Alien's Day Out

Sajikdong, That Shop (Rogpa)

| 12 Comments

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There’s this amazing little hippie cafe that I’ve been meaning to blog about for the longest time. The name in Korean is ‘사직동, 그가게 ‘ which in English basically translates to ‘Sajik dong (neighborhood), That Shop’. It’s in this run-down building, tucked away in one of the alleyways near Gwanghwamun, separate from all the tourist attractions and hustle bustle of that area. It’s just adorable and on top of that they’re a vegetarian cafe.

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It’s one of those cafes you secretly hope no one knows about because you want to keep it all to yourself. :)

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I love this earthiness and all the handmade crafts on the shelves and hanging from the ceilings.

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They’re a like a conscious, humanitarian cafe in that a percentage of their proceeds go towards an NGO called ‘Rogpa’ in India which supports Tibetan refugees in exile, helping them to eventually become self-reliant. They have a little booklet that explains what the organization does. I didn’t get a chance to read all of it but from what I gather, Rogpa has started a free daycare center to take care of and feed children while their parents or single mothers can go to work.

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They also help to empower women to become entrepreneurial artisans, making gorgeous local crafts and accessories, while also helping to preserve Tibetan culture. There is an original Rogpa shop & cafe in India where they sell handmade crafts made by the Tibetan women, and this Sajikdong shop is the branch in Korea. You can buy some of these items at this cafe too.

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This cafe also does a bunch of things with the local Seoul community, such as bringing awareness about Tibetans in exile through activism, hosting various craft workshops, or holding flea markets. Anyone can get involved. It’s a really welcoming, open community.

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The ladies who work here are so friendly and kind. Everything about this cafe is so homey, you feel like you’re hanging out at a friend’s house.

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The space is teeny tiny and it’s a wonder that they can make everything out of such a tiny kitchen area~ props to them.

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And they get extra points for labeling the vegan items on the menu board. Such a rare sight in Korea, ya know? It’s the little things…. Also, the prices are totally reasonable and it feels good to know that you’re supporting a good cause.

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Here are a few shots from their menu. Their soy chai is a must-have (4,500). Delicious.

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Everything on their menu is vegetarian, but several of the items have dairy cheese. What’s great though is that they make their own healthy whole wheat vegan bread, using a bread machine! I wanted to get their ‘Healthy Plate’ with bread and hummus (7,000), but sadly that was not available on the day I went, so my friend and I both got the vegetable curry (7,000).

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The curry was really warm, delicious and comforting. The rice had a yummy mild curry and turmeric flavor, and then the veggie curry on top was saucy and spicy from the fresh grated ginger.

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yummy mushrooms~~ When the dish arrived, it didn’t look like that big of a serving, but then once I kept eating it, I got really full. There was a deceiving amount of rice hidden under all that curry! :)

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After our main meals, we each got a steamy mug of homemade chai. My friend got the chai with dairy milk, while I get their soy chai. It was so aromatic with peppery and ginger notes. I just loved every sip. I seriously could’ve had about two more servings.

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This cafe is just one of those special hidden gems in the city~ It’s the kind of cafe that I wish I could own one day~ Making real, homey, veg*an food, selling various crafts and art, and supporting a non profit organization. I could spend all afternoon here.

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Directions to Sajikdong, That Shop (사직동, 그가게)

Gyungbukgung Station, Line 3, Exit 1. Walk straight out the exit and keep following the road as it veers gently to the right. As the road starts going slightly uphill, you will pass a police station on your left and then a library also on your left. Go a little further and ‘That Shop’ will be on your right. Naver Map

Address: 서울시 종로구 사직동 1-7
Phone: 070-4045-6331
Open- 12:00~ 20:00 Closed on Mondays

Korean blog
Rogpa website

 

Feel free to leave a comment!

12 Comments

  1. How cute!! Thank you, thank you, thank you for doing this post!! As a local art lover (and possibly stationery obsessed) I’m totally loving this little cafe. I’ll be sure to make room for it on my “must visit” list when I come to Korea this summer.

    I always look forward to your wonderful restaurant/coffee shop discoveries!

  2. so cool! ah korean design never fails to impress me. interior design, stationery, art… its always so good!
    i can’t wait to go back, only 1.5 years to go!

  3. Thanks so much! I’m coming next week & I can’t wait to try all your recommendations!

  4. Do you know where Rogpa and their cafe in India are?

    Heck, even in London I appreciate places that mark things ‘vegan’. Or that one Indian restaurant I went to that even had a separate vegan menu. Because even if you can easily get vegan stuff in other places, sometimes when you ask or explain and realise that they don’t actually understand…

  5. beautiful! this place makes me miss korea so much and leaves me wishing toronto and seoul weren’t on completely different sides of the world!

  6. Hello Mipa, I’ll be going to Seoul soon. I’m staying somewhere near Yonsei University. Any recs for good Korean food? Also, I usually like having rice for breakfast before uni. Do you know where I can head to?

  7. I’m visiting Seoul in March this year and I’m definitely visiting this cafe! Such a great vision and cause as well.
    Thanks so much for sharing! – Hanna xx

  8. Mipa! You will have a place like this one day…and I for one cannot wait! Your treats are amazing and so heartfelt! Hope you had a great Christmas and New Year!!

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