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Seoul’s 15 Best bars to drink alone in

Hand-picked by Time Out x The Bling magazine.

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Sure, almost everything in Seoul seems group-oriented. But at these places, the zen of drinking alone soon reveals itself. 

Bars

Taru

icon-location-pin Apgujeong-dong

We know, it’s not easy to find a bar in Apgujeong where you can get a drink without draining your wallet or having to bear a lot of noise. Taru is such a savior in that sense. Its solo drinker friendly dishes including the tuna tartare, Japanese style meatballs and grilled chicken, are priced at around 10,000 won, and you can enjoy delicious whiskey high balls at the quiet bar section or the terrace on the 1st floor. The dishes Taru creates is not a traditional izakaya style per se, but fused with Western elements to a pleasant degree.

Solo drinking tip: if you’re in need of a company, the chef will chat with you as if you’re an old friend.

Bars

German House (Dokil Jutaek)

Walking around the quaint back alley of Daehakro, you'll notice a late 19th century style hanok building. This modest and comforting establishment has a little front yard where proud solo drinkers sip beer, port wine or single malt whiskey, or nibble on a sandwich prepared at the bar inside. There is a coffee menu and snack platters as well. If you sit for a while to enjoy any drink of your choice, you'll encounter little cat friends coming around for their meal. Perhaps, as German House provides a shelter for anyone who’d otherwise wonder around the alleys of Hyehwa, everyone here is indeed cherishing their alone time.

Solo drinking tip: when in need of some courtyard drinking in Seoul, you now know where to go.

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Bars

Southside Parlor

icon-location-pin Itaewon

With a proper bar, comfy seats and a spacious rooftop upstairs, Southside Parlor’s been a popular spot for cocktails and Southern cuisine with a hipster twist. Drinking alone is well encouraged here, as long as a patron respects the staff and the policy for no outside food or drinks (while the dim lighting and strong cocktails like the Apple Jack, an apple cider cocktail, would tend to get you drunk quickly). Southside Parlor has great food, anyway, including the Southside Burger, which comes with a seared beef patty (160g) cooked to medium, caramelized onions, sharp cheddar cheese and sweet potato chips. And you know what’s great with a burger—of course, a beer. Southside Parlor has a nice selection of beers including Hand & Malt on tap, so all you’ve got to do is to pick one.

Solo drinking tip: assuage your hunger, quench your thirst—at the same time.

Time Out says
Restaurants

Han Tang

icon-location-pin Yongsan-gu

For many of the Itaewoners, Han Tang is where the magic happens. In terms of the hangover cures, I mean. So, if you ever step into this place while viciously hangover, don’t be surprised to find yourself looking for some hair of the dog—to be paired with the cod soup which has clean broth and lots of meaty parts—endlessly that is. Once you start drinking here at the bar section which seems like it’s meant for solo drinking, you’ll want to try other dishes as well. And let me tell you, you can never go wrong with the fish cake soup, especially during a cold winter night. If you’re willing to go for a little fancy, light meal, try the newest menu, the tuna sashimi.

Solo drinking tip: with the availability of alcohol and hangover cures in one sitting, I felt truly empowered. Just watch out for an endless cycle that may be created by this.

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Bars

Mikkeller Bar Seoul

icon-location-pin Sinsa-dong

30 types of draft beer on tap—at all times. The line-up changes frequently, too. Known for “gypsy brewing,” a kind of outsourcing that results in low overhead and experimental, one-off brews, the originally Danish brand Mikkeller has a reputation that precedes them. When you hear the names of the beers that people are drinking, it might make you chuckle. Beers here are served in wine glasses and have witty titles like “Henry Jagger,” “Orange Yuzu Glad Said I Was Porter” and “Taedonggang,” a reference to something former Economist writer Daniel Tudor once said about North Korean beer: “[South] Korean beer isn’t tasty… and the North’s Taedonggang Beer … tastes surprisingly good.” Mikkeller’s Taedonggang, which plans to stick around for a while, is a classic pale ale with a light and fresh finish. Be on the lookout for the “Spontan” series if the hard-to-find sour is your flavor and fear not if you don’t even know what you like to drink. The changing nature of the beers has even the most pretentious beer snobs asking questions. Weeknights are surprisingly popular.

Solo drinking tip: you can check the line-up of beers on their website.

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