Onion: Get your Hipster on in Seoul ;)

What is Onion?

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Onion is a paradise built from ruin. A combination bakery and cafe that has taken what appears to be a rundown house or apartment building, and freshened it up just a bit with enough decor to give it a comfortable feeling.

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The architectural designer has ingeniously converted the space into a brightly lit coffee shop and bakery by removing the doors and shutters from the walls and windows; letting in as much natural light as possible.

An (easily) acquired taste

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The shop appears to be a bit unkempt at first sight, but as you spend your time lounging here, you start to realize how amazing it really is. The owners have kept the original parts of the building, choosing to blend the furniture and decor in with the existing crumbling bits of brick, cement block, and reinforcement. Dirty, broken walls and windows become the perfect backdrop for photos that will cause your Instagram followers to practically ooze jealousy.

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The building’s various stairways lead to the second floor, where you can find an open air upper deck with a fairly decent view of the area. It’s by no means the tallest building in the area, so you won’t be able to see too far. Right now, the sky is clear and bright, the birds are chirping, the sunlight is warm, and the breeze is cool. You couldn’t ask for much more in a spot to have a pastry and a spot of espresso… except that all the electrical outlets are indoors.

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Heading inside, the space is a bit of a labyrinth - but excitingly so. Upon turning each corner, you’re greeted by views of other patrons; sometimes through glass windows, sometimes through just a hole in the wall. Wherever you decide to sit inside, there are outlets in the center of just about every table. However, most of the seats are pretty uncomfortable if you’re looking to do several hours of work on a laptop. My recommendation? If you’re planning to be here for a while, set yourself up next to the seat you think would be the most comfortable to lounge at, because that spot is most likely taken. When the current occupants get up and go, swoop in for the prize and feast on the succulent view of envious faces as they watch you scoop it up.

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The foyer out back neatly tucks away a long community table; accompanied by a few small trees and crumbling bits of brick that must have been part of the old building there. The interior of the connecting room, separated by a giant pane glass window, contains a similarly shaped table, giving it the appearance of extending out from the room into the foyer outside, and providing an ultra spacious feel.

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I can’t stress enough how well the original materials fit into the theme of the shop itself. It’s as if you are a part of the bakery, frozen in time to allow you to sit, dine, and get some work done. In my honest opinion, it’s #rusticAF.

And the food?...

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The pastries from the bakery are amazing, and the coffee is, well, coffee. Enough said. I don’t drink a latte and I usually end up getting an espresso everywhere I go, so I wouldn’t trust myself with reviewing the frothier drinks. I decided on the avocado toasted bread and some kind of powdered sugar mountain that I saw everyone else walking around with. They were both excellent, and both very messy. To be considerate, I ate outside before heading in to work. The birds were in a veritable frenzy due to the continuous eruption of crumbs as I struggled to cut the delicious confections with my plastic fork and knife. Anyhow, I’m sure you’ll enjoy whatever you end up choosing to get here.

Cozy, at twilight

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That’s about it for now. Come here, get some cafe food goodness, and get some work done. I promise it will be worthwhile.