Here’s your one-stop Seoul food guide to exploring the best things to eat in some of Seoul’s most popular districts.

After spending a month in Seoul for summer school, I realised that the city is basically a hubbub of delicious food — from the traditional to the reinvented. But despite a whole month there, I still felt like I never got to fully explore each area properly. Returning for a second time was my chance to really dig in and find out what I’d missed out previously.

eggdrop-seoul-food-guide

There’s a reason why Mukbangs originated from Korea and why they do so well: Koreans love their food — and judging from the never-ending hype for the likes of kbbq to bingsus here, so do we.

Food in Seoul At A Glance

Every district and corner of Seoul has something delicious, so to really get a taste of everything, you’ve got to be willing to travel from one neighbourhood to another. Luckily, the T-money card makes getting around a breeze, especially since the destinations listed here are just a few minutes walk from the metro station. These T-money cards are reloadable at any metro station or convenience store and you can use it on train, buses, taxis, and even at convenience stores!

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Hongdae

1) Isaac Toast (이삭토스트)

isaac-toast-seoul-food
Image: DanielFoodDiary

Isaac Toast is an extremely popular sandwich toast shop in South Korea and is a perfect breakfast/midday snack. I love how there are so many affordable options to choose from — the Bulgogi MVP (₩3400) and Bacon Cheese Bagel (₩3,700 and yes rejoice because there are bagel options) are my top picks!

P.S. There are over 700 retail branches in South Korea so you can easily find an Isaac Toast near you other than the Hongdae branch!

Cost: ₩2600 – ₩4400 (~S$3.05 – S$5.16)
Opening Hours: 8AM – 9PM
Address: Changcheon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea (Hongdae Branch)
From Subway: Line 2 Hongik Univ. Station, Exit 9, 7-min walk

2) Hong Chun Cheon Dakgalbi (홍춘천치즈닭갈비)

dalgalbi-Seoul-food-guide

Dakgalbi, or stir-fried spicy chicken with rice cake, cabbage and onions, is a hot dish in South Korea made even more decadent when paired with a side of bubbling mozzarella cheese. Hong Chun Cheon Dakgalbi is one of the many popular dakgalbi go-to’s with many chain outlets throughout South Korea!

We decided to switch it up and order a mix of chicken feet and spicy chicken. But beware, the latter can be rather spicy for the non-spice-tolerating foodies!

The serving is pretty generous but if you’re up for it, ask to top it off with the Cheese Fried Rice which will be cooked in front of you with seaweed, sesame, cheese and the leftover ingredients on your cast iron pan…get ready for a FEAST.

Cost: ₩10,000 – ₩20,000 (~S$11.71 – S$23.43)
Opening Hours: 10:30AM – 11PM
Address: Hongik-ro 6-gil, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea (Hongdae Branch)
From Subway: Line 2 Hongik Univ. Station, Exit 9, 2-min walk

3) Old House Charcoal Meat (홍대 옛날집 참숯구이)

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If you don’t eat Korean BBQ when in Korea, did you really go at all? One of the most famous must-eats here is that irresistible combo of grilled juicy pork and beef cuts, doused in gochujang sauce and wrapped with garlic and kimchi in a giant lettuce leave, mmMm…

There are many KBBQ options but we recommend the Old House Charcoal Meat Restaurant It’s a small rustic shop but has the winning combination of being affordable, delicious, and skilful ajummas that add on to the authentic local experience.

Cost: ~S$14/pax
Opening Hours: 4PM – 5AM
Address: 169-6, Donggyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울시 마포구 동교동 169-6)
From Subway: Line 2 Hongik Univ. Station, Exit 8, 3-min walk

*Pro-tip: No need to figure out the menu when you book on Klook at ~S$14/pax (min 2pax).

4) JUICY fresh juice bar

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JUICY has a wide array of refreshing blends that are popular with both the local youths and tourists — it also happens to be my absolute favourite smoothie shop in Korea! It’s a great pick-me-up between all the walking and shopping. My personal favourites are the strawberry-banana (₩2,000) or the acai-mixed berries (₩3,500) combi.

