by Ashley Heil.
Because this post has to do with both coffee and pancakes, I posted it on the Food Envy page as well as the Coffee Envy page. Enjoy!
A few months ago, I wrote a blog post here about my favorite coffee shops in Seoul.
Although we wrote about how much we enjoy their coffee, especially the delicious Stumptown Coldbrew coffee they serve, we actually hadn't ever tried their pancakes. We finally got around to it about a week ago. We know a few other places for some great brunch and pancakes in Seoul, including Butterfingers and Uncle Sam's Pancake, but I have to say Pancake Epidemic might be my favorite pancakes. The original (what we got) are 6500 for 3 pancakes or (I believe) 11,000 for 6 pancakes. The stack seems high, but they are on the smaller side so Michael and I split 6 and still were left wanting more. The pancakes are super fluffy and moist even without any syrup on them. On top a sort of buttery cream was served. It looked a bit gross and strange at first, but it was very delicious. They also serve a Nutella stack of pancakes, which I will for sure try next time, and a ham-and-cheese stack of pancakes. If you're looking for some breakfast and great coffee or simply a sweet snack, this is definitely the place to come to. I cannot praise their coffee enough and these pancakes are fantastic. Give it a try and let us know how you like it!
Pancake Epidemic is open everyday from 10:30AM-10:00PM.
Directions: Address: 42, Apgujeong-ro 46-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
Pancake Epidemic can be a bit hard to find, and is sort of located between Apgujeong station and Apgujeong Rodeo station.
Best station: Apgujeong Rodeo station (Bundang line), exit 5.
Walk straight 2 blocks then take a right. Walk straight along this road, and then Pancake Epidemic will eventually be on your left on the 2nd floor.
by Ashley Heil
Uncle Sam's Pancake is a great new breakfast spot that is actually open, before lunch, every day. They open at 7 and while they don't offer fancy brunch cocktails, they keep things simple, cheap, and most importantly delicious. A good breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, but I'm sick of paying 12,000 or more for a mediocre meal. From 7-10:30am, every day, Uncle Sam's Pancake offers a breakfast set for 8,000 won. It includes 2 delicious pancakes, 2 pieces of bacon, 1 sausage, 1 fried egg, and an orange juice or coffee. If you make it after 10:30 or want something else, they also have omelet sets, larger pancake sets, waffle sets, and french toast. Since we got there before 10:30, we ordered the morning set for 8,000 won. Everything was delicious. The pancakes were top notch, served with a little bit of butter, and on every table there was a bottle of real maple syrup, thankfully no Aunt Jemimas. Everything else was great too, the bacon was just right, and so was the egg and sausage. While it wasn't the most amazing breakfast I've ever had, it was really just as good as all of the other breakfast places I've been to, such as Butterfingers or the Original Pancake House (and if I remember correctly, the Original Pancake House charges extra for real maple syrup), and the prices here are much better. When I get breakfast I don't want to just eat pancakes, I want a full meal with more foods like eggs and bacon, so this set was perfect. The place is small, but the service was great and we were seated right away. We really enjoyed our food there and we might go back every weekend. So, if you're looking for a new breakfast place with delicious food without the ridiculous prices, Uncle Sam's Pancake is your restaurant!
Directions: Come out of Noksapyoung station exit 2
Walk up the road, and cross under the underpass when you see it.
At the end of the underpass, turn left.
Then turn right on the main road right up ahead.
Walk up the hill (as if you're going to the Hyatt hotel).
You'll pass the Well-Being gym and the big Cvs4u convience store.
Then, cross the road right after the convience store.
The restaurant will be on your left.
by Ashley Heil
If you're craving breakfast south of the river, Butterfingers in Gangnam is not to be missed. It's my favorite breakfast place (so far) in Seoul, and I happily make the 30 minute subway ride on a relaxing Sunday morning to go get me some delicious breakfast at Butterfingers. Butterfingers in Gangnam is a large restaurant with 2 floors. So, even if there is a wait for brunch on the weekend, the lines always move fast. There is also another location in Apgujeong, but my experience there wasn't as good. But I've yet to have a bad meal at the location in Gangnam. It's easy to find, and they are open from 7am to 3am (for the midnight snack after a night of partying). In addition to breakfast/brunch items, there are also some dishes more suitable for dinner, such as burgers and sandwiches, and some dessert items (crepes and triple chocolate pancakes).
I've gone to Butterfingers several times now and I usually get the pancakes. I lived in Denver last year, a city known for having fabulous breakfast joints (Snooze, Syrup, Breakfast on Broadway...), but Butterfingers' pancakes are on par with all of the pancakes I ate back home. Additionally, they have everything else related to breakfast: fantastic french toast, waffles, sausage, ham, bacon, eggs, potatoes, and breakfast drinks. Everything is done well.
