Garosu-gil is filled with European-influenced restaurants and cafes, which was evidenced this weekend when my sister and I unintentionally ended up at three different eateries all reflecting different European countries: France, Germany, and Sweden.
First up, a little bit of France. My sister and I were to have lunch with Grace (my dearest high school friend) and her husband Alex. However, we got there early and had plenty of time to kill before meeting them, so we decided to hit up ‘Pain de Papa,’ a cozy little bakery with a gorgeous spread of freshly baked, French-style (as well as German) rustic breads and pastries.
The best part is that they have a separate section of breads that do not contain any eggs, milk, or butter! However, I don’t think this includes cheese, so you still gotta be careful and double-check to make sure that what you’re getting is 100% vegan. But still, it’s a helpful tip. Here are some of the breads in this vegan-friendly section:
I went with a loaf of bread studded with figs and walnuts. Dang, now this is what I call real bread. I love its stick-to-your-ribs density, the bite of the walnuts, and the popping crunch of the fig seeds. Nothing short of delicious.
Directions: Find Starbucks near the North end of the main Garosu-gil road. There are two Starbucks’, but you gotta find the one that is closer to Apgujung Station, not the one closer to Sinsa Station. Walk a minute into the alleyway across the road from Starbucks. Pain de Papa will be on your left.
The menu unfolds like an origami puzzle, and everything is translated into 5 different languages! Considering that it’s located in this swanky part of Seoul, we also found the menu to be quite affordable. Unfortunately, there’s hardly anything on the menu that is already vegan, but I’m now a pro at modifying restaurant dishes, so I wasn’t too phased.
After examining my options and grilling the waiter (who seemed a bit confused with my requests, but was none the less, still very helpful and patient), I ordered the ‘Mushroom Panini,’ but had to ask them to leave out quite a few things: no cheese or mayo, and instead of their in-house spread, I just got regular dijon mustard.
I was expecting a very pathetic and depressed panini to come out, but look at this beautiful sight! 3 different mushroom varieties on ciabbatta bread (vegan), with mustard and sun-dried tomatoes on the side.
Directions: Somewhere along the middle of the main Garosu-gil road, there is a ‘Flow’ clothing store. Turn into the alleyway next to Flow. Deli Heinzburg will be on your left, at the end of the block.
Directions: Apgujung station, Line 3. Walk straight out of Exit 5 for about 5 blocks (7 minutes?) and FIKA will be on your left. Wifi available.
Phew! So that was a very long, photo-heavy post about my Saturday afternoon. Going to all these different European-style places lets me pretend that I’m no longer in Korea (at least for a little bit), which is sometimes just what I need… :) The more I go to Garosu-gil, the more places I find that I want to eat at. My wallet is taking a heavy beating, but it’s all worth it…
Oh, and while we were walking around before lunch, I got low on energy and tore open the Apple Pie Larabar I got from Janice last week. My very first Larabar! It was a bit sweeter than what I’m used to, but it was super yummy and I felt renewed energy almost immediately. I wish they had these in Korea~~