Seoul--Recommendations?

I will be going to Seoul for a week later this year. Would love to have any recs folks have. A lot of the low hanging fruit online just tells you to eat street food. Of course, I’m sure that’s good, but I’d love to get a bit further into the weeds and get specific recs, if anyone has em.

6 years later. This is the best Korean seaweed of all time. I can get the actual address and location if you need. The business name literally translates into Grandpa’s Seaweed. Our friend brought us back a few packages. Each individual pack of the seaweed is vacuum sealed. There about 20 individual sealed serving sizes that are then vacuum sealed in another larger plastic bag.

This is in a different category. All you need is some fresh white rice. I could eat this all day. Perfectly roasted, crisp, salted with a light coat of sesame oil.

If anybody is actually in need of Seoul restaurant recs I have a whole bunch shared with me from friends who live/visit often.

3 Likes

Post em here!

2 Likes

I’m open to hearing any recs! I will be going to Seoul and Jeju Island in the fall for the first time.

Open to all Korean cuisines, but very interested in barbecue, naengmyeon, and Korean-Chinese food (please no Japanese or French since I go to those countries a couple times a year anyway). Thank you!

1 Like

Here is my list. All Korean places mostly BBQ. Use Mangoplate which is like the Yelp of Korea.

Anthracite Coffee
Ojang-dong Heungnamjip Main Store
향기고을
Gyeyeolsa
이속우화 천공 - BBQ
이속우화 천공 – BBQ
R고기 – BBQ
Wooga 우가 – BBQ
Gold Pig Geumdwaeji Sikdang 금돼지식당

MIU – Korean BBQ
https://www.google.com/maps?q=Miu,+113-22+Apgujeong-ro,+Apgujeong-dong,+Gangnam-gu,+Seoul,+South+Korea&ftid=0x357ca3bbd9f6e711:0x6b04bb3ab3837bbf&hl=en-US&gl=us&coh=181295&entry=gps&lucs=,47069507,47071704&g_ep=CAISBjYuNzguMxgBIKzfASoSLDQ3MDY5NTA3LDQ3MDcxNzA0QgJVUw%3D%3D&g_st=ic

이속우화 천공 – Korean BBQ

https://www.google.com/maps/@/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!11m1!2s1KcZR4vcyAeKxrYsXqapjfNn34LU?g_ep=CAISBjYuNzkuMxgAILffASoSLDQ3MDY5NTA3LDQ3MDcxNzA0QgJVUw%3D%3D

Hannam Oriental Roast Chicken

2 Likes

This is great; thanks so much!

spent 5 weeks in seoul in feb/march. am still in the process on reporting on our meals but you can follow them here if you’re interested. we ate on all points of the spectrum, from market stalls to michelin 2*s.

5 Likes

What dates are you going I’ll be there in the fall!

Jeju - Oct 17 - 20
Seoul - Oct 20 - 24

Will you by chance also be in Tokyo 10/11 - 10/15? :slight_smile:

Just went to Seoul for a few days as a side trip to Tokyo. I’d recommend the following:

McCulleeCoffee / 맥컬리커피 (https://www.instagram.com/mcculleecoffee/)
https://maps.app.goo.gl/FRdXWJza6oH1RA7W9
I spent some time researching independent single-location specialty coffee shops, basically trying to find something like Endorffeine in LA but in Seoul. I had 2-3 lined up, but after coming here once I was so sold I didn’t bother going anywhere else. This matched the pourovers I was getting at coffee courses menus in Tokyo (I went to Fuglen Sanguubashi and Koffee Mameya Kakeru in Koto City). The pourovers were insanely expressive and so delicious. It’s been tough coming back to normal coffee. A newer shop just opened in the latter half of 2023, I think by a former head roaster at Blue Bottle Coffee per this blog post: 커피카페 : 네이버 블로그 (you can use Google Translate). If you do go, it’s a bit hidden, up a small nondescript staircase next to a Thai restaurant. Only noted by a small plaque on the side. Thankfully, right outside a subway entrance for convenience. The owner knows fluent English (I think).

Namsan Sool Club / 남산술클럽 (https://www.instagram.com/namsansoolclub/)
https://maps.app.goo.gl/HE62Y4iT7Lrhoh527
One of my reasons for returning to Seoul was because I really enjoyed Magkeolli the last time I was in. This was a place that popped up quickly and am very happy I went. Very knowledgeable, very English friendly, and tons of different Magkeolli to drink. If there is one place I’d go back to in Seoul, it’s this place. It’s not a big bar so I’d try to come early. But come after eating. The bites on the menu are tasty but not the same as a dinner.

Mr. Ahn’s Craft Makgeolli / 한국술집 안씨막걸리 (https://www.instagram.com/ahn.mak/)
https://maps.app.goo.gl/Y3Gvoc44PGd93pCf8
If you want food and drinks then this place was pretty good. It’s down the street from Namsan Sool Club actually. The food I think was good? I’m pretty sure I was happy with it but I went after having quite a number of drinks at Namsan Sool first and things got a bit blurry after that. :sweat_smile: Saw a lot of recommendations on the fine dining reddit and you can make reservations on Catchtable. Better to go with more people to share food and drinks with. Solo reservations are pretty sparse.

Other general South Korea tips if you haven’t been before and could use some:

  • Like Japan, there is a transit card. It’s called T-Money. If you need it, you can buy them from vending machines at the airport and I think also at convenience stores. You will need cash just like Japanese transit cards. Generally, the subway is pretty dang cheap. I don’t know if it was the distances I was traveling but it felt cheaper than Tokyo. Everything will likely be easier to acquire at Incheon airport. If you’re at Gimpo things might be a little harder to acquire. I think it was pretty sparse when I was running out.
  • Google Maps does work now but it’s not as accurate as Korean map apps. I heard Naver Map was good and also had English. I used Kakao Map and it worked but was not in English and kept having to take screenshots and translate them. There’s a separate Subway Map app that’s pretty good for the Seoul Subways. If you know which station you’re entering and which station you need to get to through other apps then the Subway App can help with other things like knowing when the next train is, and what stations you’ll be going through, etc.
  • Google Translate is great but apparently Papago is better.
  • If you don’t know any Korean, I think things should generally be fine? There are of course places that don’t know English but in general more people know English than Tokyo and will likely have an English menu. Went to a random Jajangmyeon place (not worth recommending) and they couldn’t speak English but they had an English menu. I did pay before eating at that place though so that is also a thing. I know practically no Korean for reference.
  • A fun thing I did on one of the food tours/experiences (I was lazy for Seoul and booked a few) was at Tongin Market. There’s this thing where you can make your own lunchbox/dosirak/bento from the food sellers at the market. There’s a place with seats and where you pay to start the experience, you exchange money for coins, and then you exchange the coins at vendors to make your bento.

I also got a few Magkeolli bars that I got referred to while there but couldn’t make it to and could share them if you somehow have room on what I presume is a full schedule haha.

2 Likes