Studying abroad in Seoul is awesome for many reasons, but being at the center of a rapidly globalizing food scene definitely tops them all. So if you somehow manage to max out your capacity for kimchi and K-bbq, the city’s got thousands of non-Korean restaurants that will keep your appetite going.
With the help of Janis Pok, a Korean-American college student living in Seoul who runs a popular food blog, 02FIX, we narrowed down the options to 14 of the best dining and dessert destinations in Seoul. They won’t disappoint, we promise.
The guys at Manimal use a custom-made oakwood smoker imported from Texas to serve up the most authentic and delicious American BBQ available in Korea. There may be a long line, but you gotta try the brisket.
The Hummus Kitchen nails it when it comes to Mediterranean fare. Just because you’re in the far east doesn’t mean you should be deprived of food from the Middle East.
3. Cali Kitchen
West coast, best coast. That’s why the creators of Cali Kitchen decided to bring the California experience to Seoul. From fresh salads to Cali/Mexi-inspired burrito bowls to juicy burgers, Cali Kitchen is a ray of sunshine for every homesick Californian.
4. Paco Loco
Life without Mexican food would be a sad life. That’s why you should head over to Paco Loco, where they’re seriously killing the game in terms of the authenticity of their dishes. Go try their pozole or risk going loco.
5. Bonny’s Pub
Fresh dough, cheese overload, gigantic portions, 100 varieties of beer and cider. We present to you Bonny’s Pub, many an expat’s destination for incredible pizza and booze.
Oh my mafia. Though the relationship between the restaurant’s name and their French-inspired desserts is unclear, you can bet on having the most delicious tiramisu and strawberry mille-feuille when you go to Mafia Dessert.
The hot dogs at the Food Truckers are so big and burly that eating them might actually turn you into a trucker. But that doesn’t stop us from grubbing here because there’s nothing like a loaded frankfurter that screams ‘Murica.
The perks of being the closest neighbor to Japan is that Korea has an abundance of Japanese-inspired cuisine. Go to town at Sushitown because they know how it’s done.
9. Cafe Able
Brunch. Everyone’s favorite meal of the day, right? That’s why you need to go to Cafe Able for their outrageously topped Very Berry french toast, cheesy frittata, and iced tea served in mason jars.
With the motto, “Eat well, live well,” the Dishroom offers a variety of food items that are not only mouthwatering but also healthful. Had soju (Korean liquor) last night? The Dishroom is the ideal spot to refuel the morning after.
These are not your average cheesecakes. Originally from Hokkaido, Japan, these cakes are so delicate and light, you run the danger of eating an entire cake by yourself. In one sitting. You have been warned.
Good Night & Good Luck is another spot for amazing cheesecakes. Their cheesecakes resemble the classic, New York style baked cheesecake, and they’re almost too beautiful to eat.
13. Gida Sushi
Gida Sushi rose to fame following a feature in a popular Korean Food TV show, but what keeps the customers coming are the quality and affordability. A lunchbox set of 10 sushi pieces costs roughly $10. YAS.
14. PLANT Cafe
In a city where finding a vegan restaurant is harder than finding Waldo, the strictly vegan cafe PLANT is an oasis of sorts. This cafe has some of the most scrumptious cakes and pastries in all of Seoul, not to mention a weekly-changing menu made with seasonal ingredients.