Cafe aA, The Design Museum ♥ JINA

Every time I go to Hongdae, it seems that the number of cafes has noticeably increased. With such stiff competition in the area, it's a wonder how they can all survive. A lot of them tend to be pretty much the same, with similar interiors and concepts - as you know, the cute, romantic, pretty type that Korean girls are charmed by. But the aA Design Museum cafe stands out above the rest among Hongdae cafes.

According to their website, the lower-case ‘a’ in ‘aA’ stands for ‘art’, ‘architecture’, and ‘alive’, while the capital ‘A’ is “an unchangeable value, the best a person can get.” The cafe has special meaning in name. :)

To get into the cafe, you have to go through a tall and narrow wooden glass-paneled door from 1850′s France. The height of it is impressive. The cafe itself has a tremendously high ceiling lit by strong industrial lamps, making the space look even bigger.

I heard that the owner of the cafe designed the whole building to showcase his collection of awesome stuff from different countries and time periods. The 3rd, 2nd and basement levels are exhibition areas for architectural and design products, while the 1st floor houses the cafe.
Each area has its own unique feel. The main hall is spacious, and is the busiest part of the cafe. The loft area is comparatively quiet, and is ideal for reading or working on your laptop. And lastly, the terrace has a Europeean-style romantic atmosphere, and is the only smoking area.

There is a huge “Mirror Ball” light fixture suspended in the center of the cafe where you can see the entire cafe reflected in its curved surfaces.

Cafe aA provides an extensive menu including some light food like sandwiches, cakes and various drinks. I chose to have cafe latte. I was surprised to see the coffee cups were mugs with bulblike knob-things instead of regular handles! It was the first time I’ve seen such a unusually designed cup, but somehow it feels perfectly at home in aA Cafe. Having coffee in a special looking cup made me feel it tasted really good!

After visiting Cafe aA, I realised why the place is reasonably well-known in Hongdae for many reasons, and one of them is its unusual size. Hongdae is full of little artsy cafes and restaurants, but in stature, Cafe aA stands above the rest. If you want to escape this small-scale atmosphere, Cafe aA will make the perfect spot. :D

The Good  ★★★★★

1. Full of well-designed furniture and ornaments

2. Quality museum

3. Reasonable prices ( drinks such as coffee, smoothie and tea cost between 4000won and 6000won while sandwiches, cakes and salad cost between 8000won and 15000won ) 

The Bad ★

1. 10% additional Tax

2. No valet service

3. Cafe mostly crowded and noisy

For more information visit

To find more about the cafe vist below links ↓

video clip ->


Facing Hong-Ik university, turn right and go straight. Make sure that you are on the right hand side of the road. When you see Seven-Eleven on your right, go into the street between the Seven-Eleven and Yogi. Keep walking until you see 화로사랑 (hwaro sarang). Make a left in front of 화로사랑 (hwaro sarang). Keep walking until you see Diwan-I-Am on your left, and Cafe aA is on your right.


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