When it comes to partying, you can go all out in Seoul. From the bustling Gangnam Station area to ritzy Cheongdam, still artsy Hongdae to raging Itaewon, Seoul has something to offer throughout the day for the ultimate partier. Sounds overwhelming? Perhaps, you haven't had enough soju yet.
Pho's one of the best dishes to cure hangover, amiright? If you’ve partied the night before and your poor liver needs some healing, head over to one of the Emoi joints located throughout Seoul (Emoi Itaewon just recently opened, and it's 24-hours). Emoi is a Vietnamese restaurant that serves Hanoi-style pho and is undoubtedly one of Seoul’s best. All of them are open 24/7 while also providing refills on both noodles and broth, so make sure to go on an empty stomach at anytime you wish!
Now that your insides are calmed down a bit from the pho, it’s time for a fruit de-tox. Hannam-dong’s Tribar is a place to get some healthy fresh juice formulated by experienced mixologists. Made with real fruits and veggies stocked in the fridge at the back and squeezed right in front of you, each gulp of their energy boosting juices will have you awake and ready for the day to come. If you need some alcohol in the morning with your juice, well they have their special cocktails ready just for you.
It’s time for brunch and what better place to go than McCoy’s for a colorful jar/glass of sangria! Usually made with Vin 7479 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve from Chile, the sangria contains slices of lemon, lime and apple while topped with mint, flowers and a seasonal fruit (it recently changed from strawberries to a slice of watermelon). The owner chef is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, so you can rest assured the food will taste amazing.
Trying to get a seat at Gangnam’s Goose Island Brewhouse is almost as good as impossible, unless you want wait endlessly nearby with a sliver of hope. They don’t take reservations after 7pm to cater to the mass influx of visitors wanting a taste of their beer. So why not try heading here in the morning when the brewhouse opens up and surely don’t have to wait in line? The beers offered at Goose Island Brewhouse are simply heavenly, letting us almost forget about the high price tags. So just make sure to keep an eye on the bill.
Sing off the morning booze while escaping the blazing sun at Hongdae’s Luxury Su Noraebang! This high-end karaoke offers clean spacious room with stylish interiors, a huge screen and best of all they are all equipped with great quality speakers and microphones. They even have solo or two-people rooms for those of us flying solo. They have over 5 locations within the Hongdae vicinity, all with a unique concept of their own – so you won’t have to worry about not getting a room! The main Su Noraebang has rooms with windows exposing you to streets of Hongdae (don’t worry though as passersby can’t hear you).
Time to start drinking with something very Korean. Traditionally made with rice, barley or wheat and naturally fermented (and sometimes flavored with nuts or fruits), makgeolli is known to be the oldest alcoholic drink in Korea. Fragrant and refreshing, this milky drink which pairs beautifully with many Korean dishes. Whether in a traditional setting or with a modern twist, these makgeolli bars will offer an array of delectable and invigorating sips.
Sit under the circus tents of D.Tower’s Boy Circus, while sipping on some refreshingly cold Gwanghwa-mun Cosmopoitan cocktail (it’s one of a kind and it’s topped with edible rose petals!). Whether you choose to sit out in the terrace overlooking Gwanghwamun’s busy streets and enjoying the summer breeze or inside watching the culinary circus of the open kitchen, Boy Circus will offer you a unique visual and gastronomic experience. Just make sure to gulp down some booze while you’re there.
It’s one of the best places to get a great panoramic view of the Namdaemun landmark, day and night—hence the name Panorama Lounge. Panorama Lounge is a great spot to spend time at especially during warmer seasons. But add in barbecue and unlimited draft beer into the equation and it's a mandatory visit! All this will be available during the lounge’s happy hours starting at 5.30pm and ending by 9.30pm. If you really need vino, an additional 10,000 won will do (also unlimited). Just remember to make a reservation to get a seat with a view!
The night is only now beginning. But before we start drinking all the alcohol that’s to come, it’d be a good idea to start greasing up your insides so you don’t get way too wasted. Hannam-dong’s downtowner is one place you won’t be disappointed with. Five burgers are listed on the menu, but there are really only three (cheese, bacon cheese and avocado) as two of them are double versions of the original. But what this place lacks in variety, it makes up for in price and a tasty selection of sides.
Cheongdam is home to some unique and inspiring bars. Upscale with an all-white interior, White Bar has Seoul’s biggest gin selection, while Le Chamber (listed as the 25th best Bar in Asia) is known to keep it posh, high-end and extremely sophisticated. Among the list is Mr. Children, a single malt and cocktail bar with many different layers to say the least. Behind a rusty yellow door of this speakeasy bar, you'll find the place meant for “those who are children at heart.” Divided into three consecutive sections, each room is more decadent than the next. The staff here is easy to talk to, keeping a young, casual and inviting vibe, perhaps going against what you would normally find at Cheongdam’s ritzy venues. That’s not to say that their cocktails are lowered in artistic creativity and quality.