Here are my suggestions for a great food day in Seoul.
Photographs provided by Daniel Gray
St. Patrick’s Day Delight in Itaewon
Lumber Jack Breakfast at Suji’s Restaurant
One of the best things you can get to prepare your stomach for a day of drinking is a hearty breakfast. Suji’s has the Lumber Jack breakfast, which has scrambled eggs, toast, pancakes, bacon, and home fries. You might not be happy for the rest of the day.
FYI> Cost: 14,000 won for the Lumber Jack
GO> [ Map 8 A3]
Lunch Fish and Chips at the Wolfhound
The Wolfhound is one of the most popular Irish pubs in Itaewon—you can always get a cold pint of Guinness or Killians here. They also have great sheperd’s pie and burgers, but my favorite item here is the fish and chips. You’ll get a full portion of fish and fries with plenty of tartar sauce and vinegar for dipping.
The Wolfhound 더 울프하운드 FYI> Cost: 11,000 won for fish and chips
T. 02-749-7971 GO> [ Map 8 C3]
Steak at Sam Ryan’s Pub
Sam Ryan’s Pub, which is right above the famous 3 Alley Pub, has plenty of brews, seating, televisions, and food for those looking to eat, drink, and be merry. Here you’ll get a large sirloin or rib eye with baked potatoes and veggies. It’s a feast.
Sam Ryan’s 샘 라이언스 FYI> Cost: 18,000 won for steak
T. 02-749-7933 GO> [ Map 8 C2]
Dessert More Drinks at Baby Guinness
Baby Guinness in Itaewon is known for their friendly service and cold beers. On St. Patrick’s day, it’s a great place to sing a few Irish tunes and continue drinking till the wee morn.
Baby Guinness 베이비 기네스 FYI> Cost: 5,000 won per drink
T. 02-792-2777 GO> [ Map 8 C2]
An Eclectic Food Crawl in Hongdae
Gamjatang at Songgane Kamjatang
Get a bubbling bowl of potato and pork stew with the taxi drivers at this local hotspot. You’ll get a nice assortment of kimchis and other side dishes as well. If you’re feeling particularly hungry, you can get a side of the poached pork belly (bossam) with raw oysters.
Songgane Kamjatang 송가네 감자탕 FYI> Cost: 6,000 won for individual stew
Hours: Open 24 hours
There are some foods I have dreams about, and the fried shrimp, fried kim-mari, and fried squid at Mimine are some of those things. The crunch is simply awakening. You can also dip your tempura in their saucy tteokbokki.
Mimine 미미네 FYI> Cost: Assorted tempura is 9,500 won
T. 02-3143-7244 GO> [ Map 7 E2]
Odeng Tang and Fried Chicken at Tang
So…there are separate entrances for men and women into this pub restaurant because the theme is a Korean bath house, or mokyoktang. It is complete with tile signing and bathtubs for sitting areas, and they even sell wash cloths, soap, and shampoo. The food is good and the drinks are cold. Service is friendly as well.
On busy nights they even bring in a DJ.
Tang 탕 FYI> Cost: 10,000–15,000 won per person
T. 02-325-8781 GO> [ Map 7 E2]
Fruit Croquettes at Chili Cha Cha
Fruit croquettes are usually savory, but at Chili Cha Cha they do a great fried croquette filled with apples, cinnamon, nuts, and fruits. It’s a deliciously sweet way to end a day of eating. You can even get a Campari and soda or a mojito here if you need a nightcap.
Chili Cha Cha 길모퉁이 칠리차차 FYI> Cost: 3,000 won
T. 02-322-8405 GO> [ Map 7 F2]
Bull and Barrel 불 앤 배럴
This is a dart bar with a wide selection of local and international brews and good pub food. For darts enthusiasts, this is mecca. Their top floor has 4 regulation dart boards with computer scoring. They also have an arcade dart board for amateurs. The beer selection is vast, and you can travel around the world sipping beers. They have burgers and wings, but my favorite dessert was their kimchi chocolate cheesecake. It is tangy, a bit spicy, and has a full chocolate finish. Nice.
FYI> Cost: 8,000 won a person
T. 010-9982-2423 GO> [ Map 8 B3]
Insadong Jukumi 인사동쭈꾸미
Grilled octopus braised in spicy chili sauce is a Korean specialty and one that I recommend everyone try at least once. Down the nooks and narrows of Insa-dong, you’ll find a little Korean traditional house that specializes in this dish. The chopped octopus comes out fresh in a hot pan and the sauce is flavorful. It is a bit spicy, though, so it is not for the weak. To balance out the spice you can add bean sprouts or ask for steamed egg 계란찜 (3,000 won). After you enjoy the dish, you can make fried rice from the leftover sauce. The place is reasonably priced as well. Jukumi is 10,000 won per person and 12,000 won if you want to add pork belly.
FYI> Cost: 8,000 won a person
Open: 11:30am till late
T. 02-720-0608 GO> [ Map 2 C3]
Hongmi Dakbal 홍미닭발
(Sinsa Station area)
This place prides themselves on having the spiciest chicken feet in (possibly) the world. When you bite into the chicken feet the burn will start from your lips, surround the mouth, and then shoot right up to your temples. You’ll sweat profusely and get that euphoric spicy high that only spicy food can give you. You have to keep eating until it becomes too much. They have several different weapons to help cool down your mouth: rice balls, steamed egg, and peach juice. Surprisingly, the peach juice works the best. If you are looking to enter a world of pain, I recommend you give this place a try.
FYI> Cost: 4,000–17,000 won
T. 02-545-2119 GO> [ Map 9 B1]