TRAVEL & EXPERIENCE

Mesh Coffee

[LOCAL TOUR] A Walk Around Seoul Forest
Seoul’s hip neighborhood Seongsu-dong is bigger than you might think. This spring, with the weather being perfect for outdoor activities, let’s go on a picnic to the purlieus of Seoul Forest located in Seongsu-dong.
Seongsu-dong, once a factory district, has become one of the most happening places representing Seoul. Old warehouses and factories have been replaced with cultural complexes, designer studios, and cafés, while global brands are opening their flagship stores in the area. It is dubbed ‘Brooklyn of Seoul’ as art and culture enthusiasts are gathering there. With a hope that you can thoroughly experience and enjoy the expansive Seongsu-dong, we have selected nine places absolutely worth visiting.
 
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Mesh Coffee

❶ Feel the Seongsu Vibe, Mesh Coffee
People sitting freely on crate benches placed in front of the café look happy and content. Some are office workers who are getting their morning cups of joe and some are neighborhood residents who are walking their dogs, but they all blend in quite naturally in the café. Despite its small space, ‘Mesh Coffee’ has a great presence in Seongsu-dong. Located on the ground level of a red brick building on the roadside, it has been faithfully providing tasty coffee to Seongsu-dong visitors since 2015. The café is known for its light roasting done in the shop, revealing the original characteristics of coffee beans as much as possible. Its signature menu is the famous café latte, which is milder than a regular café latte and yet full of flavor and aroma. You can choose to replace milk with oatmeal milk.
Address 43 Seoulsup-gil, Seongdong-gu, Seoul
Phone +82-2-464-7078
Hours Mon-Fri 8:30-17:00, Sat 10:00-18:00, Sun 12:00-17:00
Instagram www.instagram.com/meshcoffee
 
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코사이어티

코사이어티

Cociety

❷ Space Filled With Coffee, Rest, and Inspiration, Cociety
If you have a ton of work to do and zero idea on where to start, get out of your comfort zone, whether it be home or office, and head to ‘Cociety.’ People tend to think the place is essentially a coffee shop, but it isn’t. Cociety is designed for remote working, and coffee is simply a medium that connects people to diverse cultural content available there. There are largely four buildings at Cociety: a lounge equipped with books, Cociety goods, long tables, and coffee; a hall capable of hosting exhibitions and events; an outdoor courtyard; and an open studio for meetings. Books in the Cociety library are curated by design and art book distributor ‘Post Poetics’ and ‘Book Journalism’ providing a content subscription service for innovative thinkers. Try reading some books and seeing an exhibition at Cociety. Don’t forget to get coffee and share everyday inspirations with others. Check its Instagram feed for more information on the exact schedule of exhibitions held irregularly.
Address 82-20 Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul
Hours Tue-Sun 12:00-20:00
Instagram www.instagram.com/cociety_
 
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Ofco House

❸ Café by Graphic Designer, Ofco House
You can sense an unusual vibe even from a poster on the board next to the entrance. Full of retro charm, ‘Ofco House’ is run by designer Jo In-hyuk, well-known as the design director of ‘Fritz Coffee Company.’ The hybrid name combining office, coffee, and house hints at the fact that the space was originally meant to be his office, but ended up becoming a cozy café. The famed graphic designer let his retro sensibility loose at Ofco House. There are many unexpected, fun details, including a fluorescent light covered with an acrylic shade for the adjustment of illumination and the back of a coffee machine showing the café logo. You can enjoy coffee brewed from Fritz coffee beans, morning rolls, tiramisu, and doughnuts from the famous doughnut shop ‘Café Knotted’ in Cheongdam-dong. Ofco House’s own mugs and design goods such as bullet journals can be purchased at the café.
Address 2F, 17 Seoulsup 6-gil, Seongdong-gu
Phone +82-2-468-8486
Hours Wed-Thu, Sun-Mon 12:00-18:00, Fri-Sat 12:00-21:00, Closed on Tuesdays
Instagram www.instagram.com/ofcohouse
 
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곤충식물원

곤충식물원

Insect Garden

❹ Greenhouse In City, Insect Garden
Seoul Forest is an ecological forest offering expansive green fields, a deer corral, and pleasant walking trails. ‘Insect Garden’ is a facility located within Seoul Forest and is a fun place worth visiting at least once. The greenhouse building used to be part of the Ttukseom water treatment facility. The two-story building features various species of foliage plants and tropical flora. It also has a mini aquarium and an exhibition room displaying diverse insect specimens. Popular throughout the year as a natural learning center for children, Insect Garden offers a free admission.
Address 685-715 Seongsu-dong 1-ga, Seongdong-gu, Seoul
Phone +82-2-460-2905
Hours 11:00-16:00, Closed on Mon-Tue
 
