Blog, Korean Eats, Restaurant Reviews, The Best of Seoul

Hanuso: Abalone Bibimbap


During spring I am always on the search for fresh, crispy and nourishing bibimbap. Hanuso uses top quality ingredients to create dishes that will please the epicurean in you. Their Yukhwae (raw beef) bibmbap has fresh sprouts, various lettuces, julienned carrots and pears and more. With this you get clear beef soup, Korean vegetable side dishes and a steaming bowl of hot rice. All combined, it becomes a nourishing meal that feels like a bowl of sunshine and spring rain. Pictured here this is some abalone bibimbap. Although the abalone is fresh, it is a bit chewy. For those that love fresh abalone, this is quite excellent. I would say that Hanuso has some of the best bibimbap in the city because the ingredients are very fresh. It’s more like a salad with a side of rice than a heavy bibimbap. I would recommend you make a stop there.

Jongno-gu Nakwon-dong 272
Hours: 11am-10pm
Price: 8,000 won-18,000 won

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Central Seoul 2, Non-Korean Eats, Restaurant Reviews, The Best of Seoul

Review: Pizzaria D’Buzza





Pizzaria D’Buzza makes a dang good pie. Now I can’t say it is the best I have ever had, but they make a very satisfying pie. I think the crust could be a bit crispier. The toppings are good and so is the marinara sauce.

I also got the bitz (or something like that) which are little rice balls. The one we had ha cheese inside and topped with Parmesan cheese and truffle oil.

The balls were ok, nothing special. I did appreciate that had something unique on the menu though.

The atmosphere is quaint yet loud. They insist on pumping out loud techno music while you dine in a dimly lit romantic atmosphere.

Overall, the food is good and I would go again. However, I am still looking for my perfect pizza pie. This one is close though.


Pizzaria D’Buzza
3-stars (good sauce and toppings, crust could have been a bit crispier. Loud techno is annoying.)
743-33 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (서울특별시용산구 한남동 743-33); +82 2 794 9474;
open daily, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; closed 3 p.m.-5:30 p.m. on weekdays.

Central Seoul, Korean Eats, Restaurant Reviews, The Best of Seoul

Fine Cuisine at Min’s Club

Min’s Club in Insadong
Salmon Gravlax at Min’s Club

Min’s Club is a historical house that used to be the home of nobles. Built in the 1930 it has a Korean traditional exterior but with a modern interior. The space has higher ceilings and larger rooms than most regular Korean houses so it is a comfortable place to have a meal. The rooms are cosy. The wood framing is easily seen from the inside. The place is well lit as well with numerous windows around each room. The must have been a bit drafty because the windows are covered with unobtrusive clear plastic.

As traditional as this place looks, they serve contemporary European food with Korean flair. Here you can get Salmon gravlax with a bit of dill cream or a bed of acorn and mung bean jellies with seasoned beef and salad, they have neobiani (a marinated Korean beef) as well; but here it is on a single plate accompanied by a dollop of mashed potatoes and a ray of deodeok (bellflower roots). The main dish comes with a side of rice and white pickled cabbage (for Koreans believe that rice is the main part of the meal and if you have rice, you must have kimchi).

The food is prepared conservatively well. Each dish is flavorful and showcases the ingredients and the skill of the chef. The chef doesn’t go out of the way to make his meal gaudy or loud. Here the meal is secondary to the architecture and the conversations that people have.

I had the duck confit which was deboned from the leg. The skin was wrapped carefully around the savory meat. Interesting concept, but I think I would have liked to meat on the bone (but I understand he might have done this for his usual Korean clients). The rice pilaf was nice and buttery and the spinach was delicately blanched. The bean jelly dish was delicious with the silky starch jellies under savory nibs of beef and topped with a greens. For dessert I had the raspberry cheesecake. This, although beautiful to look at was too frozen to eat initially. After giving it several minutes rest it was quite good. The chef is respectful of the history of the house. After dining, the chef greeted us with a half of a soft persimmon. The fruit was ripe and subtle in flavor and texture. The chef told  It was a wonderful finish for the meal.

