Seoul Eats 101 – Coming to Seoul for the First Time?

Seoul Eats 101 – Coming to Seoul for the First Time?

“Hey! Can you help me out and suggest some good Korean restaurants for my friends who are visiting Seoul for the first time…”

Here are the categories of cuisine that I would recommend for first time visitors to Seoul.

Hanwoo Beef BBQ

Pork BBQ (삼겹살)


Hanjeongshik -한정식


Food Market / Areas of Interest

Temple Food


Other Noodles

Marinated Raw Crabs

Beef Ribs / Beef Soup

Pork Trotters

The Chicken Category – Samgyetang, Spicy Chicken BBQ, Fried Chicken



This list is by no means the authoritative list for introduction to Korean cuisine. This is where I would suggest to my guests.

These represent Korean restaurants that you typically will not get to enjoy in the U.S. outside of K-Town in LA or along El Camino Real in NorCal.

Mark Wiens of Migrationology has a nice general summary guide for first time visitors to Seoul.

If Mark’s write-up is the Overview Summary of Seoul Eats, then SeoulFoodPatrol’s guide is the Encyclopedia for first time visitors to Seoul.

With all of the recommendations, I have included a Naver blog reference to show you what Korean citizens are experiencing at that particular restaurant. Naver is Korea’s version of Google and is Korea’s most popular domestic search engine.

Eater did an article of “MUST” eat places in Seoul (Not sure if I would agree with all of the recommendations):

Hanwoo Beef BBQ

Here are a few tips on Korean BBQ:

  1. The prices of the various cuts of meat are listed in grams. They will typically be listed per 150 grams. Converted to ounces, that would be 5.29 ounces. A normal adult could “2” orders of the 150 gram item. For a high-end Korean BBQ, like Saebyukjib, 150 grams of the 꽃등심(ribeye steak) is W58,000 (~$52).
  2. In general, most Korean BBQ are cook it yourself. At the high-end, expensive Korean BBQ places, they should cook it for you. The fact that you are foreigners may have a lot places cooking it for you.
  3. As with most Korean restaurants, the banchan (side dishes) are refillable. Just ask them to refill any side dishes that you enjoy.
  4. When eating meat, Koreans tend to eat the meat with side dishes first and then eat the rice or noodle dishes at the end (if you have room).
  5. Chopsticks / Spoons are usually in a pull-out drawer on the side of the table.

CNN did a brief write-up of beef BBQ places in Seoul in July 2017:

1. Daedo Sikdang (대도식당)

The servers should cook the meat for you here. They will slice and dice it with their special tools.

2. Saebyukjib (새벽집)

As indicated in my introduction above, this restaurant is expensive. If you aren’t eating Korean BBQ at this restaurant then the other items – bibimbap, kalbi tang (beef broth soup) aren’t too overpriced. In my honest opinion, the Korean BBQ here is obnoxiously overpriced. However, this restaurant is an institution in Seoul.  I personally do not go here to eat the BBQ. They were listed in the 2017 Michelin Guide as a Bib Gourmand restaurant but was dropped in the 2018 edition.


3. Woo Rae Oak – 우래옥

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide Plate designated restaurant. It’s an institution in Korea. They have branches in New York, Washington, D.C. and other locations in the US.

“Lauded as one of the best Pyeongyang-style naengmyeon restaurants in the city, Woo Lae Oak has been serving consistently stellar food since 1946. The family-operated establishment is tucked away in the back alleys of Euljiro 4-ga, a bustling business hub. The restaurant interior is spacious and spotlessly clean. Indulge in their legendary cold buckwheat noodles, served in broth or without in a spicy sauce, and their bulgogi, grilled tableside.” – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)

Recommended Dishes to Order: Bulgogi. Oder rice to eat with the bulgogi and broth that accompanies the meat. Also order noodles to accompany the bulgogi. If you run out of broth, they can refill the broth so that the noodles won’t get burnt. The servers should cook the meat for you here.

If you are familiar with the Pyeongyan-style cold naengmyeon noodles, then you can certainly try it. Eating naengmyeon is an acquired taste. See description below on naengmyeon.

4. Bonpiyang

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand designated restaurant.

