Seoul: Cafe love

c3So along with eating good food, another thing I missed (about Seoul) was the desserts, cafes, tea and cakes. While many cafes in Stuttgart also offer breakfast, brunch and even dinner, cafes in Seoul mostly focus on “dessert.” Which means it’s pretty much divided: a brunch cafe serves brunch which includes both sweet and salty, a dessert cafe serves sweet desserts and a restaurant serves downright supper. (I have to say it is somewhat blurry now, but this is how I remember it. I almost never had brunch, lunch or dinner and stay at one place for a long time and just go home. We ALWAYS went to a separate place for dessert.)

This starts at an early age, from high school to, well, forever. You can find young high schoolers, young university students, couples in love, young mothers with their babies/toddlers and middle aged ladies at any cafe in Seoul, no matter what brand (of cafe, not coffee). There’s cafes in almost every corner, which makes you think “really??” but then you get used to the practicality and convenience.

독일, 특히 대도시가 아닌 스튜트가르트에 살면서 그리웠던 것 하나는 서울의 카페 문화. 디저트 카페라는 개념은 거의 없고 (적어도 내가 사는 스튜트) 카페라고는 하지만 브런치나 점심, 저녁을 모두 제공하는 식. 치즈 크림 케익을 먹고 있는데 옆에서 소세지 브런치 먹으면 냄새때문이라도 약간은 방해가 되는 사실. 그리고 굉장히 북적북적한 느낌이다.

c2I found that there are a lot of new cafes and small mini shops that focus on what they do very well, like chocolate, lemonade, ice cream and patbingsu. Stuttgart has cafes, but they are PACKED with people and there isn’t much of a variety, I believe. Gelato, yes, pretzels, fine, but other than that…

그래서 역시나 오자마자 카페를 많이 들렀다. 새로운 카페들도…

c1I’ve heard so much about this new ice cream place called Softree. So of course I had to try it. It was quite easy to find it around Seoul and although it was chilly, there were a lot of people waiting in line to get a scoop.

그렇게도 대단하다는 소프트리를 갔는데 브라보! 맛있었다! 맛있는건 맛있다고 해야지. 디자이너들이 만들어낸 곳이라 그런지 뭔가 빈티지스러우면서도… 가로수길에 처음 생겼지만 지금은 신천이나 백화점 지하에도 있을정도.

c7The first one opened in Garosugil in Sinsadong, which is now a fashion district. Founded by designers, its specialty is milk ice cream (this isn’t vanilla. It’s clearly the flavor of milk) with a honeycomb chunk on top.

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c6I caught the clerk cutting out the honeycombs from the actual box, but they didn’t let me take photos. It was really cool, actually.

c8And yummy! The ice cream isn’t sweet so the honey and the chewy honeycomb seemed to be a perfect combo. Only except when it gets stuck on your teeth. So simple, yet so smart! I find it very irritating that it doesn’t have a decent web page. REALLY? An easy one is in Itaewon, which is right next to the Italian pizzeria Sortino’s. You can also find it at the food courts of major department stores.

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c10Moving on from the rather easier and more simple choices. The oh so fancy cafe near Itaewon called Parlour. I was like “WOW” from start to finish. It was a little girl’s dream come true. Flowy curtains, elegant lamps, sofas, chairs and tables. Even the wallpaper was elegant. Apparently, Parlour is famous for its afternoon tea set, which includes a Kusmi tea of your choice and desserts. Very fancy indeed.

내가 가본 카페중에서는 가장 여성스럽고 페로몬을 마구 발사하던 팔러 카페. 내 자신이 저절로 여성스러워지는 느낌. 여자친구에게 자신의 센스를 뽐내고 싶다면 남자들이여, 이곳으로…

c11Places mentioned: 

All photos by rachelsanghee

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