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Jongno 3-ga: Seoul’s delicious, gay-friendly hotspot

Welcome to Jongno 3-ga, the gay-friendly street with food to fill your belly and feed your soul…

While Itaewon may be the obvious hotspot in terms of LGBT nightlife, it’s really Jongno 3-ga that sits on the throne in the LGBT community. Called the “Jong 3-pocha,” this hub is definitely something special. Though close to Tapgol Park, which has long been senior-citizen turf, this area’s made some miraculous changes in the past few years. Lying in the stretch between exit 3 and 6 of Jongno 3-ga Station to Nakwon Arcade, the area's become open to men and women of all ages and sexual orientations. Once solely for the older generation and businessmen, it’s now LGBT-friendly (albeit not LGBT exclusive).
 
Ideal for those in the mood for cheap drinks, out to get wasted for the night or in the mood for a drink alone, this pocha street has gained popularity mostly through word of mouth. These days, it’s almost impossible to get a table here on weekends. While the pochas may be uniform in color and style, inside is a familial fiesta of fun aunt and uncle types, each with a distinct character. Though they may come across as aloof at first, one-shot soju with them and they’ll be chatty and chummy in no time.
 
We’ll give fair warning to the public bathroom phobics out there and remind you to stock up on toilet paper from the hanging roll in the pocha. We also advise you to come with cash and caution you about temperamental opening times. But even with all that hassle, the old Jongno town offers a nostalgic experience that turns every first time visitor into a regular. So without any further ado, here are our favorite pochas on the pocha street.
 
By Milo

Jongno 3-ga’s LGBT favorites

Cheolinae
At the beginning of the pocha street. Be adventurous with their grilled sea-eel and stir-fried short-arm octopus.

Exit 3
Located near exit 3, duh. Drink up with their fried shrimp and soy-sauce pork stir fry. 

Saniseul
A+ for the friendly owner and A+ for the raw string ray, too. 

Secret Garden
Ask Uncle Hyun-bin why his pocha’s so crowded and he’ll tell you it’s full of customers turned down by more popular pochas. Truth is, people love him, his sea eel and the chicken gizzard, too.

Exit #6
The soju here calls for sides of seasoned turban shell, spicy sea snails and dumplings, too. Take them down in one shot and be happy.

Jjang
Jjang means “best” and the deep fried squid here? Truly jjang. Order it as soon as you walk in, no regrets.

Jeju-do
Super fresh Noryangjin fish market seafood. Get the Jeju-do vibe in convo with the Jeju-do boss.

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