Greatest locations to eat in Seoul proper now – Lonely Planet


Identical to Seoul itself, the culinary scene of South Korea’s capital is rooted in custom and tradition with a splash of innovation. From high-end delicacies to low cost neighborhood delights, Seoul has one thing for each kind of foodie to take pleasure in. Come hungry and go away full of fine meals and recollections.

Listed below are Seoul’s must-visit eating places proper now.

Greatest low cost eats in Seoul


The standard Ttukbaegi-Jib has been shelling out homely Korean stews and meals for many years. You’re served your alternative of stew, rice and an array of do-it-yourself facet dishes like blended soybean sprouts and sauteed zucchini. Eat them individually or combine them collectively to make bibimbap with their do-it-yourself gochujang (crimson pepper paste) on each desk.

Kokkiri Bunsik

Tteokbokki (rice truffles cooked in a spicy and candy gochujang-based sauce) is a traditional Korean snack, and Kokkiri Bunsik affords a no-frills, table-side selection the place you may customise your primary tteokbokki with hard-boiled eggs or glass-noodle-filled fried dumplings.

Songlim Sikdang

Initially utilized by taxi drivers as a result of they have been quick and low cost, “taxi eating places” are actually in style eating spots for everybody. Songlim Sikdang is considered one of Seoul’s largest taxi eating places with greater than 300 seats. The soups and stews are cheap and include rice and a facet dish. A favourite menu choice is the marinated pork which is available in a big broth-filled pan to cook dinner at your desk.

Yoojin Sikdang

Although a lot has modified within the Jongno neighborhood, decades-old Yoojin Sikdang stays the identical. Its Pyongyang-style naengmyeon (a chilly noodle dish) and bindaetteok (mung bean pan-fried truffles) together with its soups and stews are a number of the least expensive round city, so anticipate a crowd.

Diving into South Korea’s hole-in-the-wall eating places

A lot of Seoul’s high-end eating places combine Korean flavors with Western cuisines © Susan Jung / South China Morning Publish / Getty Photos

Greatest high-end eating in Seoul


Poom takes conventional upper-class Korean dishes and reinterprets them with a contemporary twist. The seasonal menu means solely the perfect substances are used. Its meat and seafood dishes, such because the grilled and marinated beef, are standouts and akin to what would have as soon as been served to Korea’s royalty. The restaurant’s location, under the N Seoul Tower on Namsan, affords unbelievable panoramic views of town.


As its identify suggests, this fine-dining institution goals to “mingle” the flavors of Korean and Western cuisines. Conventional Korean substances comparable to soybean paste and white kimchi are married superbly and unexpectedly with lamb and creme brulee to push fashionable Korean delicacies into new territories.


Famed restaurateur Akira Again’s first restaurant within the nation totally embraces his Korean roots. Lots of the dishes are reinterpretations of Again’s recollections of Korean meals. An instance is Dosa’s tackle the normal dish of bossam (stewed pork stomach served with recent kimchi), which options acorn-fed iberico pork served with kimchi constructed from endive (an untraditional vegetable for kimchi).

Toc Toc

With substances and flavors from a wide range of cuisines, it’s onerous to place a label on Toc Toc. Acquainted dishes comparable to pasta, terrine and steak tackle surprising flavors, whereas signature dishes just like the truffle dumplings should put the Gangnam District hotspot on the map.

Vegans will really feel the love in Seoul © Seiman Choi Pictures / Getty Photos

Seoul’s prime vegan and vegetarian eating places

Plant Cafe

One of many first vegan eating places in Seoul to supply plant-based choices past Korean delicacies, Plant Cafe affords tasty vegan bowls, veggie burgers and wraps. Its vegan drink choices embody every part from smoothies and cold-pressed juices to teas and kombucha. The vegan bakery serves up truffles, cookies and different tasty baked treats.


Korea’s Buddhist vegetarian delicacies has gained worldwide publicity lately. Except for visiting a temple, Sanchon is among the hottest choices to pattern this distinctive fare, which omits substances comparable to garlic and chives.

Positioned within the Insadong neighborhood, Sanchon was established by a former Buddhist monk with a deal with seasonal substances and conventional strategies of preparation. Its humble setting and colourful plate presentation have made Sanchon a right away hit. Conventional Korean performances happen within the evenings.

Balwoo Gongyang

Regardless of the trendy setting, Balwoo Gongyang’s menu is full of conventional Korean Buddhist dishes that chorus from meat and sure roots comparable to shallots and leeks. The do-it-yourself sauces and pastes are paired with the freshest of seasonal substances to create well-balanced dishes like candy potato and millet porridge and candy and bitter shiitake mushrooms.