“Famed for its authentic Pyeongyang-style naengmyeon and barbecued pork ribs, Bongpiyang is operated by the local Byeokje Galbi barbecue restaurant franchise. The famed noodles, with a high buckwheat content, are served in a flavorful chilled beef broth, topped with slices of beef and fermented cabbage greens. Although naengmyeon is typically regarded as a seasonal dish, enjoyed in the warmer months, this restaurant is busy all year round.” – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)

5. Changgo 43 (창고43)

This place is a chain. The way the beef is cooked was inspired by Daedo Shikdang – using a cast iron skillet to cook the meat.

6. Hanwadam (한와담)

This hanwoo beef BBQ is on the premium side. It’s BYOB so you can bring your own bottles of wine. No corkage fee. They have a few locations in Seoul.  Reservations for dinner is absolutely required. Here they cook the meat for you. In fact, they don’t want you touching the skillet because they want you to leave it up to them. Order the cheese as an extra item to be grilled in the cast iron skillet.

The English review below is for their sister restaurant Hanwadam Black. Same menu and prices.

7. Budnamujip

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide Plate designated restaurant.

“Since 1977, this family-style barbecue restaurant has built up an appreciative following of barbecue lovers, often seeing three generations of loyal patrons from one family frequenting the shop. A popular locality for residents south of the river, it specializes in various cuts of meat exclusively from the female cow including ribs, sirloin and tripe. The rich flavors of the exceptionally tender meat is enhanced only with quality bay salt.” – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)

8. Ne Mo Jib (네모집)

This place is a Hanwoo BBQ joint with 3 locations in Gangnam. 

9. Gom Ba Wie

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide Plate designated restaurant.

“Grilled tripe and large intestines reign supreme at Gom Ba Wie, which has seen three decades of customers hooked on their buttery, pleasantly chewy goodness. The original location and the new location stand back to back, offering a glimpse of the restaurant’s past and present. If beef intestines aren’t your cup of tea, the restaurant also offers other beef cuts like ribeye, short ribs and brisket. All meats are grilled over wood charcoal.” – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)

10. Ichiryu – Sapparo Style Lamb

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide Plate designated restaurant.

“Meaning “first class” in Japanese, Ichiryu offers an authentic taste of Jingisukan, a Sapporo-style grilled lamb dish prepared on a convex metal skillet. The restaurant, the first of its kind in Korea, only handles young Australian lamb under a year old, and uses skillets imported from Sapporo. The efficient chefs behind the counter make sure the meat is grilled to perfection. Counter seating makes for a casual and interactive dining experience.” – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)



11. Gyodae E-Cheung Jib – 교대 이층집

This pork is a chain with locations throughout Seoul. You should order the 통삼겹살 (“tong samgyubsal”) which is the 3-layered pork belly. It is the pork that is illustrated in the Naver Blog below. They will do the cooking here for you.

12. Honam Maeul – 호남마을 

This restaurant in located in Gangnam right off Gangnam Station. It is open 24-hours. In addition to the samgyubsal (3-layered pork belly), they also sell pork bone potato casserole otherwise known as gamja tang. You can order the gamja tang in small, medium or large. What is nice about this place is the tray of different greens and lettuce that they provide you to wrap the pork and bean paste in. Here you will have to cook and cut the pork yourself. Perhaps you may look like a tourist in a completely local foodie place, the wait staff may help you out and cut the pork for you.

13. Jeju Sam Da Dohn (제주삼다돈)

This pork place is a popular and good quality restaurant. It has 5 locations throughout Seoul.  All family owned – i.e., not franchised.

When it comes to BBQ pork, IN GENERAL, I think you could generally walk into any Korean BBQ pork restaurant and get the same BBQ pork experience as you would at any restaurant in terms of pork taste. You have your regular pork and then there is the special Jeju black pig pork. I think every restaurant in Seoul says that they sell the Jeju black pig pork. Honestly, if I did a blind taste test, I am not sure if I could tell you the difference between a Seoul regular pig or Jeju black pig.

When it comes to BBQ pork restaurants, I think the big differentiating factor is the banchan (side dishes) and the other non-BBQ dishes. Jeju Sam Da Dohn does the ban chan and other dishes well. All of their banchan are plentiful, fresh and varied. I think a vegetarian could be happy eating here. In addition to the regular lettuce, they serve the standard perilla leaf as well as kale. The soybean salad mixture is also very fresh. There are no stale or dirty vegetables here. A large part of it is attributable to the high turnover of customers. The fresh and varied banchan is their X factor I believe.

Most people are familiar with 삼겹살(samgyubsal) which is translated literally as 3-layered pork belly. What they have here is the 오겹살(ohgyubsal) which is translated as 5-layered pork belly…as if 3-layered pork belly wasn’t fatty enough.

