From hearty Western breakfast dishes to Michelin-starred Korean cuisine and adventurous delicacies such as fermented skate, this itinerary will make sure you taste the best of the city for a whole 24 hours. And of course, there’s booze, too. Find out what “Mac-geolli” (the mix of Macallan and makgeolli), Drink Me Potion and other refreshing and/or interesting selection of alcohol is offered at these Seoul bars and restaurants.
How to begin your perfect 24-hour gourmand tour in Seoul? Baker’s Table is a German-owned bakery in Gyeongnidan that doubles as a café and restaurant. The crunchy Vollkorn sourdough is a favorite, and just try to leave without picking up a slice or two of the German butter cake. On weekends, there is no such thing as brunch time—the tables are full all day, as people come in and out for the generous portions of hearty breakfast dishes, heavily-stuffed sandwiches and soups. the health-conscious can opt for a salad or the hazelnut muesli, which is served with a heap of fresh fruit and cold milk). The Seoul Square shop which recently opened is usually less crowded than the Gyeongnidan-gil location. Reservation can be made online.
After finishing up your breakfast in Gyeongnidan, you can take a little morning stroll to Itaewon and get a cup of morning coffee. Among the many that flood the area, Bonanza Coffee is one of the best options. Our recommendation is its Espresso and Piccolo Latte. Served in an Acme mug, the Espresso has balanced aromas and flavors, while the Piccolo Latte is extremely smooth with an elegant ratio of coffee and milk. Obviously brewed with a lot of care from a selection of delectable origins, Bonanza is offering up beloved options for serious coffee-drinkers of Seoul.
Mingles is undoubtedly one of the most interesting modern Korean restaurants in Gangnam. As its name suggests, Mingles utilizes Japanese, Spanish and French styles of cooking with Korean cuisine as its backbone. By undertaking the serious work of studying the ingredients as well as well as demanding an exacting selection, the chefs at Mingles have been successfully demonstrating creative ways to expand and further existing concepts of Korean cooking. Utilizing seasonal ingredients and recipes that have been passed down through palace kitchens over the hundreds of years, they create impressive combinations of the traditional and popular. Their nutty, citrus yuja danja (citron pot), once offered to the kings of old, and their jangajji (pickled vegetables) that have been fermented for an extended period of time are just some of the innovative efforts that enable patrons to get a taste of the past and present. The crème brûlée trio made with Korean traditional sauces is another such recipe that defies existing concepts and offers to your palate flavors unlike any before. Having received one star from Michelin in 2017 and ranked 15 on Asia's 50 Best Restaurants in the same year, Mingles has proved its strength in innovation and their influence in the local food scene.
Unless you actually want to sweat as much as possible and be dehydrated, avoid the scorching 3 pm afternoon heat of Seoul. And one of the best ways to avoid a possible heatstroke (yeah, it’s that hot and humid sometimes) would be a cold treat. Bingsu or shaved ice might be a strange concept to some, but it’s widely-loved in Seoul. It's usually topped with sweet red bean paste, but the kinds served at Tokyo Bingsu are really different. Our recommendation is the tomato bingsu which is really refreshing. If you're in the mood for a more sweet option, there's also Oreo bingsu on the menu.
Doesn’t matter if you’re still full from your earlier meal; you just have to go here early and grab a seat first. Once the clock hits 5:30, Yukjeon Sikdang is crammed with all hungry people and waiting for 30 minutes to 1 hour is nothing. Must admit, this is the best pork restaurant in Seoul. Thick-cut pork belly (samgyeopsal) is Yukjoen Sikdang’s signature menu, notably for its extremely tender and juicy meat. Though Samgeyopsal is one of the most beloved foods of Koreans, after a few servings, you feel the urge of stop eating from its greasiness, but put your worry aside for Yukjeon Sikdang. Once you start, you won’t be able to stop eating – you’ll know what “pigging out” truly means.
Hey, foodie, it’s time to turn your pork belly into a beer belly now. Starting from a couple of years ago, rooftop bars are making its way up, especially near the Haebangchon and the Namsan area. Among many existing and new rooftop bars, The 100 Food Truck boasts one of the most spectacular views in Seoul. You can enjoy the scenery and atmosphere at any time, but the time around sunset would be ideal. One of the beers on their tap is Indimax, which is Indica and Max in a pint. Sounds strange? Well, it's 4,000 won, which is a good price, and you know it will taste better than some drafts you've had in Seoul.
The name of this Korean dining bar comes from the phrase “gaemi,” which in the Jeolla dialect means “a savory flavor.” This bar is a special place for those in love with indigenous Korean food such as fresh seasonal sashimi, parboiled octopus (dolmuneo), live baby octopus (san-nakji), fermented fish dish (hongeo-hoe) and so on. While the menu claims to represent authentic traditional Korean food, the service and atmosphere here are modern and quite refined. Hongeo-hoe (fermented fish dish) which many find difficult to try is actually quite alluring at Gaemi Jip, and the best-selling drink menu is the yuzu makgeolli. If you want to try something fusion, try its “Mac-geolli,” a mix of single malt Scotch whisky (Macallan) and makgeolli. Believe it or not, it is actually quite good. The only concern is that the price range is quite high and portions are small, so if you want to fill up your stomach, either have your first round of dinner beforehand.
If you are a gourmand with fastidious tastes not only for food but also for alcoholic beverages, it’s time to hit up one of the most famous bars in Seoul. In addition to its covert and mysterious concept, Alice Cheongdam offers one of the finest cocktails in Seoul. The bar was ranked number one in the Korea Best Bar Awards 2017 and 11th in “Asia’s 50 best Bars” in 2016. Mind you, it’s not easy to find the place. In the back alley of the “Cheongdam-dong luxury good street,” look for a round sign with a rabbit drinking wine. Once you walk down the stairs, you will find a flower shop, and in the corner, you will find a door. Don’t doubt yourself, let yourself sink down the rabbit hole and drink your night away.
Whatever or how much you ate for dinner, you must admit any time after midnight is always the right time for munchies. Brooklyn the Burger Joint is crowded with people from morning to night, since it is open 24 hours a day, but around 2 am, it’s relatively less busy. The most important part of a burger is its patty. At Brooklyn the Burger Joint, you can choose between 140g Smashed Patty and 200g Hand-formed Patty. All patties are 100% beef meat and are made every day from scratch. I recommend choosing the Smashed Patty if you are a burger lover who seeks its virtue in eating it with one hand. If you go at night time, try out its American style drinks/ desserts like Pepsi Vodka Float.
It is not always easy to find a good, delicious place with its open a door until dawn. This is the reason One’s Kitchen is in a league of its own. While traveling through 100 different cities around the world, Chef Kwon Ju Seong created his own unique and savory menus. The small venue is full of witty alcohol menus like mixed cocktails concocted with Mt. Halla soju, Thai Chang beer and the drinker's forever companion, the Yeo-myeong hangover drink. The restaurant closes around 5 am, so there’s plenty of time to drink the night away. "Itaewon soup" blended with Tom yum goong, Japanese tonkotsu and Nagasaki broth, and Swiss-style Potato Pancakes made from thin potato slivers covered with grated cheese and a half-cooked egg on top are the late night restaurant’s steady sellers.