Ever on the prowl for board game shops in Seoul, I stumbled across the Dice Latte and was pleasantly surprised. This is mostly a game cafe and I seemed to have caught it about a week after it opened. So unfortunately the stock of games for sale was rather limited but after chatting with the owner, selling games is something certainly in the works.
What stands out for the Dice Latte over other game cafes however is that it also caters towards the RPG crowd. Not only are there a great selection of board games to try, but also a shelf full of RPG books for people to read or pick up for running games on the premises.
The place is pretty spacious with nice tables and is well lit with plenty of windows for natural lighting. The menu and prices are geared towards your typical coffee shop fare. There is a tiny kitchen with muffins, cookies, and other baked sweets available. A simple sandwich set is also offered if looking for something more filling.
Paid game time in the shop seems to be pretty liberal. A cup of coffee will get you an hour, but longer play times will require a bit more cash. While there are hourly fee options, cheaper pricing falls into larger chunks of time at 4 hours on up. It’s is a decent option. You can either load up on a few coffees for a few hours, or simply buy a cup and pay a little extra for an afternoon (or evening) of gaming.
The stock of games was rather impressive for a newly opened shop with several classics as well as plenty of new Board Game Geek hotness. The RPG selection was very nice also between classics like AD&D up to 5E and even more smaller publisher fare like Dungeon World and Fiasco. What was a pleasant treat was there were a few Korean RPGs also, including translated versions of western RPGs. My understanding are there are a few Korean RPG groups that are regulars of the shop.
I noticed a smaller room in the back and after chatting with the owner, came to understand that it will be a special room for reservations. If people are wanting a regular place to play that is a bit more quiet from the open room, it’ll be available. Best of all it can be locked. So if folks wanted to step out for a beer and chicken break in the middle of an all night session, they could leave the room as is and not worry about anyone else messing with their things.
What immediately jumped to my mind when I heard that the cafe was seeking to expand it’s offerings to include selling some games was would any RPG dice be available. A constant point I seem to find in the expat crowd is how difficult it is to get a set of polyhedral dice in Korea. Seems that the Dice Latte will have that covered as they’ll be a Korean distributor for Chessex dice shortly.
The staff appeared friendly and willing to engage me when I came in which is always a plus. Something else stood out for me. Granted it was an early Saturday afternoon and the cafe was in a tad of a lull, but a table of folks noticed me walking around alone looking over the shelves of games. One of the chaps offered me a seat at their table as they were going to jump into a board game. I think that reflects a bit of the friendly vibe there.
To get to the cafe, take subway line 1 to Hoegi. Take exit 1 from the subway and hang a left. Walk a bit until the street you are on runs into a main road. The shop will be catty corner on the third floor at the intersection. I noticed a big tree appears to cover much of the cafe’s sign front, but you can make out the RPG shop lettering that borders the third floor of the commercial building.
All in all the Dice Latte seems like a great place to play board games and is very expat friendly. I’d certainly check it out and if you are in Seoul hankering for a place to play or meet up with other RPG players, the Dice Latte looks to be the spot to visit.
(EDIT: Things have moved along for the store swimmingly it seems. Not only are they a distributor for Chessex dice but also for Mayday Games card sleeves. RPG fanatics and pristine board game fans should take note.)