Welcome to Seongsu-dong, the neighborhood where our shoes are made. Known as the Brooklyn of Seoul, Seongsu was an industrial area in the 1970s-1990s, but now better known for its galleries, cafes and street art.
The handmade shoe industry is still based here, and you can see many storefronts where you can pop in to get your feet measured and co-design a unique shoe with the artisans. There are also many landmarks to celebrate the shoemaking industry dotted around the neighborhood.
Seongsu Shoemaking Exhibit
An interactive exhibit where you can learn about the history and process of Seongsu shoemaking, and find the right shoemaker for you.
You don’t even have to leave the subway station to find our first stop. The exhibit is nested in the station near exit 3. Here, you can read about the history of how the shoemaking industry came to be in Seongsu, and play with the interactive exhibit to find out more about the handmade shoemaking process.
Best of all, you can use a “smart” screen to find the right shoemaker for you by entering what type of shoe you want, and what your budget is!
Lunch Spot: Seongsu Darak
A fun restaurant housed in a sun-lit, roomy attic space with a secret trap-door.
One of my go-to lunch spots is Seongsu Darak (which means “attic”). Finding this spot is a fun challenge: there is a trapdoor. See how you fare in finding the entrance. If you are stuck, or wanting to know in advance how to get in, check out our YouTube video.
My favorite menu items at Seongsu Darak are the spicy cream pasta with Korean caviar and the Japanese-style steak sandwich (steak sando). The chopped steak is pretty good too, and I especially love the grilled veggies that accompany it.
Soaking in some sun and browsing lifestyle stores at Seongsu Yeonbang, the site of a chemical factory that has been re-imagined.
After lunch, make your way down Yeonmujang-gil (street) that is home to shoe supplies (heels, accessories and leather shops) and head to Seongsu Yeonbang (meaning “Union”), a fun strip mall that houses lifestyle brands and F&B outlets.
I love browsing the stores, and soaking in the sun in their beautiful courtyard or on their third floor.
Coffee Time: Daelim Changgo
Grab coffee and browse the mini-gallery at Daelim Changgo (대림창고)
Feeling the effects of food coma, and having had enough of the sun? Take a break at Daelim Changgo, a former steel mill reborn into a gallery and cafe.
The roomy space with high ceilings, interesting sculptures and great coffee make for a great place to chill out and rest your feet.
There are plenty of other fun places to check out in Seongsu:
- S Factory: a space hosting ateliers, studios, workshops and F&B outlets in an old factory
- 1MILLION Dance Studio: possibly the most dance studio on social media (their YouTube channel has 25M subscriber). Book a trial class on your day in Seongsu. The best part is you don’t need to carry around a pair of dance or gym shoes. You can wear your outdoor shoes or dance barefeet!
- Peaches. D8NE: for car styling enthusiasts and Instagrammers, this place is a must see. Even if you have little interest in cars, the space is home to F&B outlets and a shisha-friendly cocktail bar.