This week Seoul Secrets took a trip to the neighbourhood of Mangwon, situated between the Han river and the more well known Hongdae area. It’s a less artsy and more of a hard living and hard working neighbourhood than Hongdae. It offers a real insight into the day to day life of people in this area, with the main focus around a huge market at one end and the Hangang river park at the other.
To get here is very simple, just take Exit 2 of Mangwon station on Line 6. Turn to your right as you leave the exit, here you’ll see a road that leads off into the distance and continues cross the main intersection. This road offers some of the most interesting parts of Mangwon. The first place we’re going to checkout is the Mangwon market, as well as a treat along the way.
So taking that first right out of the subway exit, walk down the road till you reach’Do dream building’ take a right here to and you’ll see our first secret spot:
Cafe Bubu is the treat you were waiting for! A fairly large coffee shop with a large welcoming and relax garden entrance. Opened by a web designer and his wife for three years, may have given some inspiration to the name Bubu, which I’m told means ‘Married’ or ‘Marriage’. With a coffee roasting lab in the basement, they offer beans for sale or you can try one of their two signature blends. Either ‘ET’ which is an Ethiopian base or ‘B2’ a Brazilian base both making for a great tasting coffee. One thing about this place is the passion and time dedicated to serving the coffee and making sure its a cup of perfection every time.
Served by both Ami Jeong and Daehan Choi, you’ll be in safe hands, we’d like to thank them for their helpful information as both Mangwon residents themselves they helped suggest other places to check out in this post!
They also feature some live music from time to time! (made and performed by Ami Jeong)
Here at Mangwon Market is an endless warren of all the market stalls you can imagine, as there is no large supermarkets within close proximity this market is the go to place for the majority of residents here.
As you walk the main stretch of the market you’ll see a few cup fried chicken places:
These stalls are a main attraction for many as they offer more flavours than your average cup chicken stall. Here you can try an array of flavors from, spicy, sweet, cheese, chilli and more!
After leaving the market exit the same way you entered and walk back towards the subway, but as you arrive back at station continue across the main intersection and stay on the road. Or just come out of Exit 1 and take a left to the same road.
As you walk down this road you will see the bright yellow exterior of Grain Ble. This great little bakery offers really delicious breads and pastries. If you’re looking for something different from the masses of generic Korean style baked goods, that are often sweeter tasting than that of western palette then this is the place for you.
After asking about their most popular bread we were pointed in the direction of the cheese and nut filled bread roll (in the picture above). It did not disappoint, a great savoury flavour reminiscent of freshly baked bread you’d get back home.
After you leave the bakery continue down the same road, you’ll arrive at a cross section with a main road, turn right here and you’ll stumble across our last spot for today..
Coffee Conhas is a structurally interesting creation. An exterior of stacked shipping containers that connects to an adjacent old stone like building, when you pass by your eye is automatically drawn towards it. Open for four years now by a music producer, the name of which was kept secret (possibly famous or possibly not). This place offers speciality coffee and a unique environment.
After purchasing your coffee outside in a glass room, you look to enter the building. Greeted by large metal doors it feels like you’re entering a secret hide out, once inside you see large open tables in quite a dark light setting. The majority of people here were doing work or studying, no surprise for a Korean coffee shop.
Check it out!
Further directions to featured spots: