You guys, if you ask me what I miss most about life in South Korea, I’ll probably give you a laundry list of things, but I’ll give you the top three, too. Curious what those top three things I miss most are? Even if you’re not, I’m going to tell you. First and foremost, I miss the people. Second, I miss the cultural customs. And third? The food. South Korea has some of the absolute most delicious food I’ve ever eaten, but it’s kind of a sleeper hit. A lot of the famous dishes don’t look like much, but they just hit different. During our final few weeks in Korea, Ryan and I made our way to the temple in Seoul, and we stopped for brunch at Bear’s Den Cafe in Seoul before heading back to Pyeongtaek. And yes, it deserves a post of its own.
Bear’s Den Cafe in Seoul
Now, before I tell you about all the incredible dishes you can eat, let me caveat this whole post with the fact that “brunch” – or the brunch that most of us know – isn’t really a big thing in South Korea. Breakfasts are often soup and rice based, as well, but we were both in the mood for brunch and, since we were in Seoul, we knew we’d likely have more options.
Bear’s Den Cafe is this little hole-in-the-wall sort of joint like so many other Korean eateries. Because there are so many people and buildings in Korea, these little eateries are sort of squished into the most unassuming little places. If you look close enough though, you can find all sorts of hidden gems. Bear’s Den Cafe is no exception. Tucked into a little alley only about an eight-minute walk from the temple, you climb up a couple flights of stairs and find the coziest little eatery.
The Best Brunch in Seoul
If you’re in South Korea, you likely know that you Google doesn’t work there. They have an alternative though – Naver. I went ahead and typed in “브런치” or “brunch,” and a whole bunch of names popped up, including Bear’s Den Cafe, which was the closest to us. Bear’s Den Cafe, despite looking seemingly inconspicuous, has quite the following. Located in Seodaemun-gu, it was once a bakery, which evolved into a sort of bakery/brunch/cafe hybrid. While it flies under the radar, it’s not one you want to sleep on.
From full meals like the Hidden Honeypot to the Bear’s Plate, as well as artisan breads like the Starry Night Chestnut Bread, delicious coffees, and more, there’s something for everyone. Since we were kid-free for an afternoon, we decided to make the most of it, and we sat down at one of the five tables to enjoy a quiet meal.
Bear’s Den Seoul Cafe Brunch
One thing we learned about food culture in South Korea is that portion sizes usually aren’t that large when you go for single-plate meals (though it’s a totally different story if you’re enjoying Korean barbecue). Bear’s Den Cafe offers hearty portions though, and that’s putting it mildly! We were absolutely stuffed by the time we left an hour later!
Ryan got the Hidden Honeypot, which had the most delicious soup, plus meat, a side salad, and more. I opted for Eggs in Hell because, why not? It was basically like eggs in purgatory, or eggs cooked in a rich tomato sauce, but this sauce was spicy/sweet, and it was all inside this beautiful handmade bread basket that was divine. And yes, we ate everything. We also ordered them as “Sets,” which included the meal plus either a coffee or Ade for about 15-16,000 Won.
What to Know About Brunch at Bear’s Den Cafe in Seoul
Address: For Naver – 서울특별시 서대문구 창천동 441 ; For Waze – 10 Yeonhui-ro 4-gil, Sinchon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul
Average Price: Most meals were about W12,000, and if you ordered a set, the most expensive was about W16,000
Parking: There is no parking onsite, like most places in Seoul. I’d recommend taking a cab or grabbing the bus to get here. We’ve never had an issue with cabs as long as we show them the address in Hangul.
Amenities: Folks, in Korea, you know how special this is…there’s a restroom inside the cafe!
Hours: Weekdays – 11 AM-5PM; Weekends – 10 AM-6 PM