Route 7 Coffee Road
We visited cafes on Route 7 known for the most scenic coastal view in Korea. These places have a natural surrounding and sentimentality unique to Gangwon Province.
Route 7 connects Gangwon-do’s northernmost Goseong to Yangyang via Sokcho. Having Mount Seoraksan and East Sea on either side, the national highway has seen an expanding cafe industry along the scenic route. Gangwon-do now takes only about two hours from Seoul metropolitan areas. Being a ‘neighbor,’ so to speak, it is within the range of a quick getaway to see the ocean. With COVID-19 continuing, traveling is not as easy. Driving to Gangwon-do can be a nice alternative to unwind if you feel stressed about being cooped up.
Originally cafes on Route 7 were concentrated around Gangneung, famous for its cafe street. First-generation barista Park Yi-chu runs Bohemian Roasters and cafes, and coffee factory Terarosa has cafes across the city, solidifying the image of Gangneung as a city of coffee. More recently with the growing popularity of surfing and construction of expressways, areas to the north of Gangneung including Yangyang, Sokcho, and Goseong saw the second wave of booming cafe businesses. There are large-scale cafes with large windows to the oceanside for the scenic views, but smaller cafes offering unique characteristics and local color are trendy and popular as well.
Here are six cafes featuring Gangwon-do’s scenic beauty.

There are more than enough cafes located near the ocean. But only a few can legitimately claim that they have ‘ocean view.’ Tacit in Goseong is a real ocean-view cafe connected directly with Cheongganjeong sandy beach. You can dip your feet in the sand right outside the cafe. The two tables on the oceanside window are almost always full, thanks to their proximity. The indoor space is not that big, but large windows create a sense of airiness. The white exterior of the building and the intervals in the fence intended to open up the view to the sea contribute to the overall atmosphere of the cafe. TACIT’s another advantage is that it allows customers with pets. So if you have a pet dog you would like to bring along to smell the ocean breeze, TACIT is your best option. The cafe’s signature menu is savory too. Being close to Ayajin Beach, you can easily drink coffee and take a walk on the beach. The cafe closes on Wednesdays.

Address 25-2, Cheongganjeong-gil, Toseong-myeon, Goseong-gun, Gangwon-do

Cafe YAT. is located on a street near the entrance to Seoraksan Sogongwon Park. The majestic look of the Ulsanbawi rock seems to cheer you on amid this prolonged fight against COVID-19. The gray brick building has an extra large glass window on one side, which creates a modern exterior. YAT. is known for its Cacao Ganache Pie and New York Cheese Pie, which can be enjoyed with glass wine if you are not driving.  Time seems to move slowly in harmony with reposedness and urban leisureliness as if to heal your soul. The sunlight coming in through the window divides the interior space. The seats right in front of the window are warm, whereas the innermost table seats are shaded yet more private. It’s interesting how one space presents two very different ambiences. Earthen jars and stone walls are pleasant to look at. YAT. is short for ‘You Are Thirsty.’ You can stop by the cafe on the way down from seeing the Seoraksan Rocking Stone or, if you feel hiking Seoraksan is too big a challenge, visit Cheondaesan Recreational Forest. It is only 231m to the peak, but offers the view of Sokcho sea on one side, and Ulsanbawi rock on the other. It’s one of the eight scenic attractions.

Address 470-4, Seoraksan-ro, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
Neoul Zip

It’s a hanok cafe that has a relaxed atmosphere as soon as you step in, just like its sign meaning ‘house of you and us.’ It’s located off the Haksapyeong Intersection near Haksapyeong Sundubu Village. Being a hanok cafe, it presents a signature beverage menu combining the traditional flavors of Korea and the aroma of coffee. The most well-known is cream latte topped with injeolmi cream. The cream gives enough injeolmi flavor without the dryness of powders, making the coffee a true specialty. Honey misutgaru(roasted and ground grains) and ssuk latte are popular. Pine needle mojito is unique. It also has a dessert menu including matcha terrine, injeolmi dacquoise, apple pie, and basil scone that are praised by cafe customers. The courtyard of the cafe has stone steps and a swing set, serving as a photo spot for those who want to take a picture. The best thing about Neoul Zip is it is not affected by weather conditions. Rain or snow, you can relax in a warm hanok space with coffee and snacks, and simply that will be unforgettable.

