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[Weekender] More bakeries on the map

OPS Bakery, Busan

OPS’s signature menu is the hagwonjeon, which in Korean means “pastry for hagwon,” or after-school lessons. The idea was to create a simple, hearty snack that Korean children could gobble down with a glass of milk before heading to an evening of grueling studies. Made with eggs and honey from Gyeongju’s Mount Tohamsan, the sweet, spongy cake embodies a typical Korean mother’s caring for her child, said OPS.

Another specialty of the bakery is the pollack roe baguette, which combines distinctly Korean flavors with the classic crusty French bread. Though the idea of fish eggs in bread might sound repugnant in theory, the result makes for a crisp, pleasantly salty appetizer that pairs especially well with liquor, as attested to by several bloggers.   

Established in 1999, OPS has quickly risen as a must-visit spot for those in the Busan area.       

Gungjeon Bakery, Gwangju

Gungjeon Bakery is best known for its dinosaur egg bread, a round, carved-out baguette filled with an egg-salad stuffing of mayonnaise, mashed potatoes, pickles and crab meat. A mix between the sandwich and the croquette, the fist-size snack is a menu item unique to the Gwangju bakery.

Another staple item is the butterfly bread, a sugary, many-layered pastry in the shape of a bow tie. 

Gungjeon Bakery was founded in 1973 and currently runs seven stores in the Gwangju area.

Jung Donuts, Yeongju

Jung Donuts
Jung Donuts

Standing firmly amid an influx of foreign donut chains like Krispy Kreme and Dunkin’ Donuts is Jung Donuts, located in the city of Yeongju in North Gyeongsang Province.

In an effort to make donuts as healthy as they are tasty, Jung Donuts makes its batter with rice powder, which is 10 times less fattening than regular flour and creates a denser consistency, said the company. Jung Donuts also incorporates other fresh, local specialty ingredients such as ginger, Korean ginseng, apple and blueberry into its donuts. The ginger donut has become a staple item of the shop, with the ginger’s sweet and tangy taste nicely complementing the chewy texture of the bread. 

Richemont Bakery, Seoul

Richemont Bakery is an iconic eatery in Seoul’s Mapo-gu area. Built in 1979 by baker Kwon Sang-bum, the bakery boasts over 400 varieties of baked goods and confectionery, from baguettes and sandwich loafs to sugar-dusted dacquoises, creamy choux with real vanilla filling and an endless array of cakes, tarts and sandwiches.

A beloved landmark for 29 years, the bakery’s most famous branch was edged out of its Hongdae premises in 2012, when the spot was leased to Angel-in-us Coffee, a cafe run by Lotte Group. Many at the time deplored the eviction of the symbolic neighborhood spot and the proliferation of conglomerate-funded chains.   

Richemont Bakery now operates three stores, in Sungsan-dong, Yeonhui-dong and at the Ewha Womans University campus, and runs the Richemont Confectionery and Bakery Institute.

By Rumy Doo(