Best Restaurants in Seoul
The selection of Seoul restaurants is vast and varied with
everything from local specialities, such as
, to huge American cheeseburgers and exotic
Moroccan kebabs on offer. Options for eating out in Seoul range
from cheap noodle stalls to fine-dining establishments. The Itaewon
entertainment strip has the best collection of Seoul restaurants,
serving both local and international cuisine. Otherwise, good areas
for traditional Korean food are Gangdong-gu and Yeongdeungpo-gu,
while restaurants with international menus can be found in
Gangnam-gu, Seodaemun-gu and Namdaemun. Tipping is not customary in
Korea but some Seoul restaurants may add a service charge of 10%.
Restaurant hours vary throughout the city and reservations are
The Flying Pan
Located in a quiet Itaewon alleyway, The Flying Pan is a popular
café set in a lofty building and charmingly furnished with chairs
that don't match each other, at all! Menu favourites include
chicken curry sandwiches, Saturday brunch pancakes, bagels with
cream cheese and the delicious chocolate mud (brownies with wine
sauce). Open from breakfast till 9.30pm Monday to Saturday,
Address: 123-7 Itaewon-Dong
Diners at Baekje Samgyetang are seated on comfortable floor
cushions around the restaurant's polished wooden tables and served
traditional Korean cuisine, such as
(chicken soup), best accompanied by a
(ginseng wine). Open daily from 9am to
10pm, no reservations required.
Address: 50-11 Myeongdong 2-ga
This cosy French restaurant serves a fine selection of sweet and
savoury buckwheat crepes, quiches,
(cakes) and salads, and also boasts a
good range of French wines. Open daily for lunch and dinner,
reservations not essential.
Address: 123-1 Itaewon-dong
Chinese cuisine is popular in Seoul, as evidenced by the large
number of Chinese restaurants. One of the tried and trusted
restaurants in this genre is Wan Chai with a vast menu covering all
the traditional favourites. Named after Hong Kong's nightlife
district, Wan Chai is popular with young Koreans and serves tasty
Chinese food in a relaxed environment. Highly recommended are the
spicy noodles and spicy Hong Kong shellfish.
Address: 5-35 Jangchun-dong, Seodaemun-gu
Do Ga Hun
Aptly named, Do Ga Hun is set in the 'very beautiful house' of
the Hyundai Gallery, and also has a lovely outdoors area for
alfresco dining. Menu favourites include the king-crab, grapefruit
and avocado salad, and the glazed beef tenderloin. Open Tuesday to
Sunday for lunch and Monday to Saturday for dinner, reservations
Address: 109 Sagan-dong
Nashville Steak House
For a taste of the USA seek out Nashville, the American
bar/restaurant that has become something of a landmark on Seoul's
Itaewon entertainment strip. Enjoy a martini or a beer and wolf
down a cheeseburger with fries, buffalo wings or a tenderloin
Texas-style steak. The chef, surprisingly, is French, but his
burgers are renowned as the best in Korea. The atmosphere is
informal and the clientele largely made up of the ex-pat community.
Open daily from 7am to midnight, reservations recommended.
Address: 128-9 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu
For the ultimate dining experience, offering a French fusion
menu or a seven course set meal, the Seoul Hilton's Seasons
restaurant scores top marks for cuisine, service and ambiance.
Executive Chef Hyo Nam Park is a recognised master of his craft who
enhances traditional French dishes with his own special touches.
Both the set menu and the à la carte change frequently. The setting
is decidedly elegant and intimate, and the service discreet and
old-fashioned. Open daily for lunch and dinner, reservations
Address: Millennium Seoul Hilton Hotel, 395-5 Ga,
Myeongdong Hamheung Myeonok
Myeongdong Hamheung Myeonok is one of the best Seoul restaurants
to go to for a relaxed
(cold noodle) meal. Their sweet potato
noodles can be enjoyed in a delicious oxtail broth, or perhaps with
(raw fish). Open daily from 9.30am to 10pm,
reservations not required.
Address: 26-1 Myeongdong 2-ga
For the adventurous diners, Jangchu is known for its excellent
(grilled eel). This unassuming eatery
is located behind the Chungmuro Geukdong Building and is marked by
a large white sign and a cartoon of an eel wearing a chef's hat.
Open daily for lunch and dinner, reservations not required.
Address: Behind the Chungmuro Geukdong Building, Jongno
Don't miss the experience of dining at Sanchon, or sipping tea
at their attached tea house. Run by a former Buddhist monk, this
restaurant specialises in vegetarian dishes prepared with
ingredients from the mountain valleys and flavoured with subtle
herbs and roots. The menu features a perilla seed soup, radish
mushroom and red pepper wraps,
(seasoned goso, a wild vegetable favoured by
monks), as well as a tofu stew and traditional Korean pastries.
Traditional folk dancing every evening is made more colourful by
Nong Ju rice beer or a glass of fruit wine. Reservations
Address: 14 Gwanghun Dong, Jongno-gu, Insadong
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