They also have the neck cut (목살), cheek cut (항정살) and their proprietary “hybrid”cut- the 대망살(dae mang sal). For the dae mang sal, they take 2 cuts of pork (the cheek and another cut) and fuse / combine it and then freeze it. Later it is sliced into thin cuts of their hybrid cut.


14. Hwapo Shikdang (화포식당)

This pork restaurant has two locations in Seoul – one in Hannam Dong and one in Hongdae. Their samgyubsal is what you want to order here. This restaurant is BYOB – no corkage fee. Banchan (side dishes) are self-serve.

They will do the cooking here for you.


15. Baek Eun Bong Makguksu (백운봉막국수)

What you want to order here is the Iberico neck cut (목살). Check out SeoulFoodPatrol’s (SFP) review below.



An izakaya (居酒屋) is a type of informal Japanese pub but in Seoul there is nothing informal about it. These are regular restaurants that serve high quality and well-prepared Japanese dishes.


16. Kappo Akii (갓포아키)

Kappo Akii has 3 locations in Seoul. It’s one of the hot izakayas right now. Most of the locations should have an English menu. If all else fails, show them the pictures on SFP’s blog post.

Hanjeongshik (한정식)


This type of Korean meal is typified by a lot of small side dishes of vegetables, meats and fish.

17. Sandeulhae (산들해)

See SFP’s write-up of this popular and affordable hanjeongshik cuisine. 


Bibimbap (비빔밥)

19. Mokmyeoksanbang

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide Plate designated restaurant.

“Tucked away in Namsan Mountain, the restaurant’s main attraction, along with the food, is its tranquil natural surroundings. The restaurant operates under five strict principles: high-quality food, no artificial seasoning, home-cooked food, heritage Korean food, love and care. The name comes from Namsan Mountain’s old hame ‘Mokmyeoksan’, serves up a mean bowl of bibimbap. The rice comes in a brass bowl with vegetable toppings served on the side.” – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)


20. Hanilkwan

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide Plate designated restaurant.

“Few restaurants in Seoul can claim the same kind of longevity and history that Hanilkwan can. Since 1939, the restaurant has been honoring the traditions of Seoul-style food, rooted in Korean royal court cuisine. The food stays true to the flavors Koreans know well, with its elegantly-presented offerings of perennial favorites like bulgogi, bibimbap, savory pancakes and naengmyeon. Hanilkwan currently operates three other locations in Seoul in addition to its original spot in Shinsa-dong including one in Euljiro and another in Yeongdeungpo.”  – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)


21. Hamo

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide Plate designated restaurant.

“Meaning “of course” in Gyeongsang province dialect, ‘Hamo’ honors the traditions of authentic Jinju-style cuisine from the old days. Jinju Bibimbap, with a mound of seasoned raw beef on top of vegetables and rice, comes in a brass bowl with a side of beef and turnip soup. The noodle-free Joseon Japchae tossed in a fragrant mustard sauce is popular also. The owner’s family are soybean farmers and make all the fermented condiments from scratch.” – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)

Food Market / Areas of Interest

Included a few links of YouTube food vloggers that I follow

22. Gwangjang Market (광장시장)

Gwangjang Market, previously Dongdaemun Market, is a traditional street market in Jongno-gu, Seoul. Popular and cheap place to eat various types of Korean foods.

23. Tong-in Market

Market selling various street foods next to Gyeongbokgung Palace

24. Shindang-Dong Tteobokki Town

Tteok-bokki or spicy stir-fried rice cakes is a popular Korean food. There is a street that only sells this dish. There isn’t any particular one that stands out from the rest.

Temple Food

25. Balwoo Gongyang

A 1-Michelin star restaurant.

“Balwoo Gongyang forever changed the public perception of temple cuisine when it opened its doors in 2009. Prior to its opening, temple cuisine was often perceived as “bland” or “flavorless” for its vegan nature as well as its lack of pungent aromatics such as garlic, green onions, chives, wild chives and Chinese squill. But, the dishes boast real depth of flavor, aided by aged temple-made gochujang, doenjang and soy sauce. The restaurant does not offer any alcohol but a corkage service is offered during dinner service.” – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)


Here is the background on naengmyeon. Naengmyeon is made from buckwheat. There are two types of naengmyeon – 물(water) and 비빔(spicy). The water version is typically made of beef broth and dongchimi (which is the water from vinegar pickled white kimchi).

