Pado is absolutely a new favourite place of mine in Seoul. I almost skipped out on visiting it, but I figured I should at least check it out, and I am SO glad I did. It’s downright gorgeous and in my opinion, definitely worth a detour.
Cafe Pado is best accessed via the Hapjeong station on Line 6. It’s about a 10 min walk from there. It’s also quite easy to miss but there are a few signs left out so it can be spotted. You can check out their instagram here, which displays some of the art pieces they sell.
Address: 57-14 Yanghwa-ro 6-gil, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
When I arrived, a lot of the nicer seats had been taken, but I tucked myself near the corners of the room, where I was surrounded by art and ornate furnishings, including embroidered cushions and a giant bonsai-like tree. There is comfy floor seating, desk seating for two, and larger desks that are better lit and suited to doing work. The cafe does feel a little on the snug side with not much room to move about.
Unfortunately, there is no English menu, so instead of spending half an hour trying to read through their fairly extensive menu in Hangul (I can read it, but not that speedily, and there were a lot of odd words), I picked the most recognisable item on the menu, which was an iced cafe latte. They do seem to have some special drink options so I would like to try those next time.
Orders are all given a buzzer and you have to be careful picking them up, because there a few steps in odd places and as I’ve mentioned, it can be a tight squeeze to move around.
Now, the most interesting part of the cafe: the ART. A little corner of it is an art store made by local artists, ranging from whimsical, to fantastical, but all of it was downright amazing. Some were original pieces, and some were printed on stickers and postcards. It was really hard not to buy like, everything.
I ended up buying a set of washi tapes and stickers myself with beautiful designs and gold accents, but I definitely plan to go back and buy more sometime in the future.
If you have the chance, do drop by if this sounds up your street! I’ve been to many a cafe and few have had this kind of impact on me.