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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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