26. Bonpiyang

Previously discussed above in #4.

27. Nampo Myeonok

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand designated restaurant.

“Tucked away in a small alley among densely populated office buildings that sees a constant stream of foot traffic, the main building of this longstanding institution recently underwent a major facelift. A long-time favorite among patrons of all ages for its authentic Pyeongyang-style chilled buckwheat noodles and Oebokjaengban (boiled meat platter with vegetables in a hot clear beef broth), Nampo Myeonok continues to charm with its consistently good food and friendly service. Chair seating and floor seating are both available.” – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)

28. Neung Ra Do

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand designated restaurant.

“Following the success of its first location in Pangyo, the Seoul location opened its doors in 2015. Offering Pyeongyang-style Korean cuisine, it specializes in chilled buckwheat noodles and dumplings. The restaurant’s dedication to quality is demonstrated in its choice of ingredients, using only locally-produced beef and Mongolian buckwheat. Select dishes are offered in smaller sizes. The dining space is modern, simple and spacious.”

Other Noodles

29. Mijin- 메밀국수 

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand designated restaurant.

“Located in the heart of Gwanghwamun, Mijin has been serving Korean-style cold buckwheat noodles since 1952. The restaurant operates a factory in the basement where dipping sauce and buckwheat noodles are prepared fresh daily. One portion comes with two stacked tray baskets of noodles, a large kettle of chilled sauce and basic side dishes. Dress your dipping sauce to your desire with grated daikon radish, light wasabi, crispy seasoned laver and chopped green onions already laid out on the table for you.” – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)

30. Myeongdong Kyoza

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand designated restaurant. Must visit place. There is ALWAYS lines here.

“Myeongdong Kyoja is a family-owned restaurant in operation since 1966. The restaurant, which offers only four items on the menu, specializes in mandoo and Kal-guksu. Despite the impressive number of patrons that flock here daily, all the dishes, including its signature garlic-laden kimchi, are made in-house. Simple décor and service come with hefty portions at affordable prices. Sister operation in the same area of Myeongdong” – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)

31. Mokcheon Jip (kal-guksu)

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand designated restaurant.

“This humble but beloved Kal-guksu eatery, better known as “Encore Kal-guksu” by its loyal patrons, is all about freshly-made hand-cut noodles. The restaurant is perennially bustling with hungry eaters that flock over for a steaming bowl of noodle soup. Help yourself to the kimchi from the communal pots laid out on the tables. If the restaurant is full, head over to its sister Baengnyeonok, located just around the corner.” – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)

32. Chanyangjip

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand designated restaurant.

“Don’t be fazed by the outdated façade of this noodle restaurant which has been in business since 1965. This hole-in-the-wall establishment serves a truly memorable bowl of noodles in seafood broth made with fresh shrimp, mussels, manila clams and aromatic vegetables. You can count on the portions being generous, and the meal itself rustic and genuinely comforting. The complimentary jars of spicy kimchi make for the perfect accompaniment.” – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)


33. Hwangsaengga Kalguksu

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand designated restaurant.

“No matter what time of day, always expect to see a line outside this beloved establishment, known for their humble noodle soup and dumplings. Originally called Bukchon Kal-guksu when it opened in 2001, it changed its name in 2014, but that hasn’t stopped the regulars from coming time and again for its freshly-made dumplings and silky-soft knife-cut noodles served in a rich beef bone broth. Boiled beef and chilled noodles in soy milk are also popular.” – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)

34. Samcheongdong Sujebi

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand designated restaurant.

“This local haunt has been an integral part of Samcheongdong’s history since 1982. The signature dish here is sujebi—rustic hand-torn noodles served in a savory anchovy broth. The restaurant is also known for its potato pancakes, made with grated potatoes that are pan-fried until crispy on the outside and pleasantly chewy on the inside. Avoid the lunch rush if you don’t want to stand in line, but be warned – the restaurant is always busy.” – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)

35. So-Ho Jung (소호정)

This popular and awesome kalguksu restaurant has lots of locations in Seoul. The side dishes come out with kimchi and 2 other side dishes that you eat together with the noodles. Remember to season the kalguksu with the black pepper!

36. Jinju Hyegwan (진주)– Cold Soybean Milk Noodle Soup

Cold soybean noodle soup is a Korean summer delicacy. It’s also an acquired taste. It’s not for everyone. I wouldn’t recommend a first-timer comes here unless you’ve already tried this dish in the US or enjoy trying “different” dishes.

