If you have looked into cafes in Busan at all – even for only two minutes, you are sure to have come across Cafe Knockout (also just referred to as ‘knockout’).
It is perhaps the most widely publicised and covered on social media cafe that I have ever seen – maybe even more so than some other cafes that seemingly appear every time you open Instagram such as Cafe Seoulism.
While some of these cafes are overhyped or not deserving of their reputation, Cafe Knockout does not fall into that category. Rather, this cafe is definitely deserving of the popularity that it has received.
After experiencing Korea’s cafe culture for many years now, one of the first things that I do everywhere that I travel is visit the local cafes. Even on our recent trip to Hajodae Beach, we made sure to check out every cafe in the town!
Why? Because Korea has some amazing cafes. Further, they often involve a lot more than just coffee! Therefore, on our first day in Busan, we made sure to head out to the first interesting looking cafe we could find. That just happened to be Knockout.
If you are visiting Busan and haven’t visited Knockout yet, then I would highly recommend it. If you have visited before, then it might even be worth visiting again!
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Knockout is located in Busan, close to one of the most popular areas in the city. The cafe can be found a short 5-minute walk from Seomyeon Station (where the orange and green lines meet).
From Seomyeon Station, exit out of the station via Exit 6. From there, turn around and backtrack down the street behind the exit. Follow this until the first right turn (which should only be a 30 second walk).
Turn down this street and follow it as it turns to the left. Eventually, this street will end and come back to a bigger road (Dongcheolro). Turn right on this road, and the cafe will be located almost directly to the right.
The cafe itself is located down a short alley. However, it is easily visible from Dongcheolro and you will be able to see the cafe entrance without needing to proceed down the alley. Once you enter the cafe, you can purchase food and drinks from the first door on the left.
The interior theme of the cafe makes it double as a great bar.
The cafe has some of the longest hours that you will ever see at a cafe. It opens at 11 am and closes at 2 am.
However, I would recommend avoiding the peak afternoon hours if possible. This means 2 pm – 6 pm. During these times the cafe will be busiest, and it may be difficult to get the seat that you want.
If you want to avoid most of the crowds, try visiting in the morning soon after it opens. Cafes in Korea tend to be far less busy before 1 pm, and this is the best time to visit if you want to be able to choose between all of the seats.
Cafe Knockout offers quite a comprehensive menu for beverages and food. Further, the items on this menu are actually quite well priced, and I found them very reasonable. Maybe this is because I am used to Seoul cafe prices though, which can often be up to 10,000KRW per person.
Knockout offers a range of coffees and many of them are available in hot an cold variants. These drinks sit at about 6000KRW each. If you would prefer something without caffeine, there are also many ades, teas and shakes.
If you are in the mood for alcohol, there is also wine and other drinks available. This cafe doubles as a bar, and that is the main reason for why it stays open until 2 am. Whether you are looking for a morning coffee or a late night drink, Cafe Knockout is a great choice!
There are also many different cakes and other baked foods available. The cakes are around 4000KRW-6000KRW and there are many different flavours on offer. If you would prefer something savoury, items like scones can also be purchased.
Overall, you can expect to spend around 6000KRW per person (for drinks). The food options range from 2000KRW (for smaller items such as scones and cookies) to 7000KRW for the larger cake options.
Cafe Knockout stands out from other cafes because of its amazing interior and unique atmosphere. As soon as you see the entrance of the cafe then you will realise exactly what I mean!
It appears that Knockout has been built inside what used to be a more traditional Korean house. Inside there are many different nooks and small staircases leading to different areas. There are even two rooftops – one open rooftop, and one that is partly covered.
The entrance way to the cafe separates the two different buildings. Both of these buildings have three accessible floors – the ground floor, first floor, and rooftop. Each of these floors are divided into different parts that each have their own unique appeal.
On the first floor there are some more standard seats. However, along with this there is a little cushioned area behind some curtains that a few people can sit. Upstairs, there is a library area with tables under some fairy lights.
All of the seating areas are different, but each one feels special and unlike other cafes. Further, the cafe even allows pet dogs if you sit on the rooftop. There are very few cafes in Korea that allow pets, and it is very cool to see that Knockout offers this choice.
All in all, cafe Knockout has one of the most unique interiors out of all of the cafes that I have visited in Korea (and I have visited a lot!). It offers great seating both indoors and out, and it is great for a group of friends. On the other hand, it also has some great spots for couples.
It is worth noting though that the cafe can get very busy. Since this is a very well-known cafe, there are peak times in which it is hard to find a seat. Luckily, the cafe actually handles this very well, and even when it is crowded it doesn’t feel that way since all of the seating is divided into separate areas.
When I see a cafe that is as widely covered on social media as Knockout I am often cautious. Not because I think that these cafes are bad, but because they are often either very crowded, very expensive, or both.
While Knockout was very busy (most of the seats were taken), it doesn’t feel that way. This is because all of the seating is spread out among different areas and every area is segmented away from the rest.
There are also often better cafes out there that social media trends haven’t yet discovered. However, I felt that Knockout was fantastic. Even though there are other amazing cafes out there, I am very happy to have visited this cafe and I definitely recommend it to others.
It is a cafe that is deserving of the reputation it has acquired, and if you are looking for a date spot, a place to enjoy some coffee and cake, or a place too hang out with some friends, then it is a great choice.