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Seoul Resources for Dave

Seoul Resources For Dave

A friend recently asked me to do a comprehensive list of restaurants and bars in Seoul, based on my several trips since 2022. So here it is for one easy reference point, although I encourage you to read the several trip reports for your entertainment and a bit more detail.

  1. Bar 420 (31-6 Jong-ro 16-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul), known for its ambiance and bar experience.

  2. Bar Cham (34 Jahamun-ro 7-gil, Tongin-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul), celebrated for securing a spot in the Asia Top 50 Bars list.

  3. Baskin Robbins Brown Cheongdam (327 Dosan-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul), famous for its extensive selection of 100 flavors of ice cream and sorbet. A favorite spot for K-pop musicians and K-drama stars.

  4. Charles H. (97 Saemunan-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, located in the Four Seasons Hotel), regularly recognized as one of the top fifty bars in the world and awarded the best bar in Korea in 2019 and 2020.

  5. Choi Wooyoung Sushi (288 Digital-ro, Guro 3(sam)-dong Guro-gu, Seoul), conveyor belt sushi restaurant showcased in a Tzuyang Mukbang episode.

  6. Compose Coffee (Multiple locations), known for coffee, fruit shakes, and light snacks.

  7. Goobook Mandu (7 Duteopbawi-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul), Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant, renowned for its water-fried dumplings.

  8. Hanmungtigi (Songpa-gu, Sincheon-dong, Olympic-ro, 35길 124 장미 A상가 124호, Seoul), specializes in Beef Tartare, known for exceptionally fresh, raw beef cuts. A Tzuyang Mukbang episode brought us here.

  9. Hwangsaengga Kalguksu (78 Bukchon-ro 5-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul), Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant, recognized for beef bone broth soup with noodles and dumplings.

  10. Istanbul Grill (Baekbeom-ro 152, 102, Mapo-gu, Seoul), offers a variety of grilled meats and Turkish dishes.

  11. Johnny 123 Café & Bar (GLAD Mapo, 92 Mapo-daero, Mapo-gu, Seoul), noted for its ambiance and friendly bartending service.

  12. L'Impasse 81 (17-1 Donggyo-ro 30-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul), Michelin Bib Gourmand French restaurant with a rustic style.

  13. Myeongdong Kyoja (29 Myeongdong 10-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul), Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant, famous for Mandu (dumplings), Kalguksu (noodle soup), and Bibimguksu (spicy mixed noodles).

  14. One Degree North (8 Hakdong-ro 43-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul), Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant, features Singaporean barbecue offerings.

  15. Tasty Cube (22-8 Yonsei-ro 5da-gil, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul), Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant, known for Taiwanese noodle and soup dishes.

  16. YukJeon Hoegwan (47 Tojeong-ro 37-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul), Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant, famous for its bassak bulgogi.


Over the course of numerous trips to Seoul, my family and I have found certain phone apps to be particularly helpful. Here is a list of those apps that might take some of the confusion of being in a new place with a new language out of the “I’m just here to have a good time” equation:

  1. Papago:  The best app to translate Korean to any language. You can take pictures and get it translated directly. Very handy if you’re not fluent. Google Translate is also helpful for this task.

  2. Naver Map: The best app to find your itinerary, find nearby cafes or restaurants. KakaoMap is also quite good for this. I always travel with Google Maps, but it isn’t as good in Korea as these homegrown apps.

  3. KakaoTalk: Use this app to talk to friends and to book some appointments (nails and hair appointments). WhatsApp is also good for this.

  4. Kakao Taxi: Use this app to book a taxi. It works well after a night out or for airport trips. It is foreigner-friendly. Uber also works pretty well in Seoul, but it will rebrand as UT while you’re there.

  5. Subway Korea: this amazing app will help you navigate Seoul’s very efficient subway system. KakaoBus, is the companion for navigating the surface streets with Seoul’s buses.


I find navigating Seoul is relatively easy and everyone seems to speak English better than me, but in one of the most digitally connected countries in the world, there’s likely “an app for that.” Find the apps at the Apple App Store or on Google Play.

Well, there you have it, Dave. . . and you. :) Enjoy!

If you’re like me and are shopping a bit online, use the Rakuten service

for cash back and discounts – save yourself some money.


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