Overall, my meal had more hits than misses and the environment is beautiful for hosting guests, having meetings, and for dates.

Min’s Club

Jongno-gu Gyeongun-dong 66-7



Mung Bean and Acorn Jelly topped with beef and greens
Duck Confit
Raspberry Cheesecake
The Chef
Lunch Menu
Lunch Menu

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Korean Eats, Restaurant Reviews, The Best of Seoul

Love Korea Food? Visit These Food Towns & Streets in Seoul!

(Click images for sources)

Stop by seoulistic.com for more Korea travel tips!

Seoul is home to a number of food towns and streets, clusters of specific types of Korean foods all found in one specific place. If you’re a fan of Korean foods, be sure to check out these awesome food towns in Seoul!

Note: Most of these dishes (besides galbi) will cost approximately less than 10,000 won a person (that is if you take it easy on the alcohol! ;) ).


Where to Eat Tteokbokki in Seoul: Tteokbokki Town in Sindang

Tteokbokki (떡볶이): spicy rice cakes (Korean street food)

Tteokbokki (spicy rice cake) is Korea’s representative street food. And although Korean street food is quite popular with tourists, it’s also a local favorite for Koreans. And that’s why there’s a tteokbokki town in Sindang-dong. Sindang’s Tteokbokki Town has represented street food in Korea since the 90′s. The tteokbokki restaurants here are famous for a so-called “secret recipe.” But even if it is just a marketing ploy, at the least you can get tteokbokki made fresh with each order right at your table instead of just getting a scoop of premade tteokbokki from a food truck in Seoul. Also, there are uber delicious extras you can add to your order of tteokbokki (i.e. eggs, ramyeon noodles, dumplings, etc.). And with over 15 tteokbokki restaurants to choose from, this is the place to go if you’re wondering where to eat tteokbokki in Seoul!

See reviews here: yeinjee.com, Korea Tourism Organization, rlarud001 (video)
How to get here by Subway: Get out of exit 8 of Sindang Station (신당역), line 2, line 6, and immediately turn left. Go straight approximately 5 minutes.


Where to Eat Naengmyun in Seoul: Ojang-dong

Naengmyun (냉면): cold buckwheat noodles (also spelled naengmyeon)

If you’re looking for famous naengmyun restaurants in Seoul, head over to Ojang-dong. Naengmyun is a North Korean dish that originated in North Korea, and when the Korean War ended, a few smart North Koreans were able to sneak in their North Korean naengmyun recipes to Seoul, and for whatever reason, a number of them gathered at Ojang-dong, Seoul. This naengmyun street has both varieties of delicious Korean cold noodles: the cold broth variety, mul naengmyun (물냉면) and the spicy, broth-less variety, bibim naengmyun (비빔냉면). The restaurants here can get pretty crowded (especially during summer months), so plan on waiting on line and also getting up right after your meal.

See reviews here: seouleatsdiscoveringkorea (video)10mag (see #10 & #5), eekim.com,
How to get here by Subway: Leave exit 8 of Euljiro 4-ga Station (을지로 4-가역), line 2, line 5, and go straight till the next light. Make left at the light and go straight for naengmyeon street.


Where to Eat Galbi or Samgyupsal in Seoul: Majang Korean BBQ Street

Galbi (갈비): Korean style bbq (beef)
Samgyupsal (삼겹살): Korean style bbq (pork)

This might be the number 1 place to go if you’re wondering where to eat galbi or samgyupsal in Seoul. Majang Meat Market has tons of butcher shops selling the freshest meat in Seoul. These butcher shops supply many of the galbi restaurants in Seoul. But right next to the butcher shops, you can head over a little bit away to find a Seoul mecca for Korean galbi restaurants. When you head over there, be prepared to deal with pushy ajummas and ajeoshis that will be vying for your business. But that may not even be a bad thing; some will offer free drinks or food as “service” for your business. Some places will even let you bring meat you buy at the butcher shops and eat it at their restaurant (with a service fee, of course). Why go to any other galbi restaurant in Seoul when the meat comes straight from here anyway? It’s cheaper and fresher. Double whammy!

