If you’re an ardent follower of Korean culture, then you must have heard about this place called ‘Itaewon,’ which has been widely popularized by the 2020 K-drama ‘Itaewon Class.’ Like the show portrays, Itaewon is a massive attraction in the Metropolis Seoul; a significant chunk of the appeal lies in Itaewon being a highly multi-cultural area. Located in Yongsan-gu District, one among 25 other districts of Seoul, Itaewon is a place where you can spot many tourists, foreign residents, and ex-pats. Fascinatingly, Itaewon welcomes cultures from many parts of the world, as is seen in the variety of cuisines offered across multiple restaurants in the area. We rarely find British, German, Italian, French, Portuguese, Thai, South African, Caribbean, Moroccan, Mediterranean, American, Chinese, Japanese restaurants (and many more) co-existing in one limited geographical location. But Itaewon makes it look super easy!
Cleo is among the top-rated restaurants not just in Itaewon but the whole of Seoul! The restaurant offers the best from the Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern cuisines, along with a few highlights from Korean cuisine; expect to relish specials like Greek Salad, Chicken Shish Kebab, Grilled Beef Rib Eye, and many more. It’s a perfect spot for family dinners and business meetings alike. Customers love the warm hospitality of the staff and wish to visit again and again!
2. Buddha’s Belly
This exclusive Thai specialty restaurant sits at a beautiful location overlooking the panoramic view of the Noksapyeong subway station crossroad. The menu offers Thailand’s best dishes like Pad Thai, Som Tam, Tod Man Goong, Panang Curry, Pad Pak Gup, and even a separate section for vegetarian/vegan-friendly dishes! The prices are pretty reasonable, and customers thoroughly enjoy their delicious meals.
This very famous vegan cafe has two branches: Itaewon and Yeonnam. ‘Plant’ is one of the primary vegan cafe-and-bakery in the city to promote a compassionate and sustainable lifestyle. To eat at this cafe is an opportunity to taste some of the best fresh plant-based cuisines. The menu offers starters, salads, sandwiches, mains, burgers, pasta, and beverages— Coffee, Tea, Shakes, Sodas, Smoothies. The restaurant also offers an exciting range of beers and wine, perfect for unwinding!
4. Bombay Grill
Bombay Grill is a perfect place for relishing the authentic South Asian flavours of India and Pakistan. This halal-friendly restaurant is sure to make you feel at home; you can request vegetarian and Jain dishes. The menu offers Soups, Salads, Deep-fry snacks, Curries, Barbecues, Biryani, desserts, beverages, and Set menus. Customers fall in love with the delicious meals offered here, and the service is excellent too!
5. Taj Palace
Taj palace is a fantastic restaurant dedicated to sharing Indian cuisine with Korea. The restaurant can accommodate many, which is perfect for dining with large groups. Vegetarian, vegan, and halal-friendly options are available here. Customers appreciate the restaurant’s hygienic environment, warm service, and exciting menu. Their buffet, in particular, offers a vast range of items.
6. Manimal Smokehouse
Manimal is the apt place to try authentic American Barbecue in Itaewon. The meat served here is cooked to perfection until it becomes tender, juicy, and smoky in flavour. Their side dishes are equally delicious, with items like Mexican Corn, Macaroni and Cheese, Apple Coleslaw, Mashed Potatoes, and many more. Make sure you visit this fantastic restaurant with a group of people to try different delicious meats.
7. The Flying Pan Blue
‘The Flying Pan Blue’ has, over the years, built a solid reputation of being one of the best breakfast and brunch destinations in Seoul. The restaurant is not known for alcohol, but its menu does provide some. Instead, you can indulge in coffees, teas, and cold drinks to go along with your brunches! The menu offers all-day brunches, French toasts, soups, sandwiches, salads, and desserts. The staff is well-known to be courteous and prompt.
8. BRAAI Republic
‘BRAAI Republic’ is an exclusive restaurant for delicious and authentic cuisine from South Africa! This restaurant enjoys being one of the best-rated ones in Seoul. Pork, Beef, Chicken, Lamb, Prawns, and Sausages are all available with a wide range of side dishes. They also offer a vast selection of alcohol to accompany your meals. Braai is easily your go-to place in Seoul if you want to explore the food from South Africa. The staff, especially the owners, are known to be super-friendly!
