The Kakao friends store & cafe is sure to please not only Kakao friend lovers, but those who love anything adorable. It’s also a great place to get unique souvenirs for family back home. The store sells Kakao theme pajamas, slippers, phone & laptop cases and even little accessories such as buttons and hair clips. Those who like the more subtle approach to accessorizing can pick up a phone or backpack charm. Unlike most themed souvenir shops, the tinier trinkets are a bit more affordable ranging from $4-$12 USD, so you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank to get something small such as a sticker or charm just to commemorate your (probably) most used app during your stay in Korea.
For those who perhaps use other free messenger apps such as Line or WhatsApp, Kakao Friends is Korea’s #1 free mobile messenger. They offer free texts, calls and adorable emojis with their trademark characters! The app launched in 2010, and there are eight Kakao Firends. Ryan, Muzi, Con, Apeach, Frodo, Neo, Tube and Jay-G. Though they are all featured at the store, I must admit that Ryan (the lion) is the star of the show, and the cafe’s are dedicated to his likeness.
Hongdae Address: 162 Yanghwa-ro, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Gangnam Address: 429 Gangnam-daero, Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul
Outside of the Hongdae Store:
Outside of the Gangnam Store:
As you can see, both of the outsides of the store are almost identical, with the bottom two floors being dedicated to merchandise, clothing, and toys and the top being a cafe! The cafe floors focuses on sweet flavored cakes, macaroons, and drinks such as smoothies, coffee and juices. Most of the treats are Kakao character inspired and come with little edible chocolate character charms.
The Kakao Cafe!
Pictured above is my treat of choice! I got a chocolate hazelnut crunch cake and a mango smoothie. The mango smoothie is topped with a white gelatin that adds great chewy texture to the smoothie. Those who enjoy textures similar to bubble tea may find the jelly topped drink to be mighty refreshing. Pictured far right is the Ryan jelly light that every table has. It’s an adorable squishy toy that lights up when its smashed. Hours of entertainment for people like me. Hours. And if you really fancy the Ryan squishy light, you can buy one to bring home from the souvenir store.
Instagram Photo Opps!
And of course, those who love Instagram Photo Opps are sure to appreciate the giant Kakao characters that you can pose with.
Pictured above is me helping Apeach with an excel spreadsheet.
Bonus: Since it’s the Holiday season Kakao Friends are showcasing some Christmas spirit.
Pictured above is a limited edition winter Ryan.
There are some cute snow globes souvenirs for the holidays and to the far left is a cute Ryan gingerbread man.
Above are Ryan Cheezzzball snacks! You’re probably thinking what do cheeseballs have to do with Christmas? Well, absolutely nothing as far as I’m concerned, but I love it. You can always count on the kakao store to have random themes all year long weather they’re seasonal or not.
Go head out to either Gangnam or Hongdae to get your cute Kakao fix! And be aware to visit often to see the store change their themes almost monthly.