While in Korea, I visited many different restaurants and I took pictures of the food without really knowing when or how I will use them. My family members often complained to me with words like “OK… can we eat now?? Are you done??”- whenever I told them they could not eat until I took photos of the food. I had almost forgotten all about this until recently, stay.com contacted me for restaurant recommendations in or around Seoul to put on their tour guide. Great!! Yes, I do know some great restaurants in Seoul! Places that locals love to eat and then also some best non-Korean restaurants from all over the world that have some really delicious food.
My list of best places to eat in Korea is now on Stay.com. (Btw, see end of post for more info about stay.com.)
Now that I have the list, I thought I would also share the list (and more) here with my wonderful readers. I hope this list helps you to find some good places to eat in Korea (mostly Seoul). Bon Apetit!
시화담 Sihwadam (http://www.siwhadam.com/): A lovely literary interpretation of Korean food with a modern twist. Quite upscale and expensive but you will be transported to a world of peoms, stories and picturesque foods that are also very delicious. Located in Insadong and Itaewon – which are great area for tourists.
곤드레집 Gondurae Jip (195-16, Sinwon-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul)
One of my favorite places to go when I need to eat a great authentic, absolutely delicious, homestyle Korean food. Limited menu (5 items) but their wood charcoal grilled bulgogi and Gondurae Bap (rice cooked with thistle leaves) are Korean food at its best. Very simple, traditional Korean décor with minimal service. Located near Cheonggye Mountains(청계산), it is a favorite spot for hikers on weekends.
광장시장Kwangjag Shijang (88 Changgyeonggung-ro Jongno-gu, Seoul)
A visit to the past when Koreans sold everything thru traditional open markets called shijang. In addition to many clothing/fabric stores, a central food court area sells many traditional foods like Bindaetteok (Korean Mungbeen Pancake) and also the famous Opium Kimbap (마약김밥 Mayak Kimbap) where Opium just refers to the fact that it’s so good, it’s addictive like opium.
토담골 Todamgol (27, Bongeunsa-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul)
A great place to get a general introduction to Korean food. A good selection of Bibimbaps and other popular Korean menus liks Bossam (Boiled pork with Kimchi) and Dwenjang jjigae (Soybean Stew). They are known to use best ingredients shipped from all over Korea and uses no MSG.
우래옥 Wooraeok (62-29 Changgyeonggung-ro Jung-gu, Seoul)
Open since 1946, original owner was my father’s friend and have sister restaurants in New York and Washington DC. I have been going to this place since I was a little girl in the 70’s and the place was and still is simply the best place to have North Korean style Bulgogi and Naegmyeon (cold noodles in soup) in Seoul.
정식당 Jung Sik Dang www.jungsik.kr (11, Seolleung-ro 158-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul)
A two Michelin star restaurant by chef Yim Jung Sik that has taken Korean food to another level by bringing molecular gastronomic techniques into Korean cuisine. Fantastically good Korean fusion dishes that have beautifully delicate presentations.
예당 Yedang (5 Eonju-ro 13gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul)
This place serves really delicious, modernized Korean food using high quality ingredients while doing the best they can to bring nature into their foods. Food is very elegant and the taste is quite complex (in the most excellent way of course). A bit on the expensive side but you will not regret the visit because no matter what you order, everything will be delicious.
Great International (Non-Korean) Restaurants in Seoul
Vatos Urban Tacos (vatoskorea.com) – I am not a big fan of fusion food but this place serves fabulous Mexican food with a twist of Korean flavors. A must visit when you are tired of eating Korean food. Their Kimchi fries and Nacho Mama’s Kalbi are dishes you probably cannot get anywhere else in the world.
The Plant (https://www.facebook.com/STUDIOPLANT) – My daughter took me to this cute tiny restaurant tucked in the back alley streets of Itaewon. It’s VEGAN. I am not a big fan of VEGAN food because usually it just doesn’t taste good. But I was very pleasantly surprised at how good everything was. From yummy soups to tofu burgers to heavenly tea cakes, everything was simply good.
Their menu changes constantly so you get to have the freshest ingredients that are in season. The owners are also very sweet and started out as bloggers – Alien’s Day Out.
I kind of stumbled onto this place while waiting for an appointment. It is located right next to Leeum Museum and has a very non-Korean feel to it. Simple french cafe and restaurant that uses organic ingredients for most of their menu.
Love the simple, open decor and love the fact that they give you paper and crayon to doodle on.
Great simple french style foods from salads to sandwiches and fresh bakery of course.
There’s plenty more restaurants to share but I will save the rest for another day. Till then, enjoy~ (https://www.facebook.com/rosebakerykorea)
NOTE: Stay.com is a Norway-based company, launched in 2010 by the founder of the very successful hotellweb. The same year, it was named the top best 5 web sites by TIME. It is basically tripadvisor meets facebook. Stay.com offers beautiful curated travel guides by local experts in over 150 cities. Stay lets you discover exciting attractions, restaurants and nightlife, and build your own travel guide with your friends through facebook and other social media. Thank you Stay.com for choosing me to be part of your Seoul guide.