A New Cafe Experience in the Heart of Seoul: Zapangi Tin and Bottle

Young travelers are probably aware of all the quirky and fun cafes that have popped up in South Korea over the past few years. While many of them have cute and cuddly animals as their ploy to get you to come to visit and buy some coffee (see Raccoon Cafe), others are more pop art in their approach. Zapangi is a Cafe that hides behind a Pink Vending Machine for a front door, and the spot has become a popular place for people to take pics for Instagram and Snapchat. While the door may be fun, the sweets and treats inside are definitely worth a peek too.

On the menu, you can find your typical coffee drinks, but you’ll also find some of their specialty items for which they are more famously known. There are rows of thematic donuts like their “Over The Rainbow” and as well as Cakes and Tiramisu inside of tin paint cans. There are also flavored teas inside of old-fashioned milk bottles, hence the subtitle “Tin and Bottle” in their signage. If you like eating baked goods packed with Mermaids and Unicorns, you’ll feel right at home here. We had to try the Mermaid Tiramisu and the Rainbow Sherbet drink with the unicorn cookie on it. When in Rome you know, or in this case Seoul.

Shanna at Zapangi Cafe
Photo by Rhys Truscott

Pricing at Zapangi isn’t too bad considering these are specialty items in a city that is already sort of pricey for Southeast Asia in the first place. Most of the items on the menu were priced under 10,000KRW, which is about $9 USD. Just be aware that if you plan on getting the same drink and dessert like we did you are going to shell out about $20 for the experience. There are plenty of other cafes around town that could easily charge that much for a more traditional cappuccino and croissant, so getting a unique drink like the Rainbow Sherbet and a Cake in a Can is something a bit more memorable. And of course, it’s going to be hard to forget the door as you come and go.

Mermaid Tin
Photo by Rhys Truscott

If there are certain menu items that you absolutely must have, get to Zapangi early, as they can sell out of specific items throughout the day. If you’re just looking to take your picture at the front door, that’s cool too, and that won’t cost you a dime. Making your front door such a desirable and gimmicky tourist stop was probably a genius marketing ploy, as it creates a lot of geotagged social media posts, and SEO bait for your coffee shop. Though we couldn’t seem to find an actual website for this place on Google, so what’s up with that? I have to stop and ask myself whether this place would be just as good if it had a plain ole front door, and I have to say that it might, but the door makes the place so much more memorable and photo worthy.