Alien's Day Out

HAAP rice cakes in Insadong


‘Haap’ is a teeny-tiny ddeeok shop that is tucked in one of the alleyways of Insadong road. It hasn’t been opened that long, but it’s gaining notoriety, mainly due to the fact that the owner is an accomplished pastry baker & chef who studied in France, but then came back to Korea and ended up opening up this traditional rice cake shop. :)

I got to talk to him a bit and he’s really friendly and open about what’s vegan and what’s not. He said recently he has been trying to use more plant-based ingredients. At the moment, several of the ddeoks contain honey, but I think he’s been experimenting with vegan options. The chef likes to change the menu and tweak the recipes, so if you go, just make sure to ask what is vegan (they know the word).

Two staff workers behind the counter, soaking the rice cakes in alcohol.

Unique steamed glutinous rice cakes called danja (단자). Not vegan, but pretty to look at.

These ddeoks are definitely upscale. Each piece is a little smaller than the size of a ping pong ball, and it’s 2,000 won each or more. We’re talkin’ gourmet rice cakes, people! They don’t mess around here.

My friend and I got three different types which are all vegan: red bean, olive, and black bean. I have to say, I love the wrapping and plate presentation. So simple and elegant. They would certainly make very special gifts.

Olive jeung-pyeon.

Black bean

Red bean (paht)

Each ddeok is so miniature that you could just pop it in your mouth in one go, but it’s too precious to do that! It’s so small that you really have to savor every bite. Plus, it’s nice to cut it up first to see the filling. The flavor of the rice cake is really clean, and the filling is also very mild so as to not overpower the rice cake. You can also get a hint of the alcohol, but it’s really just all about the texture. Soft, chewy, spongy.

Haap is near Insadong road. From Anguk Station, walk down Insadong Road, passing the Ssamzie building on your left. Turn right into Insadong 5-road (인사동 5-길), where the rice cake shop is on the corner. Pass a few buildings and Haap will be on your right. It is a little hidden, but it is on the first floor of the building behind Il Mare restaurant.

Haap Website/Blog

Address: 서울특별시 종로구 관훈동 198-31
Phone: 070-4209-0819
Open daily: 08:00~19:00

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  1. Haap is my absolutely favourite bakery in Seoul. I love their stuff. Did you try the ginger one which, I think, is your 5th one down. It is fantastic (though I don’t know if it is vegan).

    Apparently their patbingsu is amazing but I keep visiting when it is out/ too early in the season etc.

  2. Wow that looks amaZing. I love ddeok. My first time i tried it though i was all ‘wtf’ because i had never tried something with such texture.

  3. Are ddeok to be eaten the same day they are made or is this something I could ship home as a gift? I assume they are relatively perishable.

  4. Thanks for the info. Too bad. I want to share some genuine rice cakes with family.

  5. ahhhh that is some special-look ddeok! my mouth is watering… :)

  6. Wow!!

    good information . :)
    I go Insadong 3 times in a week .
    but I didn’t know this place .

    Thank you !!

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