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.
Best bars in Itaewon
Best bars in Itaewon
For those who love art, artistry, and old movies, Hephzibah will be like love at first sight. Founded by two sisters who studied performance art and acting, they actualized their college dream of creating a secret space filled with dramatic intensity. The space includes a small screening section for visitors to get tipsy on a retro-film along and some wine. It’s the humanistic element within older movies that the sisters like while they still provide the entertainment that is needed. This is not to say that visiting Hephzibah means sipping on wine and watching a black-and-white movie. Outside of the mini-cinema is an area not filled with music and chatter like any other bar, but rather dialogues from movies playing in the background, while you sit and relax in the couch getting lost in your thoughts. Hebsiba is surely a hide out for artists, with some visitors exclaiming that that the venue is a dream come true. The fantastical venue that offers an ambience of boundless imagination is place to search for your imaginary reality.
This bar is located on the second floor of Pizza Muzzo in Itaewon. On one side, there’s a large bar and a marbled and tiled hall, which is more chic than showy. But the bar’s real charm lies in its separate space. The space on the left side of the bar looks like the inside of a car on the famed Orient Express. On the opposite side of it is a space that resembles a Mediterranean terrace. All the ingredients used in their cocktails are made from fresh fruits and vegetables, and they offer about 20 different kinds of signature cocktails. (They also have wine, single malt whisky and beer, of course.) They even ornately embellish a small piece of lime for garnish and their Dark and Stormy has a great blend of honey lemon and ginger puree. Sitting at the bar and watching bartender Kim Jin-rok make his cocktails, one can have a great time just chatting and drinking. It’s a nice place for different types of social gatherings and date nights.
Brewed for centuries in Belgium and trending in the past few years in North America, sours are relatively new in the Korean market. And there’s no better place to start experimenting with your taste buds than at Sour Pongdang, the first bar in Asia to specialize in sours. Recommended by none other than Lee Inho, owner of Pyrus Taproom & Bistro, Sour Pongdang exudes a distinct personality in Seoul’s craft beer scene. Headed by BJCP- certified manager Jo Ye-lim, Sour Pongdang guides you through the infinite world of sour beer. Serving as ‘comfort food’ of a sort for some and a new experience for others, the sour beer is not only diverse but also has a longer shelf life. While IPA’s with fragrant hops either lose their characters or change in a negative sense over a period of time, the sour beer can, in fact, develop a richer flavor and aroma over time. Sour Pongdang currently offers 10 different kinds of drafts and over 80 bottles of imports. While the taps change quite regularly, the usual line-ups showcase both domestic and imported selections (such as Boon and Brooklyn Brewery). And while some beers are sold out within a week, the bar tries to order enough supply to last at least one to two months—so you’ll be guaranteed a broader range of choices the more frequently you visit. One sour beer to check out is the ‘Jeju Island Tangerine Gose,’ which is created by exporting dried tangerines from Jeju to Oregon’s Upright Brewing, brewing such transnational, tangy batches there a
While it seems that there are new venues popping up in Itaewon all the time, most of them are too… predictable: fancy lights, hipster furniture and whatever sound that's "in." But this one, let me tell you, is different. With its rough, warehouse-like atmosphere and dim lighting, Beton Brut brings coziness and, most importantly, good music. It's surely a place you can "hang," unlike many of the clubs in the area that are just too much while lacking character. Perhaps that's why you can occasionally spot older crowds here, but of course, that certainly doesn't mean this place isn't hot. With 2 dance floors inside, you can go for drum n base, dub step and trap, or choose to roll with techno and house at any point of your night. If these options still don't satisfy your diverse taste, visit Beton Brut before 10pm for some jazz, acoustic or music critic Lee Dae-hwa's talks. Wait, I have an idea: if there's that special someone that you're into, head here after the dinner. You'll have a chill couple of hours to get into the night, then once the floor turns into a club you'll realize how natural and easy it can feel to be clubbing with a date.