Last Updated on July 3, 2022
Fans: it takes one to know one. Words like “Always” and “I love you 3000” may not make your usual moviegoer cry, but they will undoubtedly move the owners of the cafes I will introduce to you today. Hop on your broomstick, helicarrier, or batmobile, and join me on a trip to the majestic world of fandom cafes in South Korea’s capital!
Fandom Cafes in Seoul
Secret Base: an MCU-Themed Cafe
Do you like the Marvel Cinematic Universe, its characters, and soundtracks? Do you want to feel like Dr. Strange unleashing the mind stone, or like Iron Man who commands Jarvis to operate his suit? Would you like to imagine leading a conversation with the cute clock mascot of the Time Variance Authority or sharing shawarma with the Avengers? Lastly, do you like to see a massive collection? If you answered “Yes” to any of these enticing questions, go no further! There is a place that is just right for you!
“Secret Base” is one of the best themed cafes in Seoul near Deungchon St. of Line no.9. Once you find it, you are greeted by a giant mural that depicts Iron Man, one of the most significant characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It makes a great photo zone, too!
Inside, the café is a cozy white space of tables and seats surrounded by a massive display of 220 action figures. Though it could seem to be a simple exhibition of thematic possessions, with the help of a guide service, you may find out that most of the figures were carefully crafted to be photorealistic and accurate to the appearances of their respective characters in the original movies. Many are very exclusive to the café.
For instance, this figure of multi-armed Dr. Strange was hand-made (hence the pun). Every arm was separated from other figures and glued to the body of the figure we see now.
On this display, you may see the characters of Captain America and Chester Phillips. Captain America’s body is a direct replica of a movie still, and to reach photorealism, the café owner had to modify Cap’s body. As there was no figure of Tommy Lee Jones’s character due to his role being minor, the owner got the figure of his character in Men in Black and dressed it in the uniform from the beloved movie about the First Avenger.
The owner’s hobby of collecting and modifying bigger figures started in 2015. Since then, his collection has grown so large, he could not contain all the figures in his house anymore. It may seem unfortunate at first, but once you come to “Secret Base,” you feel that the Universe works in mysterious ways. How else would we be able to enjoy this tremendous fan-friendly space?
The café stays on theme with every little aspect: cups, cup holders, plates, straws, trays, doormats, music, and even the café coupons were carefully picked and/or designed to fit into the MCU’s aesthetics.
In the picture above, you can see the coupon card you will receive with your first order. For every order you make, you will get a stamp, and each time you fill five slots, you will be able to get one free drink. Fun, isn’t it? One more reason to visit the Secret Base!
The menu also suggests a choice of fun special drinks (such as “Super Soldier Ade” and “Spider Smoothie”), desserts (such as “Sokovia Cheese Cake” and “Civil War Tiramisu”), and meals (such as “Tony Cheese Burger” or “Pizza Shawarma”).
Once you are done enjoying your order, you may take pictures with various movie props, such as the Iron Man’s helmet with voice control (very popular among children), Dr. Strange’s the Eye of Agamoto necklace, the Iron Man’s nano gauntlet, and a few others!
You may also purchase comic books as memorabilia, but mind that all the books are in Korean.
According to the owner, the English menu is currently in the works, but you should still be able to order. Secret Base, one of the best themed cafes in Seoul, will surely make you want to rewatch the Marvel movies.
- Address: Seoul, Gangseo-gu, Deungchon-ro55gil, 11-11
- Working hours: Mon, Wed-Sun 11 AM – 8 PM.
- Tuesday: closed
- Instagram page: @secretbase55
Fred & George: a Harry Potter-themed café & bar
Do you like Harry Potter? If you do, you are never going to be alone in Korea! “Dobby is free” is something every working Korean has said once or twice in their lives. To experience the spirit of the Wizarding World in Seoul, visit Fred & George, one of the best themed cafes in Seoul. Fred & George is a café/bar near Sangsu St. of line no.6. The location will be very convenient for you if you are interested in the ever-youthful areas of Hongdae and Hapjeong. Sangsu is within walking distance from them and surely a great place to explore.
