The best restaurants in Seoul have earned high praises from tourists and food critics alike for inventive culinary delights and authentic flavours, as well as convenient locations and great ambience. Seoul is the best place in South Korea to sample an extensive array of delicacies that range from fresh seafood, vegetarian dishes, steaks, noodles and rice dishes, as well as fine-dining European and western fare. However, no trip to Seoul is complete without sampling authentic (and spicy!) Korean dishes such as jjajangmyeon noodles, samgyetang (chicken ginseng soup), kimchi (fermented vegetables) and Korean BBQ grilled meat.
From award-winning French restaurants in the heart of Seoul’s trendiest districts to humble eateries nestled within quiet alleyways, our handpicked list of Seoul’s most popular restaurants guarantees a gastronomic feast regardless of your budget level and dining preference.
A fine-dining eatery that’s hidden within a quiet alley in Gangnam, Jungsik Dang offers unique takes on Korean dishes in an intimate setting. Service here is impeccable and unobtrusive, making it a popular venue for romantic dinners. The tasting menu is priced at 150,000 won onwards, where guests 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 Dang’s signature chocolate mousse is a must try. Served up in tiny traditional kimchi pots made from chocolate, the ensemble is beautifully decorated with cake crumbs and edible flowers. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily 12:00 – 15:00 & 17:30 – 22:00
- Address: 83-24, Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
- Tel: +822 517 4654
Also located in Seoul’s trendy Gangnam district, Ryunique presents Korean delicacies with heavy influence from France as well as Japan, Spain and Italy. Furnished with blond wood tables, fresh flowers and plenty of natural light, the award-winning restaurant exudes an unpretentious fine-dining ambience. Its five-course lunch is priced at 38,000 won, while dinner costs 120,000 won, featuring delicacies with contemporary cooking methods and avant-garde presentation. Standouts include soy marinated shrimp (with a side of dried green mustard leaf with fried crosne), shrimp spring roll (served with fresh tomato and smoked ricotta cheese) and roasted pork belly (with sous-vide king shrimp, potato puree, and shrimp soy reduction). Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily 12:00 – 15:00 & 17:30 - 22:30
- Address: 40 Gangnam-daero 162-gil, Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
- Tel: +822 546 9279
La Yeon at The Shilla Seoul offers traditional Korean delicacies in a fine-dining setting. Award-winning chef Kim Sung Il utilises the highest quality local and seasonal ingredients to create an extensive range of haute Korean cuisine. Set on the 23rd floor of The Shilla Seoul, the restaurant overlooks the bustling downtown Seoul while the sophisticated interior features white furnishing and wooden fixtures. La Yeon has four set menus that change according to the season, each consisting of mains, desserts and Korean tea, as well as optional wine pairings. Expect premium ingredients such as chargrilled pork belly, Gaduck Island sea cucumber, braised seasonal fish, Korean beef sirloin, and short-rib soup with abalone. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily 12:00 - 14:30 & 18:00 - 22:00
- Address: The Shilla Seoul, 249, Dongho-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul
- Tel: +82 2 2233 3131
Pierre Gagnaire a Seoul is a top-notch French eatery located on the 35th floor of the luxurious Lotte Hotel Seoul. Offering spectacular views of Bukhan Mountain and downtown Seoul, the restaurant has four stylish dining rooms for more privacy while the main area is fashioned after the Palace of Versailles’ secret garden. Food-wise, Pierre Gagnaire a Seoul serves artistic French cuisine such as sea bass gravlax with celeriac and bean sprouts, pork loin with creamed pear, honey and balsamic vinegar sorbet, as well as liver parfait with cherry jus. The restaurant also houses an impressive collection of 270 French wines from the Bourgogne, Loire, and Alsace regions.
- Opening Hours: Daily 12:00 - 15:00 & 18:00 - 22:00
- Address: 35F, Lotte Hotel Seoul, 1 Sogong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul
- Tel: +822 317 7181
Set behind Deoksugung Palace, Congdu Restaurant serves traditional Korean cuisine that’s adapted to a more modern palate. Finding this eatery can be challenging as there’s no signage; just look out for a traditional Korean building between the US and UK embassies. Available in both set and a la carte menu, Congdu’s food offerings are subtle in flavour with impeccable presentation. Standout dishes include the Jeju Island black pork that’s slow-roasted for 48 hours, barley bibimbap with brown bean paste, corvina (salted whole fish) and raw marinated crab, 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.
