SHOP FOR LOCAL DESIGNS

Combining the functional and the beautiful, discover well-designed, unique stationaryDig in to Korean comfort food, including the country’s signature dish: bibimbapWith its intense focus on all things academic, Seoul is a stationery-lovers’ mecca, and it’s in the arts university Hongdae neighborhood that you’ll find the best stationery stores and creative lifestyle products from local artisans. Object offers vintage Korean home goods and jewelry and stationery. Sparsely-decorated and lovely Oval has a carefully-curated collection of letter-press cards, Japanese leather portfolios, and vintage pencils. For the teens in your life, browse the robot toys and vintage posters at 1300k. The widest and best-curated selection design goods can be found at SangSang Madang.  Some of our favorite finds include Tale Design’s moon glass, a cup that shows you the waning moon as you drink from it, and post-it notes in the shape of gingko leaves and cherry blossoms. Ready for lunch? Stop in at Namul-meokneun Gom, a Korean restaurant in a hanok (traditional curved roof home) with a lovely outdoor courtyard. Though the bibimbap, chaeyuk bokkeum (spicy grilled pork) and naengmyeon (cold noodles) are plated individually (traditional Korean restaurants serve most dishes family style), the recipes come straight from the septugenerian grandmother who still works in the kitchen. Northwest of the Han River, the Mapo District is known for its urban arts and indie music culture, clubs and entertainment. That includes being the HQ for many K-Pop labels which are fiercely followed in South Korea. From the Conrad Seoul you can take a train to Sangsu or Hapjeong to put you in the middle of Mapo-gu, or head out via cab which will take around 30 minutes. ​​OBJECT: 23, Eoulmadang-ro 5-gil, Mapo-gu; 82-(0)2-333-1369; insideobject.co.kr ​​OVAL: 48-29, Wausan-ro 29-gil, Mapo-gu, 3rd floor; 82-(0)2-325-1981; shop-oval.com ​​1300K: 11, Jandari-ro 2-gil, Mapo-gu; 82-(0)2-322-2131; 1300k.com ​​SANGSANG MADANG: 65, Eoulmadang-ro, Mapo-gu; 82-(0)2-330-6200; sangsangmadang.com ​​NAMUL-MEOKNEUN GOM: 20-12 Jandari-ro, Mapo-gu; 82-(0)2-323-9930