Marinated Raw Crabs

37. Jinmi Shikdang

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide Plate designated restaurant.

“This humble yet busy restaurant has been serving raw soy-marinated crab and nothing else for the past decade. Only the freshest local blue crab, sourced from the west coast, are prepared daily with the restaurant’s special recipe soy sauce marinade. Keep in mind that just enough crab for daily consumption are prepared each day, so if you drop by at a late hour, they may be completely sold out for the day. Prior reservation is highly recommended.” – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)

38. Keunkiwajip (큰기와집)

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide 1-star restaurant.

“Restaurants specializing in soy sauce marinated crab abound, but perhaps none execute it quite as well as Keunkiwajip does. The secret to its exquisite crab dish lies in the freshness of the local crustacean as well as the marinade, made with a family soy sauce fermented for at least 10 years. For those who don’t want to get their hands dirty, order the gejang bibimbap which comes with an order of rice and a side of marinated crab flesh without the shell.” – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)

39. Hwa Hae Dang

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide Plate designated restaurant.

“ This is the first Seoul branch of the acclaimed Taean County restaurant, located on the west coast of Korea. The name of the restaurant, which translates into “flower crab house” specializes in soy sauce-marinated flower crab, prized for their sweet flesh. Each spring, when local flower crabs are in season, they are caught and flash frozen to be used throughout the year. The crabs are prepared in Taean and sent to Seoul. Seafood side dishes also excel.” – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)


Beef Ribs / Beef Rib Soup – Selleongtang

40. Gangnam Myeonok – 강남면옥

Braised short ribs. After you get an order of the ribs, you can ask them to mix a bowl of rice with the leftover sauce. Make sure you leave some meat and mushrooms so that they can sautéed it with the rice. Locations all over Seoul.

41. Mapo Ok

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand designated restaurant.

“In the realm of Korean comfort food, there is little else more quintessential than seolleongtang – a hearty bowl of beef soup made by boiling ox bones and cheap cuts of beef like offal for hours until the broth turns almost milky white. Mapo Ok, which opened its doors in 1949, makes its signature dish by boiling brisket and ox bones until slightly opaque. The seolleongtang is served with thick slices of tender brisket and rice already mixed into the piping hot broth. Ask for a side of kimchi juice to season your soup with for that extra dimension of flavor.” – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)

42. Mapo Yangon Seolleongtang

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide Plate designated restaurant.

“Seolleongtang is the ultimate Korean comfort food. In the old days, this humble beef soup was made by boiling ox bones and offal in large vats of water for hours until all that remained was a rich milky-white liquid packed with flavor. Mapo Yangji Seolleongtang has been serving seolleongtang and other variations since 1977. The addition of brisket is the secret to the extra layer of the sweet beefy flavor of the broth. An order of seolleongtang comes with rice already submerged in the hot soup.” – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)


43. Imun Seolnongtang

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand designated restaurant.

“Still going strong after more than 100 years of being in business, Imun Seolnongtang was the first eatery in Korea to officially register for a restaurant license when it opened in 1904. To this day, it honors the tradition of boiling beef shank bones for 17 hours until the broth turns rich and opaque. Other cuts of beef are later added to the intensely flavorful broth, served with a generous portion of sliced brisket and soft wheat noodles.”


44. Hadongkwan

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand designated restaurant. It’s pay first here I believe.

“This beloved family-owned culinary landmark, located in a busy side street in Myeongdong, has been serving rustic bowls of gomtang (clear beef soup) since 1939. The gomtang here is served in traditional brass bowls with rice already submerged in the hot soup. The broth is pure and rich with an unmistakable sweetness that can only result from boiling large amounts of beef for a long period of time. This old-fashioned no-fuss eatery opens early in the morning and closes when its soup vats run dry.” – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)

Pork Trotters

45. Manjok Oyhang Jokbal – 만족오향족발

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand designated restaurant. Multiple locations throughout Seoul.

“At Manjok Oyhang Jokbal, the beloved Korean pork trotter dish is done right with the utmost dedication and care to hygiene and quality. The restaurant, armed with a systematic central distribution system and a comprehensive logistics system, offers consistent quality at all of its franchised locations. Here, the popular pork dish can be enjoyed warm until the very last piece thanks to the specially-designed hotplates installed into the tables.” – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)

46. Ogane Jokbal – 오가네족발

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand designated restaurant.

