Restaurants in Seoul
Seoul is a dream come true for foodies and offers everything from street food at the popular pojangmacha (covered wagons) to world-class cuisine. Kimchi (fermented spicy cabbage) and Korean ginseng are heralded for their health benefits, and popular traditional dishes to try include bibimbab (rice mixed with vegetables and hot pepper paste), bulgogi (beef barbecued on the table) and kimbap (rice with vegetables wrapped with seaweed).
The Seoul restaurants below have been handpicked by our guide author and are grouped into three pricing categories:
Expensive (over ₩100,000)
Moderate (₩30,000 to ₩100,000)
Cheap (up to ₩30,000)
These Seoul restaurant prices are for a three-course meal for one, with half a bottle of house wine or equivalent, tax and service included.
Byeokje GalbiCuisine: Korean
Quality beef is the main draw at this upscale Korean barbecue restaurant in Seoul, which has won government awards and graced the Wall Street Journal's list of top five Asian restaurants. The meat is from a farm managed by the restaurant itself, with its famed spare ribs a particular highlight.Address: Songpa-gu, 13-20 Changcheon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul,
Telephone: +82 2 417 9292.
For a must-try dining experience, head to this traditional Korean hanok (house) for their wonderful hanjeongsik (Korean set menu meal). More than a dozen varieties of kimchi, a Korean dining staple of fermented cabbage or radish, are available to sample, as are traditional stews, barbecued meats and banchan (side dishes). Doore has been adorned with awards in the past and is the city's best spot for real Korean food.Address: Jongno-gu, 5-24 Insadong 4-gil, Seoul,
Telephone: +82 2 732 2919.
La YeonCuisine: Korean
Awarded three Michelin stars in 2017, this upscale, minimalist restaurant on the 23rd floor of the Shilla Hotel offers an exquisite dining experience in calm surroundings. Traditional Korean dishes are given a contemporary touch with luxury ingredients, such as bibimbap with abalone served with pear kimchi and spinach miso. Choose from one of four set menus (with optional wine pairings) and marvel at the Seoul skyline below.Address: Jung-go, Hotel Shilla, 249 Dongho-ro 23F, Seoul,
Telephone: +82 2 2230 3367.
This modern Seoul restaurant, located in the Templestay Information Centre opposite the flag-decked Jogyesa Temple, is run by a Buddhist nun. It specialises in healthy vegetarian temple cuisine including soups, pancakes and tofu-based dishes. Modest eating and bowl-washing rituals can be learned while sitting cross-legged at the table. The set menus are very good value.Address: Jongno-gu, 5F Templestay Building, 71 Gyeonji-dong, Seoul,
Telephone: +82 2 733 2081.
Top Cloud RestaurantCuisine: European
Set on the top floor of the Jongno Tower, floor-to-ceiling glass windows offer stunning views over Seoul, particularly at night, as patrons enjoy fine European cuisine. Both buffet and à la carte dining options give diners the freedom to explore European favourites and Australian steaks to suit their appetite, while its impressive wine list elevates the experience.Address: Jongno-gu, 33F Jongno Tower Building, 1-1 Jongno 2-ga, Seoul,
Telephone: +82 2 2198 3300.
Surrounded by the trendiest top-end international restaurants in Seoul, Yongsusan is a slick, modern gourmand's heaven and great lunch spot serving mouth-watering traditional Korean delicacies. Hidden in the basement of the Seoul Finance Center, various set menus are available here, some including 'royal-style' dishes and a good range of seafood options.Address: Jung-gu, B1F Seoul Finance Center, 1-84, Taepyeongno, Seoul,
Telephone: +82 2 771 5553.
Kimbap CheongukCuisine: Korean
Throughout Seoul, locals fill up on traditional Korean soups, stews, rice bowls and noodle dishes at Kimbap Cheonguk, an inexpensive chain with a wide range of Korean dishes. While there isn't much in the way of ambiance, Kimbap Cheonguk is a budget-friendly way to try local favourites like kimchi jjigae (fermented spicy cabbage stew), donkatsu (fried pork cutlet) and mul naengmyeon (cold buckwheat noodle soup).Address: Jongno-gu, 32 Myeongnyun 2-ga, Seoul,
Telephone: +82 2 747 2332.
Meokjagolmok is an alley within Gwangjang Market that has over 200 stalls selling a variety of reasonably-priced traditional food from grilled fish to whole chicken and vegetarian specialities to Korean pancakes. It's all enjoyed in a noisy, lively ambience as the stands selling dress material, clothes and more hawk for business. Closed Sundays.Address: Jongno-gu, Gwangjang Market, 6-1 Yeji-dong, Seoul,
Telephone: +82 2 2267 0291.
Techno Mart Food CourtCuisine: Various
When you've gadget shopped till you've dropped in Seoul, fend off more bank balance guilt by heading for this cheap eatery. Around 40 stalls serve a range of international foods in hulking portions on large platters designed for sharing.Address: Gwangjin-gu, B1F Techno Mart, 546-4 Guui-dong, Seoul,
Telephone: +82 2 3424 0385.