Must try food places in Seoul
In the land of kimchi and Korean barbeque, you can definitely expect that a huge part of exploring the city involves EATING! Whether it’s chowing down on some ginseng chicken soup and fried chicken or facing your food fears and having live octopus and blood sausages, we’ve listed down 20 of the best places to have these.
The best part is they’re all easily reached with your Railplus card or T-Money card!
Getting your Railplus transport card
The Railplus Transport Card is a reloadable card that you can tap on all public transport systems in Seoul and even pay for your purchases at convenience stores! Pre-book your Railplus transport card on Klook and you can pick it up upon landing at the airport. You can use your card in Seoul, Gyeonggi-do, Busan, Chungcheong-do, and in the Honam regions.
Getting your T-Money transport card
What if we told you we’ve got something better than the classic ol’ T-Money transport card! The Discover Seoul Pass not only acts at a T-Money Card, it even gives you free entry to 35 different attractions and discounted admission to 30 different attractions. Find out more about the card and its uses in our Discover Seoul Pass guide!
P.S. There is even a limited edition BTS Discover Seoul Pass for all you ARMYs.
Now that you’ve got your transport all settled, prepare your cameras for the #foodporn.
1. Live octopus at Noryangjin Market
If you like your seafood fresh, you’ll find that the seafood in Seoul is so fresh, it might still wiggle in your mouth! A quintessential experience in Seoul is definitely eating the live octopus and the best place you can get this is at the Noryangjin Market.
Dip those wriggling tentacles and dip them into a mixture of sesame oil and salt and be sure to chew it really well before swallowing.
The market has plenty of other seafood options if you’re not up for the live octopus. You can have the freshest sashimi, sea squirts, spicy fish stew, giant snow crabs and more! Just take your pick and head to one of the restaurants upstairs and they’ll cook the seafood for you with a small fee.
Address : 688 Nodeul-ro, Dongjak-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Opening Hours : Open 24 hours daily
How To Get There : Take the subway to Noryangjin Station exit 1 and it is 100 metres away.
2. Chimaek (Chicken and Beer) at Han Chu
Photo Credit: Sous Chef on Flickr
Han Chu is one of the most popular places to get fried chicken and beer in Seoul. The most popular dish is the Gochu Chicken, which is twice fried with chilli peppers for that extra crunch factor and a kick of spice. The chicken is juicy and crispy and the serving portions are big enough for 2!
The regular fried chicken will set you back KRW 17,000 while the seasoned fried chicken costs about KRW 19,000. Don’t forget to wash yours down with some ice cold beers.
Address : 68 Nonhyeon-ro 175-gil, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Opening Hours : Daily 4pm-2am
How To Get There : Take the subway to Sinsa Station exit 8 and it’s a short walk away.
3. Korean BBQ at Kang Ho Dong Baekjong
Of course you’ll have to have Korean BBQ while in Seoul and the Kang Ho Dong Baekjong is a great place to have some. For those familiar with Korean variety tv shows, the name Kang Ho Dong should ring a bell or two! This famous Emcee, Comedian and wrestler has opened his own KBBQ restaurant serving up some of the best quality meats in Seoul.
You’ll find the famous Jeju pork, top quality beef and of course Korean soups and side dishes. If you’d like to try both the beef and pork, we’d recommend pre-booking a combination combo on Klook and it even comes with a hassle free reservation service to the restaurant. This way you won’t have to worry about not being able to read the menu or communicating with the staff.
Address : 19-3, Myeongdong 10st, Jung-gu, Seoul (서울시 중구 명동10길 19-3)
Opening Hours : Daily 1130am to 1130pm
How To Get There : Take Line 4 to Myeongdong Station. From Exit 8, walk for 4 minutes to the restaurant.
4. Gwangjang Market
Credit: Tongeron91 on Flickr
One of the biggest parts of the Seoul food culture is definitely the street food! Tteokbokki, Mung bean pancakes, kimbaps, blood sausages are just some of the things you’ll have to try on your visit to Seoul.
