South Korea

Restaurants in South Korea

From the most traditional in Korean eating to the most outré international cuisine, South Korea offers visitors something for every palate. While an exhaustive list of the best restaurants in South Korea could – and does – fill a book, there are some worth considering in the Seoul area. One of the premier samgyetang (chicken ginseng soup) restaurants in South Korea, Tosokchon attracts both former presidents and more penurious diners alike. The acclaimed restaurant stretches out across several hanoks (traditional houses), and while the fare is simple, it’s flat-out delicious.

Gogung serves bibimbap, a Korean dish that embodies the ancient philosophy of Obangsaek, or bodily and spiritual balance - and it’s hands-down one of the most popular South Korean restaurants in town. Dishes are healthy, varied, and flat-out delicious; if you can’t find something to like here, then you must not like Korean food. While these aren’t South Korean restaurants, per se, there are tons of great street food options at the venerable Kwangchang Market. Poke around the stalls, find one that’s popular with the locals, and dig in!

At Budnamujip restaurant, in an area far south of the Han River and the city’s center, the specialty is galbi, short ribs traditionally seasoned with such flavors as Asian-pear juice, sesame seed, rice wine, sugar, and of course, that Korean mainstay, garlic.

At this airy place, the emphasis is on royal cuisine, which stretches back to a time before Korea’s fateful encounter with the chili pepper some 250 years ago, and may thus be gentler on some Western palates.

Enormous pitchers of Hite beer land on tables and are consumed instantly by the eclectic, raucous, smoky clientele. The bar food here would find few peers anywhere in the world.

A café frequented by the wealthy plastic-surgery set.