Seoul Neighborhood Guide

  • The artfully battered exterior of Anthracite.

    The artfully battered exterior of Anthracite.

  • Anthracite coffee is a mainstay of the Hongdae neighborhood.

    Anthracite coffee is a mainstay of the Hongdae neighborhood.

  • A bartender serving at Southside Parlor.

    A bartender serving at Southside Parlor.

  • Southside Parlor serves up Dixie-tinged cocktails.

    Southside Parlor serves up Dixie-tinged cocktails.

  • The exterior of Glamourous Penguin bakery.

    The exterior of Glamourous Penguin bakery.

  • The interior of a Wolhyang branch.

    The interior of a Wolhyang branch.

  • Espresso drips from a Coffee Libre press.

    Espresso drips from a Coffee Libre press.

  • Wolhyang's signature makgeolli rice wine with tang suyuuk or sweet and sour pork.

    Wolhyang's signature makgeolli rice wine with tang suyuuk or sweet and sour pork.

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GLAMOUROUS PENGUIN

Korean bakeries aren’t known for being on par with offering in say, Paris, or New York. For the most part, shops are filled with bland buns with unintelligible dairy substitutes or oozing red bean paste. There is hope yet for your carbohydrate cravings: Glamorous Penguin is one of the best bakeries in the city, though its sole location is a bit off the beaten path. This little shop is up the hill from the main drag in foreigner-friendly Itaewon, not far from the Samsung Museum of Art. The little blue bakery, outfitted with minimalist white furniture, is run by Sophia Yoo, and contains not only some of the finest pastries in town, but vegan oatmeal cookies as well.  There’s plenty of space to spread out and work on a laptop in this two-floor cozy cube of a building and everything is made from scratch, in-house, by Yoo’s personally-vetted team of bakers who hand-select ingredients daily from the local market. Glamorous Penguin sells a range of cakes, cookies, and even banana pudding and croque monsieur. The cake flavors rotate, but the red velvet cake, a moist and decadent treat, can’t be beat, and the peanut butter cookies and marshmallow muffins are perfect with a cup of coffee.

743-41 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu; 82-2/790-7178; Glamorous Penguin; starting from US$10

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