Your One-Stop Optical Illusion Coffee Shop


Optical illusions are puzzles for the eye, inspired bits of visual trickery that can fool you into thinking near is far, big is small, or two dimensions are really three.

We’ve explored various optical illusions in the past, but never something quite as curious, or as immersive, as this.


Welcome to Cafe Yeonnam-dong 239-20, a coffee shop in Seoul, South Korea, that is like a drawing come to life.

Designed to look like it’s composed of flat line sketches — essentially, comic strip-style art that you can interact with — the illusion is thoroughly impressive. Everything from chairs and tables to wall art, mugs, and serving containers help bolster the illusion that you’ve transcended space in a very peculiar way.


Like slipping into the black-and-white world from the famous “Take on Me” music video by A-Ha, a visit to Cafe Yeonnam-dong 239-20 is a mind-blowing experience.

And it’s a terrific place to snap some unforgettable pictures. When customers enter the scene, every photo feels like they’ve become part of the illusion, as if they’ve been Photoshopped into a drawing, rather than simply walking in or sitting down for coffee.


The curiously named cafe — which takes its moniker from its street address — has become an international destination for people seeking a unique coffee-fueled tourist experience. This is particularly impressive, given that the cafe supposedly never advertised its opening! The owner claims it’s strictly a word-of-mouth success story.

Whether that’s true or not, you might just get a better chance of experiencing the pleasures of Cafe Yeonnam-dong 239-20 sooner than you think. You see, the owner hopes to franchise the business and open new shops across South Korea, and then expand outward into the world at large.

So, the next time you glance at a bit of trompe l’oeil art on the street, maybe give it a second glance. It might just turn out to be your new favorite coffee spot.


[All images are courtesy of Cafe Yeonnam-dong 239-20.]

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