What I love about Butterfingers is really the size of their menu. There are so many different items and combinations of items you can choose. I love that they have a cheap side menu (with eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes), so you can just pick a choose a few sides if you want, or add a few sides to whatever meal you want to get. Yesterday when I went with my boyfriend, we chose the Split Decision Plate (22,000 won), so we could try a little bit of everything. It was great because it was really easy to split (hence the name), with 2 pancakes (we upgraded to banana pancakes), 2 french toast pieces, 2 pieces of sausage, and 2 pieces of bacon, along with eggs any way you want and potatoes. We thought we might want a little more food so we ordered an extra side of bacon. It was a lot of food, and both of us were full after. For about 28,000 won for 2 people for all that food, it was a good deal. However, what's great about Butterfingers is if you want to be cheaper you can just order one order of pancakes (4900-7200) and an extra side or two of something else, or you can splurge and order combination places like the Split Decision Plate or the Waffle Lover's special all for yourself. Previously, I've also tried the Morning After plate (10,600), which is a waffle with eggs, bacon, caramelized onions, and tomatoes. At first I thought it would be weird to have onions and tomatoes on a sweet waffle, but the combination of sweet and savory was fantastic. There are items available for every budget. Although I've never tried them, there are also coffee drinks, smoothies, ades, juices, and soda pops to quench your thirst. Though, I find their drinks to be a bit pricey.
Directions: From Gangnam Station exit 10, walk straight down the street and turn left between The Body Shop and Café Bene. Butterfingers will be on the left right after Burger King.
by Ashley Heil
While generally a positive person and not too critical on food, sometimes, I do come across disappointing restaurants. After reading some mixed reviews about Pancake Original Story (being that it's not as good as it was since it changed ownership), but hearing that the pancakes are amazing, I wanted to check it out for myself. After trying, the pancakes were really good and some of the best I've had in Seoul, but the service experienced here was awful enough for me to never want to go back. Read more to find out why.
A couple of Saturday's ago, my boyfriend and my two Korean friends had a real hankering for some good brunch. So after getting a late start to our morning, we made our way over to Hannam. Our friends were running late to the subway so we decided to wait for them, and didn't get to leaving the subway until around 2:15. The walk from Hannam station happened to be a little further then what we thought, and we didn't arrive to Pancake Original Story until 2:30. Super excited to finally have my breakfast, I didn't see the sign outside that said they were closing. I had read before that they take a random break from 3-5pm, but I thought surely, it's only 2:30, there's still another 30 minutes until the break. However, as soon as we walked in, they told us "sorry, we're closed". I said "What? It's only 2:30! There is still another 30 minutes until break time". My Korean friends even tried to talk to them, and we found out that even though the break isn't until 3, they stop seating people around 2:30. They refused to seat us and told us to come back at 5. One waitress in particular was especially rude. I stormed off because I was so mad after all that I couldn't eat the brunch I had been craving. I just think that if restaurants want to stop serving people at 2:30, they should say they're closed from 2:30-5, and not 3-5. Or even maybe 2:50 or 2;55. But 30 minutes before is unacceptable. They even had people still being served and waiting to order in there. Hmph. Then, we realized we couldn't even come back the next day because they are not open on Sundays. A Sunday brunch place that is not open on Sundays. Hmm. Anyway, we gladly took our service to another restaurant that was happy to serve us.
The following week, I still was craving some damn brunch. I thought, hey, I'll give this place one more try. I've worked in the restaurant business before, I guess I can understand them not wanting to sit anyone. So we went back, this time much earlier, around 12, so we could avoid the break time. I walked in and they told us there was a wait, so they got my phone number so they could call me when a table was ready. The restaurant is small with only around 6 tables inside, and a few outside. So, my boyfriend and I went to go sit at smoothie king to get an appetizer smoothie because we were so hungry. After waiting about 30 minutes for a phone call, I decided to go check and see how much longer of a wait it would be. I waited by the sign at the entrance for someone to acknowledge me, and the same rude waitress from last week saw me, served someone else, and didn't say anything to me at all. I called to her to get her attention, but then another waitress came out to tell me our table was ready. So I went back to smoothie king to get my boyfriend, and we went to the restaurant and were seated. Inside, while cutely decorated, the tables and space is very cramped and I hardly had room to put my backpack somewhere. We both immediately ordered the original pancakes, and then the double banana pancakes, as well as a side of bacon (though just a side of bacon wasn't listed on the menu). The pancakes came out pretty fast. However, when we were being served our food, I was in the middle of a conversation with my boyfriend about something else. After being served, the same rude waitress just stared at me as if seeing if I needed something (although I had already said 감사합니다), and it was just a really awkward moment. We started to eat, and I have to say, the pancakes were delicious, maybe on par with the pancakes I like to order at Butterfingers. The price is also decent, only 8300 for the regular pancakes, and they are pretty filling. They have 3 other combo plates as well, each priced at 16,000 won. While the pancakes were good, our service there was just very poor. The menu is a little small too, with the focus just being on their pancakes. If you want a wider variety and much better service, I highly recommend Butterfingers. While the food was good at Pancake Original Story and the prices are decent, it just didn't do it for me. But hey, give it a shot and maybe you'll have a different experience. And I'd like to know, has anyone been there that experienced good service or had a great time? If you did please feel free to comment!
Hannam station, exit 1(Gyeonggui-Jungang line): Walk straight from exit 1 until you get to the main road. Turn right. Keep walking until you see the bus stop sign "hannam station (한남역), and then continue to walk straight. Keep walking and you'll see a parking lot sign on your right. Then, you'll see a sign for SoonChunhyang university hospital. Then you'll see the big intersection. Cross the road to the left, and then cross the road again. Walk up the small slope and the restaurant is on your left.
Hanganjin station (probably the easier way to go): Go out exit 2 or 3. Walk to the big road that is going downhill (hannamgogachado 한남고가차도). Walk along the road down the hill for about 5 minutes. When you reach the big intersection, cross it to the left. Go up the small hill and its right there on your left.
We're just a couple addicted to great food. We love Anthony Bourdain!