You have probably heard about Korea’s most famous dessert – bingsu or bingsoo (빙수). It is a dessert made from shaved ice with various toppings – ice cream, fruits, nuts and syrups. The traditional bingsu contains sweet red beans as topping and is called patbingsu. Koreans enjoy it frequently during hot season and anytime as a dessert.
You can eat bingsu in some cafés, but also there are places which are specialized only in this dessert. The most famous bingsu café chain in Korea is Sulbing (설빙). If you are first time in Korea, you should definitely visit it. They have bestsellers loved for many years and always add new seasonal desserts.
I love bingsu a lot and I would like to share with you my favourite bingsu cafés around Seoul!
Café Maman Gateau in Gangnam
I came to Maman Gateau (마만갸또) with my friends after dinner in Gangnam. It is a café which serves a variety of drinks and desserts, one of them being their famous caramel bingsu (Ice Flake with Fresh Caramel, 15.000₩). First of all, portion is big enough to share with 3 people. The topping is caramel ice cream, nuts, chocolate and caramel syrup. Also, it has beautiful presentation in a huge mug, not to mention the amazing taste.
To get to Maman Gateau by subway, use line #2 (green) and go out at Gangnam station, exit 11 or line #9 (brown) and go out at Shinnonhyeon station, exit 4. Copy paste the address to Naver/Kakao Maps and you will easily find the café.
Address: 서울 강남구 봉은사로4길 31
Open: 9:30 – 23:30
Bingsu café Naeri Snow in Hyehwa
Café Naeri Snow (내리스노우) is specialised in shaved ice desserts, but it also serves drinks and cakes. They serve ‘snowflake milk bingsu’ with various toppings.
After walking around famous Daehak-ro (대학로) and Ihwa Mural Village (이화벽마을), I stopped by to refresh with bingsu. I have chosen watermelon bingsu (수박 빙수). You can order it for 1 person or 2 persons. I was having honbap (eating alone), so I ordered single portion for 9.900₩. Fresh watermelon and milk snowflakes were so refreshing, that I forgot it was almost +30 °C outside. The presentation is very cute too!
To get to café by subway, use line #4 (light blue) and go out at Hyehwa station, exit 2. Use maps and copy paste the address to find this bingsu paradise.
Address: 서울 종로구 이화장길 84
Open Mon- Sat 9:00 – 20:00
Café Peony in Yeonnam-dong
Café Peony, Seoul (피오니) is a hotplace in Yeonnam-dong and is a strawberry-themed café. Peony is famous for it’s strawberry milk, strawberry flat cake and, of course, strawberry bingsu.
Again, I came here for my honbap dessert on one hot afternoon and ordered strawberry bingsu (딸기빙수). The portion is just enough for one person (9.000₩), so if you come in a group, I suggest to take bigger portion or different desserts to try.
It was very delicious! Strawberries in syrup are served on the side, so you can put them on top of milky shaved ice.
Get to Peony from subway line #2 (green), Hongik University Station (Hongdae), exit 3. It is quite far from the station, but you can walk or take a bus.
Address: 서울 마포구 연남로 59-1
ILE Coffee Shop at Beomgye Station
Even Beomgye station (범계역) is already outside of Seoul (Anyang, Gyeonggi-do), I will include this café to the list, because its green tea bingsu is worth traveling few extra stations.
My friend, who lives near Beomgye Station, showed me around her neighbourhood, and we stopped by to chill at café ILE (일르).
We ordered green tea bingsu (녹차빙수) for 12.000₩, and it was enough for 2 persons. Dessert had interesting presentstion, with lots of green tea ice cream and almonds on top. But when you dig in, you will find fresh pieces of bananas and kiwi, and, of course, snowflakes. Yum!
Also, cute bear welcomes everybody to the café. ILE is a very cosy place, with lots of sofas and big tables. The waiter was speaking very good English.
It was one of the best green tea bingsu I have tried!
ILE is situated on the 6th floor of Baekdu Plaza near Beomgye Station, subway line #4 (light blue), exit 3.
Address: 경기 안양시 동안구 평촌대로217번길 27
When traveling in Korea, do not forget to hunt for delicious bingsu! I definitely recommend to stop by these 4 amazing cafés and try their desserts!