Where to eat in seoul
Collected by Leslie Patrick, AFAR Local Expert
1-4 Yangjae-daero 71-gil, Bangi 1(il)-dong, Songpa-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Galbi is the Korean word for beef grilled on the bone, one of the most popular menu items in the entire nation. Seoul is no exception, and one of the best restaurants of its kind is Byeokjae Galbi. The restaurant serves only top quality Hanu...
N Seoul Tower, Yongsan 2(i)ga-dong, Seoul
Looking for a romantic date night location? There are plenty of options in Seoul, but the romantic vibe at N Grill is unmistakable, with private booths, silky music and pink champagne flowing liberally. The upscale restaurant and wine bar rotating...
65-2 Chungmuro 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Juk is Korean rice porridge that’s traditionally served to the elderly, the sick, and babies. But you don’t have to be old or infirm to enjoy this traditional dish. Bon Juk offers a wide variety of juk ingredients, serving everything from mushroom...
457-3 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Spanish for Koreans, Coreanos Kitchen is a Korean Mexican fusion restaurant opened by two Korean American friends who missed the authentic taste of Mexican food back home. Now with four locations, Coreanos is where Seoulites go to get a south of...
Seoul, South Korea
81 Namdaemun-ro, Sogong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
With a pastel, chandelier-filled interior meant to evoke the palace of Versailles, it’s discombobulating to look out the window and see the thousands of lights from Seoul’s ultramodern skyscrapers glowing in the distance. This sophisticated French...
63 Nonhyeon-ro 175-gil, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Many Korean restaurants are solely focused on the food, and rightly so. But people like nice surroundings, and the sleek interior and brass tableware at Gaewhaok add a sophisticated touch to this upscale restaurant serving traditional Korean fare....
Saemunan-ro, Sajik-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
There is no shortage of Japanese restaurants in South Korea’s capital, but good luck finding one as sophisticated and stylish as Kioku. The sleek and airy three-story wood interior was imagined by Hong Kong designer Andre Fu, and makes a chic,...
5 Jahamun-ro 5-gil, Sajik-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
You’d never know by looking at this simple restaurant with a distinctive, hanok-style (traditional Korean) roof that it was a favorite of former South Korean president Roh Moo Hyun, but once you step through the door and smell the pungent aroma of...
136 Sejong-daero, Mugyo-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Want to eat like royalty? Tucked away in the basement of the Seoul Finance Center, this streamlined restaurant has been serving up Gaeseong-style cuisine for the past 30 years. Prized by royalty, this type of cuisine originated in the old capital...
29 Myeongdong 10-gil, Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
The sound of metal chopsticks wafts from the doorway of this buzzing eatery in the busy shopping district of Myeongdong, giving the immediate impression that diners are eagerly consuming their meals. And upon entering, it’s clear from the...
136-13 Itaewon-ro, Itaewon 1(il)-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Down a nondescript stairway in Seoul’s bustling Itaewon area lies Linus’ Bama Style Barbeque, a rustic, Southern-style restaurant with picnic benches, craft beer, and classic dishes such as brisket and pulled pork sandwiches—served with a side of...
48 Noksapyeong-daero 40-gil, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
While Thai food in Seoul has become almost mainstream, true lovers of Thai food have come to a consensus that Buddha’s Belly is still considered to be among the best in Seoul—and among the most reasonably priced. Choose from any of the three...
83-24 Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
With locations in Seoul and New York, Jung Sik Dang is a swanky restautant in Gangnam serving the ultimate in new Korean cuisine. Made famous by Executive Chef Imjeongsik, new Korean cuisine uses traditional Korean ingredients in a reinvented way....
Myeongdong-gil, Myeong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
You may not eat enough to consider it an actual meal, but fried squid is a traditional Korean snack sold by street vendors, at baseball games, and even in prepackaged containers at convenience stores for a quick bite on the go. For a festive fried...
366-440 Sindang-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Italian restaurants in Seoul have become a dime a dozen in recent years, but Brera Italian Kitchen and Bar stands out from the crowd with its fresh homemade pastas, crispy, thin pizzas and Italian-style brunch, best with a glass of prosecco of...
1 Itaewon-ro 15-gil, Itaewon 1(il)-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Finding Mexican Food in Korea is a chore, and if you do, never mind it being anywhere even close to authentic. Enter Vatos Urban Tacos. Run by two guys hailing from California and Texas respectively, Vatos has made the quest for south of the...
4 Itaewon-ro 23-gil, 이태원동 용산구 서울특별시 South Korea
Off of Itaewon’s main thoroughfare is a tiny alley containing one of the best bakeries in all of Seoul: Tartine Bakery and Pie Cafe. Sunny yellow tables and chairs decorate the sidewalk and cheerfully beckon passersby to sit and stay a while....
84-13 Gwanhun-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
First-time visitors to Korea might get the impression that every meal consists of nothing but spicy red pepper–laced everything. And, while kimchi is practically unavoidable, (and deliciously so!), heat is not the only culinary sensation. In an...
266-73 Seogye-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Walk the streets of Seoul for even one day, and you will begin to notice that Paris Baguette—the most popular of Korean bakery shops—is ever present. Located in train stations, bus depots, malls, the airport, and on practically every street in...
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