bingsu, my favorite Korean dessert.
I have been to the Chungdam and Hongdae locations multiple times and have had a great experience each time!
In the heat of summer, expect a wait. Each cafe is pretty small.
The Chungdam location, is definitely the smallest...with chairs for about 20, but it is a little out of the way, so it is less crowded most of the time.
The Hongdae location is very central and there are always so many young people around, so it's pretty crowded even in the worst weather. I'm not kidding. One time my co-worker and I waited 20-25 minutes in the middle of a torrential downpour. We're not crazy, I promise. There are more seats here and it is a little more group-friendly, but I would not recommend trying to go with like 6 people, it'll be a little cramped.
When you go, make sure to enter the shop and put your name on the list. No one will explain this to you, so heed my warning. You just write down your name and the number of people in your group.
There is a pretty limited menu and they're in it for the bingsu. They also have flavors that change monthly. For example, in August, they offer a lemon bingsu, I will write a little about it later, but something to keep in mind is that seasonal offers are limited supply and they often run out relatively early in the day.
You get your seat, etc. and then go and order at the counter. They do not serve you. So you have to wait to hear your order number called and then go pick up your order. It may be a little difficult if you have limited Korean skills, but I have seen the workers help out foreign visitors before and bring their orders to their table.
I highly recommend the milk bingsu! This is a great entry into bingsu fandom. The ice is very fluffy and the portion is very, very generous! The condensed milk is sweet, but not overly sweet. AND, the best part is that you get some dduk on top of your order!
The milk bingsu is 5500KRW and it is definitely enough to share~
They also have an offer, because of their popularity, for take-out customers. You get a 1,000KRW discount on your order and they serve a heaping portion of bingsu in a cup.
You also get to bypass the line, so that's a bonus, too!
There is a new location in Apgujung Galleria. It is in lower level 1 West.
From Chungdam Station (line 7) exit 8, walk straight until you get to the first large 4-way intersection. There, turn left and walk straight past the first three side streets. At the fourth street, turn left and it should be on your left.
(This is for the cafe location)
From exit 9, walk straight to the second major 4-way intersection (Seogyo-dong). Turn left at the street just before the intersection.