In an effort to feel like we were on a proper vacation, Hallie from The Soul of Seoul and Amanda from Seoulody Smiles and I ventured out to Mangwon! The weather has been amazing. Between sunny skies and colourful walls all around Mangwon, we had tons of opportunities for tasty eats (Bali in Mangwon) and instagram sweets. We got to Zapangi just as the doors opened. There was already a line…
Mangwon-dong(망원동) or Mangridan-gil(망리단길) is quickly becoming a hot spot for cute cafes and sickly sweet desserts. We had seen Zapangi all over instagram and wanted to check out this cafe with over the top, aesthetically pleasing mermaid mochas and fondant donuts. They also seem to have a sweet speakeasy style entrance. We all know how I love to unearth a Seoul Secret…
Spoiler Alert: Zapangi is actually totally accessible via a big bay window at street level. The line stretches so long they have to have cones set up to keep savvy snappers in check. We arrived right as it opened, and there were plenty of Koreans and tourists alike lined up to get the perfect ‘gram and snack.
Menu at Zapangi 자판기
The menu at Zapangi is pretty much what you’d expect. The beverages are pretty simple. They have coffee served black or with milk. The soy latte is a nice addition, but is (of course) more expensive. Most people come for the overpriced mocha, however. The mochas arrive with a whopping pile of pastel whipped cream and pearl sprinkles. You can add a mermaid tail if you’re into paying another KRW 2,000 for a bland, but pretty, cookie. Hallie and I split the Aurora Mocha and a Doughnut to start the day!
Hallie and I shared the iced mocha (served just like a hot chocolate) and the doughnut. I wanted a pretty mermaid one, but they dished out the heart one so I guess you get what you get. The iced mocha itself was delicious. The chocolate was rich and slightly bitter. The drink itself was insanely sweet, but the rich and bitter elements made it a lovely, decadent drink. The whipped cream on top wasn’t sweet at all. For all that gorgeous, auroroa borealis pearl topping, there was absolutely no flavour. The whipped cream was a thick,sad, unsweetened topping. Considering much of the drink was this topping, I was a little disappointed.
While cute, our Zapangi doughnut was a bit on the small side for KRW 5,000. I wonder if perhaps we should have tried out the tin cake instead. The cake was fairly dry and bland. The cake flavour would be comparable to an old-fashioned. The icing was much thicker than a glaze or even your average doughnut icing and was sweeter than we could have ever imagined. This doughnut covered each extreme combining bland and sickly sweet. Great for a photo, but neither of us finished our half of the Zapangi doughnut we split.
Vibe at Zapangi 자판기
The vibe at Zapangi even when we doubled back later was pretty chill. A lot of people just use the door for editorial style shots and don’t even make a purchase. That’s not cool – if you’re going to hit up Zapangi make sure to earn your shoot and buy a prop. The cafe itself is pretty big, but the seating isn’t exactly designed for a lengthy stay. If you want to impress your insta-blogger partner, make a quick trip to Zapangi then venture through Mangwon Market or to any of the many great cafes or restaurants in the area!