Address 38, Sinheung 2-gil, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
Tandem Coffee Club

It’s a roastery cafe located between Siloam Makguksu and Yeonggwangjeong Makgusu, two iconic buckwheat noodle restaurants of Yangyang. It is true that many cafes in Gangwon-do depend more on their surroundings than the quality of their coffee. But Tandem Coffee Club is definitely not one of them. It is pretty serious about coffee and it has a research lab next to the shop. Its signature menu is vanilla bean latte containing real vanilla beans from Madagascar. ‘Tandem’ usually refers to a bike ridden by two cyclists. It can imply sharing. Vanilla beans are loved in the European market as a love potion, and that somehow makes sense with the cafe name. The high ceiling and table arranged wide apart give you a sense of security in this COVID-19 era. The open view from the outdoor garden full of greenery is peaceful. Pets are allowed indoors in a cage or carrier, and on a leash outdoors. The business is closed on Wednesdays.

Address 71-5, Jangsan 5-gil, Ganghyeong-myeon, Yangyang-gun, Gangwon-do

Founded by a Web designer and fashion patternmaker couple, cafe tail has a one-of-a-kind interior. The house was built in the 1950s and after the renovation, it still retains its cozy, rural charm. The modern walls painted in white and the door covered with changhoji paper, pastel-colored metal chairs and table set create a warm, natural atmosphere. A humble wooden structure and unassuming pottery are handmade by the owners. They also own ‘dre’ nearby, a second ‘tail’ so to speak, and in its basement is their pottery studio. Their handmade collection is simple and warm, the qualities cafe tail embodies. Tail’s signature menu is a picnic set. It includes a beverage in thermos, madeleines, a picnic mat, and a picnic bag which serves as a temporary table on the beach. The items are rent-only, meaning they have to be returned to the cafe, but the memory of the little picnic you have by the sea is yours only. Tail’s hand-drip coffee, Einspanner, and ssuk latte are fragrant. If you’d like to eat before the picnic, you can try mulhoe, or cold raw fish soup, at nearby the port of Gajinhang.

Address 40-5, Gajin-gil, Jugwang-myeon, Goseong-gun, Gangwon-do
Ninbe Patbingsu

Yangyang is a surfing mecca of Korea. The main street of Inguhang in Yangyang is naturally called ‘Yanglidan-gil’ as a hangout for surfers. Surfing magazine, published once or twice each year, has its building on Yanglidan-gil. Ninbe Patbingsu, Japanese home cuisine Namioto, and cafe ‘Haneul Mulgogi’ are located in the same building. Ninbe is in fact the name of the Japanese shop owner. From sweet red-bean paste, butter tteok, sticky rice garnish, and fried nurungji are all home-made by the owner who put his name on the line for his patbingsu business. Just like how ‘Nunkkot Bingsu’ using ground frozen milk is, Ninbe’s red-bean paste bingsu is also silky smooth. That’s not all. Its texture is unique. The ground ice has a thread-like viscosity, giving a different texture once put in the mouth. The patbingsu garnishes are separately served, making the dessert look more polished. Ninbe also sells savory coffee with low acidity. When you go to Yangyang, you have to see Yanglidan-gil, and on Yanglidan-gil, you have to visit Ninbe, one of the best dessert places in the area.

Address 6, Inguhang-gil, Hyeonnam-myeon, Yangyang-gun, Gangwon-do
Where to Stay in Sokcho: LOTTE RESORT SOKCHO

Located on the hill of Oeongchi surrounded by the sea on three sides, LOTTE RESORT SOKCHO is famous for its panoramic ocean views. Every room offers a scenic ocean view, and the waterpark with world-class facilities provide an amazing play area for families on vacation. Being close to Yangyang and Goseong, it makes it easy to go out to various cafes to enjoy coffee and admire the beautiful landscape of Mount Seoraksan and the East Sea.
Address 186, Daepohang-gil, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do
Phone +82-1588-4355
May 2021 Editor:Jung Jaewook
Writer:Yi Joonghan

Where to stay?

  • May 2021
  • Editor: Jung Jaewook
    Writer: Yi Joonghan
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