Everyone needs a neighborhood coffee shop. A place to sip on your latte with the bright sounds of jazz in the background. Modern design interiors to admire, and sweet morsels to nibble on when peckish…
And space. Compared to the cramped quarters of a certain coffee chain with stores on every corner, the Lab Store feels like a hotel lobby. Gone are the days of sitting uncomfortably in a wooden chair crammed next to the next customer.
Even during peak times–think evenings and Sunday afternoons– when every table is full with couples and families out for a stroll in Itaewon–this coffee shop exudes a sense of calm spaciousness.
Family friendly space in Itaewon
Yes, lots of families come here on weekend afternoons, for the same reasons I do. There’s the ample room to navigate any size stroller and a ramp at the entrance so you do not need to deal with steps.
There are lots of things to see for maman and bébé. You can choose to watch the traffic of Noksapyeong street heading between Banpo and the city. Or choose a raised platform behind slatted wood for a more private rendezvous, or close the door of the boardroom like “Secret Chamber.”
Enough about mommy’s preferences. Baby likes to sleep to the white noise of the aforementioned coffee shop jazz.
Breastfeeding is okay.
You can’t count sweet pieces of fried dough as health food, yet the baristas make them on demand with multi-grain flour. The Street Churros team has perfected the crisp yet moist taste of the pastries that cause lines out the door at their store in Gyeongridan. The Lab Store is the flagship of the Street Churros brand.
Aside from churros, there are four healthier options for brunch, a steal at only 9900 won. I have the “ABC” nearly twice a week: sausage, scrambled eggs, and a mixed salad with diverse greens. Three churros round out the meal–instead of Cajun spice, I ask for cinnamon and sugar for something sweet.
One can also order the spooning pizza, a griddle served meal appropriate for two, laden with cheese that tastes like a yummy frozen pizza.
The new garlic bulgogi dog is also tasty if you are into hot dogs. The bun is made out of churro dough, and there is no shortage of spicy mustard and sweet relish.
There is salad, but I have never ordered it. We are at a churros place after all.
Aside from excellent coffee, you can choose from several tasty drinks, many suitable for kids. The grapefruit and lemon ades feature freshly squeezed citrus and have become an afternoon treat. The green tea and chocolate lattes are also tasty.
The Lab Store is popular with Japanese tourists, a sign of quality.
Last summer the Lab Store offered watermelon juice on the menu, flash frozen melon balls for a refreshing antidote to Seoul’s humidity.
There is a 20% discount for take-out drinks. Americanos are only 1500 won before 11:00 AM.
Add the “Touching” reward program to your smart phone to earn free Americanos and churros. The points add up quickly.
Full disclosure: the author received a free grapefruit ade while writing this post at Lab Store. This made her really like said grapefruit ades, and has since made them her go-to drink.
Readers, where do you go out for coffee in Seoul?
Overall Baby-Friendly rating: 4 out of 5. It looses a point for the lack of a changing table.
Lab Store Address:
Jinsong B/D 34–42, Itaewon1-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea
T. +82 2 6263 0303 www.streetchurros.com
By subway: Noksapyeong Station Exit 3