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Best Local Cuisine in Seoul

By: Cityseeker
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Jihwaja

This is one of the most famous restaurants in Seoul. It is nestled close to the National Theater, which makes it a popular hangout for the art enthusiasts. The chef prepares authentic Korean cuisine and doles out a colorful arrangement of meats and vegetables in the Joseon Dynasty Royal style.

Seoul, South Korea
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Myeongdong Kyoja

Myeongdong Kyoja was established in 1976 and has become an institution for quintessential Korean food. It serves typical local specialties such as Kongguksu, a cold Chlorella noodle dish and Bibimguksu, a mixed noodle recipe prepared using sesame oil and soy sauce. The three other items on the menu are Kimchi, Mandu (dumplings) and Kalguksu, a noodle soup made from hand-rolled noodles. The waiting staff serves food at the table but the payment is made while placing the order, just like at fast food joints. This is the place to go if you want traditional Korean cuisine at inexpensive prices. It is also popular for its takeaway packages.

Seoul, South Korea
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Maple Tree House

The Maple Tree House offers authentic Korean barbecue meat. The food can be complemented by wine or authentic Korean liquor. It is a good place to go on a date. The beef is cooked to perfection. Try the Premium Korean Beef Sirloin that is a specialty.

Seoul, South Korea
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Migabon

One of the finest breakfast restaurants in town, Migabon is a great place to start your day with a hearty meal. A laid-back restaurant, packed with a friendly atmosphere, this is one of those places where you are guaranteed an enjoyable and satisfying experience. Best known for their signature porridge, Migabon, infuses contemporary flavors to the traditional breakfast meal. From its enticing porridge, to its soup and salad options, there's no lack of flavor in the food at this restaurant.

Seoul, South Korea
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Gwangjang Market

Established in 1905, Gwangjang Market was the nation's first traditional bazaar. This permanent mart houses over 5,000 enterprises, most of which were inherited from previous generations and bustles with the lively banter of merchants and shoppers. It features numerous vendors selling ibaji food and local specialties, foreign imports, fresh produce, vintage fashion, antiques and handcrafted items. Its main attraction remains retailers of the authentic Korean dress, hanbok, whose top-quality silk and satin varieties in vibrant colors available at bargain prices, here. The clothing has a simple silhouette and is popularly worn during festivals and special occasions. The market is also a popular dining destination, with food stalls serving up a wide variety of favorite traditional Korean foods.

Seoul, South Korea
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Mugyodong Bugeokukjib

In an alleyway full of eateries, Mugyodong Bugeokukjib has carved a niche for itself with their dried pollack soup (Bugeoguk) since 1968. This long-standing eatery only serves this traditional hearty broth. A non-frills place, you can relish this local delight with various kimchi dishes and other sides. Cheap and filling, the local queue bears testimony of its popularity.

Seoul, South Korea
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Imun Seolleongtang

When it opened in 1904, it created history by being the first of its kind to apply officially for a restaurant license in the country. Imun Seolleongtang has managed to create yet another history by being South Korea's oldest eatery and also for continuously serving diners for over a century now. This non-frills space is known for its hearty ox bone soup (Seolleongtang). The beef shank bones are simmered for 17 hours to reach its milky white texture. In the meantime other beef cuts are added to add more flavor. You will only find this dish in Seoul. They also serve Doganitang (ox knee soup) and suyuk (thinly sliced beef meat).

Seoul, South Korea
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Bukchon Sonmandu

Bukchon Sonmandu is one of the best places in town, where you can savor a handful of scrumptious local delicacies. A cozy little restaurant in a busy neighborhood, this place is perfect for a quick yet delectable bite, while touring the city. Prepared using age-old recipes, and local ingredients, the food served here is infused with the city's vibrant culture, that amplifies the overall experience. Do not miss out on their signature mandu, dumplings and soups, while the kimchi and broth are also good options.

Seoul, South Korea
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Tosokchon

The Korean traditional chicken soup, known as samgyetang, which is cooked with ginseng and gluten-filled rice is one of the most iconic dishes in the country. Tosokchon happens to be one of the best places to get this dish. The dining experience here is very traditional with small dining rooms which have low tables and cushions where you can sit only after removing your shoes. The restaurant is extremely crowded during peak hours with long waiting lines but fairly empty at other times.

Seoul, South Korea
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Jungsik

Jungsik is the brainchild of chef and owner, Yim Jungsik. Opened in 2009, this New Korean restaurant has created a stir in the culinary world. It has a branch in New York as well which is highly acclaimed. Traditional cuisine is modified by contemporary cooking methods and presentation that are not only beautiful to look but also delightful to the palate. You can choose your lunch or dinner fare or go for their tasting menus. Savor dishes like Mushroom Quatorze, Sea Urchin Rice, Smoked Pork Jowl and Galbi Seasoned Ribs. Round it off with a dessert such as Cherry Blossoms.

Seoul, South Korea
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Byeokje Galbi

Galbi means grilled ribs in Korean and is included in the gui (grilled dishes) which is an integral part of Korean cuisine. Byeokjae Galbi is one of the renowned names when it comes to grilled ribs and their branch in Changcheon-dong is a must visit for beef lovers. Using only hanwoo (a domestic cow) that is known for its top quality, the cattle is bred in a farm owned by the brand where they are raised organically. The meat is cooked in front of you at your table and the tantalizing aroma of grilled meat will certainly whet your appetite. The melt-in-your-mouth ribs will wow you while the side dishes (banchans) make enticing accompaniments. Pricey but worth the money, if you are a meat enthusiast, then this place should not be missed.

Seoul, South Korea
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