Thursday, 27 August 2009

The New International Food Lane in My Neighborhood, Hannam-dong

I have lived in Hannam-dong in Yongsan-gu in Seoul, for five years now, and have liked this neighborhood because it's quiet with no flashy neon signs along the main street. It's also very accessible to and from Gangnam, Myeongdong and basically, the rest of Seoul!

But the two best reasons of living in Hannam-dong are: Everyday, I get to enjoy the view of Namsan all year round - especially in the fall with all its colors! And the other reason is that it's close to Itaewon!

I have never considered Hannam-dong as an international food scene. Hannam-dong is simply known as Seoul's version of the Embassy Row, where embassies of different countries and their diplomats live. And most of them reside at the UN Village, which is, perhaps, Hannam-dong's most famous landmark (Dankook University used to be the landmark before it transferred its campus).

Before, restaurants with non-Korean menus were limited. But lately, there seems to be a changing of the food scene in my neighborhood. For the past months, new restaurants have opened business (and their menus) in Hannam-dong, which is a delight to those living in the neighborhood (expats, Koreans and me!), as well as for those living in the nearby areas.

Restaurants like the Banana Grill (sandwiches and hamburgers), Slow Kitchen (rich paired with chicken, etc.), O' Taco (burritos and tacos), Sujus (barbecues, rice, noodles, hummus, etc.), Naked Grill (salads, hamburgers, pasta), and soon, Beluca's table, are giving everybody (including my palate!) lots of choices when it comes to satisfying one's craving for something different.

These restaurants join the 'oldies' in the neighborhood such as Due Cose (Italian), Shaboo-Shaboo, Puffin Cafe (western), Western China (Chinese, of course!), Chakraa (Indian) and New York Steakhouse.

One can now walk around Hannam-dong street with lots of choices to think about. And as for cafes, there is Cafe Appassionato and Paris Croissant, and the sweet shops - Lynn's Cupcakes and Tyche's.

In case you want to visit my neighborhood, Hannam-dong is less than five minutes away from Itaewon. One can also take the Green Bus 0213 and Blue Bus 110 from Itaewon. These buses pass through the Hannam-dong main street. You can also take these buses from Hangangjin Station, Exit 2.

And if you're driving, you can just ask your navigator to lead you to 'UN Village'. Parking will be a slight problem though.

I'll see you soon!



  1. I think the Banana Grill restaurant shut down a few months after it opened.

    I'm reading your post together with my husband and he read you mention Dankook University. That's where he studied and the very first place I visited when I came to Korea 5 years ago as a tourist.

    I believe you do your groceries in L-mart store kkkk. That's the mart nearest your neighborhood, right. And across the mart is KFC and Pizza Hut. That's where we used to eat after church.

    I love seeing those pictures of Hannam-dong. I miss the place so much.^^

    By the way, can I add you on my blogroll list?

  2. I wasn't able to explore Dankook University when I was still there. Although I remember the shops and restaurants behind Richensia were booming because of the students. Now, they're all closed and quiet.

    Yes, you're right! I sometimes get my ice cream and Powerade at L-Mart. And there's now a Bulgarian restaurant around that area, too.

    I suggest you and your husband spend a weekend morning in Hannam-dong by starting it with a brunch at Original Pancake Story. It's the first restaurant on the lane. L-Mart is directly behind it. And there are now coffee shops along the lane though. I plan to blog about it when the new one at the ground floor of Libert House has opened. It's still under construction.

    Yes, please. I'd be flattered if you could add this blog to your blogroll. Thank you.

  3. Nice!! These places are so familiar to me. Almost 13 years now of hanging around in this place. The Dankook Univ. is not there anymore, the KFC and the Pizza Hut are no longer there. I think this pix are going to Oak Vill, & British School,?right? I used to have my massage in UN village. Is your UN? OWHH a very nice village and expensive too. You can njoy the lights night time accross the river. Ur so lucky to stay in a place like this... njoy while staying in here.