See reviews here: 10mag, visitseoul.net
How to get here by Subway: [Warning, approximately 15 minute walk - taxi may be appropriate for some] Exit 2 of Majang Station. Walk straight (past the gas station) until you see an overpass (do not go under the overpass). Make a left before the overpass and walk past the school and all the apartment buildings. Food street will show after the apartment complex.


Where to Eat Sundae in Seoul: Sundae Town in Sillim

Sundae (순대): blood sausage (Korean street food)

Another Korean street food favorite for foreigners and Koreans alike is sundae (blood sausage). On any given night you can see hordes of people eating sundae at truck stands across Korea. But don’t waste your energy looking for the best sundae in Seoul, just make your way over to Sillim-dong’s Sundae Town. This sundae town is actually located in buildings filled to the brim with sundae restaurants. Here you can get the standard sundae, or you can also get sundae varieties such as sundae soup (순대국/sundaeguk) or Sundae Town’s specialty, white sundae (백순대/baeksundae), which is sundae stir fried with noodles, vegetables, and other ingredients. Don’t forget to kick back a few shots of soju along with your sundae to eat like an ajoeshi!

See reviews here: 10mag, visitseoul.netROK On (video)
How to get here by Subway: Leave exit 3 of Sillim Station (신림역), line 2, and make the 2nd right (small alleyway). Go straight and Sundae Town is on your right.


Jokbal, Jeon & Twigim Street in Gongdeok

Jokbal (족발): pigs feet (aka trotter)

Jokbal (pigs feet) is wildly popular in Korea. And if you want to eat jokbal like a local Korean, head over to jokbal street in Gongdeok. Practically unheard of by foreigners, go to this place if you want an ultra local Korean feel. Although there are only a few restaurants to choose from, these are some of the most famous jokbal restaurants in Seoul. They’ve been around for decades, and that equates to getting served by a few rough-around-the-edges ajummas that serve some awesome jokbal. But more than going for the local feel or the ajummas with character, one of the main attractions of this popular jokbal street is the awesome serving portions of… all you can eat! Although not all of these jokbal restaurants will offer this, there are a number of restaurants that do. Sweet! Now you can eat pig feet like… a pig! :X

Think pigs feet is gross? Read Seoulistic.com’s list of 5 Crazy, Weird, Bizzare Korean Foods for the Brave!

Tip: Many of these restaurants will offer a free serving of sundae soup (순대국/sundaeguk) with any order of jokbal.

Jeon (전) aka bindaetteok (빈대떡): Korean style pancake
Twigim (튀김): fried snacks (Korean street food)

If you’re looking for places to eat jeon in Seoul, head a few stores down from the jokbal (pigs feet) restaurants. There you’ll find a number of famous restaurants that serve jeon (Korean pancake) and twigim (fried snacks). On a busy night, you’ll most definitely have to wait in line to get some of their delicious jeon and twigim. But that might be because these foods are perfect to pick at while kicking back a few drinks and talking smack about the ex. But before you pick at your food, you also get to pick out your own food as well. When it’s your turn to be seated, grab a basket and start picking all the jeon and twigim you want. Hand the basket to the ajumma and receive your fried goods minutes later!

See reviews here: gogimandu.com, seoulselection
How to get here by Subway: Leave exit 5 of Gongdeok Station (공덕역), line 5, line 6, AREX and go straight. Jokbal restaurants will appear first, and the jeon restaurants a few meters down.


