Seoul Food Trip: Top 5 Restaurants According To Locals

October 20, 2017

Seoul boasts of an amazing array of dining experiences, from its street food to its restaurants. Going on a food trip around Seoul is a dream, but you have to know where exactly to go to taste the truest flavors of the city. The best way to do that? Ask the locals!

Here are just five of the best restaurants loved by locals that you shouldn’t miss on your next vacation to the vibrant city.


Credit: Photos via Hadongkwan

This traditional restaurant has been serving locals with authentic and quality homemade dishes. Hadongkwan was initially located at the back alleys near Cheonggye Stream but had been demolished when the area was undergoing redevelopment. Located to Myeongdong now, they have been there, providing rest and relaxation for anyone needing a break from the bustling shopping mecca.

You can tell that they’re well-loved by generations, both old and new, just by how the restaurant is being herded by their locals and tourists despite offering only two items — suyuk (boiled pork slices) and gomtang (traditional beef bone soup) — consistently since the 1930s.

Hadongkwan’s gomtang is the restaurant’s top dish. It’s served with rice mixed into the soup and a plate of homemade kimchi on the side.

If you’re keen on trying this dish out, you better come even before evening; they tend to run out as early as 3PM!

Address: 12, Myeongdong 9-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday from 7 AM to 4:30 PM
Budget: 60,000 Won


Credit: Photo by Jinho Jung, distributed under a CC BY 2.0 license

Wooraeok is always buzzing with customers from different regions seeking the familiar and impeccable taste of Korean comfort dishes. Contributing to their popularity over the years is their best-selling naengmyon — cold buckwheat noodles. Its flavorful and rich broth is what makes Wooraeok’s own version so superior compared to any other you’ll try around Seoul.

They’re also the oldest restaurant to offer this Korean dish, so you’ll definitely be experiencing the most authentic and traditional version of this savory bowl of noodles.

If you’re longing for protein as well, you may want to order Wooraeok’s yukgaejang – hot spicy meat stew and galbi – grilled short ribs. This diverse menu of the restaurant is what keeps the customer’s tummy filled and happy!

Address: 118-1 Jugyo-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday from 11:30 AM to 10 PM
Budget: 52,000 Won

Gwangjang Market

Your trip to Seoul won’t be complete without a trip to the nation’s first traditional street market, the Gwangjang Market. For over 100 years, this place has been bombarding senses with the scents, sounds and flavors of various Korean dishes.

You can’t leave Gwangjang Market without indulging in a well-known Korean street food, tteokbokki or stir-fried rice cakes in spicy red pepper sauce, which can be found in most stalls. These sticky rice rolls make a pretty good snack and it’s filling as well.

And since you’re already in Gwangjang Market, why don’t you go on a gastronomic adventure and try other essential Korean food like mayak gimbap (rice rolls) and bindaetteok (mung bean pancake)? Make sure to stop at different food stalls and try the wide array of Korean street food. It’s truly the best place to discover Seoul!

Address: 88 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday from 11 AM to 10 PM (food stalls)
Budget: 20,000 Won

Busan Sikdang

Credit: Photo by djteknokid, distributed under CC BY-SA 2.0 license

Busan Sikdang is a household name to Insadong locals. It has once been known to support struggling local artists by accepting their artwork as payment for food served to them.

This restaurant is famous for their simple and comforting Baekban, which literally means a hundred side dishes in Korean, This full meal typically consists of soup or stew and different side dishes with unlimited refill. Order the Saeng Daegu Tang (Spicy Cod stew). The refreshing flavor of this soup is best paired with rice. The restaurant is also known for only serving freshly-cooked rice. They begin to cook the rice after receiving the order, so there’s a wait of about 15-20 minutes. Even with this, it’s definitely worth your time! The meals are satisfying treats after a long and tiring day of sightseeing.

Address: 12, Insadong 11-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday from 11:30 AM to 10 PM
Budget: 14,000 Won


Credit: Photo from Korean Culture and Information Service, distributed under CC BY-SA 2.0 license

When it comes to haejang-guk, a soup made of stewed ox blood, Cheongjinok is the place to be. The restaurant has always been daring locals and tourists alike to indulge in the rich and savory stew.

But don’t lose your appetite without trying it out first. It will definitely surprise you with its subtle sweetness and refreshing flavor, and you won’t be able to compare it with anything else you’ve eaten. It’s also said to instantly alleviate hangovers on the spot. Looks like you know where to head after a long night of partying!

Address: 19 Jong-ru, Jongno-gu Seoul
Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday for 24 hours
Budget: 40,000 Won

Don’t make your dining experience in Seoul be a hit-or-miss. You can definitely expect impressive eats in these restaurants! The best part is that you can definitely make your gastronomic food trip around the city hassle-free and cash-free by just going around with your debit card in your wallet! All of these restaurants accept cards, so you can easily pay for your meals using the newest RCBC MyDebit Mastercard!

Click this link to learn more about what you can do with the RCBC MyDebit Mastercard.

Happy eating!

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