Tartine Bakery & Cafe

Location:  It's the second or third ally after exit 1 of Itaewon; it's yellow, red and blue, you can't miss it.  Phone:  02-3785-3400

Ambiance:  Tartine is a brightly colored, fun little cafe with people always hustling and bustling about. They tend to play their music too loud in the main upstairs section, but they have an overflow section next door, a tiny place across the street and outside seating. The ladies, almost all the workers are women save for the owner, are very kind with a smile on their face, ready to help.

Food:  The food is quite tasty and fresh, though pricy. Considering that most people don't have access to an oven, it's really not a bad price. Additionally, they have a pretty decent rewards program if you visit often enough: five pies and you receive a cookie, five more and you receive a square, and five more gets you a pie. Besides, it's okay to splurge on dessert every once in a while.

Fresh bread, butter, cookies, pies, coffees, and teas are served daily, as any good cafe should. There is a staple set of little tarts that are occasionally augmented with seasonal goodies. The base set includes butter tart, pecan, blueberry, cherry, rhubarb, wild berry, and chocolate cream pies, while the seasonal goodies include pumpkin, apple, and strawberry. For a fee, the pies can come a la mode. As a super secret bonus, you can request they warm your pie for no extra charge, though it does take ten minutes.

The weekends at Tartine are full of goodness, as they have special cream pies like coconut, banana, lemon, and lime. The lemon and lime come in the normal meringue style or with graham cracker crust. Then, to top it off, they serve brunch! The brunch is one of my favorites. Again, they are pricey, but it tastes so good and comes with so much food that I am willing to splurge once every month or two. For brunch, I usually have the German Pancake, which seems to be a baked pancake with fresh jam and maple syrup, and a side of bratwurst and eggs. Though, they have omelets, bacon, ham, and other tasty treats. I must warn you, don't arrive starving or you will just die before your plate arrives because the brunch takes half an hour. Finally, I must warn you that their coffee okay, but only just.

Won:  10 - 25,000 per person (including drink)