Cost: ₩1,500 – ₩3,800 (~S$1.75 – S$4.42)
Opening Hours: 7AM – 11PM
Address: 10 Hongik-ro, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea (Hongdae Branch)
From Subway: Line 2 Hongik Univ. Station, Exit 1, 5-min walk

Ewha Women’s University & Sinchon

5) BonGousse Bob Burger (봉구스 밥버거)

BonGousse-Seoul-food-guide

Don’t judge BonGousse rice burger’s humble appearance, these bad boys are stuffed with toppings like Cheese Dakgalbi (yuuuum), Chicken Mayo, Kimchi Bulgogi, and a wide variety of others to choose from. It’s a typical grab-and-go option for many students and for a quick snack when wandering around the streets near Ewha University!

P.S. The famed Isaac toast is just further down the street so that’s another alternative as well 😉

Cost: ₩2,000 – ₩4,500 (~S$2.33 – S$5.24)
Opening Hours: 9AM – 10PM
Address: 15 Ewhayeodae 7-gil, Daehyeon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea (Ewha Branch)
From Subway: Line 2 Ewha Women’s Univ. Station, Exit 3, 4-min walk

6) Nolboo Budaechigae (놀부 부대찌개)

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Budaechigae or Army Stew is a hotpot mix of kimchi, ramen, spicy sausage, spam, cheese, dumplings, rice cakes. It’s practically a staple in Korean culture and super addictive especially when it comes in Nolboo’s buffet-style concept. Ramen, kimchi, and other tasty side dishes like onion rings, fries, chicken tenders are free flow and you get to choose from four different bases: cheesy, spicy, beef or seafood.

Cost: ₩12,500/pax
Opening Hours: 9AM – 10PM
Address: 15 Ewhayeodae 7-gil, Daehyeon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea (Ewha Branch)
From Subway: Line 2 Sinchon Station, Exit 3, 4-min walk

*Pro-tip: Book from Klook at S$11 instead of ₩12,500 (~S$14.47)!

7) Mollis Dessert Cafe (몰리스 )

Mollis-dessert-Seoul-food-guide

Mollis Dessert Cafe is every sweet tooth’s dream come true — I mean just look at the cakes we got and their plating! The tiramisu (left) was light and fluffy with the rich bitter flavour of coffee, the lemon tart (middle) was sweet and tart, and the raspberry chocolate dome (right) featured a delicious homemade raspberry jam and chocolate ganache. Each cake is priced from ₩6500 onwards and the windows overlook the street which makes it a lovely place to relax after a whole day of shopping.

Cost: ₩6,500 – ₩10,000
Opening Hours: 12PM – 10PM (closed on Mondays)
Address: 62-21, Changcheon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul
From Subway: Line 2 Sinchon Station, Exit 1, 4-min walk

8) Tongkeun Galbi (통큰갈비)

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Image: Creatrip

Tongkeun Galbi is another highly raved place for Korean BBQ. It was sooo good I had to include it in the list! For just ₩11,000, you get free flow pork neck steaks that are super juicy and marinated perfectly, plus unlimited side dishes 🤤. You can top up ₩4000 for extra cuts of meat as well. Take note though, there can be a pretty long queue outside so avoid peak timings like the typical mealtimes if you don’t want to wait!

Cost: ₩11,000 – ₩20,000
Opening Hours: 4:30PM – 2AM
Address: 62-67, Changcheon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul (Sinchon Branch)
From Subway: Line 2 Sinchon Station, Exit 1, 3-min walk

Myeongdong

The streets of Myeongdong is filled with rows and rows of carts selling delectable snacks. Here you can find just about everything — fried chicken, tteokbokki, grilled shrimp, egg custard bread, fishcake on skewers. But if you’re looking for cafes and restaurants, here are our recommendations:

9) Sulbing (설빙)

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This is basically a delicious mountain of shaved milk ice topped with anything ranging from condensed milk, ice cream, brownie, fruits, oreo, etc. Other than bingsus, Sulbing is also famous for their dessert toasts. We got the matcha cocoa (₩10,900) option which was pure bliss (if your a matcha lover like me) and topped it off with chocolate-filled waffles.

Cost: ₩7,900 – ₩11,900 (~S$9.23 – S$13.91)
Opening Hours: 10AM – 11PM
Address: 20 Myeongdong 10-gil, Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea (Myeongdong Branch)
From Subway: Line 4 Myeongdong Station, Exit 6, 4-min walk

10) Oppa Dak Chicken (오빠닭)

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Korean fried chicken is really a whole new level when paired with savoury sauces over crispy baked chicken. Oppa Dak Chicken restaurant has the “season baked chicken” set in two flavours. We picked the garlic teriyaki sauce with the fried chicken and topped it all off with a cold bottle of Cass beer 🍻, the perfect supper to end off a day exploring Seoul.

