Seoul Food: Seoul’s Best Korean Dishes
There’s great food almost everywhere you look in Seoul, but here’s a quick primer on the Korean dishes that shouldn’t be missed, and where to best enjoy them.
- Seocho Sariwon: This restaurant has been serving up tender marinated beef (bulgogi) in refined surroundings for nearly two decades.
- Hongik Sutbul Kalbi: Run by a former butcher, this no-frills, raucous barbecue house is renowned for its fine cuts and generous portions of beef and pork grilled at your table in the traditional fashion.
- Namsangol Sanchae Jip: This country-style restaurant serves a delectable bibimbap (rice mixed with vegetables, meat, egg, and red pepper paste) crammed with fresh mountain herbs and vegetables.
- Congdu: Try this bean-centric restaurant for a healthy bibimbap livened by a savory soybean sauce.
Korean Fried Chicken
- Reggae Chicken: Perfectly cooked chicken in a flavorful batter is the specialty of this small but soulful restaurant near Hongik University.
- Cheers: This Buam-dong chicken restaurant is justifiably lauded for its golden fried chicken served on a bed of crispy potatoes.
- Myeongdong Gyoza: This restaurant’s hearty, garlic-heavy take on handmade wheat noodles in broth continues to draw crowds on a daily basis, and the fantastic kimchi (pickled cabbage) served as a side dish only adds to the attraction.
- Tosokchon: The ginseng chicken soup at this legendary restaurant, containing an entire small chicken stuffed with rice and ginseng and a rich broth with no fewer than 30 medicinal herbs, is a good cure for hunger and a lot of other things.
- Jaha Sonmandu: The little kimchi, pork, and vegetable-stuffed dumplings at this eatery not only look exquisite, they’re loaded with flavor.
- Cheongdam Sundubu: Have it your way at this Apgujeong-area restaurant, which serves multiple variations of this classic stew of silky tofu, egg, vegetables, and potent red pepper.
- Yooganae: If you can’t make it all the way to the city of Chuncheon, the hometown of this fiery but delicious medley of stir-fried chicken, vegetables, and a chili marinade, visit this Seoul-based dalkgalbi specialist.
- I Love Sindangdong Tteokbokki: You’ll love tteokbokki (rice cakes simmered in red pepper sauce) too if you stop by here for a taste of Korea’s spicy-sweet street food favorite, served with vegetables, fish cakes, and even cheese, fresh seafood, or extra chili on request.
© Jonathan Hopfner from Moon Seoul, 1st Edition