Finally, the summer vacation season is upon us. Busan's sea is a great place to hang out in summer, but you can't be at sea all summer long, right? Here's a true hidden gem where you can hang out in alleyways full of analog vibes. We invite you to Gwangan Market, the most popular place for hipsters in Busan!
Gwangan Market filled with analog vibes
About a 5-minute walk from Suyeong Station on Busan Metro Line 2 leads you to some hip stores that seem wildly out of place in a residential district. Follow the buzz into an alleyway to find an unexpected sight. A collection of cafes, bakeries, and restaurants refurbished from old buildings exude an exotic atmosphere in the alleyways.
The old building with the "Gwangan Market" signboard is the starting point of our trip today. This old-fashioned signboard that may be unfamiliar to MZers has already been popular for Instagram pictures. As you enter the building, you can only find empty display stands. But what awaits you in this seemingly run-down market is some hip places. Indeed, this sense of secrecy, unknown to even the people living in the area, is the true charm of the market.
Have you ever seen a trendy market like this?
TaTa Espresso Bar, an espresso café run by a couple, and the centerpiece of the new hipster revival in Gwangan Jonghap Market. You would have passed by this old building without knowing it’s a café if not for the tiny signboard, but once one steps through the door, one is immediately held captive by its chic interior design and the scent of coffee.
TaTa Espresso Bar is one of the few places in Busan that specialize in espresso coffee. Once you order your coffee and wait at the poster store next door, the owner will bring you the coffee. The poster store run by his wife is refined and stylish. Sipping a cup of espresso in this space full of various colored posters makes you feel as if you had traveled to a faraway country.
Day Swimming Club, a wine shop located near TaTa Espresso Bar, is also impressive. Despite its rather humble exterior, the interior tells a completely different story. Its wines strictly selected by the owner have descriptions attached on the bottles that enable even the wine newbie to get to know about the wines.
There is also a space where you can drink house wine, beer, sangria, etc., inside the shop. As the store was remodeled from a residential building, its interior is rather unusual. Finding an attic after climbing the narrow stairs, a narrow kitchen with a low ceiling, and old windows will give you unexpected pleasure.
The hottest bakeries in Busan
Another reason people go to Gwangan Market is the bakery. As the bakeries with unique vibes as well as delicious bread gather in this market, they are becoming the center of attention among the many "bread pilgrims," who look for the best bakeries throughout the country.
The most famous bakery in Gwangan Market is Cochon. Run by a certified bakery master, this bakery delivers everything you expect in its signature menu, salt bread, and other unique bread. There's a cafe, remodeled from an old house, in the back of the store. The bright-tone interior and minimal atmosphere make this bakery more attractive.
Another must-visit place is Pungmizz, a tiny bakery resembling a small alley cafe in Japan. Its interior design uses wood tones for a warm atmosphere, balanced by the freshly baked bread in the corner. Other notable bakeries include Oneureun Ppang that serves organic rye bread and Maru Bagel that specializes in bagel.