by Ashley Heil
While coffee shops are everywhere in Seoul and there are many great ones, sometimes it can be hard to find good coffee that isn't super weak or watered down. Furthermore, as a girl that is used to getting $2.30 iced coffee from Starbucks in America, it was unusual at first to go into a coffee shop to ask for an iced coffee and be given an iced Americano like it's the same thing. (For those of you that don't know, an Americano is espresso with water, while an iced coffee is brewed coffee over ice). Starbucks here in Korea is the only place I know of that actually offers regular iced coffee, but a venti at Starbucks costs 5,500 won, vs only $2.95 in America. Sure, there are also some great places for dutch coffee (similar to cold brew coffee) in Seoul but they are normally at least 6,000 won. So, for a while I succumbed to drinking cheap Americanos or Lattes, not wanting to pay the price for a good coffee. And then we found Finn Bell.
While walking around the Sookdae area one night, my friends and I stumbled across Finn Bell coffee. It looked warm and inviting, and we decided to give it a try. Since then, Finn Bell has been our go-to coffee shop to meet up with friends or get some studying in. They have a very large menu with different coffee drinks, teas, aides, and even some alcoholic drinks (wine and sangrias for 5,000!). Additionally, they have probably the best and most fairly-priced bakery I've found in Seoul with delicious cookies, brownies, breads, and cakes. Also, if you order certain items like brownies, they will put it on a plate and heat it up for you. Their cookies are only 2,000 won and aren't hard as a rock like some other cookies I have tried.
However, the main thing that's kept us going back to Finn Bell for is for their coffee of course. While most other coffee shops charge around 6,000-8,000 for a dutch coffee, Finn Bell's is only 4500. They also do a delicious dutch latte for only 4500, as well as a specialty drink called the 'finn bell coffee" which is their dutch latte mixed with espresso, and with a little bit of syrup for sweetness. It's delicious. Finally, Finn Bell has a stamp card where you only need 5 stamps in order to get a free drink (any drink you want besides the alcoholic drinks). If you're a person that likes to go to a coffee shop regularly to study or hang out, then this might be the place for you.
From 숙대역 (Sookmyung womens university stop) exit 9, go out and turn right on the first street you see. Go down the alley and cross the next big road. Then walk up the road on the left hand side. Keep walking until you see the shabu shabu restaurant. Walk past that, and turn on the small alley way before the restaurant called Nodabowl and then turn right on the next small road. Finn bell is right there on your left.