best restaurants in seoul the city center

Best Restaurants in Seoul City Center, Jung-gu & Jongno-gu

When in another country, trying that country’s food is a must. Through the delicious local foods, we hope that you will experience Korean culture and make unforgettable memories. The popular restaurants introduced below were on various TV programs, like Baek Jong Won’s Three Great Kings. These best Korean restaurants in Seoul city center have been in business for a long time so most of them are small and hard to find. Thus, make sure you have the Naver Map app downloaded before you go that works better than Google Maps in Korea.

Best Korean Restaurants in Seoul City Center, Jung-gu & Jongno-gu

Jongno Spicy Pork : 종로불돼지

This small authentic Korean BBQ restaurant is highly favored by locals. You can see many of the restaurant’s owner’s photos with famous Kpop stars.  We recommend trying the thick garlic bee house 5layered pork belly first. After, try the restaurant’s signature dish the fire pork belly. It is marinated with spicy red pepper paste sauce and grilled on briquette fire, which adds an extra smoky taste. You can find this restaurant 5 minutes from the Jonggak Station exit number 4.

Wonjowon Halmae Somunnan Chicken Hanmari : 원할매소문난닭한마리

Dakhanmari is a dish that is eaten in a large pot with broth, chicken, noodles, rice cake, mushrooms, vegetables, and potatoes. There are several other chicken restaurants in this alley, but this place has been loved for more than 30 years. It is located at the local market so you can experience other traditional Korean foods here. There are also Chinese, Japanese menus, and you can also walk down to Jongno 5-ga or Dongdaemun Station from here.

Euljiyuk Branch : 을지육점

This restaurant specializes in pork specialties and matured meat. A place we strongly recommend if you want to experience a different taste from the normal Korean barbeque. There is white pork belly, gold pork belly, temple pork belly, and also red pepper paste pork belly. You can walk down from Euljiro 3-ga station and stop by a hidden trendy bar nearby after the meal and enjoy the Seoul nightlife! 

  • Address: 48-17 Supyo-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul | 서울특별시 중구 수표로 48-17
  • Open hours: 
    • Mon.-Fri. 11:00 – 22:00 | Break time 14:00 – 17:00 
    • Sat. 17:00 – 22:00 
    • Sun. Closed
  • Phone: 02-2269-3398

Samcheongdong Sujebi : 삼청동수제비 

This popular Korean restaurant is listed in the Michelin guide 2020. Their signature menu is sujebi which is hand-pulled dough soup, and also jeon, which is Korean style pancake. We also recommend Korean traditional alcohol, Makgeolli, as it’s the perfect combination to these foods.

Pyeongando Pig’s Feet | 평안도족발집 

Jangchung-dong is a famous alley known for jokbal (pig hocks)! There are many jokbal restaurants there, but amongst them, we recommend Pyeongan-do Jokbal restaurant. It was also recommended by several TV programs with the best quality. Other countries do not eat this part of the pig but after one taste you’ll see why it’s Korea’s representative late-night food.

Seorin Octopus : 서린낙지

Seorin Octopus is the perfect place to try Korean spicy stir fried octopus. Their signature menu is octopus stir fried with scallions, vegetables, and other popular menu is sausage with bean sprouts and vegetables that are fired pan. Many Korean people order 2 sides and grill them both on the fired pan. Lastly, do as the locals do and add rice to make spicy stir fried octopus rice! You won’t regret once you try it!

  • Address: 19 Jong-ro Jongno-gu Seoul | 서울특별시 종로구 종로19
  • Open hours: 11:30 – 22:30  | The second Sunday Closed
  • Phone: 02-735-0670

Honam Restaurant : 호남식당

Honam restaurant is a hidden Korean barbeque house. It has a shabby exterior but this restaurant is a jewel that locals love. Unlike typical galbi, which is grilled over charcoal, the meat here is cooked over slowly boiled water. Not to mention, they have various side dishes and ssam! Or vegetables used to wrap the meat in. Make sure you eat the unforgettable iron plate fried rice made by the restaurant’s owner.

Jungnimjang Ox Bone Soup : 중림장설렁탕 

This restaurant only sells ox tail bone soup and boiled meat. It is one of the five most popular ox tail bone soup restaurants in Seoul. Plus, it is especially popular with the ox tail bone soup manias. If you want a deep and savory taste, visit this restaurant for a hearty and healthy meal. You can walk from Chungjeongno Station but make sure you don’t get lost because the entrance is hard to find.

  • Address: 459-1 Cheongpa-ro Jung-gu Seoul | 서울특별시 중구청파로 459-1
  • Open hours: 
    • Mon. – Fri. 08:00 – 22:00 | Break time 15:30 – 17:00 
    • Sat. – Sun. 08:00 – 21:00 
  • Phone: 02-392-7743

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