Restaurants in Seoul have earned high praises from tourists and food critics alike for inventive culinary delights and authentic flavors. The Korean capital boasts an extensive array of delicacies, from fresh seafood, vegetarian dishes, steaks, noodles and rice dishes to fine-dining European and western fare. 

    No trip to Seoul is complete without sampling authentic Korean dishes such as samgyetang (chicken ginseng soup), kimchi (fermented vegetables) and Korean BBQ grilled meat. Check out our selection of Seoul’s most popular restaurants for a satisfying feast, regardless of your budget level and dining preference.

    La Yeon at The Shilla Seoul serves traditional Korean delicacies in a fine-dining setting. Award-winning chef, Kim Sung Il uses the highest quality local and seasonal ingredients to create an extensive range of haute Korean cuisine. 

    Located on the 23rd floor, the restaurant overlooks the bustling downtown Seoul. Its sophisticated interior features white furnishing and wooden fixtures. La Yeon has 4 set menus that change according to the season, each consisting of mains, desserts and Korean tea, as well as optional wine pairings. 

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    Location: The Shilla Seoul, 249 Dongho-ro, Jangchung-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 12 pm to 2.30 pm and from 6 pm to 10 pm

    Phone: +82-2-2230-3367


    Jungsik is a Gangnam restaurant that offers a unique take on Korean dishes. The service here is impeccable and unobtrusive, making it a popular venue for romantic dinners. The tasting menu is priced at 150,000 won onwards. 

    You can enjoy sea urchin bibimbap (traditional dish of rice, meat, and vegetables), samgyeopsal (crispy pork belly with assorted pickled vegetables and trumpet mushrooms), and Jeju crispy snapper. For dessert, Jungsik’s signature chocolate mousse is a must try - served in tiny traditional kimchi pots, this beautiful treat is decorated with cake crumbs and edible flowers. 

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    Location: 11 Seolleungro 158-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 12 pm to 3 pm and from 5.30 pm to 10 pm

    Phone: +82-2-517-4654


    photo by Stephanie (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Pierre Gagnaire a Seoul

    Pierre Gagnaire a Seoul is a top-notch French eatery on the 35th floor of Lotte Hotel Seoul. Offering spectacular views of Bukhan Mountain and downtown Seoul, the restaurant has 4 stylish dining rooms for privacy, while the section is fashioned after the Palace of Versailles’ secret garden. 

    Food-wise, Pierre Gagnaire a Seoul serves artistic French cuisine – standouts include sea bass gravlax with celeriac and bean sprouts, pork loin with creamed pear, and honey-balsamic vinegar sorbet. The restaurant also offers an impressive collection of over 250 French wines from the Bourgogne, Loire, and Alsace regions.

    Location: 35F, Lotte Hotel Seoul, 1 Sogong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 12 pm to 3 pm and from 6 pm to 10 pm

    Phone: +82-2-317-7181


    Ryunique presents Korean delicacies with heavy influence from France, Japan, Spain, and Italy. This award-winning restaurant features blond wood tables, fresh flowers and plenty of natural light, exuding an unpretentious fine-dining ambience. 

    Its five-course lunch and dinner menus cost between 38,000 won and 120,000 won – dishes are made with contemporary cooking methods and avant-garde presentation. Standouts include soy marinated shrimp (with a side of dried green mustard leaf with fried crosne) and roasted pork belly with sous-vide king shrimp. 

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    Location: 520-1 Sinsadong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 12 pm to 11 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +82-2-546-9279



    Congdu Restaurant serves traditional Korean cuisine that’s adapted to a more modern palate. The restaurant is located inside the Seoul History Museum (behind Deoksugung Palace), but finding it can be rather challenging as there’s no signage. Look out for a traditional Korean building between the US and UK embassies. 

    Congdu’s food offerings are subtle in flavor with impeccable presentation. Standout dishes include the Jeju Island black pork that’s slow-roasted for 48 hours, barley bibimbap with brown bean paste, and pork belly with marinated oysters and kale wrap. For dessert, Congdu Restaurant’s tofu cream tiramisu with espresso and pine nut puree is a must-try.

    Location: 116-1 Deoksugung-gil, Sogong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 11.30 am to 3 pm and from 5.30 pm to 10 pm

    Phone: +82-2-722-7002



    Tosokchon is one of the best places in Seoul for samgyetang (chicken ginseng soup), a popular Korean dish usually eaten during summer. A 10-minute walk from Gyeongbokgung Station, it was a favorite spot of South Korea’s late president, Noh Muh-hyun, making it as an iconic landmark in Seoul. 

    Tosokchon’s samgyetang is slow-cooked for hours for a sweet and nutty flavor, consisting of a spring chicken (that’s no more than 49 days old) stuffed with chestnuts, garlic, dried jujubes, ginseng, glutinous rice, and gingko nuts. Tosokchon also offers tongdak (roasted chicken), hae-mool pajeon (green onion pancake with seafood), and agu-jjim (braised spicy monkfish).

