The Seoul Diaries: A Foodie’s Paradise~ Part 1

Hi and welcome back to my first blog post of the New Year! Yay!

Today, I will be giving you the first half of my top 10 favorite restaurants in South Korea (so far) that you must try if you ever visit. If you like this restaurant list, stay tuned for my cafe list as I have gone to so many!!

Let’s begin! ** this list is in no particular order**

1. Italy Chonggak Ikseondong Branch (이태리총각 익선동점)

This restaurant is located in the Jong-no/Ikseongdong area of Seoul and is surrounded by many cool hanok-inspired cafes and restaurants to visit. Not only is the interior design comfortable and cool to look at, but the servers are very nice and the food is amazing! My recommended dishes are the Carbonara 까르보나라, the Chonggak Pizza 총각핏자 (don’t be shocked when it comes out rolled instead of flat), and Pappardelle ai Funghi 트러플 풍기 dishes!

Tip: To add to the hanok-experience, I recommend going to the Ddeul-an Cafe (뜰안 카페) nearby after your meal to drink some relaxing and healthy teas! The owners are super sweet and there is an English menu available to see the variety of tea drinks. It is also less than a 2 minute walk from this place!

2. Najeongsun Halmae Small Octopus (나정순할매쭈꾸미)

I never thought that I would like this dish this much, but I was surprisingly mistaken. Here, you can order an octopus dish which is a bit spicy, but very delicious! You can make little wraps using cilantro leaves and added toppings, along with ordering a soda to combat the spiciness. Many foreigners don’t like the taste of cilantro (깻잎) – including me – but I find the taste tolerable when eating this dish. If you don’t finish it all, just ask to take the rest to-go and they will hand you a plastic bag full of leftover octopus and sauce.

3. Gaeseong Mandu Koong (개성만두 궁)

Per a friend’s recommendation, I went to this traditional dumpling restaurant. We ate their dumplings (개성만두찜) and seafood pancake (해물파전) and it was so tasty!!This place is really famous for their dumplings and has a really pretty hanok-like interior with cute wall decorations of the founder. If you are a huge dumpling-fan, definitely come here for a meal!

4. Bali Hai (발리하이)

Even though this place is in the middle of a random alleyway, the food is amazing! It has Thai-styled cuisine that is very delicious and I keep coming back for their shrimp chips~ I always get the Mie Goreng (noodles) dish, but I have also tried the Chicken Cream Curry and Fried Bananas Dessert.

5. 돼통령

This restaurant is located outside of Seoul in Suwon, but it is worth the drive if you have a car or if you take the bus/subway. It is famous for its samgyeopsal (삼겹살) or grilled pork-belly and can easily feed a group of 3-4 people. Trust me. It is AMAZING. You can also order stir-fried rice with eggs afterwards and other side dishes if needed, but I think that the main course itself is pretty filling. Inside, the restaurant’s neon sign reads: “돼지들의 왕” or “the king of the pigs” and I believe them. This meal was one of the best 삼겹살 meals that I have ever had and I wish that it was located in Seoul because I would go there every week truthfully.

I hope that this post made you super hungry (just kidding) and could introduce you to some good food places in Korea!

Later this month, I will post a part 2 of my restaurant list, so be on the lookout for it!

Happy New Year 2022! 🤤 🍽

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