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  • Lynnea Elsasser

Our 20th Century - 우리의 20세기

Updated: Aug 5, 2021



One space that is great in winter -- and also summer -- is Our 20th Century (우리의 20세기). It is considered by many Koreans to be the first "hot place" in Haenggung-dong. Planted in the corner of a small intersection, this cafe has great views of Hwaseomun from the main floor and the rooftop. The rooftop is also a great place to take in the sunset.


Side window with embroidered cloth in Our 20th Century cafe
A side window within the cafe

The interior's concept fits along nicely with the name of the cafe, Our 20th century. The atmosphere indeed reminds me of the 20th century with books and mementos from a bygone century lying around. The cafe does not give off a modern vibe that many cafes nowadays aim for, but it is rather a mix of vintage and electic -- without the feeling that you stepped into your grandma's house. Instead, the cafe looks like you stumbled into a music lover's den who has held on the age before music went digital. A large collection of CDs and vinyl records are piled up next to the the front counter and are played continuously throughout the day. At night, warm light fills the place, giving it that cozy feeling we all crave in the winter time.


Colection of books and CDs in Our 20th Century
The owner's collection of CDs and books.

A cozy nook with a tapestry hung up on the wall.
A cozy nook in the cafe.

The main windows that face the sit are great for looking at Hwaseomun and the modern hanok across the street (or people watching) and has a few cozy seats right by the window. In the back of the coffee shop, you will find a table with a large tapestry hung above it (and ode to the decade of hippies maybe?). Next to it, there is even a cozy little nook that provides some privacy, if that is what you see

To access the rooftop, you will need to go outside of the cafe and take the stairs that are on the east side of the building. The rooftop is completely open and has chairs along with tables spaced throughout the terrace. At night, there is small portable lamps to provide some lighting.


I have to give extra points to their menu display of using a multi-panel picture frame. It is quite unique and quite frankly, pretty darn cute as well. In regards to drinks, something that sets this cafe apart is that they make their own vanilla bean syrup for their vanilla bean latte and vanilla bean einspanner. To find out what new drinks they are offering, check out the top right corner of the menu. I love that their hot drinks are served in china, another small detail that adds to the 20th century concept. To see what desserts are available, they should be displayed on the table in front of the counter or in the DESSERT panel of the menu. One of their most famous dessert items is the creme brulee, which I have yet to try. I did try their brownie and to be honest, I had better elsewhere (*cough* RnB coffee).



I have actually been to Our 20th Century several times already and will be returning sometime soon again.

 

Notes:

-This is one of the more popular cafes in Haenggung-dong. On weekends or holidays, it will probably be full. Either come early, or be willing to wait.

-The terrace becomes shaded after 3:30 pm. It is great for watching the sunset and for night views of the fortress during the summer.


Music: Classical, instrumental, or jazz


Bathroom: Located in the back of the cafe on the main floor. There is a separate bathroom for men and women, with a shared sink.


Wifi: Located at the front counter with the menu.


Specialty/What to try: creme brulee, vanilla bean latte or vanilla bean einspanner


Social media: our_20thcentury (Instagram)


Hours: Monday off; Weekdays 12:00 - 22:00; Weekends 11:30 - 22:30


Location: Suwon-si, Paldal-gu, Hwaseomun-ro 26-3, 1st floor

경기 수원시 팔달구 화서문로 26-3 1층


From Hwaseomun, walk straight south east down the main road, till the main road curves. The coffee shop will be right there.


 

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