Magpie is one of Seoul’s most popular craft beer houses, started by five friends with a home-brewing hobby that grew by leaps and bounds. As the craft beer scene in Seoul has boomed, Magpie expanded to locations in Hongdae and Jeju Island. They’re constantly experimenting with recipes with a variety of unique imported hops. In addition to their porter and their pale ale (now a classic that is served at bars around Seoul), they offer varieties such as The American Muscle (an American wheat) and The Ghost (a German gose). Whether you’re looking for a simple dinner or a snack to go with your beer, their pizza is one of the best in the area—it’s a simple handmade dough topped with fresh ingredients and baked to order.Magpie is as much a community center as it is a bar, hosting concerts, classes and workshops on food and drink.
The area behind Hannam Ogeori’s Richensia building is quite an interesting one — while filled with unique shops, bars and restaurants, it is usually quiet and peaceful. One of the newest additions of the alleys, which we’re welcoming with both arms, is Ox Bar. Living up to its name, the bar serves up quality beef (Hanwoo) menus (even the welcome drink is — instead of any classic or creative cocktail — genuine seolleongtang, Korean ox bone soup) along with great cocktails. The menu’s actually quite large, and includes T-bone steak, roast beef and ossobuco. The service is top-notch, yet “How would you like your steak done?” is a question that’s never asked around here. Instead, everything is cooked to the level that’s the most ideal for each cut and the type of dish. Exclusively on Mondays, the kitchen serves up burgers (18,000 won), which is another reason to find this bar. At the bar section, manager Lee Su-won and bartender Choi Beomgyu create delicate cocktails. From classics to be paired with the Hanwoo dishes to fresh fruit cocktails including the Halla Fizz made with a whole hallabong orange, their creations are smart, witty and well-balanced. Wrapped in the skillful service and attractive atmosphere, what Ox Bar serves every day is a special type of authenticity. It’s so warm, charming and genuine that we wouldn’t be surprised to see this young and hidden venue become a landmark of its own in a near future.
The name of this little bar comes from the original title of director Wong Kar-wei’s 1997 film, Happy Together. From the images projected on a wall and a pair of gold fish inside a bowl placed on the counter, to a little pink room hidden inside the bar, its space itself, too, gives off the luscious and sentimental vibes that are apparent in the film. Chungwangsaseol’s colorful melancholy suits a mellow night out, alone or with a friend or a stranger who’d lend you a good ear. A few seats at the bar counter, which are the only available seatings here, offer a quite intimate space for a group of two or three. Taiwanese mango and pineapple flavored beers are often paired with little dishes including the tomato ramen and fried rice, while in terms of liquors, gin is the only available type. Tanqueray 10, Beefeater, Hendrick's and Boodles are the selections that go into the gin and tonics. Boodles Gin which has a subtle note of juniper berries and cilantro is, interestingly, garnished with fresh cilantro. Quite unusual, perhaps, but it certainly makes for a refreshing combination. The Tanqueray 10 gin and tonic with thyme leaves and blueberries is simple yet flavorful. All of the gin and tonics are quite small in size, but have the perfect balance (and also reasonably priced). Situated in the quiet residential area above the “108 stairs” in Human-dong, Chungwangsaseol is not the easiest place to spot. Yet, its uniquely Hong Kongese vibe seems to continually attract equally uniqu
Located in the busiest part of Itaewon across from Hamilton Hotel is The Bulldog Pub. Operating as a normal sports pub during the weekdays, the venue changes its face on Fridays and Saturdays into a wild celebration called “Latin Day.” As the lights dim out the wide hall, it starts to receive party goers and by 11pm, the whole pub will be filled with people. From Salsa to Bachata, and Merengue to Reggaeton, the floor will be pumping with energy from locals, expatriates and visitors. For those of you who’ve never tried Latin dances, the pub has a great supportive atmosphere, so no shame in missing a move or two. Opening at 9pm, the entrance fee, which include one free drink, is 10,000 won per person.
Unit 208, Building 31, Hangang Mansion, Ichon-dong — even if you had the address, you’d probably wander around, looking up and down the run-down building in which it’s located. While walking up the stairs built in the early 1970’s after vaguely locating this new café and bar, you’d only see a few residents of the apartments around it visiting their family doctor or picking up small bags of groceries. Hell Café Spiritus, however, has been attracting coffee and cocktail aficionados as well as industry professionals from all over Seoul, with its all-star squad of baristas (who are behind Bogwang-dong’s Hell Café) and bartenders — namely, Lim Seong-eun, Kwon Yo-seop, Lee Hun teamed up with Vault +82’s Seo Yong-won. Inside, you’ll find a minimalistic setting: the tables, bar counter, bar back and even window blinds are all dark brown woods. The simple flower arrangements placed on a few of the tables add an emphasis to the exceptional simplicity, while the classical music played through the large speakers create a nostalgic feel that goes well with the surrounding area. As for the café menu, it is exactly the same as that of Bogwang-dong’s Hell Café, the first venture of the star barista team; the famous Hell Drip and classic cappuccino are available from 9am until 9pm. From 7pm until 2am, a large selection of cocktails, single malt whiskeys and other liquors are available. The list of cocktails including Rolls-Royce (which, here, is made with the Macallan Rare Cask, orange bitte