Cereal Cafes Are South Korea’s Newest Food Craze
First, Cereal Killer Cafe invaded London, then Kellogg's NYC hit Manhattan, and now, Seoul, South Korea, is the latest city to get in on the sugary action. Yes, the cereal cafe craze has arrived in South Korea. Midnight in Seoul is one of South Korea's newest cereal cafes, located in the notoriously fancy Gangnam neighborhood, that serves up dozens of different cereals like Oreo-O's, which are discontinued everywhere in the world except for South Korea. There are plenty other childhood favorites up for grabs, though, ranging from the common, like Lucky Charms and Trix, to the more obscure, like Koko Krunch, a chocolate-y whole grain cereal, and British Weetos. There are also some less sugary choices on the menu, like Kashi Go Lean and a gluten-free Cinnamon Jungle Munch, for a more health-conscious cereal consumer.
But going for the healthy option seems like a waste when cereal toppings include rainbow sprinkles, gummy bears, almond slivers, and M&Ms—though you could also get a fresh banana or frozen strawberries if you really are on that health kick. You also get a choice of milk or yogurt, which comes in a chic glass jar. Simply mark down your choices on a form, and your gourmet cereal bowl will arrive in a stylish cardboard carton with all the toppings and milk on the side.
As with many food crazes in South Korea, this one is designed to be shared on social media. The cereal bar at Midnight in Seoul itself is painted a chic shade of millennial, rose pink and decked out with a stuffed flamingo head, and the boxes are carefully lined up and on display for everyone to see.
But Midnight in Seoul isn't too sweet, and it's certainly not just for breakfast, even though it serves cereal bowl from 8 a.m. until midnight. The cafe starts serving beer and savory snacks after 6 p.m., and there's also a neon sign over the dining area that screams, "Shit Happens." (For what it's worth, the frequent buyer stamp cards are equally profane.)
Oh, and did we mention that Midnight in Seoul is pet friendly?
Midnight in Seoul not the only cereal bar in the South Korean capital, though. There's also What's Your Cereal Number?, located in the student-friendly neighborhood of Hongdae, which offers a slightly different twist on the trend. Much like Midnight in Seoul, WYCN, for short, has dozens of different cereals and toppings from which to choose—like Knusper Crunch museli with marshmallows or Nutella—and with so many options available, there are seemingly limitless combinations.
But if you find a cereal bowl that works for you, you can remember it with your own individualized "cereal number." (Do you get the pun there?) As Cosmopolitan Korea explained in an Instagram post, simply write out the numbers of your order on a holographic sticker. By using this cereal number, you can be guaranteed to get your own customized cereal bowl every time you hit up the store.
No word on if pets are allowed at WYCN, but it's definitely cute AF—and the neon lights make for some great Instagram posts.
So if you love cereal, neon lights, and Instagram photo opps, clearly the next stop on your cereal cafe tour of the world should be Seoul.