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Discover Seoul: Dinga Cake House, K-Pop’s Favorite Bakery

Attention, travelistas with a sweet tooth! If you’re heading to Seoul and looking for the perfect little place to indulge, we recommend Dinga Cake House, a charming bakery that specializes in cakes located right outside Hongdae in Mapo’s Mangwon District.

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The owner and main baker at Dinga Cake House is all about the aesthetics and it shows. Not only are the cakes beautiful, but so is the bakery – inside and out.ย 

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Hours and Miles

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While the bakery itself is quite small, you can’t really miss it. The bright pink storefront and retro styling make it pretty easy to spot on the street. The interior is just as dreamy – with plenty of pastel shades and vintage housewares that will make you feel like you just stepped into a human-sized dollhouse.

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The cakes themselves are just as quirky. Red velvet cake that looks like pizza, tiramisu that looks like hot dogs, and cakes decorated with flowers, faces, and beloved animation characters are among the hit items regularly on display.

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And did we mention they have the downright cutest to-go box?

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Not only has this made the bakery’s official Instagram account a hit with aesthetic-loving foodies, but it has even become the Korean fashion world’s go-to spot for unconventional photoshoot locations for magazine editorials and fashion ads. For example, last year Dinga Cake Shop collaborated with Korean indie brand CHANCECHANCE to create a very carb-heavy pictorial for their 2016 S/S collection.

CHANCECHANCE

CHANCECHANCE

CHANCECHANCE

Dinga Cake House has also become a hit among Korean entertaiment companies as of recent months. Over the past year, the cakes and the cake house itself have been featured in a number of popular K-Pop music videos, including Jessica‘s “Summer Storm,” SNSD‘s “Holiday,” Baek AYeon‘s “Bittersweet,” Roy Kim‘s “Egoist,” Zico‘s “She’s A Baby,” SeoHyun‘s “Don’t Say No,” and Gain & Jeff Bernat‘s “Pray.” (And that’s just to name a few!)

JESSICA (์ œ์‹œ์นด) – SUMMER STORM M/V dingacake ๐ŸŽ‚ . #dingacake #dingacakehouse #์ œ์‹œ์นด #๋”ฉ๊ฐ€์ผ€์ดํฌ

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We can’t be the only ones who are suddenly super hungry! Make sure to stop by Dinga Cake Shop on your Seoul trip for a slice (or two) of the hippest cake in town.

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CHANCECHANCE

Dinga Cake House

93 Jandari-ro, Seogyo-dong,

Mapo-gu, Seoul

(Closest Stations: Hapjeong & Mangwon)

Discover Seoul: Binggrae Banana Milk’s Yellow Cafe in Dongdaemun

Banana milk can be found in every convenience store in South Korea, and this beloved drink has such a large following that Binggrae – the brand most commonly associated with it – has opened its very own banana milk-themed cafe in Seoul.

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Yellow Cafe is quite literally a yellow cafe. When traveling through the basement level of Jong-ro’s Hyundai City Outlets shopping mall, its all-yellow design makes it a pretty hard to miss. After opening in May 2016, the unique cafe has quickly gained a reputation for itself, becoming a tourism highlight during a day spent in Dongdaemun’s shopping district.

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Yellow Cafe specializes in all things banana milk flavored, but the most famous menu item is soft serve ice cream. Available both in a cup or waffle cone (or even as a milkshake!), the taste is unmistakably banana milk and is a cool summer alternative to simply drinking your milk straight from a container.

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If you’re trying their ice cream for the very first time, you’ve got to try it with one of their decorated ‘special cones’ for only 500 won more! Each cone is dipped in flavored chocolate and decorated with sprinkles or small candies. (And did we mention they’ll make your Instagram ice cream pic pop?)

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For those who are looking for a kick of caffeine, one of Yellow Cafe’s handmade beverage offerings is the banana latte, available hot or iced. Now, you might think the combination of banana milk and coffee wouldn’t work, but it’s a must-try for even the most skeptical coffee-lover. You might be delightfully surprised!

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They offer other specialty items as well, all made with Binggrae’s banana milk as a major ingredient. Although, if you visit in the spring, Yellow Cafe also features some seasonal products made with strawberry milk too! Check out Yellow Cafe strawberry milkshake below – topped with real strawberry pieces!

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But eating is not all there is to do at the Yellow Cafe! You can also pick up some cute Yellow Cafe merch like mugs, drinking glasses, and tumblers. Each item features an illustration of Binggrae banana milk’s classic carton.

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Or for the more fanatic Binggrae milk fan, there’s more unusual gifts for purchase, like banana milk bottle-shaped keychains, banana milk stickers, banana milk-scented oil diffuser, and banana milk cookie gift sets.

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And before stopping by for a visit, make sure you’re camera-ready, so you can take tons of pictures with the massive Binggrae banana milk carton outside the entrance. Who knew milk could look so huggable?

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Yellow Cafe โ€“ Seoul Location:

Hyundai City Outlets

17-2 Euljiro 6-ga, Level B2

Jung-gu, Seoul

Discover Seoul: BIGBANG SeungRi’s Japanese Ramen Shop

Think dining alone is for the sad and lonely? If you ask BIGBANG‘s SeungRi, he might tell you that’s the best way to enjoy your meal!

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Last December, the singer opened the first location of his Japanese ramen shop, Aori Ramen, in Gangnam’s plush Cheongdam district (nearby exit 4 of Apgujeong Station).

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The restaurant is centered around tonkotsu ramen, traditional Hakata-style ramen with a pork-based broth. Ingredients include chashu pork belly, braised egg, and crushed garlic.ย 

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The Place In Between

Influenced by Ichiran and Japan’s other customized-to-order ramen shops, Aori Ramen guests begin by filling out a checklist detailing how they’d like their ramen – with options ranging from portion size to extra toppings. Diners can also select various side dishes and popular Japanese beverages like Asahi beer, green tea, and Ramune soda.

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But perhaps the most exciting part about a trip to Aori Ramen is enjoying your meal alone! Each guest gets their own private booth that has a special service window that limits their interaction with the wait staff when their ramen is finally served.

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This allows diners to focus on and enjoy the unique flavor of the ramen – and sneak in their BIGBANG dolls for company. And for those VIPs who arrived empty-handed, the restaurant occasionally offers unique anime-inspired merchandise for you to take home.

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The Cheongdam location may be the first, but as of this week, it isn’t the only Aori Ramen shop in Seoul. After opening locations in Busan, Osaka, and Tokyo, SeungRi has added a second Aori Ramen nearby Gangnam Station!

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Aori Ramen – Cheongdam Location:

Cheongdam-dong 87-10, 3rd Floor

Gangnam-gu, Seoul