If you’ve ever been thinking or talking about a trip to Daejeon, most of the locals that you ask would tell you to check out the bakery Sungsimdang. You might ask what is so special about this bakery – is it the taste of the bread that they make in-house daily? Or is it the history that comes with it? Most people wouldn’t know about the history, but it’s definitely for the taste that it has become one of the popular ‘tourist attractions’ to both locals and foreigners alike.
Open in 1956, Sungsimdang has had a long history of 60 years that started in Daejeon. Once a shop that sold steamed buns in front of Daejeon station, it has turned into a fine bakery with over 4 outlets. The main branch should be the one that you should visit as it’s the largest and there’s a second floor where you can enjoy your pastries with a cup of coffee or even order their specialty menu.
The name of the place translates into a ‘place of sacred/holy hearts’ and it’s because it started as a place that wanted to spread Catholicism through its bread. The first bricked building you will see is the main bakery: this is where you purchase your bread and pastries to go. You will see many people buying their fresh cream rolls which are known to be a good gift to friends and family in other parts of Korea.
If you wish to buy their products and consume there you can walk deeper into the street where you’ll see an older, wooden building. Here, you can purchase all sorts of freshly baked bread and pastries to be consumed on the second floor. The ‘Terrace Kitchen’ is where they serve meals as well as drinks. The second floor has a lot of seating areas and it looks like a restaurant instead of a bakery.
They have a large selection of pastries and a never-ending flow of customers. I came here after lunch, which in hindsight was a big mistake, so I only got 3 items, shared between a friend and me. But even then it was too much that we had to take some home. Some of the bread/pastries that you definitely have to try are the Bomunsan Meari (Bomunsan Echo), which is like a sugary bread with a crispy exterior and fluffy layers inside. They also have chocolate croissants, pies, croquettes, sweet bread, pastries, and cakes.
Definitely worth a visit if you’re in Daejeon! And remember not to go after a meal.
Name: Sungsimdang Bakery
Address: 15 Daejong-ro 480-beongil, Jung-gu, Daejeon, South Korea
Operating Hours: 08:00am – 10:00pm (11:00pm on weekends)