17 Best Restaurants and Local Eateries To Eat In Seoul

Seoul Food Guide

Korean BBQ, Kimchi jjigae (stew), ginseng chicken soup, bulgogi, kimchi pancake, Korean-style fried chicken, bibimbap… Korean cuisine revolves around rice, kimchi, and lots of meat. The Koreans love their BBQ, but food in Korea is more than that. There are restaurants and local eateries along every street, each specialising in their respective dishes.

Here is a guide on where to eat in Seoul, featuring a few of our favourite Korean BBQ restaurants, a traditional Korean restaurant that serves 30 classic banchans, the most popular ginseng chicken soup restaurant, and several outstanding cafes with brilliant concepts.

BBQ Meat

#1 Brother Korean Food Restaurant

We did midnight shopping at Dong Dae Mun every other day when at Seoul, and we would not return to the hotel without having a hearty supper here. It is located beside Art Plaza and Studio W Shopping Mall, in an alley that houses many other eateries and serve to all the staff working in the vicinity.

Seoul Desserts

#2 Deux Amis

A cafe that we like in Garosil-gil is Deux Amis, a terrific patisserie serving gorgeous cakes and tarts that will make anyone weak in the knees. It is a must-stop for desserts when you are in Seoul. Try their Strawberry Tiramisu Tart and Caramel Cake.

Deux Amis is also listed in our guide to dessert spots in Seoul.

535-9 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu
Tel: +82 2 3443 0030
Nearest Station: Sinsa Station

Hanchu Fried Chicken

#3 Han Chu Korean Fried Chicken

If you ask locals where to go for the best Korean fried chicken in Seoul, many will point you to Han Chu Korean Fried Chicken Restaurant. The fried chicken, while not as meaty as we would like it to be, was still very good – especially the spicy rendition which was spicy, tangy and very addictive.

549-9 Shinsa-dong
Gangnam-gu Seoul
Tel: 02 3446 5778
Daily: 5pm – 3am
Nearest Station: Apgujeong


#4 Lepure Cafe

A bright and cheerful cafe in the day, Lepure Cafe transforms into a nice and enchanting little Japanese corner in the evening as the lights are dimmed and candles are placed on each table. Lepure has a concise Japanese-inspired dessert menu which features pretty creations like Chocolate Roll Cake, Strawberry Short Cake, Cheesecake and Chocolate Tart (5,000 won – 5,800 won/ S$5.60 – S$6.50) – which optimises quality ingredients to give every item a premium taste. The juice list is also impressive, leaving us spoilt for choice for organic options.

Lepure Cafe is also listed in our guide to dessert spots in Seoul.

1F 534-8 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu
(35 Apgujeong-ro 10 gil)
Tel: +82 2 545 4508
Nearest Station: Sinsa Station

Glamorous Penguin

#5 Glamorous Penguin

Itaewon is known for its diverse range of restaurants – offering anything from Thai food to Spanish tapas and Mexican tacos – but the area also has plenty of nice cafes too, and one of the places that we like is Glamorous Penguin, tucked at a back alley off the main road near Hangangjin station.

The three-story café has pretty good cakes – think red velvet, carrot cake, raspberry cake, maple apple cake (7,000 won for a slice) – and if the weather is good, get a table at the rooftop and read a book while enjoying a cuppa.

Glamorous Penguin is also listed in our guide to 10 cafes in Seoul.

743-41 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
(Itaewon-ro 49-gil)
Tel: +82 2 790 7178
Nearest Station: Hangangjin

Hong Gi Wa Zip

#6 Hong Gi Wa Zip

You know you are in the right place when there are only locals dining in the establishment. We stumbled upon this homely Korean restaurant when we were wandering in the Hongdae area. Besides the popular Samgyetang, they also serve the classic dishes like Kamjatang (25,000 for small) – spicy boiled pigs rib; Possam (25,000 won for small) – boiled pork slices with kimchi; and the very delicious Takdori (25,000 won for small) – spicy boiled chicken soup.

347-29 Seogyo-dong
Mapo-gu, Seoul
Tel: 02 324 9858
Nearest Station: Hongik University


#7 Jiyugaoka

There are many cafes in the Samcheong-dong area, but Jiyugaoka deserves a special mention. We love that the café is not only small and cosy, but it also has good cakes, all freshly baked by the owners daily on site. The café is perfumed with the lovely scent of the baked goods, and we love sitting by the al fresco table to people-watch.

Jiyugaoka is also listed in our guide to 10 cafes in Seoul.

Yunposun-gil 46
Tel: +82 2 6487 6156
Nearest station: Anguk

Maple Tree House

#8 Maple Tree House

Located behind Hamilton Hotel in Itaewon is Maple Tree House, a posh BBQ restaurant known for serving premium meats. Prices here are much steeper than the usual Korean BBQ restaurants, but the reason why regulars come back again and again is because of its signature Korean Jeju Black Pork Belly (17,900 won for 160g) and premium Korean Beef Sirloin (34,900 won for 150g).

