Did you think that Gangneung is only popular for its’ beaches and beautiful scenery? Well, let me prove you wrong since one more thing it is well known for is something I am even more excited than I am excited about the beach! Can you guess what it is? Yes, it’s coffee!
Every time I go to Gangneung, my Korean friends ask me “bring me some coffee bread”! At first, I was confused about what they were asking for, but as soon as I tried one piece, I immediately knew why they were so excited about getting a box. Gangneung coffee bread is must-eat dessert if you ever visit this city or surrounding areas!
It is basically a bread with coffee filling. They use Dutch coffee, extracted from coffee beans roasted at the factory of Park Yi Choo, who is well known barista and one of the first generation coffee makers in South Korea. The package says that they don’t use artificial flavor and I tend to believe that, but I have not checked my facts yet, so if you are sensitive about that, feel free to ask the staff about it. They sell Gangneung coffee bread in almost every cafe in Gangneung, as well as in the main stores, such as the ones in Gangneung Station.
Another thing every coffee lover should do in Gangneung is to visit Anmok Beach and its’ most famous coffee street among the beautiful coastline. The history of coffee in this area dates back to 1980s, when the first coffee vending machines were introduced and Koreans imediatelly fell in love with the idea of drining coffee at the beach, while enjoying the beautiful scenereny.
As time flew, more and more cafe owners decided to open their business in the area and shortly after, the closest neighbourhood to Anmok beach was named “Gangneung Coffee Street”. Few years ago it was even chosen by The Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Korea Tourism Organization as one of ‘the Top 100 Must-Visit Tourist Spots’ and is still keeping its’ position.
We visited Anmok coffee street for quite a few times already, but the latest was just a few weeks ago. It was still same, but different at the same time. I love watching how dynamics change overtime and one coffee shop replaces another. It might sound a little bit sad from time to time, but from the visitor’s perspective, I love trying out new things.
This time we have visited a newly opened brunch cafe “Longbread”, where we had a cup of coffee and a delicious meal. The prices are similar to every other brunch cafe, but if you want to save some money, I would say just a coffee would be enough too.
Extra tip: if you are at the Anmok Beach area, make sure to check out the backalleys of the neighbourhood. I found a bunch of beautiful murals hidden among the narrow streets. They are still undiscovered by large tourist groups and could decome your next background for a new profile picture!
I hope you can enjoy the Anmok Beach and Gangneung coffee street just as much as I did! If you are coming in summer, make sure to bring a swimming suit and a towel to sit on, so if the weather conditions are great, you could enjoy the waves too!