Where local chefs eat in Seoul

Dec 13, 2017

First-time visitors to the vibrant, exhilarating city of Seoul can find the fast-paced capital of South Korea daunting yet highly addictive. Keeping up with the locals definitely needs to be fuelled by good food.

To help make your trip to Seoul deliciously simple – and simply delicious – we’ve asked seven well-known chefs from the capital to share their favourite food spots. Cheap-and-cheerful to worth-every-cent-expensive, there really is no excuse not to eat well when visiting Seoul en route to the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

Chef Mingoo Kang

From: Restaurant Mingles



Favourite restaurant: Louis Cinq (33, Seolleung-ro 157-gil, Gangnam-gu). An intimate and cosy bistro pub with French flair serving hearty dishes such as poached eggs with jamon, and onion soup.

“The concept is casual but the food is really tasty and goes really well with their wine selection. I recommend the terrine.”

Lunch pick: Hadongkwan (12, Myeongdong 9-gil, Jung-gu). A 70-year-old restaurant in Myeong-dong, Jongno-gu that first opened in the 1930s, it serves two delicious items: gomtang (beef bone soup) and suyuk (boiled beef) with two side dishes of radish kimchi and kimchi.

“It’s the best beef soup place in Korea.”

Food shopping: Gyeong-dong Market (147, Wangsan-ro, Dongdaemun-gu)

“At Gyeong-dong Market are the best seasonal local products you can find.”

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Chef Bongsu Kim

From: Korean Bistro 21st Century Seoul (255-42, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu)

chef bongsu kim


Favourite restaurant: Jungsik

“Jungsik is the first Korean restaurant to be listed in the Michelin Guide – two stars in the New York edition. [Jungsik has one star in the inaugural Michelin Guide for Seoul.] It serves a unique form of contemporary cooking; I worked there and have good memories. If you want something more local, try Table for Four in Taean (11 Sapyung-daero 14-gil, Seocho-gu).”