The Oldest Bakery in Korea – Lee Sung Dang

Would you like some 빵 (ppang,bread)? How about a few buns from the oldest bakery in Korea? Oooooh… That was one of the notable things I first learned about Gunsan when I first moved here. Lee Sung Dang has been in business in the same location since 1945. I first thought that the oldest bakery sounded pretty young for a country with so much ancient history. Bread took its sweet time getting to Korea for sure.
This place is so flipping famous that during the weekends there is always such a long line of people outside the bakery, it’s not uncommon to turn a corner and see that line continue onto the adjacent street. Even in winter. Two hours in the cold for bread. Man. Koreans amaze me.
I later learned what’s even crazier… people are queuing for specific breads. Like wow. The people patiently wait for a taste of the bakery’s specialties: danpatppang (bread filled with red bean paste) and yachaeppang (vegetable bread).
Did I wait in line with all those people? Heck no. With that wait I’d expect the bread to be free hahaha. The beauty of living here is that I can go whenever I want – like on a late weekday afternoon – when the queues are reasonable.
Buns, buns and buns.
I think these are the red bean buns. I’ve tried both the red bean and vegetable buns and I think I prefer the vegetable bun. You technically can find both buns in ordinary bakeries, the difference I noticed was that red bean bun was a lot more packed here than anywhere else.

Besides the two famous breads there are many more types of bread available.
bread 2PicMonkey Collage
I can’t remember what the others are called but I do remember that the top left one is a kind of sticky rice flour doughnut kind of thing..chewy chewy bread~ Bottom left reminds me of bread I saw in a manga/anime but the names escapes me. Then you have the good ol’ hotdog in a bun, Korean style.
breadPicMonkey Collage
On the top left is another sticky bread thing, mochi with red bean paste inside. I liked this one~ My coteacher says that when students have to take an exam they would usually eat something like this bread because it’s sticky…therefore making the stuff you crammed for the exam stick in your mind. You also shouldn’t eat slippery things like noodles before exams. It’ll make all the facts you studied slide off your mind. Hahaha…

The bread at the bottom with bumpy surfaces are called 소보루 (soboru) or Korean streusel bread. It’s pretty famous here in Korea…every where you go there will be a version of this. I like it, especially ones with peanuts mixed in the topping.
빵 주세요Ppang juseyo (bread, please)~ Hurry hurry. Need. More. Bread.
After filling our trays with various ppang deliciousness I saw the other half of this place. Lots of cute little cakes~ I didn’t try these cakes so not really sure if they were great or what. There is something I noticed about Korean cakes though. They are always light and fluffy. Any ganache or frosting would never be rich or heavy but always has a subtle sweetness to it – Koreans love combining airy sponge cakes with a mousse-y/flan-like layer or something. It’s really different from cakes I’m used to back in NZ or how I would make my cakes, so it really interests me. I’d like to find out how they make it~
lee sung dang cakes 2
lee sung dang cakes
lee sung dang cakes 3
There are also a whole bunch of cookies, biscuits and a seriously adorable array of mochi.
So so tempting to get one of everything in this place. I almost did but then I remembered I live alone now. Just because I could potentially eat everything, doesn’t mean I should hahaha.
I was also saving some stomach space for this baby~
Bingsu~ It’s a Korean dessert that consists of shaved ice with various sweet topiings. We got Patbingsu which means our topping is red bean paste. Every time someone mentions bingsu my brain never fails to play this song in my head. I love Akdong Musician and I love Bingsu so it’s okay~
Also shoutout to Tiffany from Heartshrooms~ here’s the bingsuuuuuu.
Okiedokies. I think that’s enough eye-feasting for now. I like winter and all but I cannot wait for bingsu weather again!
See you!



  1. Wow there’s so much variety. The different buns reminds me a lot of the bakeries they have in Hong Kong. When we stayed there, if we wanted a quick breakfast, we would just load up on buns with sweet or savoury fillings (often both).

    1945 doesn’t seem that old. As you said, for such an old country. I’m sure there are bakeries in Auckland that are older.

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