As a Global Seoul Mate, I just needed to complete my Second Mission, which was to create a tour in Seoul. There were choices as to what kind of a tour I wanted to create: k-pop, drama, fashion, wedding, and restaurants visited by celebrities. Well, I’m not exactly sure about the last two choices. I was just hoping that whoever thought of these choices could have been more creative.
(Calling the Admin of Global Seoul Mate! Please consult us for ideas next time. A tour for a wedding? Seriously? You expect a tourist to jump from one wedding uninvited to another? Oh well.)
Anyway, moving to the so-called tour of restaurants frequented by celebrities. Honestly, I don’t know where actors, so-called stars, or people who love to call themselves as celebrities in Korea, go to feed themselves. But I think most of them have kitchens at home, or know how to call for pizza delivery. Ha-ha-ha! I would suggest that they also call Papa John’s Pizza for delivery. Their pizzas are so good!
But come to think of it, these so-called celebrities may not at all enjoy eating out because people stare at them at restaurants or public places. I think, they would only go to these places for meetings or for special events. And since I’m required to come up with a tour like this, I would recommend these restaurants because I have tasted their dishes and I won’t be embarrassed if celebrities (like you!) would actually follow my lead.
A few months back, my friend Maria from Manila, had a lay-over at the Incheon International Airport for a few hours. She was on her way to London. As she had time to spare in Seoul, I took her around the city for five hours, which was a fun tour for both of us.
So, for this ‘celebrity restaurant’ tour, I’m pretending that I was touring Maria again, and this time, she has more than just five hours to spend; she has two days and one night!
Maria will be flying in mid-morning and will going straight to have lunch at Itaewon’s Macaroni Market, where she’ll have a seat with a view of the main Itaewon street. Looking down on the passers-by and the busy sidewalks Itaewon is known for, especially during weekends. She’ll have those yummy mussels in tomato sauce, which I highly recommend.
After lunch, Maria walks down the Itaewon Street to window-shop at the display windows of stores lining the whole stretch on her way for an iced café mocha at a small café called Chateau Chocolat.
In the evening, before dinner, she will stay within the area and catch a musicale at the Blue Square performance hall near the Hangangjin Station.
After watching the musicale, she will cross the river and head to Gangnam-gu, near the Doosan Park and have dinner at Gorilla In The Kitchen, which is owned by Bae Yong-Joon, the lead actor for the Korean drama, Winter Sonata, which spearheaded the Korean Wave all over Asia.
The next morning, Maria will have brunch at Pancakes Original Story in my neighborhood of Hannam-dong, in the Yongsan District in Seoul. This restaurant was voted at the best brunch place by a local English magazine years ago. Until now, it still serves the best omelettes for me, and I’m sure Maria will enjoy their pancakes, too, if she chooses.
If Pancakes Original Story is full, she can always walk for a few meters and get a table at Paris Croissant, which is also serves brunch.
But if Maria opts for a brunch at Itaewon again, I’d recommend Suji’s, which is located at the entrance of Itaewon, near the arch, which is just a few meters from the Noksapyeong Station.
After that, if Maria wants to have coffee, I definitely would recommend to her to cross the Han River again, and enjoy a lazy walk along Garosu-gil and stop by the Godiva coffee shop. I was here last month and I truly enjoyed their really chocolatey coffee. The place is quite small yet cozy.
After all the eating, I would recommend that Maria and I would definitely just take it slow and just stroll around my Hannam-dong neighborhood, in which, according to some friends, celebrities live. I think it's true because, in the neighborhood gym where I workout, I have recognized two guys from k-pop boy bands. They, too, must live nearby. Also, in my neighborhood, there’s a dental clinic frequented by Korean actors and celebrities. Well, after all the eating, celebrities definitely would want to have their teeth checked once in a while.
Now, at the risk of gaining weight, would you like to visit these restaurants and cafes, too?