Alien's Day Out

Macro Cafe

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** Update 8/12/2011: Macro Cafe is officially Closed! :(

There are few times in all my restaurant and cafe-hopping in Korea where I feel that a place is truly special. I’m not exactly a gourmet foodie critic (give me plain rice, gim, and kimchi and I’m one happy camper), however, I think I’ve been to enough eateries here that I can recognize when one stands out above the others. And that ‘one’ is Macro Cafe.

Macro
This restaurant has been on my list of places to check out for the loooongest time, but I kept putting it off because, well, it’s very out-of-the-way. It’s not even within Seoul! And truth be told, I couldn’t be bothered to try to figure out the complicated directions on my own. But lucky for me, Eunpah, a Korean blogger-friend, offered to take me. Yay, a personal guide!

Getting there was like going on a mini adventure. We first met up at Gangnam Station, where we then caught one of those special red commuter buses and went for a 30-minute ride to a remote town just outside of Seoul. Once we arrived at the right stop, it was a 5-minute walk to Macro. Total travel time from my house: 1hour, 30 minutes. My stomach was growling by the time we arrived!

Macro
Before I talk about the restaurant, something has to be said about the neighborhood BangSong-Dong. Getting off the bus was like stepping into some weird twilight zone. The entire town is very new, and it all looks like a fake, toy village. All the buildings are new, modern, and almost too clean, and the streets are also eerily empty and calm. I had to question whether I was still in Korea.

Macro
Ofcourse, I had to get plenty of photos of the storefront.

Macro
Macro
I hadn’t even walked inside yet, but just seeing the store window made me beyond giddy. “Organic, Macrobiotic, Vegan.” Hellz yes.

Macro
The interior is sophisticated and stylish, but not pretentious. Warm and welcoming vibes all around.

Macro
Along the window, there are freshly baked, organic breads that sell out by the end of the day. From left to right: Whole wheat raisin bread, Oatmeal fig bread, Black olive bread.

Macro
Ahh, looks so pillowy! I just want to poke ‘em.

Macro
Up at the counter, there are…

Macro
vegan brownies, banana poundcake,…

Macro
… and caramel nut tarts. Allll vegan!

Macro
Once I was able to pull myself away from ogling all the baked goods, it was time to order lunch! Although everything on the menu looked and sounded pretty incredible, it wasn’t difficult to decide what we both wanted:

Macro
The Premium Burger.

Macro
Did you just start salivating? I don’t even know where to begin in trying to explain how amazing this burger is! But for you, I shall try. :)

Macro
In my humble opinion, this is the best vegan burger in Korea. Hands down. Sorry ‘Honest Loving Hut’, but your burgers just got pwned. The wholewheat bun (baked in-store) was incredibly soft- it pretty much just melted in my mouth, and it had a nice little crunchiness from the black sesame seeds. As for the patty, I think it was made of beans, but I’m not sure… who cares, really. It was good. Even though it was slightly on the mushier side, I can’t imagine it being any other way. It was thick, soft, non-greasy, and very filling. It had an ever so slight bitterness which was complemented with some deliciously sweet bbq sauce. Oh, and as if that weren’t delicious enough, on top of that, there was some kind of cheezy shmear. Again, I have no idea how they made it or what was in it, but it took the burger to a new stratosphere of yum!!

Macro
Open wide! Okay, I’m probably raving about this burger a bit too much, and someone else might go there and not feel the same way, but really, I don’t think I’ll ever order any thing else on the menu. This burger is craveable on all counts, and it makes me want to move and set up a tent right next to the restaurant.

Macro
Since we went during lunch service, the burger set cost 11,000 won and included a choice of tea or coffee. Regular burger price is 13,000 won.

If you haven’t yet been to Macro, you absolutely must make the pilgrimage there because ohmyword, if there were ever a reason to trek 1:30 hours for a meal, this would be it. I know I have a bad habit of over-hyping a lot of veg-friendly restaurants, but this time, I’m not exaggerating when I say that I love Macro.

Directions to Macro Cafe from Gangnam Station:
Gangnam Station, Line 2. Walk straight out of exit 3. When you get to the first cross-walk along the main Gangnam street, cross the road half-way, so that you’re at the bus stop in the middle of the street. Catch the M4403 bus (should come every 5-10 minutes). The ride will be about 30 minutes. Get off at 한빛마을 석우중학교 (‘Han-bit Ma-eul Suk-woo Middle School’). When you get off the bus, you will see a curved overpass up ahead of you. Turn to your right and cross the road, and take the road into the apartment complex. Follow the curvy path and you will pass an elementary school on your right. Keep walking til you reach a street. Cross the road and immediately turn left. Walk about 50 meters, and Cafe Macro will be on your right. About a 5-7 minute walk from the bus stop.

Here is a crude map for your viewing pleasure…
IMG_8533
경기도 화성시 동탄신도시 반송동 22-5 103호
031-613-0484
Cafe hours: 12-10pm
Lunch service: 12-3pm
Dinner service: 5-9pm
Closed on Sundays
*Important Note: if you’re going for dinner, you must make a reservation.

13 Comments

  1. Haven't been there – but dude! That's actually within walking distance of where I live. Sure, it's some distance from Seoul, but from all accounts looks like it's worth it.

  2. I love your map! That place looks amazing & definitely worth travelling for 1 1/2 hours to get to, the burger looks seriously delicious & I love how cute the cafe is. Also vegan brownies & freshly baked bread are always winners in my book!

  3. I gotta say, I LOVE your blog. I started reading it a couple of weeks ago. I am trying out the vegan lifestyle and was looking for baking and Korean recipes that were vegan and I found such great recipes here. I used to live in Seoul and I love reading your posts…they make me miss home, but in a really good way. :) Thanks! -Julie

  4. Ok- I am drooling here!! You are fortunate to have local vegan places to eat- nothing here..
    Blessings, Debra
    Raw Vegan Diet

  5. this is so exciting!!! eek!!!

  6. Hey Chris, oh you're so luck you live so close! I would eat there every day….

    Julie: thanks for liking the blog! come visit Korea again soon! :P

    Marion: let me know what you think of Macro. hope the directions are clear enough….

  7. This is so exciting! I've always wanted to visit Korea, and I know it would be hard to eat. Just seeing this blog makes me happy. Thank you! (o=

  8. Went there last night with a couple of friends. It was delicious. I had the Veg Burger, which was amazing as it looks. My two friends had the macro plate and the sweet pumpkin soup. Lots of bread was consumed as well. The two ladies serving and cooking our food were quite friendly and so eager to help us out. They were also very interested in how we found the place, so of course we told them from the blog! Thanks for the recommendation!

  9. @meefleOh! So glad you liked it~ I really need to make another visit….. I miss that burger!

  10. Oh, my lord! That burger looks astoundingly-good. I wish the place was in Ulsan!

  11. Best veggie place in Korea and the bread is awesome. Gotta be worth the journey.

    Directions: there is a new bus there now get the M4108 only 45 mins from Seoul station or Myeongdong. Get off at Metapolis, head through the park take a right at the first waterfall area , then head straight across the lights past Paris Baguette its about 200m ahead on the left.
    If you need a nearby landmark its just around the corner from pizza hut which most locals will know.

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