Saturday, March 22, 2014

Seoul 2013: 삼청동 (Samcheongdong)

It was my first time visiting Samcheongdong last year even though I've travelled to Seoul quite a few times already. I fell in love with the area with all the charming cafes and confusing alleys. It was the perfect place to visit to experience both the modern and ancient charms of Seoul. Bukchon Hanok Village is actually within walking distance, so I definitely recommend to combine a trip to both places in a day when planning an itinerary. Or if time permits, just spend one full day for Bukchon Hanok Village, and another for Samcheongdong. There's just so much to explore!

삼청동 (Samcheongdong)

There are plenty of cafes, restaurants, art galleries, lifestyle stores and more at Samcheongdong. It's practically a haven for the artistic crowd.

홈스테드 Homestead Coffee
Address:서울시 종로구 북촌로5가길 24(화동) (87-1 Hwa-dong, Jongno-gu)
Get there: Anguk Station, Subway Line 3, Exit 1.
Phone: 02-720-3359
To try: Sweet potato latte

We ordered a mug of sweet potato latte to share at Homestead Coffee. Yeah, we're totally drink-aholics. In a way. When the weather is cold, all we want to do is wrap our hands around a hot drink to warm ourselves up. It helps too that cafes tend to provide some relief from the chill outside.

The mug looked deceptively ordinary. It wasn't the usual purple sweet potato latte that I've grown accustomed to drinking in Korea, and it was not adorned with any fancy latte art. However, it was hands down the best 고구마 라떼 (sweet potato latte) we had! The sweet potato taste was so yummy. There are many different non-caffeinated lattes in Korean cafes, and my absolute fave is the sweet potato lattes (both the purple and yellow ones though I have a bias for purple since it's my favourite colour).

2nd level Homestead Coffee

카카오봄 Cacao Boom
Address: 서울특별시 종로구 팔판동 160 1 층(1 Floor, 160 Palpan-dong Jongno-gu, Seoul)
Opening hours: 9am to 10pm daily
Phone: 02-733-4662
To try: Hot chocolate

We walked for quite a bit, and the cousin decided that she wanted to stop at this chocolatier store for some hot choco (told ya we are drinkaholics!). So we made a brief stop and when we stepped into the store, wow, the smell of chocolate...

It was like a a kid's dream come true. I imagine that's how Willy Wonka felt, being enveloped in a seductive chocolate perfume. Especially so when the hot choco was being made, the smell of chocolate in the air was just... *sigh*

I had a sip of her hot choco, it was thick and rich. Basically yumminess in a cup. I can't recall now but it was one of the better hot choco we had in Seoul. Aside from our unanimous fave dark chocolate hot choco at Red Mango.

Café Dodo& (카페 도도)
Address: 종로구 소격동119-1 (Jongno-gu, Sogyeok-dong 119-1, Seoul)
Get there: Anguk Station, Exit 1
Opening hours: Sun to Thur 10am to 10pm, Fri & Sat 10am to 1130pm
Phone: 02-737-7236
To try: Waffles

We went to this really gorgeous and airy cafe. Technically, I'm not even sure whether the term cafe is suitable for this place as it was massive. It was a standalone two-story building by itself. And what I love best about it was all that washed out wood. I'm a sucker for washed out wood, peeling paint and brick walls. How can stuff that looks so worn out looks so good you might wonder. So do I. So do I.

I swear this would make the most perfect house ever. If only I lived in such a beautiful place. Preferably in some countryside with all that fresh air and quiet. But please include a wi-fi connection. I can't survive long without Internet. :D

Peeling paint everywhere! *be still my heart*

There was some miscommunication with the order. My two travel pals had went ahead to order while I was busy walking around snapping photos of the place. When the buzzer rang, we went to the counter, and there were two servings of waffles there. I guess when the order was placed, somehow one serving was misordered as two servings. We explained to them that we actually only wanted one waffles, and the staff were really nice about it. They actually waived off the order, and also asked us to take the extra plate of waffles that they had already prepared! A pity we were all not very hungry, and we don't think we could stomach two servings of waffles. Sadly, we had to refuse their kind (free!) offer.


The waffles were alright, it was not light and airy, more of a denser texture. We all agreed that we preferred the one we had at the other cafe (read post > here) we had visited much earlier on in the day. The coffees were alright. 

The ambiance of this cafe was totally thumbs up, and if I live in Seoul, I would totally visit make this a regular haunt to bring my laptop to chill at, or meet up with girlfriends. 

White on white

Samcheongdong is definitely a place I would add to my regular spots to visit whenever I'm in Seoul. Can't wait to be back again!

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