Looking for the best eats in South Korea? Then you’re in for a treat because we’re sharing our top 10 favorite restaurant picks with you guys today. We’ve blogged about every place individually already so if you want to learn more about a particular place, just click on the hyperlinked restaurant name. Alright Nomsters, let’s do it!
Bicena’s shockingly affordable for a Michelin star restaurant – think $65 for an incredible course meal. It’s obviously much more expensive at night so make a reservation for lunch if you can. It’s located inside the bougie Signiel Hotel at Lotte World Tower, and they do traditional Korean cuisine with a modern twist. If you need more convincing, the view alone is worth the visit. Lotte World Tower is the 5th tallest building in the world so you’ll be dining from above…way above. Click to see each and every course from our meal!
2. Geu Jip
Geu Jip means “that house” in Korean, and it’s THAT house you hit up for soba and dumplings if you’re in Bundang-gu. They only sell 3 items here (soba, udon and dumplings), but only 2 are worth the money. Pass on the udon and get a ginormous pile of buckwheat noodles and several orders of their fresh steamed dumplings. Enjoy your meal with unlimited kkakdugi (diced radish kimchi) and spicy pickled peppers. Expect a line though because they get slammed during lunch and dinner. Luckily, the kitchen’s fast so the wait’s not long.
Looking for traditional Korean food that won’t break the bank? Street food’s obviously cheap as hell here, but we’re talking about something a little bougier. Sanduellae has a pretty extravagant course menu for only about $20, and it’s definitely worth trying. You have to call ahead and make reservations though because they had timed seatings. They have two sets available, and both are solid options – it all depends on how hungry you are! Click to read a detailed recap of their dishes.
In the mood for some solid Italian food on your trip? Then head to Rimini for your pasta fix. Don’t expect authentic Italian noms though – this place is all about Italian cuisine with a Korean twist. We don’t mean kimchi pastas – would that even work – or anything of the like, but it’s definitely going to be different, but we mean that in the best way possible. Our favorite dish there was their funghi cream, and we loved that they gave free pickles + drinks with our meal.
Two words: cheesy donkatsu. Are you drooling yet? Because we are. Located inside the Hyundai mall in Seoul, this place will blow your socks off. Hands down, the most amazing donkatsu we’ve ever had. We know that’s a bold claim, but you’ll most likely agree after trying it yourself…unless you live in Japan, ha. In all seriousness, the food here’s affordable and obscenely good so make a point to go. We highly recommend their dumplings and soba as well so go crazy, Nomsters!
If you haven’t tried Korean snow yet, we’re sad for you. Sulbing is a huge dessert chain in Seoul, and they’re popular AF. Andddd we may or may not have gone several times over the duration of our trip. No shame, worth every calorie, and we’d happily do it again. Their bingsoo is truly special, and we can’t recommend it enough. Our favorite was their red bean injeolmi (rice cake), but they have all sorts of crazy options so get whatever your heart desires. In retrospect, we probably should’ve tried some other flavor combos, but hey, why fix something that’s not broke?
7. Crystal Jade
We have mixed feelings about this Michelin recommended restaurant, but they made our list only because we loved their tangsooyuk that much. Think of it as Korean style sweet and sour pork. There was something just really special about the breading, and it’s something we miss and think about now that we’re back in the states. They’re apparently known for their dimsum, but the dumplings we tried? Not so hot. We’d give them another chance though because every place has an off day!
8. Kangnam Boongeopang
Craving sweets? Hit up this adorable shop in Lotte Mall for a mid day snack that will seriously satisfy. Boongeopang is a popular Asian dessert that’s shaped like a fish, and it contains a sweet filling of your choice! Red bean’s usually the most popular, but custard is really yummy as well.
If you like matcha, or anything matcha related, Osulloc is a must. We visited two different locations (one in Lotte Mall, the other in Insa-Dong) and enjoyed their drinks on both occasions. On top of refreshing beverages, they also offer matcha crepe cakes, roll cakes, bingsoo and more! It’s a lovely place to grab dessert or get a hot cup of tea so make a note for yourself.
10. Won Grandma Noodle & Bossam
Last but not least, Won Grandma Noodle & Bossam. This is yet another restaurant that can be found in the Lotte Mall in Jamshil, and their noodle and pork belly sets are affordable, filling and super nomtastic. They have several different kinds of noodz, but their bibim was our favorite by far. It had a really intense kick to it though so consider yourself warned! As for the meat, it was very tender, and their accompanying slaw provided some seriously awesome textural contrast.
Alright friends, we hope you enjoyed our latest guide featuring the top ten best restaurants in South Korea. Obviously, this is just the tip of the iceberg – like the tip of the tip of the iceberg – but we hope you got some delicious ideas from our roundup. Let us know what you thought of our picks by leaving a comment below, and check out more guides by clicking here.