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Hwamyeong Hotspot #4: The AGIT

wpid-img_20150626_171501.jpgThe AGIT is one of my newest discoveries but it’s easily becoming one of my favourite places in Hwamyeong. My friend Alice had recommended me to go here many times but it wasn’t until Gillian invited me for lunch that I actually went. I regretted not listening to Alice sooner! The AGIT is a huge cafe located in the basement of a building. The entire cafe is filled with different types of seating arrangements, including sitting on a cosy floor spot, or comfy couches, a Christmas tree, a nail salon, and even a doggy playroom. They have a mascot, Pepsi, who is a large sheepdog.wpid-img_20150626_171416.jpg

The menu seems small but they always have a variety of different things available. I’ve had a few things and I’m trying something new each time I go back. The AGIT charges the usual $4-$7 for a drink and $7-$10 for food, but it’s worth it. Everything I’ve tried from there was been delicious.

I’d recommend the strawberry latte, blueberry smoothie, and the BLT.The bread is amazing and I never want it to end when I’m eating it. They also have a delicious huge burger that is super satisfying. I’d recommend anyone in the Buk-gu area to check out wpid-img_20150627_130729.jpgThe AGIT. They’ve been open since 2013 and they’re super friendly. Every time I’ve went with my friends they’ve gone out of their way to be extra kind and even given us great serbisu (free stuff).

I’ll be going back to The AGIT any time I want a chill reading area, or a good meal.

How to get there: From Hwamyeong station, take exit 1. Walk to the corner of Lotte Mart, across from the Samsung Store and To the Different. Walk directly up the street until you get to Lotteria. Cross the street towards the GS25, then walk up that street towards the CGV. You’ll see a pet store with a bunch of smiling animals outside of it. Go in that building, pass the cute animals on display and go down to B1. If you take the elevator, you’ll end up right into the thick of The AGIT.

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Hwamyeong Hotspots – #2 Chokie Cookie/Chokie N Cookie?

wpid-20150121_122819.jpgSo this one is a bit different because this is a chain store. I didn’t know it was a chain store at first because I hadn’t seen one before, but as far as I’ve seen there is a store in Hwamyeong and one in Deokchon. Now what is Chokie Cookie? (To be honest I don’t know the name, I just call it Chokie Cookie.) Well, it’s an import goods shop! They have a lot of Korean products, but also Japanese products and American products. And the products they specialize in? CANDY and SNACKS!

They have gingerale (I haven’t tried it, it’s not Canada dry.. haha) and Dr. Pepper, various beans, tomato sauces and pastes, pastas, other kids of chips and salad dressings. They also have Canadian granola bars, syrup, peanut butter, etc. They even have canned soups, like Campbells! They have a lot of goods for pretty decent prices. And the two bins out front are all 1000w (about $1). The best thing about it is the people who work there. The store in Hwamyeong has the friendliest people, and they always give you a chocolate or candy as “service”. It’s just small things like that that can really make a place feel homey. This was the first store where the attendant recognized me, and he even remembered I was from Canada.

The store in Hwamyeong is pretty easy to get to, when you exit the subway from Lotte Mart, leave Lotte mart and go right, follow the street all the way up until you get to Lotteria. Cross to Lotteria and then turn right again, walk down and Chokie Cookie is right there!

I was actually introduced to Chokie Cookie by the guy I replaced, Justin. He told me it was a pretty cool store and showed me all the stuff they had. I’ve been back several times since getting here. They have one of the most extensive selection of spices I’ve seen in a store in Korea! If you’re missing anything from home, take a look at Chokie Cookie, they just might have want you’re looking for!

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Hwamyeong Hotspot: Fraiser Bakery

wpid-20150121_122321.jpg Frasier Pain au levain Naturel is a newer bakery to Hwamyeong. And it is a fantastic addition! Hwamyeong has a lot of awesome bakeries (I’ve been to almost all of them) and this one is pretty unique. The store is very, very small and has a limited selection but everything I’ve tried there has been amazing.

