Seoul restaurants

A Taste of Home at Two Broz Burgers

Seoul has most certainly come a long way in the past few years in terms of serving up tasty international cuisine. Burger aficionados, in particular, no longer have to suffer their way through bites of patties smothered in mystery sauce or trek across the capital in search of the real deal. There are a number of burger joints in Seoul nowadays, but perhaps the biggest concentration is in the multicultural district of Itaewon. Here, diners have endless options, but for those craving a no-nonsense, unpretentious burger before a night out on the town or a quick bite during lunch, Two Broz is a great option.

Tea Therapy: Samcheongdong's Healing Restaurant

These days, I'm trying hard to alter my lifestyle to be a healthier, happier me. This entails everything from establishing a morning routine of drinking lemon water, stretching and dry brushing to cooking with fresh ingredients, limiting sugar intake and snacking on green smoothies. I'm learning that what we put into our bodies greatly affects how we look, feel and even think. It's a slow process, but I'm getting there.

Hanging Out in Hyehwa

Once the center of Seoul's art and music scene, Hyehwa is a neighborhood bursting with creativity and youthful energy. The area is situated in the northeastern part of the capital and is also known as Daehangno, a nickname derived from dehag, or "university," because of its close proximity to a number of learning institutes.

Over the past decade, Hongdae has garnered the reputation of being Seoul's SoHo, lessening Hyehwa to a mere a notch in the history of the city's culture boom. Today, it remains off the radar to most tourists and is even overlooked by locals. Nevertheless, it remains to thrive as Seoul's theater district- with over 80 independent theaters showing performances on a daily basis- and is brimming with diverse, inexpensive eateries, eye-catching cafes and greenspaces to boot. The neighborhood, while seemingly typical on the surface, is one of surprises. It just takes a bit of digging to discover them.

Korea's Best Grocery Delivery Websites

Seoul is, without a doubt, one of the most convenient places to live in the world. It's a 24 hour city, with businesses remaining open until the wee hours of the morning. It boasts an incredibly efficient and affordable transportation system.  And you can get just about anything delivered to your house. Including groceries. Which is particularly handy when you live in the hilltops of Gyeongnidan like myself.

Below is a list of helpful websites to use when you don't feel like hauling around heavy bags of veggies or fighting ajumma in chaotic supermarkets.

iHerb.com

Although I live in Itaewon and have easy access to a number of international markets, I prefer shopping on iHerb.com for the price, selection of food and quick delivery. iHerb.com is based in America and prides itself on having the best overall value for natural products in the world. You can find just about anything on iHerb, from user-reviewed breakfast foods and baking items to vitamins and toiletries. One of my favorite brands to order is Bob's Red Mill; I'm particularly fond of their gluten-free bread mixes, steel-cut oats, and soups. I'm obsessed with their hearty Vegi Soup Mix for $5.37 USD which sells at Itaewon High Street Market for the equivalent of $10.69. And I won't even get started on the mark-up of vitamins in Korea.

Surprisingly, the shipping is crazy cheap- a flat rate of $4.00 USD for up to 15 pounds. Shipping takes about a week and despite the more complicated customs process as of late, all you need to complete your order is an ARC number (either yours or a co-signer's).

First-time users can use the code STJ541 to save up to $10.00 USD on one's first purchase. Be warned, however, that once you start using iHerb.com, you WILL become addicted.




Dae-oh Book Store 33 Cafe: A Place of History, Culture and Family

When I first moved to Korea, I spent every minute of my free time getting lost in the neighborhoods of Seoul. Wandering the unknown became a hobby and through it, I was able to learn a lot about my new home and discover many a hidden gem, whether it be a cafe, an interesting sculpture or a peaceful green space to sit and rest for a while.

As time went on and I grew accustomed to my new city, the neighborhoods lost a bit of their magic and I became slightly jaded. Over the past few weeks, however, I began to miss those afternoons spent in solitude and discovery and decided to get back to exploring the streets of the city. The historic district of Seochon-dong was first on my list. I had no expectations, which is probably why I was so delighted to have stumbled upon Dae-oh Book Store 33 Cafe.

A Girl's Guide to Gangnam, Day Two: Apgujeong and Cheongdam-dong

This is part two of a two-part, two-day itinerary focusing on the best shopping, eats and cafes in Seoul's Gangnam district.  To read part one, featuring Sinsa-dong, please click here.

After having a simple breakfast and a chat with the lovely manager at your girls-only guesthouse, hop a bus or hail a taxi to Apgujeong, a short 5-10 minute ride from Garosugil.

Cargo 127: Craft Beer and Pub Grub Perfection in Itaewon

One of the biggest culinary trends to hit South Korea over the past couple years is that of craft beer.  Subsequently, microbreweries and small gastropubs have been mushrooming throughout Seoul, particularly in the neighborhoods of Itaewon, Gyeongnidan and Haebangchon.

Each of these watering holes offers up their own specialties, all of which are nice alternatives of tasteless Cass, watery OB and the rest of Korea's substandard brews.  One of the best places to get in on the craft action is Cargo 127 in the heart of Itaewon.

Tong-in Market Dosirak Cafe: The Ultimate Korean Lunch Box

When I was in elementary school, I refused to anything that the school cafeteria spit out.  I was an extremely picky eater and because of this, my mom had no choice but to prepare a lunch box for me everyday.  I would get so excited to see what she had packed at lunch time: a crust-less turkey sandwich, string cheese, a bunch of grapes, pasta salad.  On a really good day, I'd find a Lunchable waiting for me, along with a note wishing me luck on whatever test I'd be taking that day.  My lunchbox meals were not just food... they were special moments in my day, provided courtesy of my thoughtful mother.

The Seoul Cupcake Quest

There's something about cupcakes that elicits memories of childhood and better days.  It's impossible to be anything but happy when eating them, as they are treats for both the taste buds and the eyes.  Unfortunately, in Korea, cupcakes, and most baked goods for that matter, haven't always lived up to this reputation, as key ingredients are often left out or changed to please Korean palates.

The good news, though, is that there seems to be somewhat of a cupcake renaissance taking place here in Seoul.  Pâtissiers and baking enthusiasts alike are working hard to perfect the cupcake to meet the demands of those sweet-toothed folks wanting the real deal.

Over the past month, I made it my mission to seek out some of the best cupcakes in the city.  Continue reading to see what I found on my cupcake quest. 

Shortcake


Hanok Hideaways


The creak of old wooden floors.  The sliding of beautifully crafted doors.  The upward curves of tiled roofs and the enchanting calm of courtyards.  Hanoks, or traditional Korean houses, are delightful dwellings where those who enter them can't help but be hypnotized by their charm.  Constructed in accordance with nature and geographical location, hanoks were the preferred type of home by Koreans until last century.  Due to population growth and lack of space, Koreans in bigger cities have since been forced to build upward and live in unattractive cement structures.  This is especially true in Seoul, where residents prefer more modern homes with larger living spaces.  Still, there are a few places in the Korean capital where visitors can bask in the beauty of the hanok.


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