Almost Home Art Sonje Branch

(Creatrip.com) A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts

No matter how much we want to customize our Korea travel itinerary to uniquely fit our needs and stand out at the same time, some classics always seem to make it on the list. Bukchon Hanok Village, located east of the famed Gyeongbokgung Palace, has to be one of them.

Long paths of hanok buildings that have remained their charming architectural looks for ages turn heads left and right. Restaurants and cafes in the hanok village are plenty, but one of them has especially been trending continuously on social media. We’ve decided to check out the cafe to see what the hype was about.

Information

  • Address: 서울 종로구 율곡로3길 87
  • Hours: 11:00-19:00

Review

Hidden behind the modern Sonje Art Centre sits an especially loved hanok cafe named Almost Home. The name well presents itself as this stunning hanok with wooden features surrounded by a small tranquil courtyard oozes a homey atmosphere of a grandparents’ house for many locals growing up.

Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts
Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts
Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts
Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts

Walk through the nicely laid out stone trail, you’ll reach the door to the cafe. Inside you’ll see a small space of tables, chairs, merchandise on display and the counter where you order.

Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts
Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts
Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts
Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts
Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts
Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts
Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts

The signature drinks of green tea latte, ssuk tea latte and sweet potato latte are quite popular on social media, great go-to options for those struggling to decide on a drink. Definitely order one or two of the jujeonburi (snack) plate sets, each consisting of a unique mix of traditional and fusion desserts.

Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts

Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts

In the middle of the space, you’ll see teapot sets with tea tables and other merchandise for sale.

Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts
Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts

Voila! Our drinks and desserts were delightfully placed on a tray for us to carry to our table. Because it was a nice breezy day out, we decided to grab one of the tables in the courtyard.

Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts

Cream Cheese Monaca + Yanggaeng + Lotus Root Chips ₩7,000

Yanggaeng, a jellied brown dessert, was originally seen as a snack enjoyed by older generations but has been gradually gaining popularity among the younger generations too, widely as interpreted as ‘retro snacks.’ The yanggaeng at Almost Home didn’t taste much different from the ones easily found in supermarkets.

The lotus root chips were packed with flavours, but they weren’t as crispy as I anticipated.

Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts

I was a bit disappointed with the amount of cream cheese inside the monaca, but overall the crispiness of the biscuit with the dense, flavourful red bean and a hint of cream cheese was very tasty.

Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts
Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts

Scone + Brownie + Tangerine Chips ₩7,000

This plate of alluring orange hues was packed with tangerine flavours.

Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts
Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts

The tangerine chips with a citrusy tang made a great light snack. The tangerine jam softened the dryness of the scone, giving it a perfect texture to be devoured. Although the brownie was a lot drier than it should have been, I still felt like this jujeonburi plate was a great choice of unique snacks.

Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts
Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts

Sweet Potato Latte ₩5,000

A drink very dense in texture, this latte tasted more like a dessert than a drink. The strong scent of the sweet potato makes this a great choice for sweet potato lovers.

Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts

Green Tea Latte ₩5,000

The foamy latte with a strong flavour of green tea was delicious by itself and with the desserts too.

Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts

In conclusion, this tranquil cafe hidden in the bustling hanok village provides visitors with a relaxing experience surrounded by nature, along with great selections of traditional desserts and drinks with unique touches.

Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts

Directions

From exit 1 of Anguk Station, walk past Daiso.

Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts
Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts
Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts

At Olive Young, make a right.

Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts
Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts

Walk up the path full of hanoks.

Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts
Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts

When you reach the three-way intersection, make a left.

Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts

Turn right at GS25.

Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts
Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts

Before you reach the next intersection, you’ll see Sonje Art Center on your left.

Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts

Walk towards the art center and you’ll see the alley leading you to Almost Home.

Almost Home Art Sonje Branch | Gyeongbokgung, A tranquil hanok cafe with traditional desserts

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