Jjukkumi Street in Cheonho-dong

Jjukkumi (쭈꾸미): baby octopus in spicy sauce

Jjukkumi is a Korean food that is unfamiliar to many non-Koreans who have never been t0 Korea. But be careful. Have jjukkumi once, and it can quickly turn into one of your favorite Korean dishes. That is… if you like spicy Korean food! Jjukkumi is baby octopus (actually a small species of octopus) stir-fried in a spicy Korean gochuhang (red pepper paste) sauce. The ultra red color of this dish should be warning enough of how spicy this food can be. But many Korean ajoeshis like to wash the spice with a shot of soju. And there’s no place better to get red faced from alcohol and spicy Korean food than Cheonho-dong. If you do end up going here, don’t forget to eat jjukkumi like a Cheongo-dong local, by getting fried rice in your left over jjukkumi. Also, this is spicy for local Koreans as well, so do as they do and cool down your mouth with gyeranjjim (계란찜/steamed eggs) or kulpis (쿨피스), a fruit drink. Oh yea, and feel lucky… you just read this entire post and became an insider Seoulite! ;)

See reviews/food porn here (only Korean available): Korean Blogger 1, Korean Blogger 2
How to get here by Subway: Leave exit 6 of Cheonho Station (천호역), line 5, line 8, and go straight approximately 5 minutes and make the first right (don’t veer after getting out of the station). After making the right, take the fork to the left.


Which food town/street are you going to? :D

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Remember to stop by seoulistic.com for more Korea travel tips!

Korean Eats, Restaurant Reviews, The Best of Seoul

10 of Seoul’s Most Famous and Popular Galbi Restaurants

I am happy to announce that Keith Kim of Seoulistic has decided to join Seoul Eats and he has given permission to link over some of the articles he has written. Follow him at http://seoulistic.com/

Thanks Keith,


Galbi restaurants in Korea are on nearly every block — there’s always someplace for Korean BBQ lovers. It’s hard to choose, so why not go with the crowd. Check out some of Seoul’s most famous and popular galbi restaurants according to Korean bloggers. You might have to wait on a few lines, but that just reaffirms you’re eating at some of the best galbi restaurants in Seoul!
(Click pictures for sources)


Mapo Sutbul Galbi (마포숯불갈비) in Nonhyun-dong (논현동)

This 24-hour galbi restaurant, located in the ever so trendy Nonhyun area (near Apgujeong), is a favorite for Korean drama or movie superstars. Tables are commonly reserved for celebrations by Korean drama or movie crews after they successfully complete their projects. Walls are plastered with pictures of Korean celebrities that have partaken in this restaurants famous galbi offerings. Come and try their specialty, 왕생갈비 (wang-seng-galbi), which goes for 30,000 won a person. They have close to 250 seats, and things can get a bit hectic in there. But with some of the best galbi in Seoul and Korean celebrities galore, who wouldn’t want to eat there? ;)

Open: 24 hours
Phone number: 02-516-1522
Address: 서울시 강남구 논현동 62-6
(Seoul, Gangnam-gu, Nonhyeon-dong 62-6)
Closest subway station: 압구정역 (Apgujeong Station – line number 3)
Click for maps: NaverGoogle
Click for pictures via KoreanBlogger1KoreanBlogger2


Sutbul Mapo Galbi (숯불마포갈비) near Shincheon Station (신천역)

Another restaurant that takes the Mapo Sutbul moniker, this restaurant is famous for its marinated galbi (양념갈비), both beef and pork versions. What makes this Korean galbi restaurant different is the special marinade they use. Rather than using the typical seasonings of other Korean galbi recipes, they add plums in the marinade to utilize their natural sweetness. If the 26,000 won for 1 serving of marinated beef galbi is too rich for your blood, you can still taste this famous galbi marinade recipe for the cheaper pork version (13,000 won).

Open: 4PM – 2PM
Phone number: 02-3431-9411
Address: 서울시 송파구 잠실동 188-11
(Seoul, Songpa-gu, Jamsil-dong 188-11)
Closest subway station:  신천역 (Shincheon Station – line number 2)
Click for maps:  NaverGoogle
Click for pictures via KoreanBlogger1Korean Blogger 2Korean Blogger3

Tip: Be careful not to go to 신촌역 (Shinchon Station), which is also on line number 2, but all the way on the other side of town.


