Sherlock in Seoul: 221B Cafe

By in Asia, cafe, Seoul, Sherlock, Sherlock Holmes, South Korea on February 13, 2017
0 0 0 13 comments

In Korea there are a plethora of themed cafes to choose from, be it a phone decorating one or a sheep one or an airplane based one. But there was one cafe hidden away in Gangnam that was a MUST destination for us here at The Nerdventurists.

The Sherlock cafe.

221B Sherlock Cafe in Seoul - The Nerdventurists -

You see, Sora and Kristina (your faithful narrator here) met because of the BBC show that stars (starred? The series might be done?) Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock Holmes and Martin Freeman as John Watson. It brought the Victorian heroes into the modern day in an explosive fashion. It’s a MUST watch. You can check out the Series 1 trailer below.

Anywho… least to say, when I first heard there was a Sherlock themed cafe in Seoul, I freaked out. It was one of my first stops when I moved here to Korea and it’s been a favorite ever since.

Just outside Gangnam-Gu Office station is a basement cafe that has not only a cozy atmosphere, but plenty of Sherlock decor and themed drinks. Word is that the owner was is a major fan of the detective series and so built the cafe a few years back as a celebration of it.

221B Sherlock Cafe in Seoul - The Nerdventurists -

It does a great job of balancing the nerdy with the normal day-to-day operation of a cafe. The homage to the show in the decor is simple and aesthetically pleasing, but also lovely to see as a fan. There’s photos from the show lining the walls as well as t-shirts, memorabilia, and a few book shelves full of goodies.

To say Sora was delighted is a vast understatement. When I first visited the cafe a few months ago and told her about it, she demanded I send her all the photos imaginable. Her joy at actually stepping inside was second to none, as I feel it would be for any Sherlock fan.

221B Sherlock Cafe in Seoul - The Nerdventurists -

You can get cookies, cakes, and candy with the Sherlock Holmes motif. They’re pretty tasty, plus it has a lot to do with the novelty. I mean, how often do you see this kind of stuff?

The Madelines are very nice though… must say.

221B Sherlock Cafe in Seoul - The Nerdventurists -

The drink selection is much like any cafe, though there are devilishly delicious smoothies here for those who can drink dairy (Sora and I can’t… eternal sad face). We both recommend the Dr. Watson Detox Juice though! It’s healthy… so I assume that’s why they attribute it to Watson…

Anywho! The coffee here is very good, so grab yourself a cup o’Sherlock and wander the cafe because there is a lot to see.

221B Sherlock Cafe in Seoul - The Nerdventurists -

Especially in the 221B Lounge!

Just off the main cafe area is a very cozy and eclectic looking sitting area dubbed the 221B Lounge. When Sora and I were there it was closed due to a meeting, but soon opened up and we were free to explore. While the decor is funky and the couches comfy, the main highlight is the large glass mirror and interactive screen on the far end. Here you can play around as if in Sherlock’s mind palace, scroll through photos, and even play some KPOP… just cause.

221B Sherlock Cafe in Seoul - The Nerdventurists -

221B Sherlock Cafe in Seoul - The Nerdventurists -

It can also be turned into a giant selfie cam. Because this is Korea and you must always be ready for a selca.

Take your time here, it’s a great place to plug in your laptop and work for a few hours while enjoying the surroundings. If you’re a BBC Sherlock fan (or a Sherlock Holmes fan in general), do make the time to seek the cafe out. It’s hidden around a corner, but if you use your deductive skills, you’ll definitely find it.

221B Sherlock Cafe in Seoul - The Nerdventurists -

You’ll know once you stumble across the cafe however, you honestly can’t miss it. Because there is literally a statue of Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock sitting outside the cafe.

Make sure you say hello and take dumb photos.

You can read a bit more in-depth about the cafe and our first visit over on The Baker Street Babes, home to the Sherlock Holmes podcast Sora and Kristina are both part of.

Address: 강남구 논현동 116-6, Seoul, South Korea 135-821
Subway: Gangnam-Gu Office Station, Exit 3
Hours:  M-F: 09:00-22:00, Sat: 10:00 – 21:00, Sun: Closed
Facebook:Cafe 221B

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221B Sherlock Cafe in Seoul - The Nerdventurists -

Kristina is an ardent traveler and has been to over 48 countries and has no plans to stop. She taught English in a small fishing city in Japan for a year, volunteered on an archaeological dig on an Iron Age site in Israel, drove 10,000 miles in a 1994 Corsa from London to Ulaanbataar for charity, and accidentally fell in love with K-pop in Seoul. It’s been a wild ride.
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  2. Reply

    I can imagine just how exciting this was for you girls! The selection of cakes and cookies sounds divine and I love the clever menu. I’ve only ever had a quick layover in Seoul and would love to check it out some more! Thanks for the head up about the Sherlock Cafe!
    Kristie (you.theworld.wandering)

  3. Reply

    One of my favorite things about living in Asia is how much attention the pay to detail. I would totally be all over the statue of Benedict making rude faces, but that’s just me. Hahaha. That mirror is so cool and I would probably be entertained with it for hours. Selca? I’m always ready. 😉

    • neha
    • February 15, 2017

    I am a sherlock fan, grew up reading the novels.Such a find. I like the Sherlock themed decor and everything else about this cafe. How do you manage to find such places? I remember reading your Muggle’s Guide to Wizarding World before..

  4. Reply

    Loved reading this post. It has the elements of 2 of my fav things. First of all the Cafe is in Gangnam which reminds me of the hit song-Gangnam style! The cafe itself is themed after 221B. Sherlock Holmes is one of my favourite characters in fiction. I would really love to get there.

    • sophie
    • February 18, 2017

    amazing i must go to South Corea

    • chikonahoka
    • April 4, 2017

    OMG! If I ever make it to Seoul I know where to get my coffee!!

    • chikonahoka
    • April 5, 2017

    Although maybe it would be even better if the cafe peppers in reference to his cases. Just as inside jokes for the die-hard fans.

    • neha
    • April 5, 2017

    The cafe has such a nice and simplistic design. Still lots of thoughts have gone into it’s making. It’s evident from the decor, like that mirror. And it seems quiet an entertaining place.

  5. Reply

    I love your video, so funny! The interactive screens are amazing!
    I’ll add this to my bucket list too.

    Thanks for sharing!!!

  6. I like Sherlock Holmes too. This is a really cool cafe. I like the interior design of the place. The 221B lounge looks cozy and comfortable. I would love to invite my friends and go here.

  7. Reply

    This post was both super geeky awesome but also a riot. You are too adorable in your video. Looks like you had a blast!!!! Now I need to add Korea to my travel bucket list!

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