Follow the Han River north out of Seoul as it flows east and you’ll find an area popular with ‘staycation’-ers and . The city of Namyangju and the nearby Gapyeong county are frequented all year round, thanks to their many ‘pensions’ (holiday homes) and water sports facilities. But these aren’t all: the area, much like the rest of South Korea, is also full of trendy cafes. One such coffee shop is Bakery Theater, where we stopped for breakfast one sunny Sunday morning.
Bakery, Café, and Beautiful Garden
Sat on the banks of the Bukhan River, the Northern branch of the Han River that runs through the centre of Seoul, Bakery Theater overlooks the iconic water and mountains that define Gapyeong county. It’s in this setting that they serve high-quality baked goods and drinks to people holidaying on the river, or simply hopping round the region for the day.
In keeping with its name, Bakery Theater greets you with a small (non-functional) ticket window, but the main act here isn’t its suggestion of a theme. On centre stage at this cafe-cum-bakery-cum-garden are the incredible number of quality breads and pastries, appropriately displayed on a large table in the middle of the cafe for all to see. Grab a tray, follow the informal route around the table, and pay for your goods at the counter – though, it may be advisable to find a table first, as it’s an incredibly popular spot.
Dazzling Menu and Stunning Views
The menu and bakery table at Bakery Theater showcase a huge variety of foods, and a reasonable number of drinks to accompany them. Whether vegetarian or not, possessor of a sweet tooth or not, there will be something for you. Our favourites when we visited were the basil sausage, squid ink bagel, and the interestingly-named ‘morning cheese’. As for drinks, their bottled milk tea is slightly sweet and has just the right amount of tea flavour, and, while expensive, comes highly recommended.
In cold weather, it’s best to sit inside the cafe, whose copious amounts of large windows act as a greenhouse of sorts. However, in better weather, sitting in the garden or on the rooftop overlooking the river is not to be missed. After eating, take a walk through the garden– you could even bring your food out here to sit on a traditional covered platform hidden among the trees.
Bakery Theater is the perfect place to spend a sunny morning in Namyangju. Whether you’re looking for a place to visit to escape Seoul for a few hours, or you’re spending the weekend in a pension in Gapyeong, its impressive spread of food and drinks, and beautiful views of nature are bound to keep everyone happy.
Opening hours: Weekdays 11:00-19:00, Weekends and Holidays 10:00-21:00
How to get there: Gyeongchun line, Daeseongni Station, exit 1. Take bus 1330-2, 1330-3, 1330-4, or 1330-44 towards Guamdongsan Eungam Village, to Oeguun Village 외구운마을 stop. Parking allows around 200 cars.
Accessibility: There is a gravel path to the cafe entrance. The main entrance is accessible by a short flight of steps. Wheelchair access is available at the rear of the building via a ramp. The rooftop is only accessible via several flights of outdoor, metal stairs. The riverside tables are accessible via gravel and stone step pathways.
Address: 4-15, Gyeongchun-ro 2696beon-gil, Hwado-eup, Namyangju-si, Gyeonggi-do.
Visit their Instagram: @bakery_theater