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We ❤️ Seoul: Brunch at Hosoo Bakery and Cafe

Update Oct 2014: I am sad to report that the menu at Hosoo has changed, and the bacon sandwich is no longer available. 😦 It’s still worth going there though, for the view, good coffee, and other items on the menu.

This post is the first of a planned series about all the things, big and small, that we love about living in Seoul.

When we first moved to Korea 5 years ago, brunch was a pretty sad state of affairs. Outside of a few places in Itaewon (Seoul’s expat area), it was difficult to find a decent brunch, unless you were willing to pay upwards of $80 for one in a luxury hotel.

Fortunately, things change fast around here, and when Koreans finally jumped aboard the brunch bandwagon, the number of choices exploded. Coffee shops like Twosome Place started offering brunch sets, American chains Original Pancake Story and Butterfingers inaugurated locations in trendy Apgujeong and independent breakfast joints started appearing out of nowhere.

Being Canadians, a good Sunday brunch is something we have definitely missed over the years. There’s nothing quite like chatting with friends about the events of the week past, while dawdling over eggs benny and multiple cups of coffee.

For awhile, our brunch spot of choice was Twosome Place. For 8 or 9,000 won, we could get eggs benny or a farmers omelette, a quality Americano, comfortable seating and free wifi. Not bad for a Korean coffee franchise that literally feels like it’s on every other street corner of Seoul.

Eggs benny at Twosome Place

Eggs benny at Twosome Place

But that was before we discovered the Hosoo Bakery and Cafe. Walking distance from our new apartment, it’s the only cafe/restaurant located directly on Seokchon Lake (hence the name Hosoo, which means lake in Korean).

Away from all motorized traffic, the sole view is one of trees, lake and people out for a stroll or a jog. It’s a place of peace in the middle of a very chaotic and noisy city, and one of my favourite places to be in Seoul.

As for the food, I’m afraid I can only comment on one of the brunch choices – the bacon sandwich. It’s so delicious that we’ve never been able to force ourselves to try anything else.

And when I say bacon, I mean bacon. This isn’t some thin, salty piece of North American style bacon, but a chunky slab of Korean style pork belly (samgyeopsal), perfectly seasoned, grilled, elegantly placed on thick, crusty, European style bread and drowned in the fresh greens of the season. The first bite (and every one afterwards) is pure heaven.

A wonderful surprise under all that lettuce

A wonderful surprise under all that lettuce

Look at the thickness of that bacon!

Look at the thickness of that bacon!

If you visit on a Sunday in the spring, summer or fall, you can take a quick stroll over to the Seoul Nori Madang (서울놀이마당) and catch a traditional Korean folk performance for free.

Excellent food AND culture? You can’t go wrong. 😉

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Directions to Seokchon Lake
Go to Jamsil Station on Line 2 and walk straight 200 metres out of Exit 3.

Do you live in Seoul? What’s your favourite brunch spot?

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25 Comments Post a comment
  1. My favourite place for brunch (but more so for dessert) is Amandier at the top end of Insa-dong (Anguk Station). The leek tart is good, but I’m a sweet tooth, so my selections were usually of the sweeter kind.

    February 3, 2014
    • I’ve walked by Amandier a number of times, but never gone in. It does look really nice though, so perhaps I’ll stop in next time and try that leek tart!! 🙂

      February 4, 2014
  2. mang0es #

    Thanks for liking a few posts on my foodie blog!! This is a pretty neat blog, btw!

    Are there any other American/Canadian foods that you crave after living in Seoul for a while? I also wonder how different Costco is over there?

    February 4, 2014
    • Haha, Costco is CRAZY here. There are only 4 locations for 25 million people, and there are items you can ONLY get at Costco. Just imagine the insanity.

      Actually you can get almost everything you want in Seoul – the international restaurant scene has really progressed in the last 5 years. One thing I definitely miss though is the vast choice of different cheeses in North America, here we’re pretty limited. 😦

      What’s you favourite Korean food?

      February 4, 2014
      • mang0es #

        Whoa! That does sound crazy!

        Do you also miss poutine?

        I like almost all Korean dishes I’ve had so far- bibimbap, tofu soups, seafood pancake, kbbq.. Yesterday was actually my first time ordering jjajangmyun! My sister ordered it at another place with me before. I’m gonna try the jampong next time I go back to the same place I had jjajangmyun!

        February 4, 2014
        • Actually, there was a poutine place here, but it didn’t do very well and shut down pretty quickly!

          Watch out for that Jampong – it’s SUPER spicy. I can’t take it. Make sure you try some galbijjim, and if you can find it, some seollangtang. It’s delicious!!

          February 5, 2014
          • Okay! I will keep in mind! I had a burrito for super late lunch today, and my mouth was on fiiiiiire

            February 5, 2014
  3. You are making me miss Seoul. This took me back to the time I spent in the many coffee/brunch places in Hongik last year. It was always a challenge to decide on which place my sister and I were going to try out next. 😀

    Lovely photos!

    February 4, 2014
    • If you are missing Seoul, you’ll just have to come back for another visit. 😀 Seoul is lovely in April/May, with flowers blooming everywhere. Hongik does have a lot of great independent places with character, but unfortunately we don’t make it there very often – it’s at the exact opposite subway station of where we live! A looooong ride.

      February 5, 2014
      • I so want to come back this Spring, but that is my busiest time for work. :/ I definitely want to come back again next fall—autumn in Seoul is absolutely enchanting! You’re lucky to be living there, and by the lake, too. If I lived near the lake, I’d probably run there everyday. haha

        February 5, 2014
        • We live even closer to the River – just a 5 minute walk – and yes, I run there all the time. 🙂

          Spring and autumn are definitely the best seasons for travel in Seoul. Winter is pretty cold, but I find the rain and humidity of summer to be the worst of all. Hope you make it back soon. 🙂

          February 7, 2014
  4. yay!! A series on Seoul!! The pictures of the bacon sandwich had me drooling – ohmygoodness. I tried to give up bacon a couple of times. Nope! Not happening.

    February 5, 2014
    • But whyyy even try to give up bacon!? 😉 I realized I have to write more about where we are presently, but I’m just sooo behind on all my traveling posts (9 months!!) that I forget about right NOW.

      February 5, 2014
      • Ah, just because it is supposedly less healthy than other types of meat. It’s better to start off the day with a balanced and hearty breakfast, though, than to just eat processed sugar! (a.k.a., most cereals).

        February 5, 2014
        • You know in Korea, they believe that samgyeopsal (that thick Korean style bacon), helps you lose weight!!! The people are pretty slim around here… maybe they’re onto something? 😉

          February 5, 2014
  5. I just want to say: The view is amazing. So serene. I could sit there for hours doing nothing, I supposed..

    February 14, 2014
    • It’s a rare thing to find a peaceful and serene place in Seoul like this. I think that’s why we like it so much! 🙂

      February 18, 2014
  6. Heavy brunch but looks delicious 🙂 How nice that they have traditional/folk performance for free! Is it regular performance on weekly basis? Beautiful 🙂

    January 22, 2015
    • It used to be every weekend, except wintertime (too cold), but it seems to be off and on these days.. fortunately there’s always SOMETHING going on for free in the city! 🙂

      January 23, 2015

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