Now, I can’t speak for all expatriates living in Seoul, but I miss western-style breakfast a lot. There’s nothing that says good morning like pancakes, sunny-side-up eggs, crispy bacon, and hash browns. While there are a bunch of western breakfast joints popping up in different districts. The one thing that can be hard to come by is bagels unless you settle for Starbucks, of course (no offense to the Starbucks enthusiasts out there).
The good news is that Instagram has been my saving grace since I moved to South Korea. Once you can get the algorithm to work in your favor, many random little spots in the city will appear on the explore page. That is how I came across the newest hype in the city, London Bagel Museum.
If you are seeking some New York bagels in Seoul, stop by London Bagel Museum
How to Get There
Getting to the London Bagel Museum is very easy no matter where you live in Seoul. Note that is place is kind of hard to find on Naver or Kakao at first. Type this into the search bar:
런던 베이글 뮤지엄
Start from your nearest metro station and take it to Anguk Station. When you arrive at Anguk station, take exit two, and then Naver will lead the way.
New York Bagel VS. Other Bagels
There are many biases out there about bagels. New York has their claim to fame with a crunchy, golden-brown outside and a chewy inside. Canada makes bagels that are thinner, sweeter, and cooked in a wood fire oven. Bagels are made and prepared in different ways. It doesn’t matter who makes it better. What truly matters is the taste.
I had no idea what to expect. Every part of the world takes on its interpretation of a particular cuisine. However, I am an optimist and always want to explore different flavors.
Since this bagel shop is still new, you’d think that not every single person who lives in Seoul knows about it. Scratch that I was wrong because the word is getting out fast. The shop opens up at 10 in the morning, but you should get there early. I say around 30 minutes before because the line wraps around the building.
I believe that eating in the restaurant adds to the experience. However, if you have zero luck getting a seat on a Saturday morning, you can get your bagel and coffee to go. Take a right when you leave the bagel shop, walk to the end of the street, and Tagpol Park is right there. And if it is a sunny day, you can enjoy a bagel picnic solo or with some friends.
The London Bagel Museum
The outside has this rustic exterior that makes you gives off foreign vibes. But that’s the unique thing about Seoul. The restaurants, cafes, and stores have a personality.
A bagel wreath and the popular cartoon character Yogi Bear decorate the entrance. When you enter the shop, there’s a giant tapestry hanging from the wall with what looks like people enjoying a party in a parlor room. Then, to your left is the goods and what everyone comes here for.
England On the Inside
In the area behind the bagels, you can see people hard at work cranking out the bagels for the never-ending line. Realia of the late Princess Diana, a portrait of Queen Elizabeth, and the Union Jack (British flag) decorate the shelves. There are other random nicknacks scattered throughout the shop.
The bagels are stacked up nicely in wooden crates with a couple of flavors to choose from dark chocolate, cheese and potato, plain, and much more. You can grab a single bagel and pair it with the sweet or savory cream cheese flavors that they offer in the refrigerated case. Or, you can grab a ready-made sammie (bagel sandwich). The options for this are crafty and well thought out. The sandwich flavors are a Vietnamese Bánh mì, ham and cheese, and a shrimp bagel (this one is for sure their signature).
In addition to the sandwiches, they also have different soups like creamy tomato and mushroom. It reminded me of Panera Bread. And of course, you have a coffee menu with an americano, espresso, cafe latte, and a flat white (which I don’t see a lot in Korea, surprisingly).
One of the best parts of the shop is the coffee cups. A lot of love and care seems to have gone into the design. The scribbles and doodling add character to the design and makes your cup of joe Instagram-worthy.
So, what’s the verdict on this bagel shop?