Must-Eats in Yeonnam-dong: Round 1
Yeonnam-dong is the neighborhood I called home for about 6 years before I moved to the neighborhood just north of it. When I lived there, it wasn’t cool, it wasn’t hip and all of those trendy cafes and restaurants were sniffing out the place, but didn’t quite want to commit.
Suddenly the Gyeongui Line Forest Park was finally opened and put on display for all to see and all of those little hovels serving up delicious Korean fare were a hit… until they weren’t because shiny new places moved in. Now, everywhere you look, there’s some new restaurant or some new cafe and they’re all fighting for the crowds spilling out of Hongik Station.
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For the past few weeks, my husband, friends and I have canvased the area to see what’s good, what’s not and what’s hot. These are the places that you SHOULD check out in Yeonnam-dong (Round 1)
The owner and baker of SF Bagels brought her sourdough starter all the way from San Francisco and has been feeding it ever since. She bakes up bagels and sweets to perfection and is happy to converse in both Korean and English. She’s extremely helpful and knowledgeable about her craft and for an Ohio girl that LOVES sourdough, this is now my go-to bakery for all things bready. Check out her Instagram feed @sfbagels to stay on top of what she’s whipping up because she’ll surprise you! From coffee cake to scones, cinnamon rolls and more, she’s stirring, flipping, whipping and baking her goods up to perfection.
Address: 385-1 Yeonnam-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Tampa Sandwich Bar
Taking a leap of faith similar to the chef in the movie The Chef from which the owners got their idea, owners Geunmin Kang and Hyunmin Cho decided to perfect some American southern staples and open up shop in chic Yeonnam-dong in October of 2015. Google and YouTube were all these two needed to perfect dishes like the Cuban sandwich, Po’ boy and pulled pork. Who would have thought? They’ve also got fried Oreos and a Mac N’ Cheese sandwich that when paired with craft beer hits the spot. If you’re looking for that down home goodness, this place will tickle your fancy. Instagram: @tampa_sandwichbar
Address: 260-2 Yeonnam-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Beezza has two locations in Seoul, one just to the west of Gyeongbokgung Palace, which I had previously visited after a good hike around the Seoul Fortress Wall, and one down a little alley in Yeonnam-dong. The pizza served up is hip and deliciously combines things like apple and Gorgonzola cheese or salami and peppers. The pizza is best paired with the numerous craft beers on the menu which make this spot a great place to dine in the area. However, and almost more importantly, this is also THE perfect place to pick up some pizza and drinks to-go so one can enjoy the Gyeongui Line Forest Park with a little picnic. The salami and pepper pizza was our fave. Instagram: @beezza_
Address: 256-4 Donggyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Owned and operated by some enthusiastic Canadians from Montreal, this shop makes up some delicious and photo-worthy open faced brunch bagel sandwiches. The interior is modern and well designed with a few private tables and then a large family table in the center that seats twelve. The combinations on the bagels are simple and to the point, but well done and on top of some mighty good Montreal-style bagels, it’s probably the best brunch shop in the neighborhood not to mention the chicest. Instagram: @bagelmtl
Address: 223-21 Yeonnam-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Soi Yeonnam-dong by Tuk Tuk Noodle Thai
This Thai style soup shop is the little sister of the Tuk Tuk Noodle Thai shop down the road which now has a few locations in Yeonnam-dong and ALL of them require a wait in a line to get in. Soi serves up dishes from a pretty short menu but they serve them up mighty well. There is almost always a line outside of this shop and for damn good reason. Oh, is their food very Thai and very mouth-watering. All of Tuk Tuk Noodle Thai’s locations in the area are worth a visit, but this one will do you just right for a quick stop on the way to or from the park. Instagram: @soiyeonnam
Address: 229-67 Yeonnam-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
There are more to come, but these five hops around Yeonnam-dong have done us right. Take a wander. Take a gander and grab a bite in Yeonnam-dong. Are you hoping to stay in the area? Check out Hotel The Designers, Marigold Hotel or The Win Art House for a great stay in the artsy Hongik University area.