KOREAN NAME: 두두
LOCATION: Seoul, Jopngno-gu, Hyehwa Station (서울, 혜화)
OVERALL: Named after the owner’s favorite book of poetry, DooDoo is a quiet, low-key spot to sample a large variety of makgeolli and other types of Korean liquor. Another point in its favor is the friendly and patient staff; everyone we spoke to was enthusiastic about helping us choose exactly the kind of makgeolli we were looking for. Although a little out of the way, DooDoo is a house well worth checking out.
LOOK & ATMOSPHERE: MMPK has a lot of good things to say about DooDoo so I was quite excited to go there. (Plus, the inner 12-year-old in me thoroughly enjoyed asking my drinking buddy, “Are you ready for some DooDoo?”, and other DooDoo-related questions.) I also liked the haughty question printed on the sign above the entrance: “Do You Know Makgeolli?”
If I had one criticism – and this is a very nitpicky objection – it’d be that the interior is pretty vanilla. It doesn’t feel rowdy like a hole-in-the-wall bar, or fancy like a good date spot, or kitschy like the minbak-style joomaks. Nope, it feels like DooDoo was probably a café in its former life.
There are about nine or ten tables laid out over one large room with floor-to-ceiling windows covering about half the wall space. Since it’s off the beaten path, tucked away in an alley, there’s not much to look at but at least the windows make it feel open. The furniture is mainly wood, and the bowls and carafes are all ceramic, giving DooDoo a homey feel.
MAKGEOLLI & FOOD: If you need a reason to check out this house, come for the sheer variety of makgeolli. Selling between ₩5,000 and ₩7,000, I counted 19 bottles, several of which I’d never seen before. It wasn’t till later that I noticed the five “premium” makgeollis at the back of the menu. These were generally around the ₩9,000 range with the exception of something called Boksoondoga Son (복순도가손) Makgeolli, which was ₩18,000 for 1,000 ml of boozy goodness. Sami Inju (사미인주) and Song Myeong Seob (송명섭) were two other bottles from this list. They also serve other varieties of traditional Korean liquor.
To go with our makgeolli, we ordered the potato jeon (감자전). I could tell it was quality but I didn’t care for it. Just way too doughy for my liking. The food was generally between ₩12,000 and ₩18,000.
BATHROOM: Outside the premises in the apartment building next door. One bathroom shared by men and women. Clean enough. Hand soap available.
HOURS: 3:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. (Closed on Mondays)
DIRECTIONS: From Hyehwa Station (혜화), come out of exit 2 and walk straight until you get to the first large intersection. Turn left here (the street is called 대학로8길). Walk straight until this street dead-ends. Turn left and then immediately right again onto 대학로12길. Turn right on 동술길. Then take the first left and then the first left again. You’ll see a lighted blue sign with the words, “두두 Do you know makgeolli?”