116 Samseong-dong, Gangnam-gu
HOURS: Daily 24 hours
COST: Entrées ₩10,000-25,000
SUBWAY: Cheongdam (Line 7)
A laid-back oasis in an area too often characterized by overpriced snobbery, Hwago Jip is an exceptionally friendly barbecue house that hits all the right notes in terms of service, atmosphere, and quality. Low lighting, earth-toned walls, and straw mats give it the cozy, unassuming air of a country house, but there’s nothing common about the food here.
Platters of meat come in beautifully marbled cuts, and the constantly changing list of free accompaniments moves beyond the usual pickled vegetables to hearty dishes like steamed eggs and baked potatoes.
Hwago Jip also boasts a couple of specialties that you won’t find anywhere else, including doenjang kalguksu—thick noodles in a savory, slightly spicy soybean paste broth—and tart handmade frozen yogurt, doled out as a complimentary finish to each meal.
Thoughtful touches like this make the restaurant worth hunting down despite its somewhat out-of-the-way location.