Seoul and Korea are home to several old, family-run bakeries that have long histories and loyal fans. These bakeries are seeing a renewed interest of late, in part because bakeries in the provinces have finally opened locations in Seoul. New fans are flocking to these Seoul locations to enjoy breads and pastries that have been enjoyed by patrons over many decades. Locals and tourists alike can savor breads and pastries made from classic recipes at these family-owned bakeries in Seoul. Read more about four of the oldest and best bakeries in the country.
Ops Bakery: Hagwonjeon and Giant Choux Cream Puffs
The Ops Bakery first opened under the name Samik Bakery back in 1989. Then based soley in Busan, the bakery's treats are now available in Seoul as well. In addition to savory breads and rolls, Ops’ offerings included sweets such as Western cookies,Japanese-style cookies, chocolates, and cakes. The name change from Samik to Ops took place in 1994 and the new name is a nod to the Roman goddess Ops. The bakery's most popular items are the giant choux cream pastries, twice the size of regular chouxpuffs, and the hagwonjeon, which is original to Ops Bakery. The hagwonjeon looks something like an extra-short muffin and it is a combination of a pancake and castella combined into one delicious treat. The hagwonjeon was first developed as a snack forchildren and its top is crispy while the inside is fluffy and sweet. The addictive and tasty hagwonjeon goes well with a cold glass of milk. The giant choux cream puff is unique to Ops. The puff pastry is crispy and each pastry is full of sweet, vanilla-flavoredcream. There is no artificial vanilla extract used as the cream is flavored with real vanilla beans.
Hours Weekdays 10:30 - 20:00 & Weekends 10:30 - 20:30
Address & Directions 81, Namdaemun-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul / Subway Line 2, Euljiro 1-ga Station, Exit 7
Website (Korean) http://ops.co.kr
Samsong Bakery: Corn Bread and Red Bean Soboro
The Samsong Bakery is the city of Daegu's oldest bakery and they opened for business in 1957. The bakery’s menu is a simple affair; just 4 items are offered for sale. The menu spans, in its entirety, corn bread made with whole kernals of corn, red bean soboro (fried streusel with red bean filling), cream cheese and red bean bread, and baked croquettes. Samsong Bakery has kept their menu simple throughout the years and specialized on these 4 items. The corn bread and the red bean soboro may be theirmost popular offerings. The corn bread is made with a delicious filling that has whole kernels of fresh sweet corn, sweet and tangy cream cheese, and diced vegetables. The bread is known for being especially good, with patrons referring to it as "addictive bread." The red bean soboro is a twist on the normal soboro breads that can be found at most Korean bakeries. Regular soboro usually contains no filling. Samsong's red bean soboro has a rich red bean paste with a thin dough crust. Each bite is a creamy and crispy delight. A coffee is the perfect accompaniment for any of Samsong's baked treats.
Hours Daily 10:30 - 20:00 (Closed when Shinsegae Department Store is closed)
Address & Directions B1, 63, Sogong-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul / Subway Line 4, Hoehyeon Station, Exit 7
Website (Korean) www.ssbnc.kr/
Taegeuk Dang Bakery: Vegetable Roll and Oranda Bread
Taegeuk Dang Bakery has the distinction of being Seoul's oldest bakery. Taegeuk Dang first opened its doors in Myeong-dong in 1946 and at the time, they sold more snacks and candies than bread or pastries. During their first years in business, TaegeukDang offered items like pancakes, ice cream, mooncakes, candies, and jellies. But by 1951, Taegeuk Dang had developed into a full-fledged bakery and sold breads and buttercream cakes. Today, the bakery is located in Jangchung-dong and has operated fromthe premises since 1973. The most popular items are the vegetable roll and the Oranda cake. The egg-glazed vegetable roll is a big, hearty bread that is stuffed full of vegetables and it looks much like a sandwich. Just half a portion makes for a fillingsnack and a whole roll can easy make for a satisfying light meal. The Oranda bread is a unique creation that has a bread within a bread. The inner bread is a castella that has been smothered in thick helpings of apple jam. The buttery castella andthe sweet fruity jam complement each other perfectly. A warm cup of tea is the perfect partner for Taegeuk Dang’s pastries and bread.
Hours Daily 08:00 - 21:00 (Closed on national holidays)
Address & Directions 189-5, Jangchungdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul / Subway Line 3, Dongguk Univ. Station, Exit 2
Lee Sung Dang Bakery: Red Bean and Veggie Buns
Lee Sung Dang Bakery is Korea's oldest and first-ever bakery. The bakery opened in 1945 directly after the liberation of Korea from Japan, and the first bread machines they used were actually machines left behind by a Japanese national. Lee Sung Dang'soriginal storefront in Gunsan, South Korea is still in operation today but luckily for tourists in Seoul, it's now possible to buy the bakery's breads right in Seoul. The most popular items from Lee Sung Dang are the red bean bun and the vegetable bun.Though bread and bakeries are commonplace throughout Korea today, at the time, Lee Sung Dang was a pioneer in the Korean baking scene. The bakery’s offerings remain just as popular today as they were decades ago.
The red bean bun has a thin layer of bread covering a generous helping of red bean paste so each bite is full of sweet, chewy, red bean paste. Though red bean buns are now common in Korea, many consider Lee Sung Dang’s to be the gold standard forred bean buns. The vegetable bun is a savory bread that is chock full of vegetables. Cabbage, carrots, and other vegetables are thinly sliced, seasoned with pepper and salt; then mixed with mayonnaise. The resulting bun is smooth and creamy, witha great mouthfeel. Whether a meal or a snack, Lee Sung Dang's offerings are a delight.
Hours Daily 10:30 - 24:00
Address & Directions 300, Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul / Subway Lines 2 & 8, Jamsil Station, Exit 11
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