During my very first trip to Seoul, even before I became vegan, I happened upon a quaint and cozy cafe in Hongdae which dished up some awesome soy chai lattes and vegan brownies. However, on my subsequent trip I was disheartened to find that this shabby chic cafe had completely disappeared without a trace. Now, nearly three years later, I’m pleased to report that Cook and Book has reopened in a smaller, yet every bit as cozy, location in Hapjeong!
Cook and Book is owned and operated by one woman with a passion for baking and cooking; she even offers baking classes!
The interior is really relaxed and homey, with an open kitchen which makes it feel like you’re visiting a friend or neighbor for a lovingly-crafted home-cooked meal.
The decor makes it feel like you’re walking into an Anthropologie store, minus the extortionately-priced clothes and knick knacks, of course.
We came here on an overcast, drizzly October day (I’m so happy summer’s finally left Seoul!) So, we immediately ordered two soy hot chocolates to warm up with.
They were made using bitter baking cocoa, so they were accompanied by a cute little pitcher of sweetener. They were pretty good, though I’m personally hooked on making super creamy oat milk cocoa at home right now, so I wasn’t blown away.
👆 The English menu 👆
I was planning on just having dessert, but always-hungry-Eoin ordered two mains as well…and I’m super glad he did because they were really good!
I got the hearty lentil stew served with brown rice and chick pea salad. It was SO filling, like I didn’t feel hungry for the rest of the day.
Eoin got the deceivingly-named ‘veggie burger.’ Even though he was expecting a bunned burger with a side of fries, he was pleasantly surprised by this soy mince and brown rice patty covered in a gravy sauce and topped with avocado. The pickled cabbage on the side was really crunchy and yummy, too. Both of the meals also came with homemade cold apple cider laced with cinnamon.
We got a brownie with ‘ice cream’ and a slice of carrot cake for dessert. The carrot cake was more like carrot cheesecake, with heavy tofu cream on top. The brownie was pretty bitter and had a cakey consistency (I’m a fudgey brownie fan myself.) The ice cream was unfortunately rock solid, so I’d suggest asking for the brownie to be heated if you order this. Even though I’m a total dessert freak, I actually enjoyed the mains more than the puddings. Probably because Plant has spoiled me so much with their perfect cakes and brownies.
Scones, brownies, and biscuits pre-packaged to take away.
One of my favorite things about Cook and Book is that it’s dog-friendly! Well-behaved canine companions can come into the cafe with you, though there’s also a small seating area on the deck outside.
Hapjeong Station, Exit 7.
Check out Happy Cow for a detailed map.
Thanks for reading!