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Three Organic Cafes in Hongdae
Joo Hye-ri Junior Reporter  |
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[123호] 승인 2013.09.30  
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Hongdae is a thriving hub of entertainments and various kinds of restaurants which makes it one of the most boisterous places in Seoul. Recently on some television shows, there are a number of ‘good restaurants’ broadcasted. These restaurants cook food with organic ingredients that are directly cultivated. As a result, the public’s interest on good restaurants and the importance of organic ingredients is skyrocketing nowadays. Thus this time, I visited three renowned cafes in Hongdae: Gelati Gelati, Cacaoboom and Cafe A Re, all of which make snacks or dishes with organic ingredients. They were all relatively tasty which fascinated me. I will talk about each cafe’s characteristics, its pros and cons and finally, which cafe I recommend as the best.

First, I want to introduce Gelati Gelati. It mainly sells ice cream. Since its ice cream is made with fresh ingredients and does not include much sugar and other artificial flavors, I could taste a lot of original ingredients. My friend and I ate in a cup instead of a cone and we chose two flavors each. I had pistachio and tiramisu, and my friend had apricot and yogurt. All four flavors were really appetizing, and the ice cream was very soft. I especially liked the tiramisu because it was not very sugary, yet I could still taste pieces of tiramisu cake.

Each cup is 4,000 won, and it is the same for a cone. If you want takeout in a big cup, there is also a to-go box selection. You can pick up to eight different flavors. Besides ice cream, you can also have a cup of coffee. A cup of Americano is 3,800 won, Cafe Latte and Cappuccino are both 4,000 won each, and there are also Gelati Ade and Milk Affogato. Do not plan to go there to spend some time or take a rest though, because the size of the cafe is very small, which means there might be no seats for you to sit and chill.

Next, I visited Cacaoboom, which means a cacao tree in Dutch. It uses only a hundred percent cacao butter to make real chocolate. It is the best place for chocolatelovers since it specializes in desserts made of chocolate which are all hand-made. As soon as you get into the cafe you can see tons of chocolate. This peaceful cafe is bigger than and not as crowded as Gelati Gelati. My friend and I ate cacao ice flakes with ice cream and two kinds of chocolate: one was fresh truffle, and the other was butter. However, everything was too sweet for me. Since the ice cream is solely made with cacao butter, the taste of it was so strong that I did not like it even though I am all about chocolate. I think I am too much used to the taste of artificial chocolate.

At Cacaoboom, you can choose to drink hot chocolate, ice chocolate, or coffee, or eat ice cream. Nevertheless, the weakest point is that all of them are quite costly for students like us. Cacao ice flakes with ice cream ? which is the most renowned dish ? is 8,000 won for a comparatively small size. Fresh truffles are 1,500 won each, and butter truffles are 2,300 won each. Among the three desserts I tried, I believe the butter truffle was the best because it was not extremely sweet as the other refreshments

Last but not least, Cafe A Re was the place I headed toward. Its exterior was the worst among the three because I could not even find where it was in front of its entrance. This was because the entrance was extremely narrow. On the other hand, the interior was awesome. It looked even more pleasant because my expectation was low from the moment I saw the entrance. What is better is that it does not matter at all if you visit there by yourself because there are several seats for one person. The atmosphere was calm and relaxing. My friend and I had banana strawberry juice, cheese nachos and a mozzarella tortilla pizza. All three were delicious. Banana strawberry juice which seemed salubrious was moderately sweet. Cheese nachos were also tasty with melted cheese, chopped meat, fresh paprika and onions. The pizza was the best among the three even though it was not so hot. I think it is an adequate size for girls to enjoy because it is not too large. Nonetheless, we had to leave two pieces of pizza since we were so full trying various dishes at all three places.

There was one more place I wanted to visit which is Molly’s pops; however, it is closed on Mondays, so I could not try its ice cream. I am definitely going to try it next time. Hopefully then I can tell you, the readers, about my impressions on it. Among these three unique cafes, I would suggest you stop by Cafe A Re at least once. It was the coziest and largest spot that totally mesmerized me compared to the other two cafes. It is equipped with several seats and has neat surroundings. It also provides a large selection of delicacies which satisfy both people who want to have nice meals and others who prefer to merely enjoy refreshments.

Most of us visit a cafe at least twice a week. If we only drink coffee, it may not be a problem at all. But the coffee we drink at this moment may contaion nonorganic additives such as syrup, cream and colorings. We may have become too used to these additives and strong artificial flavors nowadays, but visiting these cafes will definitely free you from the additives and artificials for a moment and refresh you with rich natural taste.

All photos credited by Joo Hye-ri

Joo Hye-ri Junior Reporter

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