The other day my friend took me across the river into Gangnam for lunch at Garosu-gil Street in Sinsa-dong.
Not sure how to best describe Garosu-gil. It’s like a small version of Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, or like Abbot Kinney in Venice. Clean, pretty, pedestrian friendly. It spans just several blocks, but if you explore the side streets you’ll find many cute shops, cafes, dessert places, lots of eateries (pizza, Japanese food, tacos, Spanish food, you name it), nail and hair salons, skin care product shops, and more. The main street is known for the ginkgo trees that line it.
From the minute you exit the Sinsa subway station (exit 8), you start spotting plastic surgery clinics. And nicer cars. In my two short trips there, I’ve seen a Bentley, Ferrari, Lamborghini and a group of nice Harleys rollin’ down Garosu-gil.
My friend and I had lunch at Vatos Urban Tacos, founded by some guys out of SoCal (they have another location in Itaewon). The tacos and taquitos we had were delicious. The virgin margaritas were huge! But sweet and tasty. They also have kimchi carnitas fries on the menu, though we didn’t order them. For dessert, we hit up Gentle Lady Cupcake, which was packed with girls and their girlfriends. No guys in sight, it was funny. Our cupcakes and drinks were pretty yummy. The place itself is just super cute.
On our way out of Garosu-gil we stopped at Lush and I helped myself to a complimentary scrub/skin conditioner/body lotion treatment. Oh my goodness, my hands were smooth as silk and smelled AMAZING! I kept smelling my hands for hours after that. Too bad their products are way overpriced here. (Side note: There are so many skin care shops in Seoul, so many, and most of them have testers of their products out, and let you do these complimentary treatments. Take advantage! I know I am.)
I went back several days later with Will to show him around. We had lunch at Public House Dining Pub & Grill, which was ok in my opinion — Will really liked his dish. I’m not in a hurry to go back. (Pics below.) Then we dropped by Softree, known for its organic-milk soft ice cream. You can order by cup or cone, of course. Topped with honey chips (i.e. a chunk of honey comb), coconut flakes, cotton candy, liquid honey and other toppings, whatever you’d prefer! Mine had cone crumbs or some kind of crumbs, I don’t know, but it was delicious. 🙂
I recommend Sinsa-dong for brunch, dessert, or just a nice, relaxing place to walk, if you’re trying to avoid super crowded shopping areas. It’s cute. Uppity.