WooSung Galbi (우성갈비) in Yaksu-dong (약수동)

This galbi restaurant is situated right in the middle of Yaksu Market (약수시장). Some might call it ghetto, but others might say it’s a very old school Korean experience (plastic chairs, no interior design, crowded, etc.). But its simplicity is also part of its success. There are only two items on the menu: pork galbi (돼지갈비) and pork rinds (껍데기). Even with the limited offerings, if you check out the Korean blogosphere, you’ll see that Korean bloggers love this place. And for 12,000 won for each serving, you can too ;)

Open: 2PM – 2AM
Phone number: 02-2231-6722
Address: 서울시 중구 신당3동 372-40
(Seoul, Jung-gu, Shindang3-dong 372-40)
Closest subway station: 약수역 (Yaksu Station – line number 3 and 6)
Click for maps: WingspoonGoogle
Click for pictures via Korean Blogger 1Korean Blogger 2Korean Blogger 3


Seochomyeonok (서초면옥) in Seocho-dong (서초동)

If you know what galbi jjim (갈비찜) is, chances are you’ve seen this again in your dreams. And you’ll most definitely want to head over to Seochomyeonok, one of the most widely regarded galbi jjim restaurants in Seoul, for this heavenly galbi variation. The heaping portions are one of the keys to take away from this galbi jjim restaurant in Seoul. People say the galbi jjim here is not too sweet with just the right amount of kick from the peppers. When you’re done top off your meal by asking the staff to fry some rice in the left over marinade (see language tip below). Smallest galbi jjim servings start at 35,000 won.

Open: 10:30AM – 10PM
Phone number: 02-522-1422
Address: 서울시 서초구 서초동 1557-7
(Seoul, Seocho-gu, Seocho-dong 1557-7)
Closest subway stations: 서초역/교대역 (Seocho Station Gyodae Station – lines number 2 and 3)
Click for maps: WingspoonGoogle
Click for pictures via Korean Blogger 1Korean Blogger 2


Gangnammyeonok (강남면옥) in Shinsa-dong (신사동)

Gangnammyeonok is the other restaurant in this two-horse race for best galbi jjim restaurant in Seoul. With any order of galbi jjim (갈비 찜) you’ll get a bowl of galbi tang soup (갈비탕 국물) for free, a nice warm up for the main course. But galbi jjim is what you’re here for. Korean bloggers claim that the secret is the sesame oil in this galbi jjim recipe, which all amalgamates to a little-salty, little-sweet, semi-spicy, fall-off-the-bone galbi jjim other restaurants owners can only hope to make. Smallest galbi jjim servings start at 35,000 won.

Open: 9AM – 10PM
Phone number: 02-3446-5539
Address: 서울시 강남구 신사동 588-9
(Seoul, Gangnam-gu, Shinsa-dong 588-9)
Closest subway stations: 압구정역 (Apgujeong Station – line number 3)
Click for maps: Wingspoon
Click for pictures via Korean Blogger 1Korean Blogger 2


Granny’s Bossam and Spicy Galbi Jjim (할매 보쌈과 매운갈비찜) in Yeongdeungpo (영등포)

This popular restaurant is found in Yeongdeungpo’s restaurant alley. It may be a little more difficult to find, but this spicy  galbijjim variant (매운갈비찜) is well worth the trip. It has all the sweet taste of galbi but with a bit of butt kicking spices. And who wouldn’t want butt kicking spices from a Korean grandmother? Ok, maybe it’s not an actual grandmother that’s cooking you the food, but it’s still another great galbi jjim restaurant in Seoul that you should try out. Prices start at 30,000 won.

Open: 3PM – 2AM
Phone number: 02-836-2353
Address: 서울시 영등포구 영등포동 3가 12-16
(Seoul, Yeongdeungpo-gu, yeongdeungpo-dong 3-ga 12-16)
Closest subway stations: 영등포역 (Yeongdeungpo Station – line number 1)
Click for maps: Naver
Click for pictures via Korean Blogger 1Korean Blogger 2


All You Can Eat Galbi at New Seoul Restaurant (새서울식당) by Nowon Station (노원역)

Don’t categorize this with other all you can eat restaurants in Korea. The quality of the food here is well above par. Although your only choice for all you can eat is the pork galbi (돼지 갈비), you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find the quality and flavor of the goods are a mismatch for the ridiculously cheap price (9,900 won). You’ll find another price mismatch with the more costly (and better!) charcoal fires, which typical all you can eat galbi restaurants don’t offer.