While you can find these food carts along the streets at every corner, the best place to get them is actually the Gwangjang Market. The market is bustling with vendors preparing fresh food and more often that not, these vendors will treat you like family, piling your plates full and offering you free side dishes.
Address : 88, Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Opening Hours : Mon to Sat 830am-6pm
How To Get There : Take the subway to Jongno 5-ga Station (Line 1), Exit 8 and the market is a short walk away.
5. Seolleongtang (Ox Bone Soup) at Imun
Imun Seolleongtang is one of Seoul’s oldest restaurants, dating back 113 years. If this soup establishment has been around longer than you have, you know it’s legendary! Seolleongtang or Ox Bone Soup at Imun feels as if it has been boiled for days, with a cloudy milky broth and fall off the bone tender meat. This dish is definitely comfort food, especially on a cold day!
We’d recommend pairing your soup with some Makgeolli or rice wine. The sweet wine will provide a great contrast to the savoury broth.
Address : 38-13 Ujeongguk-ro, Gyeonji-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Opening Hours : Daily 8am to 9pm
How To Get There : Take the subway to Jonggak Station (Line 1), Exit 3-1 and the restaurant is a short walk away.
6. Samgyetang at Tosokchon
Credit: Jinho.Jung for Flickr
Another comfort food dish in Seoul is definitely the Ginseng Chicken Soup or Samgyetang. The most popular one and probably the best tasting one in our options is from Tosokchon! Located near the Gyeongbukgung Palace, after you’re done frolicking around the palace grounds, head over for some heartwarming chicken soup for the soul.
#KlookTip: Head to the palace in a Hanbok and you’ll get to enter for free!
Be prepared for a queue but fret not, the line moves really quickly! The dish consists of a whole chicken stuffed with glutinous rice in a bowl of milky broth filled with ginseng and other herbs. They will also give you a shot of Ginseng for an added kick if you’d like.
Address : 5 Jahamun-ro 5-gil, Sajik-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Opening Hours : Daily 10am to 10pm
How To Get There : Take the subway to Gyeongbokgung station and the restaurant is a short walk away,
7. Boiled Pork at Jalppakin Memil
Jalppakin Memil is best known for its dumplings hot pot and boiled pork dish. The pork is served with a sweet and citrusy sauce which they call Pomelo sauce and the combination of the sauce with the freshly boiled meat is simply delicious.
Address : 41-1, Jahamun-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea (서울특별시 종로구 자하문로 41-1)
Opening Hours : Mondays & Wednesdays to | Saturdays: 11:30am-10:00pm (break time 3:00pm-5:00pm) | Sundays: 12:00pm-9:00pm
How To Get There : Take the subway to Gyeongbokgung, take exit 2 and its a short walk away.
8. Bibimbap at Gogung
Bibimbap is one of the most popular Korean dishes worldwide. For the uninitiated, it is a dish of rice, fresh vegetables and meat and mixing them all up. These can come in a hot stone pot or a heated copper bowl to ensure it stays warm. Over at Gogung, they have both options! We prefer the hot stone bowl as it leaves a layer of crunchy rice below which adds a whole new dimension to the dish.
Pre-book a set on Klook and it comes with bibimbaps, rice wine cocktails and even pancakes! You’ll also get a confirmed reservation to ensure you won’t have to wait for a table upon arriving.
Address : 2F, 27, Myeongdong 8ga-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul (서울시 중구 명동 8 가길 27, 2층)
Opening Hours : Daily 11am to 10pm
How To Get There : Take the subway to Myeongdong Station and take exit 9, the restaurant is a 2 minute walk away.
9. Jokbal at Myth
Myth Jokbal has been in operation since 1987, serving up plate after plate of Jokbal or pig’s trotters. The meat is perfectly braised, fatty, juicy and tender. You can choose to top yours with some garlic sauce for an added kick!
