The Best Bagels in Korea
Today I want to talk about something very near and dear to my heart.
As I mentioned before in my dimsum post a few weeks ago, growing up with a couple of New York Jews as my parents, bagels and smoked salmon on a Saturday morning was a very, very special affair. Was it someone’s birthday? Family visiting? New Years? Whatever the reason, you knew it was going to be a good day if it started with bagels and lox.
As I grew up and grew more health conscious, I started seeing bagels as the enemy. Hundreds of calories and empty carbs. I started avoiding them, or ripping out the insides and only filling the crust with half a pack of low-fat cream cheese and cucumbers. When I moved to Korea, I started craving a lot of things: sweet potatoes, pears, Chipotle. But never bagels. I didn’t even like bagels as far as I was concerned.
All that changed when I discovered Kokkili Bagel in Yeongdungpo-gu, Seoul, South Korea.
It’s not that these are good bagels, these are THE BEST BAGELS I’VE EVER HAD IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. And remember my parents. I know bagels.
I happened to pass by Kokkili Bagel completely by chance. I was jogging in my neighborhood, and as I was running, I passed by a basket overflowing with fresh bagels outside a storefront. I was in the middle of my run, but BAGELS. I paused my Nike Run app and stepped inside. What I saw took my Saturday-morning-bagel-and-lox breath away.
It’s only a small bakery, but inside was a huge brick oven blasting out fire, a stack 5-feet-tall of chopped firewood, a freezer full of beer and milk, three workers busy at work, and baskets full of the most beautiful bagels I had ever seen.
The menu was unreal. This isn’t your average Dunkin Donuts, Panera menu. Bacon habenero, black sesame, walnut fig, olive cheese, sun-dried tomato, hemp seed, BRISKET, and so much more.
Everything is baked in house, and the shop closes down when they sell out, which they do. The menu is constantly changing, and everything is consistently amazing!
These are the softest, most flavorful bagels I’ve ever had. Baked to perfection: soft and warm on the inside, crisp on the outside.
There’s no cream cheese, which almost gave me a heart attack the first time I walked in, but YOU DON’T NEED CREAM CHEESE. The bagels are that flavorful, it would only distract from their perfection.
Since finding Kokkili Bagel one of my least favorite foods has become one my favorite foods of all time. Trust me, if you’re visiting Seoul, you NEED TO TRY THESE BAGELS. I don’t care if it isn’t Korean food, it’s a national treasure. xD
PS. Kokkiri Bagel if you’re reading this, PLEASE SPONSOR ME. I will promote you to the ends of the Earth, all I ask for is more bagels. 🙏
Here are the directions and hours:
Do you love bagels, too? What’s your favorite Saturday morning breakfast? Let me know in the comments below, and if you visit Kokkili Bagel tag me in your Instagram! @coffeecatskimchi
Happy brunching, until next time! 😋