OWL Magazine Korea

Taegeukdang: Seoul’s Oldest Bakery Since 1946

Taegeukdang, established in 1946 by Shin Chang-geun in Myeongdong, Seoul, is the city’s oldest bakery. After receiving baking equipment left by the Japanese post-liberation in 1945, Shin Chang-geun opened the bakery under the name Taegeukdang. In 1973, Taegeukdang relocated from Myeongdong to its present location in Jangchung-dong, with the current building constructed in 1974.

In 1999, Shin Chang-geun’s son, Shin Gwang-yeol, took over the bakery, and since 2011, Shin Gwang-yeol’s children—Shin Gyeong-cheol, Shin Hye-myeong, and Shin Hye-jong—have been managing Taegeukdang. Choosing preservation over radical change, Taegeukdang continues to shape its new future.

“Seoul’s Oldest Bakery: Taegeukdang”

Taegeukdang is conveniently located near Dongguk University Station on Line 3. Exiting from Exit 2 of Dongguk University Station leads directly to the Taegeukdang building. The three-story structure comprises the bakery, and it stands as one of Seoul’s oldest, alongside other regional representative heritage bakeries like Daejeon’s Seongsimdang, Gunsan’s Iseongdang, Jeonju’s PNB Pungnyeonjae, Gwangju’s Gungjeonjae, and Andong’s Mommosjae.

“Monaka Ice Cream”

Taegeukdang offers a diverse range of bread, making it challenging for first-time visitors to decide. Among Taegeukdang’s trademarks, “Monaka Ice Cream” stands out. Other notable menu items include Sarada bread, Danpatppang (sweet red bean-filled bread), Yachaebbang (vegetable bread), Buttercream cake, and Roll cake.

The bakery and the factory are adjacent, ensuring that artisan-crafted bread and snacks swiftly make their way from the factory to the store. Despite being in their 80s, the artisans are actively engaged, a testament to their recognized skills and expertise.

“Bakery and Café”

Upon entering through Taegeukdang’s main entrance, an elegant atmosphere and an array of bread types greet visitors. The sizable scale of the bakery can be initially overwhelming, blending a sense of nostalgia into the interior, creating an atmosphere reminiscent of the past.

This location also aligns well with the current trend of retro aesthetics. There are separate sections for purchasing bread and ordering from the café menu. Inside the store, another space unfolds, where visitors can order café items such as coffee.

“A Three-Story Haven”

The bakery spans three floors, with a seating area available on the first floor for those who wish to dine in. However, ascending to the second floor reveals a different ambiance.

Long tables exuding a vintage feel dominate the space, creating an atmosphere steeped in history. Alternatively, sitting by the window, one can enjoy the scenery outside while spending time. This place serves as a location where the atmosphere allows for reminiscing about the past.

While the prices at Taegeukdang are relatively high, considering the history and symbolic value it holds, the costs become more understandable. If you ever find yourself in Jangchung-dong or near Dongguk University, it’s worth a visit.

“Taegeukdang in Jangchung-dong, Seoul”

  • Address: 7 Dongho-ro 24-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
  • Phone: 02-2279-3152
  • Operating Hours: (Daily) 8:00 – 21:00
  • Closed on: Seolnal (Lunar New Year’s Day), Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving Day)
  • Website: Taegeukdang