The portions are huge so be sure to grab your buddies to share the calories. Pre-book your Jokbal set on Klook and enjoy a salad and a spicy noodle soup along with it.
Address : 59-5, Myeong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul (서울시 중구 명동 59-5)
Opening Hours : Daily 11am-2am
How To Get There : Take Line 2 to Euljiro 1-ga Station. From Exit 6, walk for 3 minutes to the restaurant
10. Myeongdong Gyoja
Dumplings can be found almost everywhere in the world, and the Korean version of it – Kyoja or Mandus are definitely something you should save tummy space for. Head on over to Myeongdong Kyoja for some of the best handmade noodles and dumplings in the city.
The hand cut noodles or Kalguksu are smooth and hearty and one portion is enough for 2 to share! The dumplings are juicy and wholesome, filled with pork, leeks and fresh vegetables.
Address : 29 Myeongdong 10-gil, Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, 서울특별시 South Korea
Opening Hours : Daily 1030am to 930pm
How To Get There : Take the subway to Myeongdong Station and take exit 8, it is a 5 minute walk away.
11. Army Stew at Nolboo Budae Jjigae
Budae Jjigae or Army Stew is one of the most popular food choices in Seoul, with one army stew being ordered per second nationwide! This savoury dish is filled with a generous amount of vegetables, sausage, ham, instant noodles, tofu, kimchi and even cheese. Nolboo Budae Jjigae serves up some of the best army stew in the city and you’ll see plenty of locals frequent the restaurant.
Address : 33-43, Changcheon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul (서울 서대문구 창천동 33-43)
Opening Hours : Daily 11am to 11pm
How To Get There : Take the subway to Sinchon station and take exit 2, it is a 4 minute walk away.
12. Dami porridge
Another comfort food in the cold is porridge and you’ll find some of the yummiest porridge over at Dami Porridge. With ingredients like crab meat and fresh abalones, you can expect some delicious savoury sticky porridge that will have you scraping the bowl clean. They also have yummy side dishes like seafood pancakes, omelettes and steamed dumplings to pair with your bowl of porridge.
Address : B1, 40, Myeong-dong 4-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul (서울 중구 명동 4길 40 B1)
Opening Hours : Daily 7am-7pm
How To Get There : Take line 4 Myeongdong Station exit 6 then walk for 3 minutes
13. Bingsu at Sulbing
If you’re visiting Korea in the heat of summer, you’ll definitely want to grab a bingsu or two. For the uninitiated, Bingsu is a Korean shaved ice dessert that comes topped with different flavoured toppings and Sulbing is one of the best places to get it.
The classic flavour is Injeolmi and it comes topped with the bean powder, chewy rice cake, cheese and nuts. Some of the other popular flavors include green tea, mango and strawberry.
14. Isaac toast
The Isaac toast is not just a regular sandwich, this internationally famous chain has long queues at all its stores worldwide. You have your regular toppings like ham, bacon and cheese but in Korea you’ll also find toppings like grilled beef bulgogi, hot chicken and spicy cutlet.
The bread was perfectly toasted and came with a tinge of sweetness while the egg was light and fluffy, making you crave for more with every bite.
There are over 700 outlets in South Korea so be sure to find one near you because you definitely would not want to miss out!
15. James Cheese Back Ribs
Credit: @jamescheeseca on Instagram
If you love all things cheesy, you’ll love the baby back ribs at James Cheese Back Ribs! Each rib is perfectly tender and glazed to perfection with the spice level of your choice. Each rib is then skillfully wrapped with a layer of cheese and you can pair yours with some corn or just have it on its own.
At the end of the meal, you can even opt for rice to be fried with the remaining sauce, kimchi and corn.This just might be one of your favourite parts of the meal!
They have multiple outlets in Seoul so pick the one nearest to you and get ready to feast.