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Exploring Seoul: A Canadian’s Quest for the New Tim Hortons Coffee Shop

Hey there, fellow Ulsanites! Today, I’m diving into the vibrant streets of Seoul, South Korea, on a mission that’s close to every Canadian’s heart: the pursuit of Tim Hortons. As you may not know, I myself, am a Canadian and this whole Ulsan Online thing was also started by a Canadian! So now you know why this type of quest really matters!

Now, you might be thinking, “In Korea? Timmies? Really?” But trust me, this isn’t your average coffee Korean shop adventure.

Picture this: You’re strolling through the bustling heart of Seoul, amidst the sea of neon lights and the rhythmic hum of the city. And just a stone’s throw away from Seoul Station, nestled in the midst of this urban chaos and skyscrapers, lies the latest branch of Tim Hortons. It’s a slice of home in a foreign land, a beacon for any Canadian craving a taste, albeit subtle one, of familiarity.

Entering the café, I was greeted by the comforting aroma of freshly brewed coffee and the unmistakable sight of maple leaf motifs adorning the tables and coffee machines. The décor, while paying homage to its Canadian roots, seamlessly blended with the modern aesthetics of the massive building it was placed in. It created a unique ambiance that felt both nostalgic and new at the same time.

However, as I perused the menu, I couldn’t help but notice a glaring omission: where were the muffins, the wraps and soups? These quintessential Tim Hortons offerings were nowhere to be found. It felt like they had cloned a Dunkin’ Donuts and fed it maple syrup. Don’t get me wrong, the experience was good, but it didn’t quite capture the full essence of a Timmies back home.

Now, let’s talk about the main event: the coffee. As I approached the counter, I couldn’t help but feel a surge of excitement at the prospect of indulging in a classic “double-double.” However, I was soon met with a surprising revelation and tinge of disappointment: the prices were anything but cheap. While I expected a premium for imported Canadian goods, the cost definitely gave my wallet a run for its money.

Nevertheless, I eagerly ordered the beloved Canadian “double-double” and took a seat by the over-priced tumblers and $20 bags of coffee, anticipation building with every passing moment. The first sip transported me back to the teachers room at the Korean middle school I used to work at and not the frigid Manitoba mornings that I was hoping for. The familiar taste of rich coffee and creamy sweetness was there, yet it bore a striking resemblance to the popular Korean mixed coffee—a logical fusion of cultures in a single cup, I guess.

As I settled into my nearly 20,000 won breakfast (including the pack of 10 Timbits that I was bringing back to Ulsan), I eagerly dug into my maple glazed doughnut, savoring every bite with a mixture of nostalgia and delight. Despite Seoul boasting more cafes per capita than any other place in the world, stumbling upon a Tim Hortons still feels like striking gold. It’s a reminder that amidst the endless sea of options, there’s something special about a taste of home. From now on, every trip from Ulsan to Seoul will undoubtedly be tinged with anticipation, knowing that a comforting cup of Timmies (or a 7,000 won box of timbits) awaits at journey’s end.

So, whether you’re a homesick Canadian craving a taste of Timmies or a curious traveler seeking a unique culinary adventure, the new Tim Hortons Coffee Houses dotted across Seoul await you. Just remember to bring your appetite and your wallet—you never know how much this maple leaf indulgence will cost you.

There are now several Tim Hortons locations around Seoul and the Flagship store by the Sinnonhyeon subway station near the Express bus terminal. The one that I went to and the closest one to Seoul station is in the Grand Central Building (click here for the map details). 

Here is the link to their main branch at Sinnonhyeon Station