Approaching the café’s entrance, you may wonder whether you had magically apparated into Diagon Alley. The mural that greets you is incredibly picturesque and highly resembles the famous wizarding street.
Café by day, bar by night, “Fred & George” is a cute space for those still waiting for their Hogwarts acceptance letter. The interior is decorated with various Harry Potter collectibles such as the Marauder’s Map, the wanted wizard posters, full-sized Quidditch broomsticks, and a giant Lego model of Hogwarts.
Those who want to take memorable pictures in “Fred & George” may also try on Gryffindor and Slytherin robes. They hang on the wall for everyone to use.
While the menu does not seem to be incredibly on-theme, there are still some fun things you could order, such as the non-alcoholic “Frediccino” and alcoholic cocktails “Butter Beer” and “George Weasley.” The menu copies Korean entries in English.
In addition to what you can find on the menu, you may pre-order the famous “Happee Birthdae” cake. The link is on their Instagram page (@frednngeorge).
Once you’ve enjoyed one too many Butter Beers, you may need to excuse yourself to the water closet where you will find a bloody message from the heir of Salazar Slytherin! Boo!
Though, you may quickly dismiss your fear by looking at a portrait of a dog hanging to the left of the scary quote. Speaking of dogs: even though you have to remember that “Fred & George” is a no-pet and a no-children space, you will probably still see one or two dogs that belong to the owners inside the café.
- Address: Seoul, Mapo-gu, Sangsu-dong 145-2
- Working hours: Mon-Tue, Fri-Sun 12 PM – 3 AM.
- Wednesday: closed
- Instagram page: @frednngeorge
The Dice Latte: RPG, Board Games, Comic books, Community Play Space
Do you like comic books and want to bring one from Korea but do not speak the language well enough to read them? Do you want to experience the culture of Korean board game cafes, but, again, your choice of games is limited because you have no required language skills? Not to worry! There is a solution. If you don’t speak Korean and are looking for every fan’s horn of plenty, you must find your way into the Dice Latte, one of the trendiest fan cafes in Seoul.
It may be known as a board game café or a comic book store, but it stretches much further than these two labels. First things first: it’s a very comfortable space for English speakers. The co-owner and the person you will most likely always meet when visiting the café is from the USA. You need not worry not only about trying to express yourself in Korean but also about the range of products you may buy or the choice of activities you may try.
Second: it’s not only a cafe, but a community of people who enjoy the same things, be that (tabletop) role-playing games, board games, comic books, or graphic novels. The Dice Latte traditionally holds weekly Dungeons & Dragons meetups, Comics and Beer meetups, and language exchange meetups, which are great for those looking for new friends and experiences.
It’s also important to mention that even if you come to the café when it is not holding a meetup and want to learn one of the board games, you may get help from the staff. They will explain the rules and help you adapt to the new game.
Third, no matter your interests, you will probably find something for yourself in the store area. Any heroes from Marvel or DC, any story from Dark Horse, or any genre (even children’s comics!) will be waiting for you in the Dice Latte. As the range and number of in-store comic books are overwhelmingly large, the books don’t usually come with price tags. Thus you will need to check the price on the Dice Latte’s website or at the counter. You may also purchase comics directly from the website and deliver them to your Korean address.
Tip: If you visit Korea during the Free Comic Book Day week, do not miss your visit to the Dice Latte – the only establishment that holds the event in Korea.
Lastly: this is a café, which means you can also enjoy a range of drinks (such as coffee, soda, and smoothies) and meals.
- Address: The Dice Latte is moving to a new location at the moment of publication. Check the café’s website for the address update.
- Working hours: Tues-Fri: 2 PM – 10 PM, Weekends: 11 AM – 10 PM
- Mondays closed
- Website: https://stores.comichub.com/dicelatte/
Were you able to find a place that caters to your interests? If you were, I hope you will make great memories in one or all of the themed cafes in Seoul introduced here. Don’t forget to free photo space on your phone and have fun!
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