Seoul is such a giant city that there are many cute, trendy areas that totally forgotten about. I feel like Anguk is one of them. Anguk is north Seoul, Line 3 (the orange line), and a very convenient straight shot for most of the way if you suffer on the neverending Line 1 (dark blue) line.
Hongdae, Sinsa, and even Itaewon get all the praise for cute cafes, restaurants, etc., but the smaller districts are less crowded and tend to have more charm to them. While I’ve certainly been to Anguk before, it was nice to return with a book in hand and a full afternoon completely free to relax and walk around and explore.
My first stop was a cafe called Butler. It was a super tiny cafe (like what a surprise in Seoul! haha), but I was able to get comfortable here and knock out a few chapters on my Kindle. I found it to be a sweet, romantic cafe that paid attention to detail.
After a few hours of just quality time alone, I explored some of the winding alleyways to see what they had to offer. Around every corner, there was just something…so endearing. I could have walked about here forever. It also wasn’t crammed with people either, which made it super nice.
I was surprised to see The Baker’s Table there, as I had only seen it before in Itaewon. I never tried it, and I was pleasantly surprised. I really did feel like I was in some kind of eatery at home. Yes, everyone needs the pumpkin soup in their lives.
The best part, I would say, was stumbling around Japanese souffle pancakes….Could it really have been? Because when I was in Tokyo trying to get them right before COVID really blew up, it was quite the adventure. If it wasn’t for the saving of a…Japanese Denny’s, we definitely would have been out of luck. Yes, if you’re ever in Tokyo, get a reservation at almost everywhere to get the special jiggly pancakes because GOOD LUCK. And Korea, good on you for having them! I have yet to see them somewhere else so far.
And now, months later, this sparsely populated piece of magic pops up in Anguk with souffle pancakes minus 5 billion people in the same place at the same time. In case you’re wondering why I’m wearing a star blanket, it’s because Korea is magical like that. As it turns out, Korean women and myself both love mini skirts and mini dresses year round and still like to feel warm. In response, many cafes and restaurants have these little baskets to cover ones legs for maximum comfort. It puts a giant smile on my face.
In conclusion, I feel that the best places are in these little neighborhoods that no one really remembers or thinks of. Koreans are always putting cute/delicious things everywhere they can. I love finding them.
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