Cost: ~S$20 for 2-3pax set
Opening Hours: 11:30AM – 3AM
Address: 128, 114, Myeong-dong Art Nouveau Centum, 199-40, Eulji-ro 2-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul (Myeongdong Branch)
From Subway: Line 4 Myeongdong Station, Exit 6, 6-min walk

11) Myeongdong Kyoja (명동교자)

myeongdong-kyoja-Seoul-food-guide

Myeongdong Kyoja specialises in Kalgakgu aka hand-cut noodles and has been awarded the Michelin Guide for three consecutive years now. It looks deceivingly simple, but there’s something about the chewy noodles and light, tasty broth hits home!

The menu only offers four items but they’re surely doing something right with the constant rave reviews and long queues that extend outside. I’d label it as the ultimate comfort food for the seoul (geddit) and we slurped ours up in a matter of minutes. P.S. Get a platter of mandu on the side for good measure 😉

Cost: ₩9,000 – ₩10,000 (~S$10.53 – S$11.70)
Opening Hours: 10:30AM – 9:30PM
Address: 29, Myeongdong 10-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul (Myeongdong Branch)
From Subway: Line 4 Myeongdong Station, Exit 8, 2-min walk

12) Gogung Bibimbap (고궁 비빔밥)

gogung-bibimbap-Seoul-food-guide

Bibimbap (seasoned vegetables and meat mixed with rice) is yet another Korean staple but the Jeonju-style bibimbap has the addition of raw egg and beef tartare. If you haven’t tried it, Gogung is the go-to place for enjoying this specific dish. At just ~S$45, you can get a set for two consisting of two Jeonju bibimbap (served in a hot-stone and a traditional style), along with your choice of seafood pancake, japchae, or beef bulgogi, a wide array of side dishes, and makgeolli (traditional Korean rice wine). The generous portions and variety definitely give you a bang for your buck!

Cost: ~S$45.59 for a 2pax set
Opening Hours: 11AM – 10PM
Address: 2F, 27, Myeongdong 8ga-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
From Subway: Line 4 Myeongdong Station, Exit 9, 1-min walk

Hoehyun (Namdaemun Market)

Tucked within the Namdaemun market are streets dedicated to selling specific Korean dishes and the noodle alley and galchi jorim (braised hairtail fish) alley are the most famous of them.

13) Nangmyeon (Noodle Alley)

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If you’re looking to slurp up some noodles, you can find rows after rows of stalls selling kalguksu (hand-cut noodles) or naengmyeon (cold noodles), with the respective ahjummas from each stall gesturing for you to eat at their stalls. We got a bowl of naengmyeon at one of the stalls and it came with another bowl of noodle soup plus a side of kimchi for just ₩7,000?! Highly worth-it and really delicious with its chewy texture and unique spicy-sweet flavour!

Cost: ₩7,000 (~S$23.40)
Opening Hours: 10AM – 8PM (Closed on Sundays)
Address: 21 Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Hoehyeon-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
From Subway: Line 4 Hoehyun Station, Exit 5, 2-min walk

14) Spicy Hairtail Stew (Hairtail Stew Alley)

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Just further down is the hairtail fish alley where bowls upon bowls of hairtail stews are displayed in all their hot, bubbling glory. We got a two-pax set and it’s a little pricy for the fish (₩18,000), but completely worth it for the tender flesh, a wide array of side dishes, and spicy kimchi based soup. Do note that there’s quite a number of bones in the fish so it’s up to you if you’re willing to take the trouble!

Cost: ₩20,000 (~S$23.40)
Opening Hours: 10AM – 8PM (Closed on Sundays)
Address: 21 Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Hoehyeon-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
From Subway: Line 4 Hoehyun Station, Exit 5, 2-min walk

Dongdaemun & Jongno 5-ga

15) Dongdaemun Special Duck (별난오리)

Dongdaemun-duck-Seoul-food-guide

I was a little sceptical at first since it’s not an authentic Korean cuisine but after tasting it, I have to say it’s one of the best ducks I’ve ever had! We got the ₩32,000 set which included a plate of “electronic smoked” duck and a platter of spicy duck soup mixed with tteoboki (spicy rice cake). The duck was incredibly tender, juicy, and had just the right amount of crisp in its skin — the entire meal was satisfactory as hell. This set is enough to feed three to four people but if you still have stomach space, top up ₩3000 to have your leftover dakgalbi stir-fried into Bokkeumbap (fried rice) in front of you! Our stomachs were bursting towards the end but #noragrats indeed.

