Cynthia Fernandez(Magazine designer)’s pick
B’mucho Cantina 베무쵸칸티나
This Christmas, try B’mucho Cantina, a great Mexican restaurant located in Yeonnam-dong. A must-try is their signature dish, Enchiladas Verdes de la Casa (chicken corn tortilla tacos covered with a spicy green sauce). I also recommend the Tacos Dorados de Pollo because they taste just the same as the ones I used to eat in Mexico. Moreover, the restaurant also offers some seasonal dishes including some tasty homemade soups this winter. Do try Mexican beverages like Agua de Horchata, Mexican sodas made with real sugar cane and various alcoholic concoctions. The music and interior complete the Mexican experience. Be prepared to wait in line a little because it’s quite popular, but I can honestly say that it’s worth the time and effort.
40, Donggyo-ro 46-gil, Mapo-gu, 02-324-8455
Dylan Goldby(Photographer)’s pick
Mi Casa 미카사
Spanish tapas restaurants seem to pop up everywhere you turn in Seoul these days, offering Paella and mugs of Estrella to wash it down with. None, however, come close to having the variety of quality authentic dishes that Itaewon’s Mi Casa has to offer. Aside from serving the world’s finest Jamon from Joselito and directly imported Manchego cheese, owner Tina Wendel and Chef Manuel Manzano Rodriguez have brought their family traditions and recipes with them when creating Mi Casa’s range of quality tapas. Their goal is simple – to provide the best place to try authentic Spanish cuisine without leaving Korea.
This might sound pricey, but Mi Casa keeps things reasonable with tapas starting at KRW 7,000 and wine by the glass from KRW 9,000. Take a couple of friends, get a bottle of wine for the table and order a few tapas to get your fill of the best that Spain has to offer in Korea. Good-sized portions, friendly service and a great atmosphere mean that you’ll never leave Mi Casa wanting for anything. My personal recommendations include the Gambas al Ajillo and Cabecero Iberico, but you won’t be disappointed no matter what you choose.
Disclosure: Dylan has been photographing Mi Casa’s menu since 2013.
51, Itaewon-ro 27ga-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, 02-790-0063
Cynthia Yoo(Food editor)’s pick
Manu Terrace 마누테라스
It’s a special place you can go for a drink and small bite after work or if you want to do a fabulous meal with friends. There’s something very inviting about the terrace, where you can enjoy tapas with a beer or glass of wine in the cool evening breeze. The dining space is also airy and full of artistic flair. Chef Chanoh Lee is as passionate about art as food and his dramatic pieces line the walls of the dining hall. The food is famous for beautiful plating, and if you’re a fan of sweetbreads, you’re in luck here. Both the lunch and dinner tasting menus are well priced and you can also order à la carte.
13 Hoenamu-ro 13ga-gil, Yongsan-gu, 070-8153-5252
Robert Koehler(Editor-in-chief)’s pick
The Baker’s Table 더베이커스 테이블
I live in the Gyeongnidan area, so I’m lucky in that I don’t have to travel very far for great food. Micha Richter’s German bakery and bistro The Baker’s Table is my regular weekend brunch/breakfast spot. Its delightful breads and cakes are delightful, and the hearty fare on its breakfast and all-day menus are to die for. I like to get there a bit early – say, around 9 or 10 in the morning – so I can enjoy my breakfast before the lunchtime crowd rolls in from Gangnam and elsewhere.
For the Christmas season, The Baker’s Table has prepared several special dishes, including a hearty beef stew with fusilli pasta, Zigeuner Schnitzel with paprika-tomato sauce and potato-leek soup with smoked Vienna sausage. You can wash that down with a soul-warming glühwein. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, pick up a stollen, a German-style fruit bread so dense it might actually generate its own gravitational field.
244-1, Noksapyeong-daero, Yongsan-gu, 070-7717-3501