I’ve noticed that many blogs written by a foreigner living in Korea have an entry dedicated to the ‘Korea is…’ game. Basically that’s where they list, not unsurprisingly, what Korea is, or what it represents to them. Now I won’t be playing this game until my adventures in Korea are coming to an end, but I will mention one point that will be joining ‘Korea is no toilet paper in the bathrooms so get used to it’ (that’s right, anyone who’s reading this blog to find out what Korea’s like before coming over here – ABSOLUTELY NO TOILET PAPER IN THE STALLS, unless you’re at a train/subway station or at a foreign restaurant. So plan accordingly.)

Korea is food.

There is a strong food culture here. And going along with that food culture is an abundance of cute little coffee shops (including one right outside my apartment that I can smell when waking up in the morning and keep not visiting like a good neighbor would) and bakeries. The last two weekends, I’ve discovered some wonderful bakeries that I’d like to share with the world.

Bakery #1: Dilly Dally

This has a location at Gangnam (Stn. exit 3 – near The Body Shop) and another one that I recently discovered in Sinchon (Stn. exit 2). I had passed by the Gangnam location many times and never popped in until a friend bought a snack from there. Then I checked it out myself. It has your standard cutesy Korean decorations with some not-so-standard bakery items. Like ‘sweet and sour mousse’, which I just had to try.

Verdict: DELICIOUS. I’d highly recommend popping in there for a snack if you’re in the area.

Contact Info for the Gangnam location:

Tel:  02.598.7571

Hours: Mon-Sat 7:00a.m.-11:00p.m./Sun 8:00a.m.-11:00p.m.

Contact Info for the Sinchon location:

Tel: 02.335.0114

Hours: Sun.- Thurs 7:30a.m.-11:30p.m./ Fri.-Sat. 8:30a.m.-12:30a.m.

Not to sour, not too sweet, all mouth-watering.

Bakery #2: Tartine

Now, there’s stiff competition for the hearts and stomachs of customers in Itaewon, Seoul’s haven for foreigners. On a side note, a Taco Bell recently opened up there and it always has a line. With delicious food around every corner, you’d think that Tartine, whose location down a dark and suspicious little alley is hidden enough that I can’t give good directions on how to get there (for directions, see their website), might not make it. YOU WOULD BE WRONG.

Tartine specializes in pies. I was introduced to the place by a fellow HI who was going to Itaewon pretty much just to buy their pies for him and his girlfriend. And at first I was all like ‘Really? Go all the way to Itaewon, which isn’t in that convient of a location, just for pie?’ Then, two weekends ago, I was in Itaewon again and I decided to buy some pies (along with tacos from Taco Bell for lunch on Monday). Then, I went back this weekend for more pies. I will be going back this Wednesday when I get off early from work (provided I don’t have to sub), because apparently they bake different pies on different days. And I will be going back next weekend too. Why? Because the pies are just. That. Good.

Verdict: DELICIOUS. The pies are small enough that you can get one, finish it and not feel like a fatty for doing so. Because even though everyone seems to be loosing weight over here, I still here of ladies trying to watch their figure. Also, they give you a discount card and you get a stamp per pie – not per trip, PER PIE. So I’ve already gotten a free rolled oats cookie from it. It was yummy.

A collage of pies will eventually go here, at the end of the week once I’ve bought more. As of right now, I’ve gotten their Chocolate mousse – delicious – Chef Garret’s Wild Berries pie – DELICIOUS and my favorite – Strawberry rhubarb and Korean peach pie. The last two I’m saving for desert Monday and Tuesday. Gotta ration ’em until Wednesday.