Apr 3, 2017
In Seoul, addresses are nearly meaningless and Google Maps doesn’t work very well – but that’s part of the charm. Getting lost in Seoul’s neighbourhoods is one of South Korea’s greatest experiences. Admittedly, it can all look the same – but you have to look behind the facades. What seems to be another endless line of barbecue restaurants and cellphone shops can hide a bevy of unique experiences.
About 25 years ago, Itaewon was home mostly to American soldiers. Today it’s all changed. In the alley behind the Hamilton Hotel, medium to high-end restaurants are stacked on top of each other – my favourite is Zelen, a Bulgarian restaurant. For a drink, Sam Ryan’s Sports Bar and Grill is a great old spot, and in the summer, Gaja Changgo (50 Itaewon-ro 27ga-gil, Itaewon-dong), the rooftop above it, provides one of Seoul’s nicest (and most affordable) outdoor experiences. If you’re in search of something to read in the city’s countless cafes, What the Book (above) has the best selection of new and pre-loved English books in Korea.
Around the hill and down from Noksapyeong Station, Gyeongridan is home to Korea’s craft beer revolution – check out Magpie Brewing Co (above) or The Booth Brewing Co. Nearby Haebangchon has plenty of quirky shops and Casablanca Sandwicherie, a Moroccan sandwich shop that has achieved cult status in Korea.