Seoul’s Healthiest and Hottest Brunch Spots
I celebrated my final birthday of my twenties last week. It was a festive weekend filled with lots of cake, a ukulele (a surprise gift from somebody special), phone calls, and making wonderful new memories.
A friend offered to treat me to a birthday lunch at a surprise location. Now, when it comes to offering me good food, you can NEVER go wrong; make it a surprise, and it’s a double winning irresistible combo! Make it a brunch invite (I’m an owl who really likes to sleep-in over the weekend), and it’s a triple threat!!! My friend picked a healthy brunch stop. (After all that chocolate cake, I needed to put some nutrients into my body!!!)
I was both happy and excited when she gave me the first clue to the surprise brunch destination. We were to meet up at Mangwon station the next day. For those of you who may not already know, Mangwon-dong is situated in the Mapo-gu district of Seoul…this area is special to me as I have great memories of walking through Mangwon market with my parents while they were visiting me during the 2017 Chuseok vacation. Their eyes were literally bulging from trying to take it all in; the dried chillies, fermented delicacies, the beautifully silk gift-wrapped boxes, bold and brash colored spice pies, fish on beds of ice, and the multitude of tempting Korean snacks on offer. I have heard rumours that the Mangwon market was earmarked for demolition but that it (along with the old school charm) thankfully survived!!
ANYWAY, back to my birthday celebrations…. We met up at exit 2 of Mangwon station and wound our way through Mangwon to find Ola Shack. Now, I cannot take ANY claim for the discovery of this lovely eatery. I was merely just a birthday girl being led to some yummy food.
I am a huge fan of all things nature, natural, and neutral tones… Ola shack is all that, and more. I instantly got a Bali surf vibe… We perched ourselves up at the bar counter and drooled over the menu. Ola Shack’s menu is bursting with yummy and healthy options – sandwiches, smoothie bowls, salads and 🌿🍏🌴 I throughly enjoyed the Grilled Shrimp Quinoa Tabouleh Salad and the Avocado Shamrock Smoothie. My friend ordered the Gold Coast Smoothie Bowl (Chia seeds, banana, cacao nibs, cocnut milk and homemade granola) and the Green Wave Avocado Sandwich.
🌿🍏🌴 Ola Shack is located at 384-63 Mangwon-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul. To get there, take a train to Mangwon Station (line 6) and come out of exit 2.
For more information you can call them on 02-336-2311 and be sure to check out their Instagram page.
Opening hours are from 11:30am – 09:00pm Tue – Sun.
The second amazing brunch spot, Ope’Neat, is situated in Cheongdam-dong, Seoul. This farm to table focused eatery opened in March of this year. The service was beyond amazing. We were greeted with smiling faces, and the familiar sounds of English! (A sigh of relief for those of us still mastering the art of Korean…embarrassed me!)
The restaurant was BUZZING and I was really glad to score a table within 5 minutes. PHEW! I thoroughly enjoyed the interesting flavor combinations of the pineapple and coriander tacos. The hummus plate was creamy, crunchy and delicious.
They serve a delicious locally made Kombucha, Wild Komb, in three flavors. We tried the Banana and Lavender Flower Bud one, and it gets a big thumbs up.
Ope’neat is situated in the affluent and shiny Apgujeong suburb in Cheongdam-dong. If you are in the mood for a Californian farmhouse style brunch, you should definitely visit, Ope’neat. 22, Apgujeong-ro 72-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul.
For those taking a subway, get off at Apgujeong daero. Or for those who take a cab, show this to your driver, 서울 강남구 압구정로 72길 22
Their instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/ope.neat/?hl=en
Opening hours are Tuesday- Sunday (excluding Monday) 9 am- 5pm.
P.S. For those who may be unfamiliar with the concept of brunch, Wikipedia defines it as “a combination of breakfast and lunch eaten usually during the late morning to early afternoon. …. The word is a portmanteau of breakfast and lunch. Brunch originated in England in the late 19th century and became popular in the United States in the 1930s.” Along with High Tea it is another fine British creation!