    Location: 5, Jahamun-ro 5-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +82-2-737-7444


    photo by Wei-Te Wong (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Han Chu Korean Fried Chicken

    Fried chicken is a conventional after-work snack in Seoul, and Gangnam’s Han Chu Korean Fried Chicken is one of the best place to get your hands on this crispy morsel. This modest restaurant is located at Garosugil Street, a high-end fashion street near Apgujeong Station. 

    Best accompanied with a cold beer, Han Chu’s signature fried chicken (prices start from 17,000 won) is juicy on the inside while the lightly battered skin is crispy with each bite. Other popular dishes here include the fried whole green pepper with pork fillings, and seasoned clams with noodles.

    Location: 549-9 Shinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu Seoul, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 5 pm to 3 am

    Phone: +82-2-3446-5778


    photo by Jumi Kang (CC0 1.0) modified

    Enjoy a full course dinner with a spectacular view of Seoul at N Grill, a rotating restaurant within the iconic N Seoul Tower. Located on the highest level, the ambience here is very exclusive and intimate – you’ll often see couples enjoying a romantic dinner, especially on special occasions.  

    N Grill has an extensive wine list and quality French dishes, such as marinated lamb cutlets with wilted rocket, cumin infused jus, seabass with zucchini and fennel salad and grilled whole lobster with fresh pasta and a green salad.

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    Location: 105 Namsangongwon-gil, Yongsan 2(i)ga-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 2 pm and from 5 pm to 11 pm

    Phone: +82-2-3455-9297


    Maple Tree House

    Maple Tree House is a Korean BBQ eatery with several branches in Seoul. The outlet in Itaewon is well-frequented for its succulent grilled meat. The wine bar-like restaurant has warm lighting, wooden furnishings, rustic décor, and floor-to-ceiling windows.

    The menu consists of authentic Korean cuisine, such as naengmyeon (cold noodle) and kimchi jjigae (kimchi stew) as well as grilled beef, pork, and seafood. Maple Tree House’s signature dish is cheongyeop (pork grilled over a charcoal fire and wrapped in fermented sesame leaves).

    Location: Hamilton Hotel 2F, 116-1 Itaewon-ro 27ga-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Open: Sunday–Thursday from 11.30 am to 10.30 pm, Friday–Saturday from 11.30 am to midnight (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +82-2-790-7977


    Na Ri Sik Dang

    Na Ri Sik Dang, located in Itaewon, attracts locals with its inexpensive yet authentic Korean BBQ dishes. A 2-minute walk of the Hangangjin train station, this neighborhood eatery is rather hidden, so its clientele is mostly residents of the Itaewon neighborhood. 

    Na Ri Sik Dang is also quite affordable compared to most BBQ restaurants in Seoul – its signature BBQ pork belly is priced at around 11,000 won and 7,000 won for bean paste stew. 

    Location: 8 Itaewon-ro 49-gil, Seoul, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 11.30 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +82-2-793 4860



    Gaon is one of the most refined restaurants in Seoul. The 3-storey restaurant has been meticulously designed with each floor featuring different motifs and designs. One wall is made up with glowing color bars, another is built using old newspapers, and the 3rd with clear plastic cases filled with beans. 

    The menu consists of some of the best Korean classics. The radish kimchi with oysters and hae-mool pajun – a thick pancake full of scallops, squid and octopus – are some of Gaon’s signature dishes. They also have an extensive collection of wine and traditional Korean drinks. 

    Location: 317 Dosan-daero, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 5.30 pm to 11 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +82-2-545-9845


    Gwangjang Market

    Gwangjang Market is one of the 1st permanent street markets in South Korea. Located near Jogno-ga Station (Exit 8), this market is known for its range of traditional Korean food.

    The ground floor has dozens of food stalls and restaurants serving authentic Korean dishes when you’re shopping at Gwangjang Market. Tailor shops occupy the 1st floor, where you get to buy folk clothing at reasonable prices. 

    Location: 88, Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 8.30 am to 11 pm (hours vary by shop)


    photo by ChongDae (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Hongik Sutbul Galbi

    Hongik Sutbul Galbi is an affordable Korean BBQ restaurant near Hongik University. The standout dish here is the high-quality galbi (beef ribs), which is cooked using charcoal stoves instead of hotplates. 

    The staff usually does most of the cooking for you, but it’s pretty straightforward – place the meat on top of the heated stove. Once it’s cooked, wrap the meat and your choice of sides in lettuce, before enjoying it in a single bite. When you leave the restaurant, you’re bound to smell like roast meat – and we mean that in a good way!

    Location: 146-1 Eoulmadang-ro, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 3.30 pm to 4 am

    Phone: +82 2-334-3354


    Myeongdong Hamheung Myeonok

    Myeongdong Hamheung Myeonok is a great place for a casual meal in Seoul. The restaurant dates back to the 1980s and is located near the Myeongdong Cathedral. Its signature dish is the North Korean-style naengmyeon (chilled buckwheat noodles). You can also enjoy this dish with thinly sliced raw meat on top of the spicy noodles.

