Wake Up And Smell The Coffee
Under the shadow of Apsan is a busy little road colloquially known as “Coffee Street,” so called for its density of coffee shops in a relatively small area. All of your favorite coffee chains are here for the party, plus some independent cafes sprinkled in. Lined with beautiful cherry blossoms on display in the spring and with a wealth of Italian restaurant options within walking distance, Coffee Street is a perfect date night close to home.
In late March or early April, the road is unmistakable with its stately line of cherry blossoms marching straight up to Apsan. The blossoms are really an added bonus to an already charming street. Within a few minutes, you’ll notice the number of coffee establishments has radically increased, and wonder how so many places serving the same thing can survive right next to each other. This is Coffee Street.
The party continues down a perpendicular road in front of ‘Tuesday Morning’ (popular coffee shop). If you’ve come to eat as well as drink coffee, the cuisine of choice is predominantly Italian. It was a warm but slow Tuesday night, so we got a patio table at the oddly-named Beans Market, which neither sold beans nor is a market. This classy Italian joint did serve up a mean alfredo with shrimp, which is my favorite Italian dish in Korea to date. Everyone else was pleased with their choices of carpaccio pasta, funghi risotto, and sirloin pizza. The prices were a little steep, with pasta dishes hovering around 15,000 to 25,000 won, but it was delicious and the portion sizes were a little bigger than some other Italian places I’ve visited in Daegu. For a more budget-minded Italian night, our friend recommended Merry-Go-Round across the street, which features even larger portions.
It seemed silly not to come to Coffee Street and not partake, so after dinner we decided to try out one of the less omnipresent franchises and maintain the night’s ‘beans’ theme by heading to ‘Beansbins Coffee’. Besides your coffee shop staples, Beansbins features coffee beans from roughly fifteen different countries. Upon walking in, the eponymous bins of beans stand waiting for perusal.
For those looking for a night with a little more substance than coffee and carpaccio, it is worth noting that the trail head for the Apsan night hike is only a few short blocks away. Indeed, the observation deck stands sentinel over Coffee Street and its caffeine-loving denizens. Simply keep walking up the hill from Hyeonchungno station and turn right once you’ve reached the mountain.
Whether you want coffee, Italian cuisine, or a hike, the Apsan Coffee Street district is a great option for a quick getaway without having to leave Daegu.
To get to Apsan Coffee Street, take the subway to Hyeonchung-ro and use exit 2. Walk about 100m towards the intersection and turn left. Walk another 500m up the slight slope to the coffee street. Or you can tell the taxi driver “ap-san-ka-pe-go-ri ga-ju-se-yo”, meaning “Please go to Coffee Street at Apsan.” (Address: 30, Hyeonchung-ro, Nam-gu, Daegu, Korea)