Missing your seasonal pumpkin spice latte while in South Korea? Check these local spots for a taste of fall.
For many, fall is one of the best times of the year. Kids go back to school, the sweaters come out of hiding, leaves start to change. In America, it means only one thing – its Pumpkin Spice Season.
What started at Starbucks has now spread to pretty much every cafe in the country. From September – November, baristas can’t sleep without PSLs haunting their dreams (ok, maybe it was just me). The flavor is everywhere… except South Korea.
If you’re an American in the country, you may have already noticed that finding a pumpkin spice latte in South Korea is a challenge. Starbucks is just beginning to introduce pumpkin into its Korean menu and the flavor just doesn’t have the widespread popularity that it enjoys in the United States.
BUT, it’s not impossible. Some cafes, particularly those around American communities like the military bases, are kind enough to feature this fall staple on their menu. These are some of the best places to find a pumpkin spice latte in South Korea this season.
1. Attractive Coffee
Attractive Coffee is a a much loved staple of the Camp Humphreys community, and for good reason. This western-style cafe goes out of its way to bring a taste of home to the Americans in Pyeongtaek. This includes the beloved pumpkin spice latte.
They make their own lactose-free pumpkin syrup that is available year round. Remember this one because Attractive Coffee is also a go-to for peppermint mochas in the winter.
2. Cosmic Cat Donuts
Cosmic Cat brings the double whammy of amazing donuts AND pumpkin spice lattes to Korea. I’m not exaggerating in the least bit when I say these were some of the best donuts I’ve ever had in my life. Flavors change daily and they incorporate the best seasonal tastes.
Ok, enough about the donuts. The pumpkin spice latte was a star in its own right. It doesn’t have the artificial pumpkin flavor that some syrups have. You could really taste the yummy spice. They asked if I wanted it more or less sweet (I opted for less) and it was perfect.
3. Counting Stars Coffee Bakeshop
Counting Stars Cafe is about halfway between Camp Humphreys and Osan Air Base in the Songtan Entertainment District (a.k.a the SED). Their pastries and flavors change regularly to reflect the season.
They start serving pumpkin spice lattes around mid-September (an acceptable time, if you ask me). There is also pumpkin bread to go along with it! Bonus: they’ve been said to have the best cookies in Korea.
4. Fat Cat Neighborhood Bistro
A bit farther north, Fat Cat Neighborhood Bistro serves up the PSL to Seoul. The cafe is in Yongsan, just outside the US military base there. They typically start serving pumpkin toward the end of September, whenever they get their shipment in. Since they import it, it’s the one pumpkin spice latte in south Korea that tastes most like home.
Aside from the PSL, Fat Cat describes themselves as a salad bar and serves up delicious looking salads, bowls, wraps, and other healthy goodies. Their menu has a ton of vegan options so if that’s your jam, bookmark this place.
5. Plant Cafe Seoul
Last, but certainly not least, is Plant Cafe Seoul. I try not to play favorites, but this is one of my faves. Everything, including the PSL, is 100% vegan. They make their own pumpkin syrup with real pumpkin and spices so it’s always fresh and full of flavor. You can even get non-dairy whipped cream!
They have two locations in Seoul, one in Itaewon and one in Yongsan. Even if you’re not vegan, I recommend staying for lunch or even a late night drink.
Check out these spots and let me know which is your favorite. Happy pumpkin spice season!
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