January 25, 2009
We posted a couple of videos a while ago on Insadong and its Cookie Makers. Quite possibly, Insadong is our favorite place to go outside of Bucheon, and we’re not talking about the tourist area which is a long cobblestone street filled with cheap wares.
How do you get to this secret area? It’s a bit complicated.
1. Walk along the busy cobblestone street, all the way to the end, keep going and you’ll see a small set of lights.
2. Cross at the lights, turn left once you cross.
3. Turn right onto the second street. It looks kind of like a tunnel because it has high walls. At first, it looks like nothing, just a narrow street with some high schools hidden behind high walls, but if you keep walking, you will be rewarded. The area is SO unique. Tiny shops and restaurants all different from one another, with quirky workers and decorations.
4. To get to our favourite cafÃ©, you keep walking past the restaurants until you have to cross a busy little street (there are no lights).
5. Once you cross, keep walking and turn left on the first tiny street.
6. You’ll pass a couple other big looking coffee shops, but you’ll soon see the ì»¤í”¼ ì„ ë°˜ cafÃ© on your left. It’s across from a hat shop.
Why do we love this place? Here are a few reasons.
The cafÃ© is covered in Polaroids of people and things, and the owner has a small guestbook filled with people’s polaroids and their comments. The tables in the back rooms are scribbled on by guests leaving happy comments and drawings. The walls are coated with little love notes to the cafÃ©. They are delicately written on paper napkins with the many encouraging pens hanging around on the tables. If you’re there, try and find our napkin!
The napkins are printed with cartoon doodles of the cafÃ©’s owner and workers. Sometimes the employees wear Mickey Mouse ears or hot pink construction hats. Why? No reason needed. You can stay a long time and no one is going to kick you out. In the back room, there is a secret upstair attic (only 4 steps high) which can only hold two snugly people. If you’re hungry they serve dessert (homemade fresh waffles, ice cream) and freshly made pressed panini.
This place takes its coffee seriously. They roast their coffee on location (it’s a bright red roaster) and have a wide selection to choose from. If you order a cup of hand dripped coffee, it will NOT be served with milk and sugar. Trust me, this coffee doesn’t need milk and sugar. If you get an expresso based drink, it will be perfect! Nothing burnt, bitter, or weak about it. Just perfect! If you want some beans to go, it comes with a hand-drawn picture.
We love this place, really love this place, and we’d be there everyday if it weren’t so far from Bucheon. If you’re ever in the Insadong area, make sure you check it out.