The black and white photos of the Parisian cafes with rattan chairs may be so ubiquitous now that they have lost the feeling of romance that they are supposed to evoke. Still, Paris and cafe as an idea are as synonymous as French and baguette or Rome and Vespa. Far away in the land of the rising sun, Seoul gives Paris a run for its money as a city of cafes. In fact, according to Wikipedia, Seoul boasts the highest concentration of coffee shops in the world, with over 10,000 cafes.
If Parisian cafes are universally recognizable for their rattan furniture, diversity may be the universal theme that these 10,000+ cafes in Seoul share. With so many unique and creative themes, setting itself apart from the legion seems to be the raison d’etre or a survival tactic of each one of these cafes.
Take Dr. Fish Cafe, for instance. If you order one item off their menu, it comes with a bowl of unlimited free bread, butter and jam and coffee. You can help yourself to many books on the bookshelves too. Then with a small fee of 2,000 won (approx. $2 CDN), you get to receive a spa treatment for your feet in a fish tank! How it works is you put your feet in a tank with little fish which will then proceed to eat all the dead skin off your feet, leaving your feet smooth and healthy. How does it feel to have lots of little fish nibble at your feet? Check out the YouTube video above for a testimonial.
How To Get There: To get to the Dr. Fish Cafe in Gangnam, take subway line 2 (green) to Gangnam station, exit 10. Walk straight to cross 2 streets and it is in the building on your left, next to Krispy Kreme on the 2nd floor.