Are you looking for a place uncrowded and different from tourist spots? Hapjeong (합정) is a non-touristic area next to the touristic Hongdae (홍대). This uncrowded street have a very different atmosphere from the tourist spots. In Hapjeong, you will find yourself immerse in small to medium-sized streets that are filled with lots of cute little stores, unique cafes and other random things that you can’t find in Hongdae. In this post, I will share about how I spent my day in Hapjeong.
So my friend and I decided to meet at this mall which is conveniently located right outside of Hapjeong station. This mall is one of the few commercial complexes that exist in Hapjeong (at least for now). What makes it special is that it is a fully “open air” mall that is made up of mostly major brands like Uniqlo, GAP, Nike etc.
We then went on a shopping spree at this place and ended up buying a lot of stuffs. After that, we went to grab our lunch at one of the restaurants in the so called “delicious street (맛있는 거리)”. We were craving for some hot soup that day so we decided to eat soft tofu stew at 소공동 순두부 찌개 (합정점).
We ordered their set menu which consists of soft tofu stew, rolled omelette and stir fried pork & squid. They will serve you a bowl full of fresh vegetables where you can throw in your rice, side dishes, gochujang (고추장), sesame oil and make your own bibimbap! Overall, the food was really delicious but the stew was a little bit spicier than I expected (still good though). TIP: be sure to come with empty stomach because the portions are huge!
Bauhaus Dog Cafe
After our lunch, we decided to visit a dog cafe which was a decent 10-15 minutes walk away from the mall.
There is no entrance free for this cafe. However, you will need to buy at least one drink to enjoy patting and playing with these cute dogs whole day. From small to large dogs, you will find yourself playing with them non-stop (because they are cute and fluffy, obviously). Oh, you might be wondering if this place smells like dog poop or piss. But don’t you worry! They are always cleaned up instantly by the workers here. Highly recommended if you are a dog lover!
As we were wandering in the streets of Hapjeong, we stopped by at this cozy cafe to have some afternoon tea. There were a lot of competing cafes nearby, but we chose this cafe because of its interesting interior.
This place is famous for its tarts and ice blended Americano. And one thing to keep in mind is that this cafe requires a drink purchase per customer.
We ordered one of their best selling tarts – lemon tart. Definitely one of the best tarts I’ve ever had in Seoul. It balanced the sweetness of the merengue with the sourness of the lemon cream and the dough itself was really crunchy. My friend and I really had a great time catching up with each other while enjoying our afternoon tea at this cafe.
Adult Grand Park (어른이 대공원)
We weren’t really hungry for dinner so we just went to a bar to have some cocktails and small bites. The name of this bar really caught our attention. It was said to be a “grand park” just for adults which I found it really funny. But everything will make sense once you step into the bar.
That’s right. Adult Grand Park is a Korean styled bar decorated with comics figures and retro 70s/80s objects. Like its name, it is a whimsical place for adults to enjoy drinks while reminiscing their childhood memories. They even presented their menus on a monopoly themed board game. 100 marks for their creativity!
So we went ahead and ordered a chicken dish (로제치킨) and cocktails (Mojito and Pinacolada). Here, they will serve you a bowl of colorful puffed grain (뻥튀기) as basic side dish and it is refillable (don’t be shy to ask for more!). However, there were a lot of customers that day so we waited quite a while for our chicken dish. It was worth the wait though because it was really tasty. The chicken was really crunchy and it goes really well with the creamy sauce.
The atmosphere inside this bar was really fun and exciting. As soon as the music starts playing, everyone will starts to sing it out loud (you can hardly see this kind of stuffs in any other Korean bar) and the mood was really something else. There’s even a DJ service where you can order any song of your choice.
What a great place to end our day!
Read more: Wine bar at Hongdae