Entries in seoul (4)



A few weeks ago I was up in Seoul for 48 hours. I'm used to traveling to Seoul with the boys so it felt a bit odd to be flying solo on this trip. When the boys and I go up to Seoul we always hit our favorite eats and museums, but this time around I had several meetings and didn't have much free time. But I did manage to finally visit Hara Donuts in Myeongdong

Hara Donuts / 하라 도너츠 is a donut shop from Japan. Their donuts are made from soy milk and tofu and they are preservative free. The texture is less sweet and more dense than regular donuts. I treated myself to green tea and cinnamon donuts and hot milk tea and enjoyed some quiet time in their cute cafe. Their branding is so cute and the cafe made me feel like I was back in Japan. If you love sweet sweets, then these donuts might not be for you, but I liked them and even went back later in the day so I could bring some home for the boys.

Hara Donuts is located in Myeongdong. The nearest subway stations are Line 2, Euljiro-1 station and Line 4, Myeongdong station. Hara Donuts can also be found at select Hyundai Department Stores.



The boys did not have school last Friday and have Monday and Tuesday off for Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) so we headed up to Seoul for the long weekend. We love taking the KTX (high speed train) up to Seoul because it is so convenient. We like to arrive at Busan Station a little early so we can enjoy kimchi udon before our journey. I always bring my laptop so I can squeeze in some work and the 2 hours and 45 minutes goes by in a flash. The boys and I have been to Seoul numerous times so we have a routine and like to visit our favorite spots as well as try out a few new places during each visit. It was a little hot this trip so we opted to spend more time relaxing indoors instead of exploring the sites. Here are some highlighs of our trip.

+ Two lunches at Vatos, one of our favorite restaurants in Seoul. I like the Sinsa branch because it is less crowded and has better lighting. Plus it happens to be located on Garosugil, a cute tree-lined street filled with small shops and cafes. We always order tacos, kimchi carnitas fries, and a big virgin margarita for the boys to split.

+ The boys are good about sitting on a chair/sofa inside the shops while I browse around. A small electronic device or reward of dessert always helps!

+ This time we checked out Coffee Chu, a cafe that specializes in a variety of churros. The chocolate filled churro and sundaes were big hits! 

+ We always like to pick up some baked goods at Dean & Deluca (located in Shinsegae Department Store) to snack on at the hotel.

+ Tried soondubu jjampong for the first time. It was SO spicy!

+ Reunited with Appah as he flew in Saturday morning from Singapore.

+ Purchased a selfie stick. Loved the comments I received on Instagram about this little device.

+ Walked the streets of Itaewon, which is the most diverse area of Seoul. Love all the variety of restaurants in this neighborhood.

+ Visited the Sewol ferry disaster memorial at the City Park Plaza. Each yellow ribbon is inscribed with a message or the names of loved ones who perished in the tragic accident.

+ Discovered some cute new shops on the side streets of Garosugil.

+ Ate at Left Coast Artisan Burgers for the first time. Good food and very nice folks running the show, who happen to be fellow Korean-Americans and Cal grads. I really liked the Kalbi Jjim Bao Buns.

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When I was in Seoul last weekend my friend and I visited five different bakeries. We actually had more bakeries on the list but we couldn't go to them all due to time. We have quite a few bakeries here in Busan, but I have to say Seoul has better bakeries. We visited some authentic European bakeries in Seoul, which carried a lovely assortment of freshly baked breads and pastries. I liked all the bakeries for different reasons, but I have to say that Rose Bakery was one of my favorite spots. We were just coming from another bakery down the road and on our way to lunch when my friend pointed out Rose Bakery. She had been there before and thought I would like it. We were planning to just window shop since we had 1/2 hour before our lunch reservation, but as soon as I saw the baked goods at Rose Bakery, I knew I needed to have a bite of their carrot cake. One thing I really miss from the States are loaf cakes and Rose Bakery has so many varieties. If we were not going to be walking around all day in the heat I would have bought a slice of each loaf cake to take home. Rose Bakery is located on the first level of the Comme des Garçons flagship store and has floor to ceiling windows on one side so there is beautiful light flooding into the bakery. My friend and I shared a mini carrot cake (it was SO good) and a carrot/apple/ginger juice. You can find the story behind Rose Bakery and the recipe for the carrot cake here. And looks like the founder of Rose Bakery has a few cookbooks. Next time I want to go for brunch or lunch and try their other food (and eat more carrot cake). If you are ever in Seoul, check it out! You might also like the Samsung Leeum Museum that is right behind the bakery.

Rose Bakery

739-1, Hannam-dong Yongsangu Seoul 02-790-7225

Directions: Subway Line 6, Hangangjin Station, Exit 1. Walk 3-5 minutes on your right, across from the Volkswagon dealership.



My friend and I took the train up to Seoul for a whirlwind 30-hour adventure. Although Seoul is less than one hour by airplane and 2.5 hours by train, I have only been there a handful of times since we moved back to Busan. And since embassy-related visits are not my idea of a good time, I decided to make it a goal this year to explore all the fun neighborhoods in Seoul. If you follow me on Instagram, then you saw my eating and shopping adventure, but I thought I would share a few Instagram shots of Garosugil, a beautiful area of Seoul. I actually brought along my DSLR (and used it) on this trip, so I will be sharing more photographs soon.