Imagine that it’s one of those rainy days where the rain is never quite a downpour, but it also never seems to cease. From the moment you wake up on your pillow to the second you fall back on it, the constant sound of pitter-patter has followed you. That was the day when I found Baekgeumdang, an accidental discovery on the way to get some bibimbap (비빔밥). It was also (magically) the most suitable kind of weather for this café, and you’ll soon find out why.
Baekgeumdang has several locations you can visit, but I highly recommend its location in the satellite city of Gwanggyo (광교). If you’re looking for a nice day out or if you’re living near the area, then you’re in luck! Gwanggyo Café Street (광교카페거리) is divided into three sections: a main block and two side sections. Baekgeumdang can be found on the right.
To get there, keep walking along the curvy streets dotted with traditional Korean restaurants and towards the nearby hills, until you spot a small lantern nestled above an open window. Also, be on the lookout for a Hanja (Chinese characters) sign and 1930s, farmhouse-style decor. This simple exterior is a little taste of the beauty that lies inside.
Baekmidang is 150% my style, which means that it one or more of the following things:
Baekmadang checks two off of this list: minimalist and vintage. Those are two that don’t often go hand-in-hand, as ‘vintage’ is considered to mean a mini-museum in most places these days. However, this café does the combination justice. With its tall white walls and beautifully paneled windows, one truly feels transported to an early 20th-century tea party.
The tables are evenly spaced out to make every seat feel private. Additionally, they vary in size so that you don’t have to worry about whether a larger party will come in and you’ll be forced to move (anxiety problems, hey ho). There is one private couch near the bathroom, so if you’re looking for some quiet time, make sure you grab this whenever it’s open.
The actual café is open as well, so the baristas are always visible to curious eyes. I’m a fan of open layouts as they give the customers a sense of comfort to be able to see where their food and drink come from.
Oh, and one last thing… keep an eye out for all of the bird-dog hybrid toys around the café. Somehow, these strange little creatures seem to fit in just fine.
The menu is well developed considering the kitchen is staffed by two people. I suggest coming here when you have time to try multiple drinks. Many of the options are house specialties, which are likely all delicious, but I highly suggest the Crème Brulee latte for something with a coffee kick, which the Baekgeumdang ‘coffee’ (more closely related to a milk tea) is for the more adventurous.
The drinks are served with two gingerbread cookies as well as cold hand towels. These towels bear the café emblem and show it off proudly on handmade wooden trays. Now we’re really talking vintage vibes, eh? Plus, bonus points for not using single-use plastic wipes.
If you’re looking for a cozy place for a deep chat or to get some work done, Baekgeumdang is one of my top choices. Spare some time for a day trip outside of Seoul, or make this your local favorite spot if you’re in the area. If you’re a vintage lover like myself, maybe consider this a place for larger gatherings like embroidery classes, tea parties, or study sessions. Baekgeumdang is sure to satisfy.
Address (Eng): 1297-2 Iui-dong, Yeongtong-gu, Suwon-si, Gyeonggi-do
Opening Hours: 12PM – 10PM
Parking: Neighborhood / Free
Handicap Accessibility: Yes (small entrance)