An interior as clean and minimal as the food—that’s Sobang Life (소녀방앗간) in Seoul’s quiet Ttukseom neighborhood. The menu is in Korean, but you need decide only one thing: vegetarian or meat/seafood. Cheerful chef Kim Min-young is happy to walk you through the day’s options, both of which feature seasonal vegetables sourced from Korea’s Gangwon province. The banchan spread also includes lip-tinglingly spicy kimchi, some kind of starch or noodle, and a dark, rich soybean paste soup.
After lunch, stop by Bonanza Bakery, just a few doors up, to sample one of eight signature breads, made without butter, eggs, milk, or sugar. The cranberry-walnut and chocolate are best sellers; get there at 2 p.m. or 5 p.m. for the hottest, freshest loaves.
9-16, Wangsimni-ro 5-gil, Seongdong-gu, Seoul, South Korea; 02-6268-0778.