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더페이지갤러리 © 더페이지갤러리

The Page Gallery © The Page Gallery

❺ Small but Solid, The Page Gallery
Opened in 2009, ‘The Page Gallery’ focuses on modern and contemporary art by Korean and international artists. It has held exhibitions of Alex Katz and Sam Francis in the past, and most recently presented an exhibition titled < EVERYWHERE & HERE… > featuring works by various artists in four thematic rooms, each containing different reflections and storytelling. Located in the B2 floor of Galleria Foret residential building standing across from Seoul Forest, it is a great place to stop by if you are visiting the forest.
Address G205, Galleria Foret, 32-14 Seoulsup 2-gil, Seongdong-gu, Seoul
Phone +82-2-3447-0049
Hours 10:30-18:00, Closed on Mondays
Homepage www.thepage-gallery.com
 
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빵의정석

빵의정석

Standard of Bread

❻ Bakery With a Waiting Line, Standard of Bread
A long waiting line forms well before its opening hour, and it often closes at 3pm due to lack of bread to sell. It’s the story of ‘Standard of Bread,’ an iconic bakery in Seongsu-dong where business hours are ignored unwillingly. From loaf bread, ciabatta, pain au noix to flaky pastries, the bakery offers a large selection. In particular, its olive stick containing green olives to promote the harmony of sweet and salty flavors, and palmier carre offering savory and sweet flavors are popular. Custard croissants are also steady sellers thanks to the rich custard cream filling that drips down with each bite. Drinks including coffee and tea are available as well but only for takeout orders due to a small space. A set of croissants and coffee is a perfect choice of picnic food for a more enjoyable experience at Seoul Forest.
Address 45 Seoulsup 2-gil, Seongdong-gu, Seoul
Phone +82-2-466-9609
Hours 11:30-19:00, Closed on Mon-Tue
Instagram www.instagram.com/standard_of_bread
 
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유어네이키드치즈

유어네이키드치즈

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Your Naked Cheese

❼ When You’re Craving Cheesy Goodness, Your Naked Cheese
An offline showroom of an Internet cheese shop has become one of the hottest grocery stores and dining spaces in Seongsu-dong. ‘Your Naked Cheese’ first drew attention by curating cheese according to the level of difficulty, from beginner-friendly to advanced levels, as well as cheese gift sets that turn into assorted cheese platters. Entering the showroom, you will feel cheerful. Blue chairs, yellow tables, and cheese and grocery packages filling one corner of the room, along with colorful plates are delightful to the eye. Most importantly, delectable cheese and wine are on display. From light finger foods to various cheese dishes such as Monte Cristo sandwich made with brown and Emmental cheese, kkakdugi fried rice using Brie and mimolette cheese can be paired with wine. Make sure to check the menu before your visit as the showroom offers different menus for brunch, small dishes, and dinner.
Address 6 Wangsimni-ro 10-gil, Seongdong-gu, Seoul
Phone +82-2-2124-0924
Hours 11:30-23:00. Closed on Mondays
Instagram www.instagram.com/yournakedcheese
 
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Zesty Saloon

❽ Satisfaction Guaranteed for Meat and Seafood Enthusiasts, Zesty Saloon
Would you like to feel the rich and meaty flavor of beef patty? Or would you like a burger, but without the meat factor? There are solutions to your needs at ‘Zesty Saloon.’ It is an American-style handmade burger place which opened in 2019 and can still be seen with a waiting line in front of the store. It adopted the Old West pub style for the interior design. The American Cheese Burger boldly omits vegetables and focuses on cheese, patty, and bun to maximize the meaty flavor. If you’re Korean, try the Zesty Garlic Burger using a special garlic mayonnaise sauce with garlic flakes. The Wasabi Shrimp Burger became popular after TV personality Lee Young-ja was shown eating it on < Point of Omniscient Interfere >. The combination of a ground shrimp patty with wasabi mayonnaise sauce results in less greasiness and more chewiness. One burger is enough to fill your stomach but french fries with customizable toppings will add fun and flavor to your meal. 
Address 2F, 19 Seoulsup 2-gil, Seongdong-gu, Seoul
Phone +82-2-2205-2622
Hours 11:30-21:30, Closed on Mondays
Instagram www.instagram.com/zestysaloon
 
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KioskKiosk © Choi Yongjoon

❾ Adding Art to Everyday Life, KioskKiosk
‘KioskKiosk’ is a creative platform introducing local designers, artists, and cultural producers as well as a select shop curating their works or merchandise. Graphic designer and CEO Min Jina handpicks items within reasonable price ranges in a bid to expand the art market to include more consumers and inspire them. Ceramic artist Kim Min-seon’s vases made in her studio ‘Line and Segment,’ colorful pieces of furniture by ‘Jeonsan System,’ and clothes and fashion accessories by designer brand ‘Halominium’ are just a few of the variety of items available at KioskKiosk. The showroom is not that big, but you’ll find time flying if you go through the displayed items one by one. The shop also sells stationery such as notebooks, pencils, and clips, and it will be challenging to leave the place empty-handed.
Address 2F, 18-14 Seoulsup 2-gil, Seongdong-gu, Seoul
Phone +82-70-7767-0200
Hours Tue-Sat 12:30-19:30, Sun 12:00-19:00, Closed on Mondays
Instagram www.instagram.com/kioskkioskshop
 
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April 2021 Editor:Kim Hyewon
Photographer:Hae Ran Cooperation: Lee Donghyuk(Illust)

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