- Opening Hours: Daily 11:30 – 22:00
- Address: 116-1, Deoksugung-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
- Tel: +822 722 7002
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. Open daily from evening onwards, the humble-looking restaurant is located at Garosugil Street, a high-end fashion street which is a ten-minute walk from the Apgujeong Station. Best accompanied with a cold beer, Han Chu’s signature fried chicken (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 (15,000 won) and seasoned clams with noodles (18,000 won).
- Opening Hours: Daily 17:00 – 03:00
- Address: 549-9 Shinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu Seoul
- Tel: +822 3446 5778
Set within a ten-minute stroll from Gyeongbokgung Station, Tosokchon is known for its signature samgyetang (chicken ginseng soup), which is a popular dish during the summertime. This restaurant is also hailed as an iconic landmark in Seoul as it was favourite spot of South Korea’s late president, Noh Muh-hyun. Slow-cooked for hours for a sweet and nutty flavour, samgyetang consists of a spring chicken stuffed with chestnuts, garlic, dried jujubes, ginseng, glutinous rice, and gingko nuts. Tosokchon also offers a selection of dishes such as tongdak (roasted chicken), haemul pajeon (green onion pancake with seafood), and agu-jjim (braised spicy monkfish).
- Opening Hours: Daily 10:00 – 22:00
- Address: 85-1 Chaebu-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
- Tel: +822 737 7444
Enjoy a full course dinner with a spectacular view of Seoul at N Grill, a fine-dining rotating restaurant that’s situated at the top of the iconic N Seoul Tower. The ambience here is very exclusive and intimate – perfect for those who looking to splurge on romantic dinners. Helmed by Michelin-starred Chef Duncan Robertson, N Grill offers an extensive wine list and quality French dishes such as marinated lamb cutlets with wilted rocket, cumin infused jus (98,000 won), seabass with courgette and fennel salad (95,000 won) and grilled whole lobster with fresh pasta and a green salad (125,000 won).
- Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 11:00 – 14:00 & 17:00 – 23:00, Saturday & Sunday 11:00 – 23:00
- Address: 1-3 Yongsandong 2(i)ga-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
- Tel: +822 3455 9297
Well-frequented for its succulent grilled meat, Maple Tree House is a Korean BBQ eatery that’s situated behind the Hamilton Hotel in Itaewon. Exuding a wine bar-like ambience, the stylish interior features warm lighting, wooden furnishings, rustic décor, and floor-to-ceiling windows. Serving Korean cuisine such as naengmyeon (cold noodle) and kimchi jjigae as well as an array of grilled beef, pork, and seafood, the restaurant's signature dish is Cheongyeop, which consists of pork grilled over a charcoal fire and wrapped in fermented sesame leaves. Due to its popularity, Maple Tree House has several branches in Seoul, namely in the Samcheong-dong and Dogok-dong districts.
- Opening Hours: Daily 11:30 - 22:00
- Address: 26, Itaewon-ro 27ga-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
- Tel: +822 790 7977
Na Ri Sik Dang is a lively neighbourhood eatery in Itaewon that’s famous amongst the locals due to its inexpensive yet tantalising Korean BBQ offerings. Accessible within a two-minute stroll of the Hangangjin train station, Na Ri Sik Dang is set within an alleyway between an Audi showroom and Trevia Italian Restaurant. Due to its rather hidden locale, its clientele consists mostly of residents of the Itaewon neighbourhood – great if you’ve grown weary of the often overhyped eateries in Seoul. Na Ri Sik Dang is also quite affordable compared to most BBQ restaurants in Seoul – its signature BBQ pork belly is priced at 11,000 won while the bean paste stew costs 7,000 won.
- Opening Hours: Daily 11:30 - 22:00
- Address: 8 Itaewon-ro 49-gil, Seoul
- Tel: +822 793 4860