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Restaurants in Seoul

Koreans love eating and there are plenty of restaurants where visitors and locals alike can experience the local cuisine's bold flavours. The least expensive fare consists of traditional dishes and Korean "fast food", like a steaming bowl of noodles at Myeongdong Gyoja. A wonderful Korean barbecue can be sampled at Chamsutgol in Jung-gu. There is usually no tipping and VAT is included in the price of the meal, except in some top-end restaurants.

Top-end

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  1. 1. Namu - Top-end: (More than W60,000 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Located inside the W Hotel in Gwangjin, Namu is a modern Pan-Asian restaurant, serving up Korean and Japanese-influenced dishes in a sleek, shiny wooden setting. One of the city's trendiest venues, it also has a sushi and sashimi bar and is a hip place to enjoy a cold sake. Reservations recommended.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Daily 11:30am-3pm, 6-11pm; bar open until 1am

    Address

    21, Gwangjang-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 143-708

    Telephone

    +82 (0) 2 2022 0222

    Transport

    Taxi to hotel

  2. 2. Top Cloud Grill - Top-end: (More than W60,000 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Top Cloud Grill, Seoul. © The Shilla

    The modern Top Cloud Grill restaurant sits atop the Jongno Tower overlooking downtown Seoul. Reserve a window table to enjoy the views, a buffet or impeccable Continental cuisine from set menus. Note that, slightly unusually for Korea, an additional 10% VAT and 10% service charge are added to the bill.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    11:50am-2pm lunch buffet; 6pm-10pm dinner

    Address

    33rd Floor, Jongno Tower Building, 1-1 Jongno 2-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul 100-856

    Telephone

    +82 (0) 2 2230 3000

    Transport

    Jonggak subway (exit 3)

    Website

    Top Cloud Grill Website

  3. 3. Gorilla In The Kitchen - Top-end: (More than W60,000 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Korean heart-throb Bae Yong-joon's Gorilla In The Kitchen, in affluent Gangnam-gu, joined the "well-being" craze a few years ago. Dishes are created with no butter, no cream, and salt is kept to a minimum. Good for you doesn't mean bad tasting, however. Dishes like the pastas and baked chicken make a healthy and delicious lunch.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Daily 11am-midnight (kitchen closes 10pm)

    Address

    650, Sinsa-dong , Gangnam-gu, Seoul 135-896

    Telephone

    +82 (0) 2 3442 1688

    Transport

    Subway line 3 to Apgujeong station (exit 3)

    Website

    Gorilla In The Kitchen Website

Mid-range

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  1. 4. Wood & Brick - Mid-range: (W12,000 to W60,000 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    With two locations, the original Wood & Brick downtown serves tasty pastas and unpretentious European fare in a wood and brick interior. Weekday lunch hours are bustling with staff from nearby foreign embassies. For those in a hurry, their fabulous bakery is convenient for a quick bite on the run.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Daily Noon-10pm

    Address

    6, Shinmun-no 1-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-061

    Telephone

    +82 (0) 2 735 1157 or 1160

    Transport

    Gwanghamun subway (exit 7)

    Website

    Wood & Brick Website

  2. 5. Chamsutgol - Mid-range: (W12,000 to W60,000 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Chamsutgol is one of the best of Seoul's Korean barbecue joints despite having understated décor and atmosphere. Like dozens of other places downtown, it has the standard tabletop grill, but here they burn real wood charcoal. Find the restaurant on the 2nd floor of the Chaeyuk Hwaegwan building in Jung-gu.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Daily 11:30am-10pm

    Address

    19, 2nd floor, Mugyeo-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul 140-749

    Telephone

    + 82 (0) 2 774 2100

    Transport

    City Hall subway (exit 4)

  3. 6. Tosokchon - Mid-range: (W12,000 to W60,000 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Tosokchon, Seoul. © Korea Tourism Organisation

    Tosokchon's specialities are roast chicken and samgyetang, a healthy Korean soup made with a whole chicken stuffed with glutinous rice, garlic, ginseng and other healthy stuff. Famous for being one of President Roh's favourites, the place gets crowded, but the old-fashioned building near Gyeongbokgung Palace is large enough for the wait to be short.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Daily 10am-10pm

    Address

    85-1, Chebu-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-045

    Telephone

    +82 (0) 2 737 7444

    Transport

    Gyeongbokgung subway (exit 2)

  4. 7. Sanchon - Mid-range: (W12,000 to W60,000 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Sanchon features performances along with fine food. Seoul, South Korea.

    Tucked down an alleyway in Insadong, Sanchon is popular with vegetarians and non-vegetarians alike. The restaurant is renowned for its traditional temple cuisine prepared in the old Buddhist way (not spicy, but delicious) inside the charming courtyard of an old-fashioned house. They also have Korean performances nightly with more expensive seating.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Daily 11:30am-10pm

    Address

    14, Gwanhun-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-300

    Telephone

    +82 (0) 2 735 0312

    Transport

    City Hall subway (exit 4)

    Website

    Sanchon

Budget

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  1. 8. Myeongdong Gyoja - Budget: (Less than W12,000 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    For more than 30 years, the owners of Myeongdong Gyoja have been cranking out handmade "kalgooksu" (knife noodles) and "mandu" (Korean dumplings) in the Myeongdong area. The chicken stock for their soups is made from bones boiled for over six hours, and everything on the menu is a bargain.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Daily 10:30am-9:30pm

    Address

    24, Myeongdong 2-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul 100-809

    Telephone

    +82 (0) 2 776 5348

    Transport

    Myeongdong subway (exit 8)

    Website

    Myeongdong Gyoja Website

  2. 9. Samcheongdong Sujebi - Budget: (Less than W12,000 for a three-course meal without drinks)

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    Samcheongdong Sujebi, Seoul. © Korea Tourism Organisation

    Samcheondong Sujebi is the place that started Samcheondong's reputation as a place for good food. The sujebi (dough flake soup) here is so popular that people line up all day to get a bowlful; the handmade dough floats in an anchovy-based stock with vegetables and clams. The buchingae (flatcakes) are great, too.Show this on map

    Opening hours

    Daily 11:30am-9pm

    Address

    102, Samcheong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul 110-230

    Telephone

    +82 (0) 2 735 2965

    Transport

    Anguk subway (exit 1)

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