“This seemingly nondescript restaurant has been drawing customers by word of mouth for its meaty and gelatinous boiled pig’s trotters since 2007. The business exploded, and the restaurant operated four additional locations nearby at one point, but chose to just focus on the original location in the name of quality control. Boiled pork belly and chilled buckwheat noodles in kimchi broth are also popular items on the menu. Open till late.” – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)


47. Baeknyeon Tojong Samgyetang

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide Plate designated restaurant.

“Walking along the tail end of Bukchon, you will notice a house with a big garden and a large statue of a chicken. This restaurant specializes in Samgye-tang, a whole stuffed chicken served in piping hot broth, made with young chicken under 35 days old. The addition of fruit and medicinal herbs make the broth clean and flavorful. Here, the house-made kimchi is matured in traditional crocks which are buried in the ground the traditional way.” – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)


48. Korea Samgyetang

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide Plate designated restaurant.

“This second-generation restaurant has been serving countless bowls of hearty whole young chicken soup since it opened its doors in the 1960s. Try the delicacy that is the whole Korean Ogol Chicken soup, known to boost extra stamina with the addition of ginseng and abalone. The traditional stone pots keep the soup piping hot until the last drop.” – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)

49. Ogeunnae Dakgalbi

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide Plate designated restaurant.

“‘Ogeunnae’ is the old name for Chuncheon, the very city that gave birth to the beloved spicy chicken dish loved by locals and foreigners alike. The restaurant, located in a quaint residential neighborhood by the railway tracks in Yongsan, is known for its excellent dakgalbi. Only the thigh meat of locally-sourced chicken is used, resulting in consistently juicy and flavorful meat. The homemade sauce is a perfectly balanced blend of sweet and spicy.” – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)


50. Fried Chicken Chains

There are many, many fried chicken restaurants in Seoul. Want to know why?

Here are some of the more popular fried chicken chains in Seoul:

  • Kkanbu Chicken

This is one of my personal favorites. Google “Kkanbu Chicken” for a location near you.

Naver Blog:

  • Kyochon Chicken

Google “Chicken Kyochon” for a location near you.

Naver Blog:

  • BHC Chicken

Google “BHC치킨” for a location near you.

Naver Blog:


Gamja-tang or pork back-bone stew is a spicy Korean soup made from the spine or neck bones of a pig. It often contains potatoes, cellophane noodles, dried radish greens, perilla leaves, green onions, hot peppers and ground sesame seeds.

51. Wonjo Gamjatang Ilme Jib (원조감자탕일미집)


52. Dak Han Ma Ri Gamjatang (닭한마리감자탕)

This restaurant is open 24 hours.


53. Cheongdam Gol (청담골)

A set menu of rice, fish or meat and lots, lots of side dishes.

54. Daewon Shikdang – Grilled Fish

Grilled Mackeral restaurant is a traditional back-alley location.

55. Jeju Mi Hang (주미항 )

Korean-Style Seafood Restaurant

56. Yonggeumok

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand designated restaurant.

“Since 1932, Yonggeumok has been serving piping hot bowls of loach soup, a popular local dish believed to boost energy, especially during the summer moths. This restaurant serves two different versions of the hearty and comforting soup: the chunkier Seoul style with whole loach, and the smoother Jeollanam-do style with ground loach. Everything on the menu as well as the complimentary side dishes are prepared daily by the long-time owner and chef Han Jeong-ja.” – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)


57. Sim Yang – Lamb Skewers

Lamb Skewers. They have a bunch of different types of lamb skewers – regular, curry, spicy, etc. 2 locations – Hongdae and Cheongdam

58. Lamb Land

Lamb BBQ served with tortilla wraps, corn slaw and honey mustard.

59. Eunju Jung (은주정) 

Kimchi Jjigae Casserole

61. Chungmuro Jjukumi Bulgogi

This is a 2018 Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand designated restaurant.

“Webfoot octopus is a beloved spring delicacy, but this restaurant has been serving them all year round since 1976. Here, the webfoot octopus is served marinated in a bright red sauce that is mildly sweet and spicy. Grilled over charcoal, the slightly charred morsels of octopus have a delightfully smoky flavor. The popular ‘mixed platter’ comes with an order of webfoot octopus and an order of the adductor muscles of fan mussels. Lively atmosphere.” – Michelin Guide Inspectors (2018)


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