Open: 2:30AM – 11PM
Phone number: 02-939-3343
Address: 서울시 노원구 상계동 726-1 2층
(Seoul, Nowon-gu, Sanggye-dong 726-1, 2nd floor)
Closest subway stations: 노원역 (Nowon Station – line numbers 4 and 7)
Click for maps: Naver
Click for pictures via Korean Blogger 1Korean Blogger 2Korean Blogger 3

Tip: Might be kind of hard to find. This blogger says get out of exit 5, take two immediate lefts, and the building will be on your right.


High-end Galbi at Byeokje Galbi (벽제갈비) in Seoraemaul (서래마을)

If you’re a fan of fine dining or got a special occasion coming up, head over to Byeokje Galbi. This highly recommended, fine dining galbi restaurant in Seoul has some of the best galbi in town, literally. They only use high-end Korean beef (aka hanwoo) for all their dishes. Galbi BBQ dishes start at 30,000 won for bulgogi (불고기) and go upwards of 75,000 won for Beef Galbi (생갈비). Not getting paid enough to roll with the big boys? Regular joes can come eat other galbi-based dishes (i.e. galbi tang, gom tang, naengmyun, etc.) at prices starting from 9,000 won.

Open: 11:00AM – 10PM
Phone number: 02-415-5522
Address: 서울시 송파구 방이동 205-8
(Seoul, Songpa-gu, Bangi-dong 205-8)
Closest subway stations: 방이역 (Bangi Station – line number 5)
Click for maps: WingspoonGoogle
Click for pictures via Korean Blogger 1Korean Blogger 2


Pork Rib Galbi Specialists at Buam Galbi (부암갈비) in Incheon (인천)

The lone Seoul suburb galbi restaurant to make our list is Buam Galbi, masters of pork rib galbi. They boast an impressive 30 year history of making their galbi taste like boom boom in your mouth. The interior is the standard metal round tables with fire pits, so it’s not the most impressive place to go out on a date in Korea. But at the reasonable price of 14,000 won per serving, it’s a great place to drink some soju with your drinking buddies.

Open: 12PM to 12AM (closed on Tuesdays)
Phone number: 032-425-5538
Address: 이천시 남동구 간석2동130-12
(Incheon-shi, Namdong-gu, Ganseok2-dong 130-12)
Closest subway stations: 간석오거리역 (Ganseok Ogeori Station – Incheon subway line number 1)
Click for maps: WingspoonGoogle
Click for pictures via Korean Blogger 1Korean Blogger 2

Tip: Line number 1 and Incheon subway line number 1 are two different lines.


Old School Seoul Bulgogi (옛맛서울불고기) in Mapo (마포)

Although this Seoul Bulgogi restaurant is known for its bulgogi, it’s famous for another galbi variation. This restaurant is popular because it’s known to serve some of the best galbi tang in Seoul. Their breakfast menu is fixed to two to three beef-based items, which changes daily. But don’t think you can just walk in and get a quick Korean-style breakfast here. They have a set amount of dishes that they’ll prepare for the day, so you’ll have to call in to reserve your dish.  Get their galbi tang and stay on the lookout for the owner, one of the coolest looking guys to ever grace a cutting board.

Open: 12PM to 2AM
Phone number: 070-4090-9371
Address: 서울시 마포구 상수동 115
(Seoul, Mapo-gu, Sangsu-dong 115)
Closest subway stations: 상수역/광흥창역 (Sangsu Station/Gwangheungchang Station – line number 6)]
Click for maps: Wingspoon
Click for pictures via Korean Blogger 1Korean Blogger 2 (Cheongjeong-dong Branch), Korean Blogger 3 (Suwon Branch)
Branches: Cheongjeong-dong (Naver map), Suwon (run by the owner’s buddy | Naver Map)