Garosugil is an area full of small boutique shops, restaurants, café etc. This is one of my favourite area to go shopping and café hopping in Seoul. I spent approximately five hours on that day, starting from having authentic yummy brunch, shopping around some interesting art shops, retail fashion, hat specialty shop, café hopping for coffee break, more shopping at some boutique shops, another café for high tea and dessert before I really called it a day. If you enjoy shopping like me, you would most probably enjoy this area.
To start with, I highly recommend to get a tourist Garosugil maps to walk around. With the map, you get to know what shops are around and which café you may be getting close to.
When you get out from Sinsa Station, there are shops everywhere for you start the day!
Garosugil Map Source: Seoul Metropolitan Government
Café hopping culture is strong in this area but you have to search for it for many are not on the main steet.
Walking was pretty much all the "exercise" I did when I was in Garosugil. Many of the cute little boutique shops or buildings with amazing effort in architectural design constantly caught my attention. Those built characteristic to the area, making it with stylish and pleasant for my shopping trip.
One of the interesting cafe in Garosugil, this cafe is also one of those in the small streets. You have got to walk around to look for it.
It was really tempting to go in for Gelato!
Photo Zone! Great, Creative but Expensive advertisement strategy!
Not too sure if I wanted a cup of coffee in the farm during a hot summer day, so I skipped that.
Specialty hat shop! Bought a few hats since it was a hot day and I needed one. There was quite a good selection in it.
Alright, that was enough photos of the shops! Now it's the restaurant and cafe recommendation part - FOOD!
For the spicy food lovers, you may want to consider this particular restaurant - Jipsin Spicy Pork-Ribs Stew. There are lots of restaurants around but I was hunting for local authentic food so this shop grabbed my attention.
Personally, I enjoy spicy food and generally okay with most Southeast Asian food so I thought having a normal taste of 20-30% maybe okay for me.... Perhaps I underestimated Korean's definition of "Hot" & "Spicy"! They cooked the Spicy Steamed Pork Ribs with Cheongyang Pepper (or Chungyang), and served with a Korean hot pot.
I later found out from Wikipedia:
"The Chungyang Red Pepper' is a small-sized chili pepper that has a strong burning sensation when eaten. It is a cultivar of the species Capsicum annuum originating in South Korea and developed by Dr. Il-ung Yoo (유일웅) by hybridizing Thai and Jeju-do cultivars. Chungyang Red Peppers have 10,000 - 23,000 Scoville heat units."
What on earth was I thinking if I could handle 20-30% of that?!
Tips: How did I judge which restaurant was authentic?
Well, these customers were all communicating with Korean instead of tourists with cameras. With this indication, I had been eating lots of yummy Korean food throughout the trip!
My tongue was on fire with this HOT and SPICY "Steamed" pork ribs! It was so delicious that I wanted to finish it all so I turned off the fire, ordered a bowl of steam purple rice and ice water to go with it. In addition, I added the bean paste provided along with some side dishes which really helped to reduce the spiciness and also added flavour to it. If you were to ask if I would go back again, the answer is YES but perhaps go mild 10% spiciness!
Alright, here it goes with my dessert during my shopping break! I don't think you need any explanation from the photos! I simply enjoyed my dessert with such a lovely interior during my shopping break. There are so many cafe in Garosugil and it was difficult to eat in each and every cafe so I guess it's either you spend half an hour in each cafe or simply choose one! I did and I was happy with it =)
Travel Date: Augest 2016
Trip Style: Solo Travel
Transportation: Subway trains
Accommodation: Hotel in Myeongdong
Duration Spent: 6 hours (Shopping, cafe hopping and photography)
A country rich in history, culture. If you have never tried the delicious Korean food, it's colourful culture, or perhaps check out the plastic surgery industry - this definitely is a popular destination for Asia.