When Julie Andrews sang a song of her favorite things, I have a thing or two she may have missed; one of them being brunch! I love breakfast, but far to often my random and sometimes hectic schedule doesn’t permit me to indulge in this morning ritual of bliss. So for me, and others like me, brunch was created. The joy of having breakfast in the afternoon is just one of those little things that makes my day. Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to find a good brunch place in Seoul. Usually these types of places attract young Koreans looking to experience foreign culture/ food and homesick foreigners who would kill to have breakfast like back home (aka my boyfriend). Because of this, brunch restaurants tend to open up in very trendy place. As a result, I’ve come across some pretty outrageous prices for very small servings. Sometimes the food isn’t even very good.
One day after finishing up some work in 홍대 (Hongdae), I decided to take a detour though a small street as I made my way back to the subway station. It was down this street that an elegant european style brunch cafe caught my eye, Cafe Burano. The lovely french blue bricks and long white wooden framed windows popped off the otherwise ordinary gray toned background. It was a beautiful day so the long folding windows had been pulled back, creating a lovely and wide porch. It was so alluring I soon found myself walking inside. The inside was spacious with simple wooden furniture that really enhanced its clean-cut charm. All the windows allow for the sunlight to soak the room making it a lovely place for a date or relaxing place to study. Around the back there is also a lovely umbrellaed patio for outdoor seating. The ambiance alone was more than enough to gain my patronage, but it got even better.
On their menu they have four brunch plates for ₩12,000 each. While you may think this is a bit steep, each plate is actually more than enough for two people; I’ve never seen anyone go at one of these plates alone. In fact, sometimes I see three or four girls sharing one plate. I’m a french toast kinda gal, so my boyfriend and I decided to share a french toast brunch and it was incredibly delicious! It came with two pieces of french toast made just how I like them (lightly toasted on the outside, but soft and fluffy on the inside). You also have a choice of sides. We opted for seasoned potatoes and a 불고기 (bulgogi) omelet, which on top of being so good, was also the size of half the plate! It also came with a piece of bacon, half a sausage and a salad that had this amazing fruity homemade dressing. Everything was made to perfection.
If you’re dining alone, I would recommend the 버섯 불고기 (mushroom & bulgogi) panini. At ₩7,500 it also comes with a salad, but the panini itself is huge and pretty heavy. Each bite was jam packed with cheese and meat, so I ended up taking half of it home. It’s hands down the best panini I’ve ever had in Korea, so if you’re a panini nut you definitely have to try it.
Of course, because it is a cafe they have a nice selection of very well made drinks. In the summer time, their fruit smoothies (made with real fruit) really hit the spot. My favorite drink, however, is the cinnamon milk tea latte. It’s only served hot, so for obvious reasons it tastes best in the winter and fall. It’s a satisfying balance of cinnamon and rich milk tea, complete with a full cinnamon stick. It’s one of the best and most unique milk teas I’ve had.
In addition these two menus, Cafe Burano also has a variety of ever changing desserts, all made in-house. You can actually watch the chefs at work through their large glass-windowed kitchen. I would have to say their best and most unique desserts are their eight different kinds of tiramisu. Where you get a sliver of cheesecake at most cafes for ₩6,000, you get a nice chunk of handmade tiramisu for only ₩3,800. It’s an incredible deal and they taste as amazing as they look. I haven’t had the pleasure of trying them all yet, so I can’t tell you which is my favorite. I have tried both the pistachio and blueberry tiramisu; there are no complaints here.
While this isn’t the type of place you go when you’re starving, you can definitely go hungry and leave blissfully content. It’s the perfect place to study, have a date or meet up with friends. It just leaves you feeling refreshed and relaxed, like you don’t have a care in the world. If you get the chance, I really recommend going there and grabbing a plate or two of tiramisu. Until next time… Happy Eating!