Last week I wound up having to go to Daejeon (대전) for a day and discovered a charming city with a laid-back atmosphere and really nice food. I only had a few free hours of spare time so I decided to try some of the well-known food before I went back to Busan.
Daejeon is known as a transit city because it’s in between Busan and Seoul and many travellers pass by here. Because of that, many interesting shops and restaurants are all located right around the KTX station which is really convenient!
I first decided to try some 국수 (noodle soup). The noodles in 대전 are usually made by hand and rolled and cut with a knife which makes them have a thicker texture than usual. I found a place called 오씨칼국수 and tried their 칼국수 which is a type of noodle soup with clams. It was so delicious and the handmade noodles turned it from a typical dish to something special. The flavour was subtle and light, and was extra delicious with kimchi. For only 6 000원 I got a bowl that was probably initially meant for two but I was so hungry I ate it all 😋
You can get here by leaving exit 1 of 대전역 and walking south for a few blocks!
Afterward for something sweet I went back to the station and visited one of the most famous bakeries in Korea called Sung Sim Dang. This historic bakery was started in 1956 and has expanded into several branches but they are all only in 대전. People literally travel to this city just to order their bread so I knew this was a must-do. Their fried papa-streusel bread (튀김소보로) is one of their most famous and comes with several types of fillings for whatever suits your fancy. I’m on a real 고구마 (sweet potato) phase and when I saw they had that filling I didn’t hesitate to order it. Also I tried the original 팥 (red bean) filling. They have box sets for different prices and I got a pack of 6 for 10 000원. The chewy rice cake-like texture and flavours are AMAZING. I totally see why people travel just to try their bread because it’s worth the hype.
If someone is ever stopping by 대전 please take a moment to try it’s food. Totally recommend it~
Christmas in Busan has been completely different from all the Christmas’ I’ve spent in Canada. It feels strange to live in a place that never snows.. this is the one time of year where I actually love having snow blanketing the ground and trees. Generally not many places here (besides cafe’s) really decorate for Christmas, and because I’m spending most of my time with friends of different countries and cultures I realized that Christmas is definitely for the most part a Western and European holiday.
However, I was so happy to stumble upon one area of Busan that turns into a Christmas wonderland in December. I was luckily traveling to Nampo one day and came across a street filled with thousands of glistening Christmas lights and the sounds of Christmas music and caroling. Briefly, I felt like I was home again! It turns out this is a yearly festival called the 부산 크리스마스 트리 문화 축제 (Busan Christmas Tree Culture Festival).
One thing that was really amazing was the LED Christmas tree that’s built in the center of Nampo’s main square. It has to be at least 5 or 6 stories tall. It becomes the hub of most of the Christmas festivities with many carolers and spots for people to bring their instruments to play to their hearts content. We came across a group of 아저씨’s singing and it was so cute and heartwarming to listen to them sing together.
Nampo is also really famous for it’s street food. Actually the main reason why we came here was to try out 호떡- a famous food that’s especially made in Nampo. It’s so light, buttery and filed with so many nuts and seeds. By then there was a lot of hype surrounding this snack because we were looking for it for so long, and honestly it lived up to the hype. I now feel the urge to eat one each time I’m near Nampo.
We also tried 어목 (fish cakes) and 유부초밥 (Yubuchobap), which is fried tofu stuffed with rice and veggies, and was served with a broth that was really comforting to sip on in the chilly evening weather. Everything tasted SO fresh. I also tried 프로즌 스모어, which is Konglish for ‘frozen smore.’. It was basically a toasted marshmallow with ice cream inside.
Nampo’s a fun place to begin with, but it’s definitely one of the best places to go to in Busan during Christmas.
Merry Christmas everyone~ 🙂