    Location: 35-19, Myeongdong 10-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 9.30 am to 9.30 pm

    Phone: +82-2-776-8430


    photo by Jens Ohlig (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified



    Sanchon is the place to visit for vegetarian dishes cooked in Buddhist-temple style. Founded by a former Buddhist monk, this rustic restaurant is decorated with Buddhist artworks, traditional pottery, and paper lanterns – it feels like you’ve stepped inside a real shrine rather than a dining spot. 

    Sanchon has an ala carte menu, but it’s popular for its 16-course lunch and dinner menus, which vary from season to season. The restaurant also hosts Korean dance performances every night at 8pm.

    Location: Insa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, 30-13, Gwanhun 14, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 11.30 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +82-2-735-0312


    photo by Julie (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified



    Woolaeoak serves North Korean-style buckwheat noodles in cold broth (pyeongyang naengmyeon). The restaurant has no break times between lunch and supper, so it’s a good idea to go between the usual meal times to avoid crowds. The dish is seasoned just right and richly garnished, meaning that it’s suitable for those who are new to this style of noodles, as well as those who enjoy Hamheung-style buckwheat noodles.

    Location: 62-29 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 11.30 am to 9.30 pm, Sunday from 11.30 am to 8.30 am (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +82 (0)2-2265-0151


    photo by ttlgold (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Namdo Bunsik

    Namdo Bunsik is a retro casual eatery located in a narrow alley in Ikseon-dong. If you’re Korean, you’ll be happy to see food served in old-fashioned green melamine bowls, and the classic radio hits playing through speakers will add to the atmosphere. The popular spicy rice cakes with dried radish (siraegi tteokbokki) aren’t too spicy, so be sure to try some. The servings are generous, perfect for ordering lots of different items with a larger group.

    Location: 33 Supyo-ro 28-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 11.30 am to 9.30 pm

    Phone: +82 (0)2-723-7775


    photo by 긔긔완 (CC BY 2.0) modified



    Maillet in Seorae Village proudly serves desserts made by a French pâtissier. Among the desserts that are almost too colorful and beautiful to eat, the creamy, rich mille-feuille is the most popular item that often sells out before business hours are over. The desserts here are just as much for your eyes as they are for your mouth, so they make for great casual gifts for just about anyone.

    Location: 14 Sapyeong-daero 22-gil, Seocho-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 11.30 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +82 (0)2-749-1411


    Mongmyeok Sanbang

    Mongmyeok Sanbang is known for its high-quality yet affordable Korean dishes. Once a Mount Namsan staple, the restaurant has moved to another spot but is popular as ever among Koreans and foreigners. Your vegetables of choice are served on top of rice in a traditional brass bowl. It’s so popular that long queues can be seen throughout the day. Luckily, the turnover rate is high, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long to be seated.

    Location: 71 Toegye-ro 20-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 10.30 am to 8.30 am

    Phone: +82 (0)2-318-4790


    Better Than Beef

    Better Than Beef on Garosu-gil specializes in pork-based dishes that are elegant and stylish. The entrance is unassuming, but the interior is so large that you’ll question the possibility of it. Plus, its unique interior decoration will have your eyes so busy that your order will be served before you know it. The names on the menu might have you scratching your head, but they’re very delicious. Be sure to try their homegrown traditional Korean rice wine (makgeolli). Visiting with your significant other or a close friend is highly recommended.

    Location: 5 Dosan-daero 11-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 11.30 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +82 (0)2-3446-0400


    photo by 나나망고 (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Taegeukdang Bakery

    Taegeukdang Bakery first opened in Myeong-dong in 1946 and relocated to Jangchung-dong in 1973. It’s just as popular today as it was back then. The bakery offers modern creations and classic staples that made it so popular when it first opened. Their display makes it easy to pick out the ones you want. The retro interior may feel fresh for the younger crowds, but those of an older generation will certainly welcome the nostalgia.

    Location: 7 Dongho-ro 24-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 10.30 pm

    Phone: +82 (0)2-2279-3152


    photo by 오모군 (CC BY 3.0) modified


    Seoureseo Duljjaero Jalhaneunjip

    Seoureseo Duljjaero Jalhaneunjip has been serving Korean teas and desserts since 1976. This traditional teahouse is one of the best places in Seoul to enjoy danpatjook – sweet red bean porridge topped with sweet rice cakes, chestnuts and ginkgo nuts. Once you’re done with your dish, wash it all down with a cup of refreshing sujeong-gwa (ginger cinnamon tea) which is another specialty of Seoureseo Duljjaero Jalhaneunjip.

    Location: 122-1, Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Open: Tuesday–Sunday from 11 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +82-2-734-5302


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