This past week has been filled with activities to do with settling into my area of Busan, near Nampo subway station in Jung-gu district. Learning where the supermarket is, understanding when restaurants serve their last meal and navigating the streets without the aid of Google Maps have been a few activities.

Two key accomplishments have been 1) locating trusty restaurants that offer good value food and 2) locating cafes with good work ambience. Scroll down for a recommendation from each category.

First, pork and rice soup at 한양왕순대돼지국밥

20-1 Haegwan-ro, Jung-gu, Busan
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This homely restaurant specialises in dwaeji gukbap (pork and rice soup)

Having seen the word sundae used on a few restaurant displays in Busan, I assumed that the definition was not the dessert that McDonalds sells. Sundae, or soondae in fact, is a type of Korean blood sausage commonly enjoyed as a street food. 

On a quiet spot in a street moments away from the giant Lotte Department Store Gwangbok, I found 한양왕순대돼지국밥 (copy and paste the Korean characters into your search engine). This is a humble, understated restaurant (as is the style of many mum & pop shops in Busan) specialising in pork dishes and Korean sundae.

English name is Hanyang Wang Soondae Pork Soup

A simple, home-style interior

For a price of 10,000 won (around 12 AUD), you can order Pork Soup with Boiled Pork Slices beautifully presented on the side. This meal, called dwaeji gukbap, is served with condiments including fermented shrimp (which you can add to the soup for extra flavouring), red pepper paste, white onions, raw garlic, radish kimchi and cabbage kimchi. The pork bone broth is lovely.

Located in Jung-gu district in Busan’s south

This whole set costed 10,000 won. Dwaeji gukbap is a simple, hearty meal.

Then, a productive work session at Good ol' days cafe

22-2 Jungang-dong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Busan
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This is a hidden-gem kind of boutique hotel that impresses you once you step into it. The cafe is located on the 1st and 2nd floors, the hotel is on the 3rd and 4th floors, and the rooftop lounge on the 5th. Good ol’ days is affectionately named and thematically presented – there are many photos of tourist attractions in Busan including Gamcheon Culture Village, Haeundae, Gwangalli and Seomyeon.

The perfect ambience for a digital nomad or an avid reader.

Good ol’ days has a passion for photography, which inspires fond memories and travel.

The owner of Good ol’ days is a photographer, and a guest can appreciate his passion from the little exhibitions in the cafe. There is a wall on the 1st floor filled with the efforts of local photographers. Looking closely, you can be inspired to visit different parts of Busan from their beautiful portrayal of the coastal city’s landscapes.

The lobby on the first floor has a European look.

Enjoy a peaceful sanctuary to get work done, there’s even a meeting room on the 2nd floor.

The 2nd floor of the cafe is perfect for digital nomads, couples or friends who’d like a well-maintained space to catch-up in. The wide windows let in lots of sunlight, there are couches that peer out into the neighbourhood, and there are even blankets provided. The balcony is nice to sip a coffee and have a conversation at. 

A mixture of hotel guests and locals hang out at Good ol’ days cafe.

Picture-perfect drinks that also taste great are served by the cafe on 1st floor.

Good ol’ days is an artfully presented hotel in the Jung-gu district, with a cafe on its 1st and 2nd floors. The building is a minute’s walk from Jungang Station, and a few minutes’ walk from Nampo Station. It’s a hidden gem to pleasantly spend an afternoon after your meal at 한양왕순대돼지국밥 down the street 😊

Lounge on a sofa from the cafe’s 2nd floor.

The calm, wooden-style interior of the 1st floor on the street level.

It takes just a minute 🙏

My name is Garry Ho, I’m the founder.
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