Madagascar is a very unique coffee shop, and one of our favorites. If you want to find it, it is close to Hyochang Park subway station. In Korean, they call the subway station, Hyochang Kongwon Ap yok in Korean. Come out of the subway station through exit number 2 and turn back to your left. Walk straight down the street a few blocks, and you will see it on the right hand side of the road next to the Hyochang Park church of Christ. It is unique and hard to miss.
Before you go in, you will see the flowers and tables outside. Often, I see people sitting at these tables, but the weather has been too hot lately, so everyone has been inside. It is such a popular coffee shop that during July, when it was extremely hot out, we went there, and it was so crowded that we couldn’t find a seat, but we have been there many times, and that is the first time I have seen it that crowded. Needless to say, though, it is a very popular coffee shop. Koreans like to hang out in coffee shops, and this is one worth hanging out in. At times, I have thought that whoever made the coffee shop perhaps went to Madagascar and tried to recreate the atmosphere in their coffee shop.
Before you go in, you reach for the handles on the front door, and you are impressed because they are not just plain handles, but interesting looking. As you walk in the front door, immediately, vintage things catch your attention. Right by the front door, there is a statue, and then an old time phonograph. As you look around the room, you will notice a German looking vehicle parked on the other side of the room and a phone booth at the end of the bookcase by the door.
There are statues and good books available to read on the shelves.
There are several sets of book shelves with statues, pictures, and books, mostly about Madagascar. The bookshelves by the door serve as a divider, and there are more tables behind them. There is a vacant area in the bookshelves where a Pinocchio puppet is hanging, and on the wall beyond, there a pictures of faces of people from Madagascar.
On the opposite side of the room from the bookshelf, you will see a desk all along the wall where people come to work and study. There are places to plug your lap top in along that wall. On that wall, there are several beautiful pictures of Madagascar.
As you go toward the place to order, you will see there are wine glasses and more Pinocchio puppets hanging up above the place to order. You can get all different kinds of drinks as well as deserts here. This is not a restaurant, so don’t expect to find a meal, just deserts and drinks.
In our group, one person ordered a strawberry smoothy, one ordered ginger aid, and another hot chocolate. I actually had just had lunch, and didn’t think I could fit anything else in my stomach, so I opted just to enjoy being with my friends and soak up the atmosphere. If I was thirsty, there was a place I could serve myself ice water, but I wasn’t even thirsty. I usually get something when we come, but I just didn’t feel like it today. They used to serve mint chocolate smoothies here that I love, but lately, when I order, since they no longer have mint chocolate smoothies, I order a chocolate smoothy.
The atmosphere is worth taking up in Madagascar. The whole time we were there, the music was just the right loudness. It wasn’t too loud or too soft, but lingered in the background like it should. The voices weren’t even too loud like they usually are in Korean places. I figured the reason was because some people came to visit with their friends, but many were there studying instead of talking.
Even the temperature is always right. This time of year, if you go to the mall or to a big department store, they may have the air conditioning on, but it is hard to feel, and often, you are sweating anyway. However, you can really feel the air conditioning in Madagascar. It was so cool that if it got any cooler, I might have asked to change tables where the air conditioner didn’t blow. After it has been so hot here, it was a very welcome cool.
Needless to say, whenever we go to Madagascar, it is a pleasant experience. It has vintage, international, interesting decor. It has good drinks and desserts. The music and temperature is right. The only time I saw anyone not quite satisfied was the guy with the strawberry smoothy decided his strawberry smoothy wasn’t quite sweet enough, and he went to get a package of sugar to add it to his smoothy, and then he was happy. This coffee shop is a very worthwhile place to go.