A lengthy list of some of my favorite restaurants and cafes in Seoul. Enjoy!
Peony: Hands down, the best bingsu I’ve ever had.
Ginza Bairin: Delicious pork katsu restaurant right near Gyeongbokgung Palace.
Hakatabunko: Delicious ramen near Sangsu Station. If you’re walking towards the restaurant and you see an alcove with a line of people a couple of doors before the restaurant, that’s the line for Hakatabunko. Just go stand at the end of it and wait for the deliciousness. Garlic cloves and a garlic press on every table, as well as a sesame seed grinder!
Ciuri Ciuri: Fabulous small Sicilian restaurant. Make a reservation if you want to go on the weekend.
Coco Bruni: There are a few locations (one that I just found on the main Itaewon street between Itaewon and Hangangjin stations!), but I like this one near Gyeongbokgung. In summer, try the fabulous bingsus on offer, and in winter check out their hot chocolate tasting sampler.
Gogung: You can get bibimbap anywhere in Seoul. This particular restaurant is great to take visitors to, and it’s right there in Insadong in the basement of Ssamziegil.
Petra: Fabulous Middle Eastern food in Itaewon. Try the signature Jordanian dish mansaf.
Brera: Excellent Italian restaurant; recommend reservations.
Cafe Jeje: Tiny, unassuming coffee shop in Haebangchon with great coffee at affordable prices. This pin might not be 100% accurate, but the cafe should be within a few meters of it.
Myeongdong Kyoja: Kalguksu! Delicious broth, silky noodles, dumplings, ground beef. The accompanying kimchi is extremely garlicky, so much so that they bring you gum at the start of the meal to save for after. Also, be aware that you pay when you order, and don’t bother going on the weekend unless you want to wait in line for ages.
Linus BBQ: Fantastic Alabama-style barbecue in Itaewon. There is always a wait, and it is always worth it.
What a Salad: I have been known to go to this place more than once a week sometimes! Great chopped salads you can eat with a spoon (sounds weird, but trust me that it is awesome).
Flying Pan Blue: Favorite brunch place. On the weekend, try to get there by 10:30 to avoid a wait.
Kyochon: I know everyone has their own favorite fried chicken joint in Korea. Kyochon is our personal favorite, especially the original soy-garlic flavor and the crispy boneless chicken. This is the location we like to go to, as it’s spacious and right near Dongdaemun Design Plaza.
+84: The best Vietnamese food I’ve had in Seoul. Their original location is in Insadong, but now that they have a branch in Itaewon, that’s where we always go. The pin might be a little off but the restaurant is right in this vicinity on the 2nd floor.
Blacklist: Best cocktails, best owner/mixologist Chris, best ambiance! Domingos and I are really going to miss this bar. We like it so much that we created a budget category for it while we were here.
Fat Cat Bistro: Delicious sandwiches, coffees, salads, and soups in Haebangchon.
Mint Heim: If you like mint and chocolate, you have to check this place out.
Billy Angel: Multiple locations all over Seoul; really tasty cakes, especially this rainbow crepe one.
Bao Bar: Small eatery in the same building as Nori Table and Gino’s Pizzeria. A small menu, but everything I’ve had there has been ridiculously good.
El Piño 323: Best Mexican in Seoul. Unfortunately, the waits are currently extremely long because of its appearance on a popular Korean food show. However, if you can catch them in a slightly slower time, or just plan on standing in line for a while, you will not regret it!
Yummy Thai: Best Thai food we’ve had in Seoul, and it’s never crowded.