Gangnam Style: Garosugil – Shopping, Coffee, and Ice Cream

What trip to South Korea is complete with out making our way to Gangnam (after the famous Gangnam Style)? Well, with that said we made out way there. There are several places to go to when you say you’re heading to Gangnam and it all depends on what you are looking for. It may not be as easy as hopping on a subway and going to the Gangnam station. Gangnam refers to a district in Seoul, located south of the Han River (it also literally means river south).

For luxury shopping or high end night life, you can stop by Apgujeong. Or you can go Coex Mall to shop at the worlds largest underground shopping mall. It’s not all shopping at Coex, you can also go to an aquarium or the kimchi museum. I can’t say much about either of those places because we didn’t actually stop by either of those places, instead I can share a little bit about Garosugil.

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Garosugil

Getting there: 
LINE 3 Sinsa Exit8
Go straight, until you see the street on your left  (turn left)

We made our way to a place called Garosugil which literally means “tree lined street” in Korean. Having heard that I originally thought it was going to be a scenic walk down a street in Gangnam.  Of course, this is not just a scenic route (hiking trail), especially since it is referred to as the “Europe in Seoul” or the “Soho of Seoul”. The tree lined streets with trendy boutiques, street vendors selling hand crafted accessories, art galleries, and unique coffee shops almost (because it is still Seoul) make you feel as you though you are walking down a street in Europe or Soho.

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This is definitely the trendy and maybe younger area of Gangnam compared to other (more expensive Gangnam) options. Shop, check out some galleries,  and take a break at one of the many unique cafe’s and just people watch.

Of course of all the cool coffee shops in the area, we stopped at the very first one we saw; Twosome Coffee thanks to my dear friend Sebas (that’s him hiding behind the picture of a hot Korean celebrity in the picture on the left). The coffee at Twosome Coffee is good but it’s everywhere in South Korea like Starbucks and the Coffee Bean (of course you’ll find Starbucks and the Coffee Bean everywhere too). We took our coffee with us as we made our way through the street(s) Garosugil (good luck finding a trashcan to throw away the coffee cups though).

Although it’s Garosugil and simply refers to just the main street that is lined with trees, don’t be afraid to veer away and explore the small alley ways and streets around Garosugil. When we did that, we came across a view of this (pictured below).

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Where (Address and Phone Number): 
551-3, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu
02-541-0301
Click here for a map and directions

The line went down the street (you’re only half way there when you get inside, the line wraps around inside as well). This was making me more and more curious (long lines mean it’s something good right?) as we walked by to see that it was a little soft serve ice cream shop called Softree. They serve organic soft serve ice cream, and it seemed like their honey-chip cone (or cup) was what everyone was in line for (at least it seemed like everyone was ordering).

We opted to not get the honey chip on a cone (I really don’t want the ice cream all of the my hands), and got it in a cup instead. That was a good option, because it sure did melt fast; and it wasn’t even that hot that day. It was very interesting because it was basically a plain (possibly vanilla?) solf serve ice cream with a real piece of honey comb on top; did I mention that it really is a piece of honey comb (I’ve never had that before). The ice cream itself was ok, I think it’s a very Korean thing(?) but the milk flavor in the ice cream was very strong and the honey (and honey comb) actually started getting too sweet for me (I guess I just didn’t have much of a sweet tooth that day). Overall, it was worth the wait, but I would share my ice cream and eat it very fast before it melts.

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