Cost: ₩32,000 (~S$37.45)
Opening Hours: 11AM – 11PM (Closed on Sundays)
Address: 464-30 Changsin-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
From Subway: Line 1 Dongdaemun Station, Exit 6, 1-min walk

*Pro-tip: Look out for the sign on the second level as the exterior of the shop is quite hard to spot.

16) Mungbean Pancake and Mini Gimbap (Gwangjang Market)

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Gwangjang market is where you can get the most authentic insight into local life in Seoul. It’s also where you can interact the most with the ahjummas whilst feeling right at home in front of their stalls. I’ve been here thrice and still love it every time I visit this place!

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Popular things to eat here include the Mungbean pancake, mini gimbap, japchae (korean stir-fried glass noodles) and mandu (dumplings) and they come at very affordable prices. For ₩4000, you get a plate of freshly-made, crispy mungbean pancakes (that could feed two) while the fragrant mini gimbaps cost a mere ₩3000!

Cost: ₩3,000 (~S$3.51)
Opening Hours: 9AM – 6PM
Address: 88, Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03195, South Korea
From Subway: Line 1 Jongno 5-ga Station, Exit 7/8

17) Sannakji (Gwangjang Market)

sannakji-Seoul-food-guide

One experience you can’t miss out at Gwanjang is eating “live” octopuses, a dish also known as Sannakji. Place your order at any stall and the Ahjumma will pick up a small octopus from a tank and proceed to violently chop it up to pieces, before dousing it in sesame oil, spring onions, and a side of gochujang (spicy pepper paste). The dish is served to you still wriggling and you can enjoy the strange sensation of your food moving in your mouth. That aside, it’s a fragrant and delicious snack that I’m glad I got to try!

Cost: ₩15,000 (~S$17.55)
Opening Hours: 9AM – 6PM
Address: 88, Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03195, South Korea
From Subway: Line 1 Jongno 5-ga Station, Exit 7/8

Gyeongbokgong & Anguk

18) Tosokchon Samgyetang (토속촌 삼계탕)

tosokchon-seoul-food

Tosokchon Samgyetang arguably the best ginseng chicken in Seoul and the fact that it’s near Gyeongbokgung Palace makes it both a popular tourist stop and a local favourite. Even if you’re not into ginseng, this dish will change your mind. Think hot ginseng chicken broth, with a whole succulent chicken (choose between black or white) stuffed with glutinous rice, dates, gingko nuts and whole ginseng. The result is a hearty and rich dish that warms the body and soul. The queue can get rather long but it also moves quite fast so there isn’t much waiting time!

Cost: ₩15,000 – ₩28,000 (~S$17.55 – S$32.77)
Opening Hours: 10AM – 10PM
Address: 5, Jahamun-ro 5-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03041, South Korea
From Subway: Line 3 Gyeongbokgong Station, Exit 2, 2-min walk

Pro-tip: Pour the complimentary Ginseng wine into the soup for an extra kick to your broth!

19) Egg Drop (에그드랍)

egg-drop-Seoul-food-guide

Koreans do love their bread because Egg Drop is just as highly raved about as Isaac toast — and very Instagram-able as well! Think french brioche toast stuffed with creamy scrambled eggs, grilled bacon, cheese and avocados, and wrapped in aesthetic, minimalistic packaging. It’s practically an edible photo prop! If you’re one for savoury toasts, make sure to check this place out.

Cost: ₩2,900 – ₩4,600 (~S$3.39 – S$5.38)
Opening Hours: 11AM – 9PM
Address: 83-2, Hwa-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul (Samcheong Branch)
From Subway: Line 3 Anguk Station, Exit 2, 9-min walk

20) Osegye Hyang (Vegan) (오세계향)

ohsegyehyang-seoul-food-guide

I’m not usually one for vegan food but Osegye Hyang had so many good reviews online we had to give it a try. We got the “vegetarian BBQ” (₩12,000) and “Soy protein cutlet” (₩9,000) which did not disappoint! The bbq dish was as flavourful as real meat and pairs well with the fresh lettuce and garlic. I kid you not, the soy protein cutlet tasted exactly like pork cutlet! The restaurant also had an overall cosy and pleasant vibe to it and can get quite crowded during lunchtime!

