and dessert cultures from around the globe, including homemade American pies, Spanish churros, Turkish delights, delicate and creamy cakes and crêpes, not to mention so many more street-eats! Read on to learn more about KTO's top five picks.

Baking with mom's love, Tartine Bakery & Pie

TARTINE 1號店與2號店間的戶外用餐區於傍晚時分更具氣氛
Photo: Between Tartine first and second branches, outdoor table seats are available for your cozy evening,
watching the gradual sun set on any other typical evening.

Opened in 2008, Tartine started as a small bakery. Despite its size, the shop has created a huge record, selling over 2 million of its special homemade American pies up until September 2014. Staying true to its American tastes, Tartine's cookies and cakes bring nostalgic memories of home, just like the sweet treats our mothers bake.

Chef Edwards is the driving force behind this popular bakery, sticking to 100% authentic American pies recipe handed down by his mother. From caramel sauce to pie filling, all ingredients are strictly monitored by the chef and purely handmade. Although the price is a little of the steep side, the pies are filled with fresh seasonal fruits that certainly makes the price worthy of it.

Photo: A la mode, Tartine's signature Pecan Pie topped with ice cream (top) /
20 kinds of pies filled with fresh seasonal fruits and nuts (left) / Belgium Dark Chocolate Cream Pie (right)

More info

Tartine (타르틴)
☞ Address: 4, Itaewon-ro 23-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul.
☞ Operating Hours: 10:30-22:30 (Open all year round)
☞ Inquiries: +82-2-3785-3400
☞ 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

Layer by layer made with master's perfection, Crêpe cake by Lady M

Photo: The Lady M Mille Crêpes feature no less than twenty paper-thin handmade crêpes (top) /
Lady M's Green Tea Crape cake, a perfect match for cold beer (left) /
Clean White painted exterior of Lady M, sharing the same atmosphere with stores in New York, the U.S. (right)

Crêpe cakes are freshly baked every morning as the cakes go through quite a delicate process. The main ingredients are matured for a day and have to be refrigerated for 12 hours. Its daily production basis is the reason why Lady M prides itself on creating the freshest and finest handmade cakes.

The crêpe cakes made by the top pastry chef here boast its perfection of maintaining the same thickness and height of the ones sold store in New York. In the late afternoon if you are ever in need of sweet treats, walking up to the terrace on Lady M's third floor with a delicious crêpe cake and chilled beer will definitely let you immerse and feel like a New Yorker for a day!

More info

Lady M (레이디 엠)
☞ Address : 178, Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
☞ Operating Hours: 10:30-22:30 (Open all year round)
* Closed on holidays only.
☞ Menu: Signature Mille Crêpe 7000 won / Green tea Mille Crêpe cake 8000 won
☞ Inquiries: +82-2-792-7707
☞ Website:
☞ 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

Illuminating every colors of the rainbow at Frank's

Photo: Fresh and sweet green grape mixed with nutty pie (top) /
Café Frank's sits on the corner of a quite alley in Seoul (left) /
Colorful, delightful rich cream rainbow cake, don't judge until you try! (right)

The rainbow-colored roll cakes are produced twice a day at 12:30 and 16:30 in the afternoon. They are so popular that they are practically sold out within 10 minutes on weekends and 1 hour on weekdays! The seven colors on the cake seem so vivid that it almost feels like it is filled with artificial pigments. However, the cake is colored by 100% natural ingredients filled with earl grey custard crème, making it an irresistible favorite dessert among the young.

If you are not a fan of roll cakes, Frank's has a great selection of other delicacies such as the brioche packed with reach butter flavor, freshly baked ciabattas and croissants with soft and flaky layers. They might be 'less colorful' and attractive compared to their signature rainbow cakes but they are also steady sellers of Frank's.

More info

Frank's (프랭크)
☞ Address : 41, Sowol-ro 44-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
☞ Operating Hours: 12:00-01:00. (Closed on Mondays and public holidays)
☞ Menu: Rainbow rolls 12,000 won / Green Grape tarts 5,000 won
☞ Inquiries: +82-70-8156-5459
☞ Baking Time
[Rainbow Roll] 12:00 and 16:30 everyday
[Cow Roll] 12:00 every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday
☞ 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

All about Turkish sweet delights, Kervan

Photo: Baklava has strong taste that makes it as a perfect match for bitter red tea or coffee (top) /
A variety of desserts are stored on the glass shelves inside the shop (left)
Turkish Bread, the main staple in turkey comes in different colors and shapes (right)

Turkish delight is a type of chewy and flavorful jelly-textured candy that consists largely of chopped roses, orange peels, and mints. The dessert also appeared in the novel and movie <The Chronicles of Narnia>.

Baklavas on the other hand, the national dessert in Turkey, is a handmade pie of forty paper-thin layered sheets with walnut and pistachio on the top that are sweetened and held together with syrup. Bitterness of the Turkish traditional red tea adds richness to sweetness of the dessert.

More info

Kervan (케르반)
☞ Address : 178, Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
☞ Operating Hours: 09:00 to 24:00 (Open all year round)
☞ Menu: Set 1 (baklava and tea) 4,000 won / Set 2 (3 pieces of baklava) 4,500 won
☞ Inquiries: +82-2-792-7707
☞ 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

A crispy sweet treat worth waiting for, Street Churros

Photo: When two churros meet, it creates a heart shape (left) /
On the alley way to Gyeongnidan-gil, people waiting in a long queue to have the taste of the best churros in town (right)

Churros are made with dough, shaped into long thin rope that are then soaked into a fryer. Churros that are freshly out of the fryer can either be rolled in cinnamon and sugar coating, or can it be ordered without. Interestingly, their regular often favors the long thin dough without any coating.

When dipped in ice cream (also known as A-chu), the perfect combination of warm churros and frosty vanilla flavored ice cream spreads a little festive magic on your taste buds! Alternatively, the Sweet Frozen Mocha is the perfect drink to complement with the churros.

More info

Street Churros (스트릿 츄러스)
☞ Address : 222, Noksapyeong-daero, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
☞ Operating Hours: 09:00-23:30 (Open all year round, open till 00:03 on weekends)
☞ Menu: Churros 2,000 won / Churros with ice cream 3,000 won / Frozen Mocha 4,500 won.
☞ Inquiries: +82-2-792-1489
☞ Website: (Korean only)
☞ 1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

Nearby Attractions

The War Memorial of Korea: 29, Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul / +82-2-709-3139
Namsan Park: 231, Samil-daero, Jung-gu, Seoul / +82-2-3783-5900
N Seoul Tower: 105, Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul / +82-2-3455-9277

More info

Yongsan-gu Culture, Sports and Tourism: (Korean only)
1330 Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)

* This column was last updated in October 2015, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details from the official website before visiting.

<Last updated on October 28, 2015>


Article and photos courtesy of Min Hey-gyeong (Travel writer)
This article is an edited version of a Korean article.
Courtesy of the Korea Tourism Organization – Korean website
Original script: