The day Miri and I first arrived in Seoul, we walked past this big building on the corner just 3 minutes from where we were staying. It immediately caught my attention for it's SLEEK exterior and open and clean interior. We soon realized it was...of all things...a coffee shop!! So we made sure to check it out when we had a free morning on Sunday...and IT DID NOT DISAPPOINT.
Ladies and gents...let me introduce you to what is quite possibly the best coffee shop I have ever entered : LUFT COFFEE, MYEONGDONG.
Why is this the best coffee shop? Easy. Interior Design 100%. Pastries 100%. Coffee 100%. Art and aesthetic 100%. Incredible.
LOOK AT THESE BEAUTIES!!! These were cream filled with various flavors that matched the colors : blueberry, cream cheese, matcha, and raspberry.
THE COFFEE WAS JUST HOW I LIKE IT: HOT AND STRONG. yummmmm. Plus, how amazing are these cups???
Also, we went right when it opened in the morning and were the only ones there! lucky us. We kept joking, "Seoul is still asleep" because I am pretty sure it's the kind of city that stays up late at night!
OK, so next on our agenda after that amazing breaky was a slight nerd moment for me he he he...
so my favorite K-pop band, BTS, created this series of characters all based on their personalities. My favorite member, Jin, created this Alpaca (the big white fluffy ones) since people say he looks like an alpaca. Anyway, it was in partnership with the LINE store (line is the biggest sns app in Japan) and they sell their items at their store!!! Here in Japan, all these items are sold out so I had to go check out the one in Korea.
Did I walk out having purchased a white, fluffy, alpaca head pillow?? possibly.
Ok, next...LUNCH TIME!!!
Miri's good friend from High School met us for lunch in GANGNAM. Yep, the iconic place from "Gangnam style" which is really just a big shopping district in the city.
This part felt quite like Japan...tall office buildings...huge department stores...lots of money all around. We cruised a little, then met Miri's friend for lunch. She took us to this amazing place...
HELLO BEAUTIFUL KOREAN LUNCH PLATE :) :) :)
How absolutely stunning is this?? I ordered the pork which was so tender and delicious. But my actual favorite thing from this whole meal was the SOUP!!! See that bean sprout looking dish at the bottom left?? YEP. That was some magical, flavorful, salty, bean-sprouty, delicious soup.
After eating, we decided it was time for something sweet. And one cannot really go to Korea without eating PATBINGSU aka...KOREAN SHAVED ICE!!!!
The most popular place to get PAT BINGSU is of course...SUL BING. (Which I kept thinking was named "Seoul bean" haha) the iconic shaved ice is this one here...kinako (soy bean powder) and it was SO GOOD!!!! It was light, milky, melt-in-your-mouth, refreshing, and so worth the hype!!!
We were there at like 2pm on a Sunday and the place was jam packed...all with locals which I thought was cool. Miri's friend said that people always eat PAT BINGSU after a meal! haha love it.
After lunch, Miri and I headed to the famous SAMSUNG (yep, like the phones) to see this library we wanted to visit. We were pleasantly surprised when we walked out and saw SM TOWN...aka one of the big three K-pop producing companies. We visited their gift shop and even saw one of the world's most popular K-pop groups walk in!!! *SHINEE*
This was the STARFIELD LIBRARY which recently became super popular due to its massive walls of books.
COOL COUPLE IN A COOL LIBRARY.
After that, we did some shopping...and I was so obsessed with these wallets and bags from this Korean brand, FENNEC. They were well priced and so beautiful.
Korean fashion is really something special. They aren't afraid of colors, prints, patterns. mix-and-match, pairing timeless pieces with funky new ones...which is so cool. Their stores are all stocked full of crazy cool clothes and I could have really looked through these racks forever!
Time for an afternoon snack!!! So, there was this place I had been eyeing for a while...this place with the most beautiful TOAST I had ever seen. Yes, toast. IT was a bit off the beaten path, but we tracked it down and found MND COFFEE...just a 10 min walk or so from SEOUL station.
They designed the interior to look like a hotel lobby. Pretty cool.
Here it is!!! It is basically a whipped cream sandwich with pink and white cream cheese on top! And they give you berries and jam to add to it, which was delicious. Also, the Vietnamese coffee (coffee with condensed milk) was amazing!!!!
We couldn't resist, and had to order the blue one too. Which tasted the same, just a different color.
I had to snap a photo of this guy, because he epitomizes Korean fashion to me. Fresh haircut, skinny pants, loafers, and an ACNE studio bag!!! Trends on point.
After our nice toast snack, Miri and I headed to see SEOUL STATION. They have this really cool walking bridge that leads to the entrance of the station and we went to check it out. BTW how cool is that guy's SONS OF SEOUL shirt??
Our first thought upon seeing this place was..."uhh..why does it look like Tokyo station?" hahhaa. If you've seen Tokyo station, you know what I mean. I wonder which came first?
On this walking bridge, they had foot baths for you to rest at. This little kid and his mom were so cute! And looking down on the roads, I was mesmerized by the Korean characters written on the ground and also the width of the roads. Interesting fact: my coworker told me, "Amie, you know why the roads are so wide in Korea?...so military tanks can drive through if needed." woah.
They even had a trampoline on this walking bridge...with a security guard in a cowboy hat YES hahaha. I love this shot because I feel like it perfectly depicts city life for kids.
There was a big mall connected to the station, and surprisingly a lot of homeless men (I only say men) laying out in front. This is drastically different from Tokyo, where you rarely (if ever) see homeless people.
After that...Miri and I went back to where we were staying and rested before going out to dinner later at night. We bought more cosmetics, cruised the streets, and crashed hard after that long day!
OKAY....WELCOME TO OUR LAST DAY IN SEOUL....
So, on Monday morning, we had one last day in Seoul. We woke up, packed up, and walked to my favorite coffee shop, LUFT, for one last breaky. I got iced coffee this time, and we ate this chocolate brick toast thing!!
Korean money (WON) is pretty!! And it reminded me of Vietnamese money (DONG) for how many 0000 there are on the bills. For example, 1000 WON = $1 !!! So I would be buying like a pack of gum and pilling out billssssss. That was funny.
Out last meal in the city was the famous KYOJA noodle house in MYEONGDONG. This place had thousands of reviews and was raved about endlessly online, so I knew we had to check it out. The place looked small and unassuming on the outside, but upon walking in, we realized what a massive undertaking it was. There were like 4 floors, 20 nice obachans working throwing plate of noodles and dumplings on tables one after the other. We sat down immediately and ordered the dumplings and famous noodle dish...AND THE FOOD CAME OUT IN 1 MINUTE!!!! I am not exaggerating. It came on with the quickness!!!
These noodles were spectacular!!
AND ... back to the airport we went :(
ONE LAST KOREAN DESSERT <3
AAAAND....THAT'S A WRAP.
SEOUL WAS BETTER THAN I EXPECTED!
definitely going back :)
now...where to next?