Drunken Vegan

Because the identify suggests, Drunken Vegan restaurant and bar is ideal for these in search of some vegan snacks and meals to go together with a pleasant choice of drinks. The vegan lasagna or deep-fried prawn with chili sauce are crowd-pleasers. The house is cozy, however the ambiance is informal and socially ahead – the restaurant/bar shares house with an grownup retailer.

get together in Korean comfort shops

You possibly can’t go to Seoul with out eating on Korean barbecue © Patrick Foto / Getty Photos

Greatest Korean barbecue in Seoul

Ogeunnae Dak Galbi

Tender cuts of rooster in a candy and spicy marinade are cooked to juicy perfection on the well-known Ogeunnae Dak Galbi positioned within the Yongsan District. This restaurant is the spot for rooster eaten in lettuce wraps, with noodles or by itself. For a extra conventional dish, Ogeunnae Dak Galbi can also be the perfect place (other than the Chuncheon area the place it originated) to eat the favored dak galbi (rooster and greens stir-fried in a crimson pepper paste-based sauce).

Daedo Sikdang

Began in 1964, Daedo Sikdang is a Korean barbecue establishment. At each desk, you’ll hear the sizzle of the well-marbled hanwoo sirloin (Korean beef) cooking within the restaurant’s trademark solid pan. Forge dessert, cap off your meal by ordering the well-known kkakdugibap – diced radish kimchi and rice are cooked in beef renderings.

Getbeol Eui Jinju

This full of life restaurant chain grills recent seafood comparable to scallops, clams and shrimp proper at your desk. If you happen to don’t really feel like barbecuing, choose to have it cooked collectively in a stew. With dips on the facet, it’s a pleasant break from the frequent barbecued meat.

Maple Tree Home

This upscale chain of Korean barbecue eating places is an effective choice once you’re seeking to impress. Watch as prime cuts of meat, together with pork and beef, are expertly cooked at your desk. A wide range of Korean noodles, rice and stew dishes may be loved on their very own or added to your barbecue meal.

For a really Korean expertise, head to the markets © Julien Viry / Getty Photos

Greatest conventional marketplaces

Namdaemun Market

This sprawling market advanced has a variety of notable meals alleys. One is the kalguksu (knife-cut noodles) alley the place patrons get free bibim naengmyeon (chilly noodles in a spicy-sweet sauce) and kalguksu with an order of bibimbap.

For distinctive eats, strive the alley filled with braised hairtail fish the place the fish are cooked to tender perfection in a standard pot full of radish and a spicy-sweet sauce.

Different in style snacks across the market embody fist-sized handmade dumplings and hotteok – fried mini truffles full of a alternative of a candy or savory filling.

Gwangjang Market

One of many nation’s oldest conventional markets, Gwangjang Market is an unlimited advanced recognized for promoting a wide range of tasty and low cost meals. Some in style eats right here embody bindaetteok, kkoma kimbap (small seaweed rolls dipped in a mustard soy sauce) and yukhoe (beef tartare).

Tongin Market

Though it’s a a lot smaller conventional market, Tongin Market has shortly turn into a draw for its distinctive build-your-own lunchbox system. After paying a small flat payment of ₩5000 (US$5), you’ll obtain a compartmentalized lunch field tray with some outdated conventional cash. Stroll across the market, choosing out what you need. A vendor will place the meals onto your tray and take the variety of cash it prices. Repeat till you run out of cash.

Noryangjin Seafood Market

The seafood choices at Noryangjin, Seoul’s largest fish market, are a number of the most numerous and recent you’ll discover. Browse the totally different distributors to see what’s obtainable. Your haggling abilities shall be helpful right here or politely ask whether or not the seller is keen to throw in a number of freebies. As soon as the seller completes the preliminary seafood preparation, you’ll seemingly be directed to an related restaurant the place you may have your freshly bought seafood ready simply the best way you want. There’s a small setting payment along with the cooked dishes.

Greatest free issues to do in Seoul

Greatest noodle eating places in Seoul

Myeongdong Kyoja

In operation since 1966, Myeongdong Kyoja focuses on knife-cut noodles topped with stir-fried greens and meat in a savory rooster broth. Whereas kalguksu is often made with seafood or beef broth, the dish at Myeongdong Kyoja has a slight smoky but gentle taste, and its signature kimchi is a garlic lover’s dream come true. Steamed dumplings and a preferred cold-mixed noodle are additionally on the menu.


The Chinese language-influenced dishes of jajangmyeon (noodles with meat and greens cooked in a black bean sauce) and jjambbong (noodles in a spicy seafood broth) are a favourite of Koreans, and Younghwaru’s spicy model is a Seoul traditional. Each dishes embody a beneficiant quantity of chopped Cheongyang peppers, a Korean chili pepper recognized for its warmth, which provides a spicy punch.


Notoriously thought of bland amongst most Koreans, Pyongyang naengmyeon (a chilly noodle dish) takes on new life at Wooraeok. The distinct and sturdy beefiness has made Pyongyang naengmyeon a year-round favourite for locals because the spot opened in 1946. Pair the dish with a cooked bulgogi beef to expertise a really successful meal.

Jinju Hwoegan

Certainly one of Korea’s most well-known locations for kongguksu (chilly soybean noodles), Jinju Hwoegan has served everybody from politicians and enterprise leaders to celebrities. All of the beans within the soybean soup are of the highest quality from Gangwon Province and made with a secret recipe to offer it its additional nutty style. Even the dough for the noodles differs from others because of substances comparable to potato starch and floor nuts, that are added for additional taste and elasticity.

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