Where to Eat in Seoul
Our idea of exploring your own city is through its food. One of our goals in moving abroad was to save money, which we are, but an area of our budget we are both very lax in is ‘eating and drinking.’ (Because what’s the point if not?) It’s something I appreciate about Andrew—he understands that the way to my heart is through my stomach.
To be fair, our officetel (studio apartment), where we’re bumping into walls and stubbing our toes on corners every which way we turn, doesn’t quite lend itself to cooking meals, and grocery shopping is an ordeal and can be expensive and unfortunately wasteful a lot of the time. I might write a post on small space living with your significant other as moving from our massive Providence loft to our current situation has been a shift to say the least!
Anyway, we spent the other weekend eating our way through the city and have discovered even more favorites that are so good I had to share them!
when you’re homesick
Rhode Island was chock full of exceptional Mexican restaurants, but sometimes, you want to be able to grab a quick burrito, you know? My fellow foreigner colleagues were stoked to hear about Cuchara, an explicit ripoff of Chipotle (but a good one, can’t lie), located at the basement of the Samsung building at Gangnam Station, near the Shinbundang line. As I’m writing this, I’m thinking we need to head there for dinner tonight!
for vegans and vegetarians
It seems impossible to sustain a vegan or vegetarian diet in Seoul. We were pescatarian in the States, when we cooked most meals, and even that can be difficult to sustain here. Most dishes, broths, and even banchan (small side dishes) contain some type of white or red meat, often pork, which makes sense as for much of South Korea’s history, meat was too expensive for most citizens and therefore a symbol of wealth and health.
Plant Cafe & Kitchen in Itaewon is a must-visit for vegans and vegetarians and anyone else! They have an extensive menu of healthy and colorful dishes, healthy versions of more indulgent dishes (e.g., chili cheese fries), desserts and pastries, juices, kombucha, and other beverages—and it’s all delicious (and reasonably priced). We shared the chili cheese fries (of course), lentil bowl, and avocado and hummus sandwich, and I had a carrot apple juice that was as vibrant as it was refreshing.
for first breakfast
We each had the avocado bruschetta (before second breakfast at Plant) at Gwanghapseong Cafe in Hongdae. I’m eager to try their other ‘brunch’ offerings (served until 3pm). It’s a larger space that feels intimate even when there are no empty tables, with plenty of sunlight—the perfect space to lounge in and sip their craft-y beverages. The first time we went, the ‘daily cake’ was carrot and delectable.
for your sweet tooth
An airy, high-ceilinged space, Cuore Espresso is one we’d been passing by and reminding ourselves to stop in for some time. There are several coffees, teas, and other beverages to choose from, but their Omija (magnolia berry) tea is the best I’ve had. And their Oreo cookie, Oreo bits baked into a dark chocolate brownie-cookie topped with powdered sugar, is to die for. It may become a dangerous habit.
Impatiently awaiting the next weekend that we can repeat these meals!