One weekend, when my friends and I had to walk off a heavy mandu dinner from the very popular and my Insadong favorite, Koong Mandu, we all strolled up to the other side of the Jongno area, to visit a friend who runs a cafe nearby.
I haven't been to that side (across Insa-dong and on the same side of Gyeongbuk Palace) in a long time. So, when we were all walking along the path, I saw that the place has literally changed its face: new shops, new galleries, new cafes.
And our stroll ended up at one of the cafes: Yeon-Doo, where one of our friends, Min, works. The cafe is quite popular among the locals and is frequented by couples and families all throughout the week.
With a menu of locally brewed coffee, my favorite iced cafe mocha and even ice cream (!), we weren't surprised that many people even wanted to come in after closing time.
So, if you are in the neighborhood of Hwa-dong in Jongno-gu, do look up them up. Their telephone: (02)736-5001.
I hope to revisit this neighborhood again, perhaps during daytime when I can explore its alleyways under the broad autumn daylight, and see for myself how Hwa-dong has been attracting both locals and foreign tourists into its new, transformed character.