Seoul Food: Cafe Baaa (카페바아) in Hannam-dong
To be totally honest, I had no idea Cafe Baaa was even in the neighborhood. My friend Crystal had it on her list of cafes to visit, so she stopped in while I sat outside in the scorching early afternoon sun with Kunu. The owner asked if I was going to be hot outside (yes, I was melting); Crystal explained that I had a dog and we weren't sure if he was allowed inside. She was so excited that I had a dog with me and immediately welcomed us in.
We wanted a glass of wine, but she was out so I opted for iced tea and Bryan and Crystal got coffees. Unexpectedly, the owner brought over a round of champagne to apologize for not having wine, which was so sweet and totally unncessary. She was totally enamoured with Kunu, who by this point had jumped off Bryan's lap and was splooting on the floor, knocked out by the heat.
The interior is simple but charming, not overdone and total Instagram-bait, like a lot of other places in the neighborhood. It's really cozy and cute, with details that make the space feel familiar even if you've never been before. I felt like I was sitting in the living room of my artsy friend who loves Celine and Danish modern, and of course lives in Brooklyn.
We were too full from lunch to try any of the baked goods, but I was so obssessed with the way she wrote all of the names and prices on the glass, seemingly upside down. It was such a charming touch that make the perfect-looking treats feel a little bit more casual. Also, she bakes everything herself!
I'll definitely post an update once I get to try that Valhrona chocolate fudge cake.