Last year while I was working as a kindergarten teacher in Seoul, one day I had to take my students to a puppet show. The puppet show was entirely in Korean, so I never understand exactly what was happening, but I did know one thing–it was about poop. I sat through an entire maybe 30-40 minute long puppet show about farting raccoons with indigestion that had to battle evil alien space poops. Why am I telling you this? Well that whole puppet show served as my introduction to Korea’s interesting relationship with poop. In a country that has a toilet-themed park and a well-known dung-obsessed cartoon character, that puppet show really wasn’t all that odd.
Might I also add that maybe only a week or two after arriving in Korea I was quickly introduced to “dong chim” aka “poop needle” aka the “funny” prank some of my students would do where they’d make their hands into a gun shape and try to poke their fingers up my butt. All that said, when I found out there was a poop-themed cafe just a couple train stops from my house, I was a little less surprised than you might expect.
Ddong Cafe is located on the top floor of the Samziegil outdoor shopping plaza in Insadong. It’s positioned right next to a kiosk selling steaming hot red bean poop buns.
Just check out that “Couple Set” they offer. Two poop buns, two hot coffees, and all for only 7,000 won. So romantic. The cafe is a lot more homey and rustic than I’d expect from a theme cafe. Here’s a picture of my friend’s lovely toilet rose latte. Unlike the Hello Kitty Cafe, which clearly puts more emphasis on their cafe’s theme than on their food, Ddong Cafe seems to put a lot of care into their menu. Granted, all I tried were their hot drinks, but their delicious and delicate rose latte was good enough that I’d return to try more.
Their menu includes a variety of other offerings, from Mojito Lattes (what?) to Beef Spaghetti in a toilet to their popular poop-shaped scones.Food aside, I think the best part of the cafe are the little accents and unique merchandise peppered throughout. From whimsical handmade poop pottery to the colorful poop tree full of handwritten notes from cafe visitors around the world.
I will be entirely honest, though. I like my themes to be ridiculous and loud. When I heard poop cafe I was hoping for brown soft serve ice cream or toilet dining seats or for every table to have it’s own squat toilet in the center (there is actually one squat toilet in the cafe, oddly out of place in the center of the floor). I don’t know–is that all too much? Anyhow, even if the cafe wasn’t as ridiculous as I’d have hoped, it was undoubtedly charming and unique. I’d definitely recommend it for anyone looking for a good cup of coffee and a couple of silly photo ops.
To get to Ddong Cafe go to Anguk station exit 6. Keep walking until you hit the Samziegil shopping plaza, and from there head up to the top floor. It’s hard to miss.