In San Francisco it’s the Mission, in New York it’s the East Village, in Berlin it’s Kreuzberg.
In Seoul, the booming capital of South Korea, it’s Hongdae — the go-to neighbourhood for all things street food, street fashion, and anything else a hipster could want.
On a recent reporting trip to Seoul, I gawked my way through the hyper-visual hood and it’s equally excellent neighbours, Hapjeong and Sinchon.
The results, as you’ll see, were awesome.
An open container policy, which turns 7 Elevens into al fresco watering holes. Throw back a soju (basically Korean vodka), smoke a cigarette, and catch up with your bro, as two bromances do here.
The pizzas are maximal. Camembert Sweet Potato sounds pretty good, especially with a few squiggles of mustard and mayo.
You know you've reached Hongdae when you see a few identifying features. One of them is thoroughly cute boutiques, like this one.
This guy's whipping up takoyaki, a snack imported from Japan where a ball of wheat flour is formed around a slice of octopus. It tastes like cornbread and calamari.
Even the subway is fresh. We're headed to the neighbouring hood Sinchon, in search of friendship and foodstuffs.
The destination: a beer with expat buddy Dave, who works in publishing. Craft beer took off in Korea in the past five years, and the the results are on par with just about any brew in the States.
As my buddy Jay explained, Korean fried chicken is fried twice, giving it the extra-crunchy flavour.
The only thing that could make it better? An appearance by superstar Tech Insider video producer Will Wei.
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