Ooey Gooey Tteok-Bokki Joint Opens Up in Esiapolis

Happy Cheese Smile Isn’t Just a Clever Name


Chanjun’s order of potato chip tteok-bokki and squid fries arrives. Photo by Chanjun’s family.

CJ Park, Mikey Pierog, and Alyssa Chang

Happy Cheese Smile is a rice cake restaurant that brings everyone together. With 40 locations in Korea, including one in Esiapolis, this snack chain truly generates smiles. The eatery’s modern, aesthetically pleasing design brings a sense of comfort along with the food, and its mouth-watering dishes and drinks are drawing more and more people to this spot. I guarantee you’ve never had this kind of tteok-bokki before. 

As soon as you walk into the store, you’re welcomed by the warm and inviting staff. When you’re sitting at the table, the waiters don’t just forget about you until you call for them; they’re attentive and kind, paying close attention to all their customers. 

This snack shop boasts a diverse menu. From standard tteok-bokki to croquettes and cutlets, you’ll never run out of things to try. The menu also includes an assortment of refreshing drinks like coke and lemonade. If you’re looking for a snack to treat yourself with, this place is perfect for you. 

I ordered squid fries and one rosé tteok-bokki. First, I took a bite of the squid fries – they were different from anything I’d ever eaten before. The crispy fried part melted in my mouth, whilst the squid was super chewy. The combination of these breaded fries and soy sauce was quite unusual, but unexpectedly really good. After eating this, I had really high hopes for the tteok-bokki itself.

Steam is coming out of the delicious tteok-bokki. The tteok-bokki is served hot and fresh. Photo by Chanjun’s family.

The tteok-bokki had an extremely unique topping – potato chips. I personally thought that the two foods wouldn’t make a good duo. However, the crisp and soft duo ended up perfectly complementing each other. The textures were amazing, too – the steaming hot tteok-bboki had the chewy and stickiness of good quality rice cakes. When I was done with the spread, I was sure that I wouldn’t have to eat again for the entire day – I was stuffed.

Overall, I think that this restaurant is a great place to grab a meal. I loved the array of different side dishes, such as the shrimp and sweet potato fries with the potato-chip tteok-bokki. I would definitely recommend this place to anyone looking for a filling twist on traditional Korean snack food.