Garosoo-gil (가로수길), or Cafe Street, in Changwon: Yongji-ro 239 beon-gil
Garosoo-gil in Korean (가로수길) means a tree-lined street. The most famous avenue with this moniker is in the ritzy Sinsa-dong in Seoul, but Changwon has its own Garosoo-gil in Yongji-dong, near Yongji Lake. The official name of the street is 용지로239번길 (Yongji-ro 239 beon-gil), but it’s more commonly known to expats as the Cafe Street because, well, it has a lot of cafes.
In fact, Changwon’s tree-lined street has a total of 9 cafes, 3 chain cafes, 2 art gallery-slash-cafes, 2 just-art galleries, 10 restaurants, 4 shops or boutiques, 2 flower shops, 1 convenience store, and 2 parks. This count only includes those that are located along the 800-meter street itself, but there are many more restaurants, cafes, and shops in the rest of the neighborhood.
In the spring or summer, the shade of the trees and the sight of people relaxing outdoors at the cafes make a stroll down Garosoo-gil quite lovely indeed. It’s also beautiful in the fall as the leaves change color. Why don’t you spend an afternoon exploring the garden or running around Yongji Lake, and then catch up with friends over coffee or tea?
Below are photos of some of the cafes and restaurants currently open for business. (Please remember that businesses do change.)
Please enjoy your next visit to Changwon’s Cafe Street!
m&m coffee and music: a unique, cluttered little cafe/leather workshop/performance space where you can listen to live music while drinking a latte and making a new wallet from scratch. Music and leather working lessons are also offered by the kind owner and his wife.
Panasia: an Asian Fusion restaurant chain that is located above Mamas Hands, a ceramics boutique, and La Vie, a flower shop. Mamas Hands offers ceramics classes.
Phomia: a Vietnamese cafe.
Oishi Hamburger (오이시 함바그): a restaurant that specializes in Japanese-style “hambagu” steak, using high-quality Korean beef which you cook yourself on a super-heated iron slab.
Cafe Viva (카페비바)
Yigang’s “The Story of Wildflowers” Gallery Cafe (이강의 들꽃 이야기): Sip tea or coffee in a plant-filled cafe decorated with ceramics and paintings. The artwork on display is for sale. They have a point card that after 20 punches entitles you to a small potted plant.
Coffe Cup: coffee and cupcakes. What more do you need in life?
Cafe HaU (카페하우): A social enterprise project. Check the archives for our past feature on Cafe HaU!
Garosoo: the aptly named cafe on Garosoo-gil.
Convenience store 365 Sale Mart (365할인마트) and cafe about J (어바웃제이).
Diesel Coffee Roasters
Cafe 7gram: a franchised cafe that offers gelato and mint flavoring for their coffee.
latitude 25°: a gallery cafe
Albeto: an Italian restaurant with extremely reasonable prices and extremely large doors.
Kongkkomul (콩꼬물): a Korean dessert cafe that specializes in traditional bingsu (빙수), a sweet shaved ice treat perfect for summer.
Cafe Aurora (카페 오로라)
Mica (미카): a chocolate coffee shop and chocolate-making school!
A Bowl of Guksu (국수 한그릇): a traditional Korean chopped noodle soup shop.
Caffe d’Ate (카페디아때): roasting coffee and dessert.
Below is a map from Google Maps of Garosoo-gil and its cafes, some landmarks, and the closest bus stops. (Garosoo-gil is a walkable distance from City Hall, the Rotary, Yongji Lake, Sungsan Art Hall, the Provincial Government Office, and even Changwon University.)
Got a recommendation for a specific place on Garosoo-gil that you love? We’d love for you to write a guest post for Changwonderful!