Something Around Every Corner in Seongsu-dong
Seongsu-dong has been on my radar for a few months now and I just can’t get over there enough it seems.
The shoe district that has become the “it” spot to hang out in what with the warehouses being converted to art spaces and cafes and the boutique shops has something around every corner. Where to begin?! Some have even called it the “Brooklyn of Seoul” so I knew I’d like it before I even got over there.
Everywhere you look there is street art celebrating the district known for shoe factories and design and now with more artists moving in, there is bound to be ever more creative hot spots to appreciate. Young creatives started heading to the area back in 2011 due to the low rent prices and easy access to transportation as happens and with the influx of young blood, the area has become hip and cool which could be good for a while until the rent prices go up and they all have to move on. But, right now, is definitely the time to check out what’s going on in the area. (There is a MAP at the end of this post! Check it out.)
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Urban Source (어반소스)
Over the summer, I met up with a group of ladies at Urban Source and we had a blast. The warehouse, or maybe it was two, has been converted into a restaurant, cafe and super cool space with a huge adult-friendly ball pit. The cafe is separate from the restaurant so you can head in for bready treats and coffee, or sit in another rustic space to eat. If you go upstairs to the rooftop there is a bar area as well. The gal pals and I opted for lunch after perusing the menu which offers quite a few fish bowl and sushi options. I had the brunch roe and avocado bowl which was definitely the best bang for your buck at W9,000. It was filling and very tasty. Can’t go wrong with roe and avocado for me. The sushi rolls were a bit more expensive but were also quite large and filling I was told. After lunch we headed into the ball fit for some fun that we definitely hadn’t had since we were young. A cool spot that has it all. After we checked out Urban Space, we hopped in a taxi and made our way up to the abandoned Yongma Amusement Park not too far away. Check that out if you want some cool pics.
Address: Seongsu-dong 2-ga 301-16 (성수동2가 301-16)
Baesan Daerim Warehouse Cafe (바이산 대림창고)
This warehouse tea cafe is uber cool. I had actually been in the space when it first opened but it wasn’t quite filled out yet and I wasn’t really feeling it. I headed back this past weekend though, and it’s got the edge I like now. Art installations have made the space much more interesting to visit and the tea, oh the tea, is really really good. The tea, which comes in a glass that would make you think it’s beer, is topped with a cream that is a bit salty. It goes very well with the tea once it’s mixed in. Add to that some oh so soft and delicious desserts and this spot really is a must visit. We had a Lamington cake, something originally from Australia apparently. Sponge cake with an outer layer of chocolate and topped with oh so delectable coconut had my swooning. The staff is very kind and also brought up a piece of their carrot cake as service and oh my gosh it was good too. If there weren’t other cafes to visit, I’d be going back there for more of their desserts that’s for sure…. I take that back. I’ll probably be back there next weekend.Do beware that the Daerim Warehouse is actually six warehouse spaces that have been converted into restaurants, cafes and culture spaces so Baesan is the furthest left if you’re looking at it from the street. There is also a great restaurant if you need more food in the entrance to the right. The warehouses were originally used in the 1970s at rice mills and then became an industrial warehouse in the 1990s. The brick walls of the former factory have been unchanged and high beamed ceilings left exposed. The entire place is very cool. Definitely check it ALL out.
Address: Seongsu-dong 2-ga 322-32 (성수동2가 322-32 대림창고)
Across the street from Baesan is a fashion, culture and art stop known as Supy. They currently have a collaboration with Benjamin Moore paints which is pretty modern and cool which is why we initially went though we did end up shopping as well. They also have a cafe inside though we were full from Baesan to try anything. A cool hub of hip fashion and accessories you should definitely check out in the area. There is something for everyone and filled from the first floor to the second and there are cool installations around every corner. Stop in at least to peruse what’s hip in the world.
Address: Seongsu-dong 2-ga 320-5 (성수동2가 320-5)
Cafe N’ Other (카페앤아더)
Cafe N’ Other is one that I’m not sure if I should promote or not and I’ll explain. I spotted this place on Instagram some months back in the summer and thought it looked super neat because they seemed to have a little pool in the back. I just didn’t have the time to check it out until this past Sunday. Arielle from Soju4Two is always prompt and loves getting to spots just when they open before most others are around so we planned to meet there at 9:30. I was running a bit late as I came from the other side of the city so she got there before me at 9:30 but apparently she was the only one that got there. The staff wasn’t there. One person rocked up around 9:45 and seemed surprised to find her there though every where Cafe N’ Other is listed has their open time as 9:30. I walked in just after and as we ordered she then said there wouldn’t be any drinks until at least 10:30. The interior is adorable and cozy and the pond has been covered for the winter but now has large globes you can sit in which is cool. BUT, any place that isn’t prompt when they have clearly labelled listings everywhere sort of turns me off. They also had a very bold sign out front that read “NO PHOTOGRAPHY, NO KIDS, NO PARKING”. I’d be remiss as a parent, if I didn’t point out that sign because I definitely try to promote the more inclusive spots and this just doesn’t seem like one of them. Is it chic? Yes. But it also took a half hour for a simple shot of espresso well after 10:30 when our other friend arrived sooo… if you want a cool Insta shot, check it out. If you want a friendly cool spot to chill, this might not be that place.
Address: Seongsu-dong 1-ga 668-104 (성수동1가 668-104)
Share D’ Table (쉐어드테이블)
Share D’ Table is as you might have guessed, a shared space with multiple vendors. There is a vendor inside that sells coffees and cakes, a vendor serving noodle soups as well as a vendor serving pizzas out of a legit stone oven. Because it’s shared, I found the interior slightly confusing in terms of aesthetics. It’s got that industrial vibe with exposed cement and unfinished tiled walls but then there is also a corner near the pizza vendor that seems to be a bit more chic and then there’s another area that is soft. The pizza was definitely delicious and we appreciated the neon sign for sure, but I think it could use a bit of work to compromise the aesthetics. It’s definitely a good all in one stop for eats in the area though and actually, if you’re after some cool Insta shots, this shared space has multiple backdrops you could use and people wouldn’t even guess you were in the same building.
Address: Seongsu-dong 2-ga 315-55 (성수동2가 315-55)
According to their Instagram page, they are “the first matcha brand harvested in Jeju Island.” This is one of those matcha spots that Arielle has been to a few times I believe and that says something. I’m definitely a coffee drinker myself but if she is telling me this is the spot to check out a good tea, then I’m there. The industrial space that lets the greenery stand out amid hints of color pops from benches, stools and sofas is very cool yet cozy. The staff is so friendly and didn’t mind my clumsy toddler checking out all of their plants. She may have even watered a few… okay a lot of them. The tea was delicious even for a non-tea drinker like myself and the vibes were right up my alley. This is definitely that afternoon cozy tea spot you’ve been looking for.
Address: Seongsu-dong 1-ga 685-254 (성수동1가 685-254)