Photos by Chihon Kim
Photos by Chihon Kim

Daegu's unique cafes and restaurant

by Chihon Kim
Stripes Korea

Cafe Samduk Sanghoe / Mix cafe Booksungno / Buksungno Bulgogi street

In the early 1900s, Daegu’s fortified wall was destroyed, opening more real estate so Japanese businesses could expand what was once one of Daegu’s largest commercial districts. In the late 1940s, after independence, the area became somewhat of a tattered place with merchants selling tools and equipment, including those from the U.S. military. During this time, most of the movie theaters and department stores with Japanese architecture from the bygone era also began to disappear.

Today, Booksungno is breeding new blood as the area’s inexpensive rent and interesting architecture are drawing young artists and new businesses in alongside the old tool shops. Café Samduk Sanghoe and Mix Café are two of these newcomers. At Café Samduk Sanghoe, you can enjoy a coffee (from 3000 ~ 5000 KRW) inside a tatami room overlooking a Japanese courtyard garden. The café’s 1930s-era Japanese building was once a tool shop that sold wire and rope.

Down the street, don’t let Mix Café’s dingy exterior discourage you from stepping inside. This café has two buildings, one from the 1950s and the annex building built in 1910. Aside from offering a spacious, comfortable spread, the 50s-style décor of the main building and the contrasting Japanese décor of the annex, make it a great place to hang out and explore. While you’re in the main building, check out the view of their wine cellar housed inside the building’s former basement air-raid shelter. The coffee at both cafes isn’t great, but their atmosphere makes them worth a visit.

While Buksungno may still be a tool alley during the day, at night watch the area convert into a bulgogi-lover’s paradise. Bulgogi fans will want to stop by as this is a local favorite for grabbing cheap bulgogi, udon and a soju (8500 KRW + 3500 KRW for soju). Gentrification pushed the bulgogi wagons out, but the area is still a popular place to drink and eat like a Daegu local.

Address: 70, Bukseong-ro, Jung-gu, Daegu

Subway
LINE1 Daegu station Exit 2. Walk down to the NH bank after crossing the crosswalk, and then cross to the opposite side and walk along the street.

URL: http://www.jung.daegu.kr/new/english/pages/tour/page.html?mc=5032

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