Suseong Lake kept coming up over and over in our ongoing search for an apartment to call home. It’s the “nice” part of town, we were told. “The Beverly Hills of Daegu,” our realtor said. “You’ll just love all the coffee shops surrounding the lake,” Sly’s coworker mentioned. We aren’t really ‘nice part of town’ type of people but the thought of Sunday strolls around a lake, a view of the mountains, and spending long, lazy afternoons exploring all the cute coffee shops did sound appealing.
One weekend we jumped in a cab and asked the cabbie to drop us off where all the restaurants were. The cabbie was slightly confused so he ended up dropping us off at this multi-level modern looking building that seemed to house 3-4 very large restaurants including a seafood buffet, a cafe, a club, and an Italian restaurant. Nothing really called our name. Instead we decided to take a lap around the lake and get a general sense of the area.
We walked past a airplane-turned-cafe, an old-school 60s-era-looking amusement park, duck shaped paddle boats, odd plots of land that looked as if someone lived there (?) or at least was growing crops, and of course building after building of craft cocktail bars and quaint coffee shops including the most massive Starbucks I have ever seen. Caught between lunch and dinner not many restaurants seemed to be opened but we continued our explorations regardless, making mental notes of places that looked ‘cute’ and places we wanted to try later.
Sly spotted a restaurant across the street from the lake that looked interesting from the outside so we headed in that direction, ordered some burgers, waited forever for them to make the burgers, gobbled them up when they finally arrived, and, even though we were totally stuffed, walked back across the street to the airplane cafe. I couldn’t resist. I ordered waffles with compressed strawberry ‘snow ice’ topped with the biggest, juiciest strawberries, a dollop of whipped cream and a drizzling of chocolate. Delicious.
Suseong Lake bore no resemblance at all to “Beverly Hills,” at least not in my opinion, and had quite a different feel than the bustling bright lights, fast-paced downtown area. It reminded me more of a small, intimate ski lodge type villa more than anything with its mountain views, cozy shops, and houses tucked away into the base of Apsan mountain. Ultimately, we decided not to live in this area, but that doesn’t mean we won’t be spending a lot of time here in the near future.
EDIT: After being closed for nearly a year, it looks as if Snow Factory, or the airplane cafe, has been repainted and reopened!
La Salud // American – $10-$15 // I think this may be a chain restaurant, but I’m not sure. Essentially gourmet burgers, fries, salads and milkshakes with a few Korean fusion options. The menu is more or less in English. Burgers are kind of smaller and on the pricey-er side than, say, a McDonalds, but they tasted really good. DIRECTIONS: Locate the massive plane parked right beside Suseong Lake (and also near the amusement park), then look across the street. If you are facing away from the airplane towards the opposite street, La Salud is on the opposite side of the street and to the right.
Snow Factory // “snow ice” and desserts – $5-10 // Oddly enough, this is a Hawaii-based company with a location in Daegu of all places — in an airplane… I’m not complaining, I totally love stuff like this. I thought it was going to be totally gimmicky — and of course it sort of is — but the dessert we had was SO GOOD. Unlike Hawaiian shaved ice, their “snow ice” is made with fruit juices and then shaved, resulting in a unique texture and flavor that permeates the entire snow ice instead of a syrup that sits on the top. You can choose to sit inside the airplane or in the ‘lounge’ area connected to the side of the airplane. Outside seating is also available for when the weather is warmer. DIRECTIONS: This is pretty easy to find. Once you’re at Suseong Lake, it’s a can’t miss — it’s right next to the amusement park.