Commentary Travel Destinations

Korea, Yeosu Cafe Imi – Home

Written by Carl Hedinger

Yeosu Cafe Imi

Everyone needs to feel at home, no matter where they might be. For me, that’s Cafe Imi in Yeosu’s Yeoseo Dong.

Inside Yeosu's Cafe Imi, South Korea

See More Pictures of Imi here.

Here in Yeosu, “home” can be somewhat hard to find. It honestly depends on taste and preference, in my opinion. Coffee lovers in this city will most likely point to the sweet atmosphere and soothing tastes found inside Cafe Imi.

From the Ground Up at Yeosu's Cafe Imi, South Korea

Most foreigners know about this small coffee shop and have probably had one or two nice conversations with the ever-friendly owner Mr. Park. His wife – the cafe namesake – is also a kind and warmhearted person with whom I’ve always felt warmth and above all, welcome.

Coffee at Yeoseo Dong's Cafe Imi in Yeosu, South Korea

Every time I step inside, the owner’s smiling face tells me “Hello” and we briefly chat about our days up until that moment. Any plans this weekend? It’s small talk, yes, but that’s what makes it feel like home. There are no anxiety or nerves in Cafe Imi. It’s just talk. Oh, and coffee.

 

Coffee at Cafe Imi in Yeosu, South Korea

It’s not just his strong English command that has me hooked but that feeling of a “real” Coffee Shop, among the impostors or also-rans lining the streets here. There are some other great coffee places in town but I can’t get over my love for this one.

The Front Door of Yeosu's Cafe Imi, South Korea

It’s honestly my home away from home.

Flowers inside Yeosu's Cafe Imi, South Korea

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Yeosu Cafe Imi, South Korea

Directions to Yeosu’s Cafe Imi (Courtesy of Naver)

Buses 80 , 82 , 115 , 333 , 555 , and 777 will take you to Munsu Dong Community Center’s Bus Stop (문수동사무소), which Imi is directly behind. If you give those directions to a taxi driver, he’ll likely take you to the Community Center, which is around the block from Imi. Look for the bus stop which is along the main road and you should see Imi directly behind it.

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About the author

Carl Hedinger

I’m a writer and recovering American expat who shares my family’s travels through life. Follow our adventures here and on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

18 Comments

  • Yes!! I think everyone needs a cozy home away from home in a local cafe. I feel like we have planned so many trips and big life changes inside of cafes like this, that’s what always makes them special! That one looks really nice, i love the stuffed teddy bear! 🙂

  • Seems like your Cafe Imi was my Cafe Bene… I loved the one that was close to where I lived in Pohang. In winter, when a person would enter, they would sing a song (well chant). Sometimes I’d buy coffee. Other times, I wouldn’t.

    I was super psyched when I found one close to home in Jeju till I was told to leave when I said “Today coffee, no.” Yikes!

    This is after I’d been in a several times before and wanted the coffee. I haven’t been back since.

    • Wow, too bad that happened to you in Jeju. Here in Yeosu, the people are mostly welcoming. Occasionally, we’ll have some anti-foreigners but they are rare for the most part.

    • Thanks Meagan! I’ve always been amazed at people who don’t drink coffee. I feel like you’re one that got away from the big scary machine or something. Beware.

  • My home away from home in my little country town is called Sweet, and has the most lovely latte art. It is amazing how finding a cozy coffee shop can help one feel centered and instill a sense of belonging.

  • I wish we’d come across your blog before travelling through Yeosu and Korea in general. It would have given us some great options! Unfortunately the weather was really average when we were there, but we still had a great day walking around Odongdo and the centre of town. We’ll never forget eating what we think must have been raw skate…so rancid!! Thankfully the rest of the meal was sensational!

    • Hi Andrew, sorry to hear your experiences weren’t the best. Hopefully you’ll get a chance to come back and see some of the beautiful places surrounding Yeosu. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  • Sounds like a wonderful little place. Whenever I live somewhere, I try to find a coffee shop like this where I feel totally comfortable. Here in Pohang, that’s Cafe 1944. I’ve written the majority of my blog posts about Korea there.

    Glad you found a place like Cafe Imi!

    • Thanks Nathan. Having a good base of operations is almost as important as the place one lives. I can’t really pin it to one place, as they all tend to get too busy for my liking. Imi stands out among the rest for even when it’s busy, I can still get work done.

      Thanks for leaving a comment. Always great to hear from you.

  • Spot on! Cafe Imi is indeed a wonderful place from ‘hello’ to ‘see ya again’. The service is the best and the different roasts are so good (he does his own roasting!) along with all the care and attention given to every item on the menu. A++ thanks for writing this! BTW he’s one of the very few shops actually open in the mornings.

    • Thanks Tom. Yeah, I was very happy when he changed his hours. Most places don’t open until 10 or even noon most days. I don’t care if the others follow suit because Imi is the place for me here.