Café Culture Korea: Breakfast at Travel Maker, Hongdae
Hongdae has many things to entice people in – shops, bars, clubs, great restaurants and the only Taco Bell I have ever seen. But one of it’s lesser known locations is the Travel Maker café, located near Hongik University subway station exit three. Marta and I were first introduced to this place by our wonderful friend Jess last year. Now, we make it a point to visit every time we are in Hongdae. Why? Their amazing American style breakfasts!
The place is almost impossible to miss – a vibrant blue sign boasting “American Breakfast” and “Coffee” is hardly inconspicuous. Heading there after a night of light drinking with our hostel owner, Marta, our friend Karen and I were pretty famished. In my opinion, this is the kind of place that deserves to be visited hangover-free (though their breakfast would do wonders for one, I am sure).
Inside, the café is decorated like (what I imagine) an American diner to look like. (Editors note – I have yet to visit the North American continent). Pictures featuring desert landscapes and highways hung around us as we took a seat in one of their booths. In the middle, a large table with stalls was occupied by other people tempted in by the offer of a real breakfast.
Looking at the menu (and remembering we had to go up to the counter to order), we were spoilt for choice. A range of different breakfasts come with anything from French toast to pancakes. I chose a classic breakfast with pancakes, along with a nice iced coffee to start my day. This came with scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, hash brown and pancakes (of course). Marta and Karen had the same, except with French toast.
It costs 11,500 won for the breakfast combo or 8,900 won for just a breakfast. This may seem a little pricey, but the sheer amount of food you get more than makes up for it. I have never left Travel Maker anything less than completely stuffed.
I would suggest visiting earlier than 11am to avoid the ‘morning’ crowds, searching for nourishment after a night on the town. We arrived about 10:30 and soon after, the café was packed with people.
The amount of food on your plate is on the large side, to say the least. A mountain of scrambled eggs (I would guess a minimum of four eggs per person) was sat next to perfectly cooked, slightly crunchy bacon, succulent sausages and a large serving of hash brown. On a separate plate was a stack of thick pancakes, which I drizzled with maple syrup.
Although a little out of the way (unless you stay in the area like we did – check out my review of our hostel here), the walk is most definitely worth it. I look forward to returning to this place again and again and would urge you to do the same.