Cost: ₩10,000 – ₩16,000 (~S$11.70 – S$18.72)
Opening Hours: 11:30AM – 9PM (Closed from 4PM – 5PM on Weekends)
Address: 14-5, Insadong 12-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul 03146, South Korea
From Subway: Line 3 Anguk Station, Exit 6, 3-min walk

Jongno 3-ga (Ikseon-dong)

21) Ikseondong Ssal Sanghoe (익선동 쌀 상회)

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Image: herenow.city

Hotteok is a hot-favourite Korean snack which is essentially a fried dough bread stuffed with honey, peanut butter, or a sweet mixture. Unlike normal hotteoks, Ssal Sanghoe’s are chewier than usual and can be served in savoury options like pizza, japchae, grilled beef, etc! Pick them up as a snack while exploring the hipster area of Ikseon-dong

Cost: ₩1,500 – ₩2,000 (~S$1.75 – S$2.34)
Opening Hours: 12PM – 8PM
Address: 30, Donui-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
From Subway: Line 3  Jongno 3-ga Station, Exit 4, 1-min walk

22) Changhwadang (창화당)

changhwadang-Seoul-food-guide

Changhwadang is a small but popular chain restaurant focused on selling simple and authentic Korean cuisine. Their bestsellers include their Kimchi fried rice (₩8,000) and Mandu sampler platter (₩10,000). The sampler platter has a good selection of stir-fried, golden brown kimchi, prawn, beef, capsicum, pork and even truffle! Definitely a must-try.

Cost: ₩4,000 – ₩10,000 (~S$4.68 – S$11.70)
Opening Hours: 11:30AM – 9PM
Address: 23 Supyo-ro 28-gil, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
From Subway: Line 3 Jongno 3-ga Station, Exit 4, 5-min walk

23) DongBaek Bakery soufflé pancakes (동백양과점)

dongbaek-souffle-Seoul-food-guide

Just looking at the fluffy soft goodness that is a pancake makes my mouth water again for DongBaek Bakery soufflé pancakes. This bakery tucked away in the quaint hipster streets of Ikseon-dong is famous for their souffle pancakes. The pancakes tasted like indulgent, creamy, light clouds — and looks like one too. The strawberry pancakes at ₩23,000 come pretty pricey but is the hot seller and worth the splurge. Add on the aesthetic 1960s interior and specially crafted drinks like Coconut butter coffee, it’s an experience you can’t miss!

Cost: ₩23,000 – ₩30,000 (~S$26.91 – S$35.11)
Opening Hours: 10AM – 11PM
Address: 166-73 Ikseon-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
From Subway: Line 3 Jongno 3-ga Station, Exit 4, 5-min walk

Essentials For Getting Around Seoul

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T-money Card

The eateries listed here are all located near the metro stations so the best and most economical way of getting around is with a T-money card. Other than public transports, the reloadable card can also be used in convenience stores and some vending machines.

We ordered our T-money card from Klook which comes in the option of being pre-loaded with ₩5,000 or ₩10,000 and can be collected from Incheon airport once you land.

4G SIM Card

While Seoul has free public WiFi in many areas, it’s not something you should rely on, especially when finding your way around. We pre-ordered this 5GB data SIM card and it was delivered to our doorstep in Singapore. Upon landing, we were automatically connected to 4G and worked seamlessly throughout our time in Korea.

Airport Transfer

The fastest and cheapest option is to take AREX Incheon Airport Express Train which takes you between Incheon Airport and Seoul Station for ₩9,000. You can preorder a one-way ticket on Klook for S$6.60 (promo rate) and collect it from the station just before you board. Tickets are open dated but you can only collect the ticket on the same day of usage.

airport-transfer-seoul-food-guide

For more convenience, there’s also private airport transfers that cost ~S$23/pax when shared amongst four. This is extra useful for those who end up with more luggages than what you came with! 🛍️

Naver Map

Naver Map is Korea’s version of Google Maps — but better when you’re in Korea. It plans the most effective route to your destinations for you. With the Naver map, it’s easy to navigate around Korea! (iOS / Android).

A Hungry Stomach

If you’re going to go to the land of Mukbangs, KBBQ, and Fried Chicken, then you’re gonna have to bring along a hungry stomach to try everything this food paradise has to offer 😉

Check Flights to Seoul

The Incheon International Airport serves many major international airlines you can fly with. Check flight prices with this nifty widget:


If you can’t see the widget above, click here to check flights from Singapore to Seoul instead.

Anything we missed out in our Seoul Food Guide? Let us know in the comments!


This post was brought to you by Klook.

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