Going to Yeonnamdong is quite the sensory experience, but is a 45 minute hike for me from my current home in Jamsil. One downside of Seoul in general is how far away different districts are from each other. Everything feels like such a procedure (the jam packed train cars definitely don’t help). I tend to only go near Hongdae when I have an appointment at Hair & Joy so then I just make a day of it. The following are just a few places I’ve visited (and quite enjoyed) over the past couple times I’ve traveled to get my hair done.
I would like to start off by mentioning that there is an ideal lunch place right outside Exit 3 of Hongik University. It’s called Pizza Up, and I definitely recommend it for just the salad alone. I know, I know, it’s a pizza place, but I haven’t actually tried their pizza! Their salads are complete and total underdogs. I got a large Caesar Salad (with multiple hearty avocado chunks) for the low price of around 10,000 won. Usually, salads of that nature are easily around 13-14,000 won. Did I mention that it isn’t filled with salad iceberg lettuce but some good ol’ romaine? Totally worth it. I feel that this general area can sometimes focus on cute cafes with sugary snacks that they can overlook eating options. My gosh, I am so glad I found this place.
I heard a lot of hype about Cafe Yeonnamdong 239-20, so I figured it was definitely worth visiting since I was already in the area. Seeing as popular things in Korea tend to be swarmed with people and have long wait times, a friend and I decided to check the place out later on a Sunday afternoon. The place was filled with people, but I think we went just at the right time. Their rules are that you have to 1) order something (totally fair) and 2) cannot stay for longer than two hours. The black and white decor are supposed to make you feel like you are in a cartoon (super cute), and the drinks are pretty delicious. This was a great place to go and have a great conversation with a friend and take cute pictures, but to be honest, I’m not sure if this is the kind of cafe I would go to for relaxing, reading, or getting some writing done.
This next cafe, I think, is just literally perfect for everything. This is perfect for good conversation, a date, and even just spending some quality by yourself. Surprisingly, as popular as this place seems to be, I have never heard of it until I stumbled upon it one fateful afternoon (Sometimes I live under a rock haha.).
Ver’s Garden had 1) perfect drinks 2) incredible customer service 3) a multitude of different themed rooms 4) indoor and outdoor seating 5) outlets in good proximity and 6) no time limit. I spent hours fluctuating between getting work done on my computer and just staring at the atmosphere around me. It was all so peaceful (not to mention there was an adorable puppy sitting on the bed next to my seat). I feel that there’s so many different seating options that you can come here multiple times and feel like you are in a completely different place each time.
So, I had an incredibly productive day of getting my hair done, exploring a new cafe, enjoying perfect weather, and I was finally ready to head home. However, I was getting hungry, and didn’t want to spend 45 minutes on the train feeling hangry (while also probably standing for a significant period of time). I was about to grab a quick salad at Pizza Up, but I decided to take the scenic route.
Now this is one of my all time favorite things in life. I’m a big believer in synchronicity, and I get super giddy when I’m just wandering and BAM! there comes the perfect place. I see this tiny adorable Japanese looking restaurant, and I’m intrigued to just poke about and see what’s there. It turns out, it’s my soulmate stop. And yes, my soulmate stop has a name. It’s Onassis Champon.
Why do I adore this place so much? For one, it’s tiny, adorable, and super kitschy. Also, it’s literally a tiny, adorable, and super kitschy place that just so happens to serve my two favorite foods, avocado and salmon, in a bowl for a decent price. What can I say? I’m totally in love here. I’m eagerly anticipating my next hair appointment just so I can pay homage to this place once more.
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