First of all, the chef is so friendly! I believe the woman I usually talk to is the owner, who speaks pretty fantastic English. She is super helpful and always has good recommendations. She also give out samples of her work. She is very proud of it and it shows. She sometimes comes out with flour on her face, which really is funny but it shows she’s someone who gets really into her work.

The bread at Frasier is almost vegan, but I’m not 100% certain. They don’t use milk or eggs in the bread dough, usually just canola oil or sunflower oil, and it is all delicious. They do use cheese in some breads though so be wary. I’ve sampled quite a few things from there and everything has been great. (I’ll include some pictures of the food later, I just can’t find them on my computer… 😦 ).

The store always smells amazing, and they offer pretty decent prices for their product. Now bakeries here are usually cheap, but Fraiser is a bit higher prices, but you’re paying for great quality food. Things run from 500w – 6000w (one being a small roll of bread the other being a full loaf of sourdough).

The things I’ve tried from Fraiser include:

  • Blueberry cream cheese bun – tasted like a blueberry bagel with cream cheese.
  • Pumpkin sourdough roll and regular sourdough roll – both were soft and delicious
  • loaf of Three cheese bread – this was incredibly soft and made awesome grilled cheeses
  • Pizza bun – totally awesome, just pepperoni and tomato sauce but the delicious dough made up for the lack of cheese.
  • Cheese cibatta bun – this was delicious! and the first time I have seen cibatta in Korea. It was filled with cream cheese and had roll cheese (I think it’s cheese strings cut up) in it.

They have a lot more things and I’m looking forward to trying them! If you want to go to Fraiser in Hwamyeong, just exit the subway station near Lotte Mart, cross the street towards the Samsung Store/To the Different, turn right and when you get to the Davich optical store make a left. Fraiser is on that small street next to a DVD store and a book store. it’s kind of small so keep your eye out for it.

So here is the first in my Hwamyeong Hotspot series. If you have any questions or want to know about anything else, please feel free to leave a comment. 🙂

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New Mini blog series: Hwamyeong Hotspots

I’m going to start doing little reviews, if you will, of places in Hwamyeong. When I was first coming to Busan I kept googling my future neighbourhood, wondering what would be there. Google sort of failed me, I did find info about the Lotte Mart, but I was looking for things that I could do there, and places I could go. Hwamyeong is not near any of my busier parts of Busan: Seomyeon (shopping), Haeundae and Gwangalli (beaches), KSU/PNU (university nightlife areas), Nampo (I’ve posted about Nampo a few times…). It’s almost an hour away from most of those places. It does have it’s own charm, and it’s quite close to Deokchon, one of the transfer stations. I really do love Hwamyeong (and I love Deokchon too). It has everything I need, and if I feel like venturing out into busier Busan, I am just a subway ride away.

Hwamyeong is sort of an up-and-coming neighbourhood. There’s a big highway bridge being constructed, there’s plenty of cafes and mountains, the Eco park (a huge outdoor super space that connects a lot of Busan) is in my backyard, and of course we’re surrounded by mountains. It is also pretty affluent. There are many foreign language academies (private schools, hagwons, where I work…) I’m not surprised when I see foreigners here because there are quite a few of them!  I’m not going to talk about the academies here, though if anyone reading this has any questions I have people I can put you in contact with at Hwamyeong COREM and Hwamyeong SLP.

Anyway, I wanted to introduce the neighbourhood and talk about some of the places I love to go to. I basically go to these places every week, if not more. In these posts, I’ll detail where they are in regards to the Hwamyeong subway stop (woo directions) and what I like about them. It will be a lot shorter than my usual posts so I hope you still enjoy them! I just thought as I’m getting more into being here, like actually living here, it’d be interesting and fun. I can hardly believe I’m going into my fourth month at work…

I’ll be posting these little Hwamyeong hotspot reviews in conjunction with my regular weekend exploits. Please look forward to my first one coming up later today!

(I say later today but I’m writing just after I finish this… haha)