What and where to eat in Seoul

When it comes to Asia, probably everyone would think about the food. At least I do. There are many various choice and the best is you can find place to eat in every corner. When I came here I decided to taste as many as I can. I spent 3 days sightseeing in Seoul, but for the first 2 days I didn’t have appetite. The 3rd day I tried to eat as much as I could but I ended up bringing the food home to finish. The rest of the time the forum’s organizers provided us buffet meal, in Tongyang Creativity Center. When we had an outdoor activities we ate outside as well.

So in this post I will share where I ate and what I recommend to try. Since I only ate out on the last day before forum, I didn’t go to a lot of places. My friend recommended me some place, but I didn’t have a chance to visit them, so I will just mention as much as I know. It will be marked with ‘Not yet’. Also since I don’t eat a lot of meat, I can’t really tell where you can eat the best meat meal. Also sorry for the Korean names and links. I couldn’t find the English website or name of the restaurant.

What to eat

Korean meal is served with banchan (반찬), small side dishes, like kimchi, pickled radish along with the main food. Cutlery set and napkin are in a drawer on the side of the table. Water is for free and you can just get one for yourself. Koreans eat a lot of spicy food. So if you can’t eat spicy thing, ask the waiter before you order anything.

Korean food is famous for its porridge (juk), noodle (kuksu), stew (jjigae), meat and rice (bap). There are restaurants specialized in some of it. Here are just a few examples.

  • Bibimbap
    Means mixed rice. It’s rice with different vegetables, meat (usually beef) and sunny side up egg. It is usually served with red chili paste. If you don’t eat meat, you can ask for a vegetable Bibimbap. If you can’t eat spice, don’t put Gochujang (korean red chili paste) in. It is a most preferred food among the Koreans. The price is usually between 6000-8000 won. I ate this at Incheon airport, so the price was 8900 won.
  • Kimbap
    Similar to Japanese maki, but instead of raw fish or a single item between rice and seaweed roll, there are many other ingredients as well. It can have cucumber, carrot, ham, egg all in one roll. But if you eat it in the street you will just get a small one. In restaurant it’s big.

  • Kimchi
    A traditional side dish made from salted and fermented vegetables, most commonly napa cabbage and Korean radishes, with a variety of seasonings including chili powder. It is usually spicy, so if you can’t eat spicy thing, don’t eat it. It is usually served on the side. There are many food made from it, for example fried kimchi rice, kimchi pancake.
  • Japchae
    It is a sweet and savory dish of stir-fried glass noodles and vegetables. It is typically prepared with dangmyeon, a type of cellophane noodles made from sweet potato starch. The noodles are topped with assorted vegetables, meat, and mushrooms, and seasoned with soy sauce and sesame oil.
  • Mul-naengmyeon
    Mul-naengmyeon is a cold noodle dish of thin, chewy noodles that are made with buckwheat and potato or sweet potato starch. The noodles are served in a clear, refreshing broth that’s typically made with beef broth and/or dongchimi (radish water kimchi) broth. It is topped with cucumber, radish, egg. They even put ice in to make sure it is cold.
  • Bulgogi
    The name means: fire meat. It is a gui (Korean-style grilled or roasted dish) made of thin, marinated slices of beef or pork grilled on a barbecue or on a stove-top griddle. It is also often stir-fried in a pan in home cooking. 
  • Soy milk noodle soup (kongguksu)
    Noodles in cold soybean soup is a seasonal Korean noodle dish served in a cold soy milk broth. It comprises noodles made with wheat flour and soup made from ground soybeans. You can only taste the soy in it but it is really refreshing especially if you want to eat something light.
  • Isaac Toast
    Sort of Korean sandwich. (Not yet.)

Place to eat

  • 엄청 자신있는 만두 (eomcheong jasin-issneun mandu) (Not yet)
    It is a chain restaurant. You can find one around Insadong.


  • 밥맛나는세상 (babmasnaneunsesang)
    I personally ate Mul-naengmyeon and soy milk noodle soup here. It also serves a gigantic kimbap and bibimbap. I wanted to taste them as well, but I was full. The price is 6000 won/meal. It is located in Hongdae, near to Hongik University metro station.
The foodmall in Hongdae

Besides this you can find many place to eat in Myeongdong or even in Hanok Village.

Coffee shops/Tea house

  • Gommi Coffee (곰미커피) (Not yet)
    Coffee and dessert shop located near to Ewha University.
    Address: 104-2 Daehyeon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South-Korea
  • Osulloc (오설록) (Not yet)
    Tea house where you can taste different kind of tea, especially green tea.
    You can find one near to Insadong: click here


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