Hamilton Hotel 2F, 116-1 Itaewon dong
Yong san gu, Seoul
Tel: 02 790 7977
Daily: 11.30am – 10pm
Nearest Station: Itaweon

N Grill

#9 N Grill

If you are making a trip to the N Seoul Tower, we would recommend to have a meal at N Grill. N Grill is a revolving restaurant at the top of the N Seoul Tower and it offers a birds’ eye view of the city. N Grill has a fantastic set lunch which is reasonably-priced for the quality. Good steaks in a nice ambience with a terrific view.

1-3 Yongsandong 2(i)ga-dong
Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Tel: +82 2 3455 9297
Mon to Fri: 11am – 2pm, 5pm – 11pm
Sat & Sun: 11am – 11pm
Nearest Station: Myeong-dong

Korean BBQ

#10 Na Ri Sik Dang

Another place which we stumbled upon is Na Ri Sik Dang. It is a neighbourhood joint where locals frequent for its BBQ pork belly (11,000 won). We also had the Bean Paste Stew (7,000), which was the best that we had during this trip.

To find Na Ri Sik Dang, look out for the alley in between Audi Showroom and Trevia Italian Restaurant. It is a few minutes walk from the station.

8 Itaewon-ro 49-gil
Tel: 02 793 4860
Nearest Station: Hangangjin

Korean BBQ Seoul

#11 No 813 BBQ Restaurant

This Korean BBQ restaurant in Garosil-gil offers several value-for-money sets which range from . The set that we ordered came with beef flank, beef sirloin, homemade sausage, pumpkin, mushroom and an egg stew.

Gangnam-daero 152-gil
Nearest Station: Sinsa Station

Passion 5

#12 Passion 5

This is a chic concept destination with 5 different categories of dining all under one roof –- gelato corner, bakery take-out station, patisserie and café, chocolatier and a full-fledged restaurant. If you love desserts like we do, you must make a trip to Passion 5 when you are in Seoul.

Passion 5 is also listed in our guide to 10 cafes in Seoul.

272, Itaewon-ro
Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Tel: +82 2 2071 9507
Nearest Station: Hangangjin

Sigol Bapsang

Sigol Bapsang Banchan

#13 Sigol Bapsang

Our top pick is Sigolbapsang, a small traditional Korean restaurant at Hannam-dong, which is just ten-minute walk from Itaewon station. For 8,000 won, you can sample up to 30 classic banchans. Be surprised by the spread of traditional and modern dishes, and enjoy your experience in a rustic setting that radiates the old Seoul charm. And yes, you can have them refilled. Sigol Bapsang opens for 24 hours daily, so if you are feeling hungry at night, here is a spot that you can drop by.

738-17 Hannam-dong
Yongsan-gu, Seoul
Tel: 82 2 793 5390
Nearest Station: Itaweon/Hangangjin station

Takeout Drawing

#14 Take out drawing

Take out drawing is a gorgeous two-story café, which doubles as an exhibition space. It serves a variety of organic beverages alongside delicious baked goods. This is a trendy spot where you can easily spend a day catching up with friends.

Take out drawing is also listed in our guide to 10 cafes in Seoul.

140-861, Itaewon-dong (Noksapyeong),
Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea
Tel: +82 2 790 2637
Nearest Station: Hangangjin


#15 Tosokchon Ginseng Chicken

The most famous Korean Ginseng Chicken restaurant in Seoul, Tosokchon is a must-visit when you are in the city. There is only ginseng chicken on the menu, and when a restaurant is brave enough to dish out only one signature, we expect a lot. And indeed, it lives up to the hype. We would suggest coming here for lunch before visiting Gyeongbokgung palace, which is just located 5 minutes away.

5, Jahamun-ro 5-gil
Jongno-gu, Seoul
Tel: +82 2 737 7444
Nearest Station: Gyeongbokgung Station (Exit 2)


#16 Yoogane

This may be a restaurant chain, but they serve good chicken galbi. A meal here is relatively affordable – they charge by per person, and you can choose from a menu of meat and seafood combinations, We opted for the spicy chicken and marinated octopus (9,000/pax). Together with kimchi, potato and rice, the chicken galbi kept our souls happy in between shopping at Myeongdong.

3-1 Myeong-dong 2-ga, Jung-gu
Seoul, South Korea
Tel: +02 3789 3392
Nearest Station: Myeong-dong

55 Beonji Ramyon

#17 55 Beonji Ramyon

We chanced upon this ramyon shop when we were exploring Samcheong-dong. Tucked in a narrow alley, 55 Beonji Ramyon is easy to miss if you are not looking out for it. What makes their ramyon stand out is the use of seasoned red pepper paste sauce and a specially prepared soup base. On the menu, you can find different variations of ramyon such as Seafood Fried Ramen (13,000 won), Bulgogi Ramen (9,000 won), and Jiamppong Ramen (7,500 won).

55-1 Hwa-dong, Jongno-gu
Seoul, South Korea
(44-6 Bukchon-ro 5ga-gil)
Tel: +82 2 722 2997
Nearest station: Anguk

For more recommendations, read our guide on 10 Things to do in Seoul.