9. Wang Thai
Another excellent restaurant for relishing Thai cuisine is ‘Wang Thai,’ for being authentic in flavour. The restaurant is perfect for a visit with family or friends. It’s best to make a reservation beforehand as there can be a bit of waiting. Special requests to the chef and adjustments to food are accepted here. Customers love their Shrimp Pad Thai, Red Curry, Tom Yum King, Coconut Milk Chicken Soup, Green Curry, Fried Spring Rolls, and many more.
10. Gino’s NY Pizza
Pizzas are always the right option when the hunger hits you, but savouring New York Style pizzas is indeed remarkable. At Gino’s NY Pizza, you get to eat some of Itaewon’s best pizzas that can make you practically obsessed. You can choose your toppings and even take the option of going gluten-free. ‘Garlic Knots’ on their menu has gained attention from the customers for all the right reasons. Visit with your family or friends and you will be guaranteed a great time.
11. Troika Russian Restaurant
It’s incredible to have a space in Itaewon that introduces Russian cuisine to its visitors. At Troika, you get the opportunity to experience and savour authentic Russian food prepared with fresh ingredients. The restaurant gives off homely and comfortable vibes, and you can enjoy the meal while grooving to some amazing Russian pop music. Customers love Chebureki, Green Borscht, Pelmeni, Plov, Kompot, Olivye, and Vodka!
12. Jonny Dumpling
‘Jonny Dumpling’ is a must-visit if you enjoy dumplings! The place is so popular that you will often find people queuing up for their turn to eat. Whether you decide to visit solo or with a small group of friends, this place is perfect for casual dining. You get to taste some freshly prepared steamed or fried dumplings. Pork, shrimp, and veggie dumplings are customer favourites. This place also serves some other gems from Asian cuisine.
13. Linus’ BBQ
Here is a restaurant that will make you go crazy with its authentic South US Style Barbeques. Tender meat smoked to perfection is an experience never to miss. Customers rave about the brisket, pulled pork, ribs, the slaw, and the bread. Their cocktails, too, are highly delicious. The side dishes have received fantastic reviews. The atmosphere is more than just perfect for hanging out with your friends or going on dinner dates.
14. Trench Town
Trench Town is hands down the best spot to relish Jamaican food. If you want to try something different from the Korean BBQ, then the Caribbean flavours infused in perfectly cooked meat that falls of the bone and melts in your mouth are something you would not want to miss! Do try their half and half Jamaican Platter. Enjoy your meals while listening to exciting Jamaican music.
15. Midnight Bistro Jubari Project
Jubari Project is a Gastropub and Diner well-known for its excellent service. Browse through their multi-cuisine and fusion menu and indulge in their wide range of alcoholic drinks. The friendly staff is sure to make you feel at home right away. You will definitely, have a great time dining and sipping away in this atmospheric pub.
16. Glam Lounge
Consider this pub a posh place with beautiful interiors, lighting, music, and most importantly, excellent drinks! The staff is friendly, can speak English well, and will not leave you unattended. You will find a good mix of Koreans and foreigners in this lounge. A must-visit if you want to enjoy the beautiful nightlife of Seoul along with your friends.
17. Two Plus Itaewon
Two Plus is a must-visit if you enjoy beef barbeques. The menu offers a variety of beef cuts, but no other kinds of meat are available. This Korean BBQ restaurant is ideal for grabbing meaty lunches and dinners. Although pricey, Two Plus doesn’t compromise in taste! A few alcoholic drinks are also available here; don’t miss out on trying the delicious wine.
18. Casablanca Sandwicherie
A perfect spot for brunches—this Moroccan sandwich-outlet provides delicious sandwiches at reasonable costs. Visit once and you’d want to visit again and again! Chicken Sandwich, Shakshukas, Lamb Chili, Berber Omelette Sandwich, Shrimp Sandwich are a must-try. The interiors are full of Moroccan culture, and you’re sure to have a great time.
19. Red Brick
Red Brick brings you authentic European food. The chefs here are known to be creative with their recipes and add ingredients that best enhance the tastes of the dishes. The low lighting, light music, and cozy ambiance are perfect for relishing some pasta or pizza while sipping on some crisp wine with your friends or date. In addition, their staff is well-known for being warm, welcoming, and friendly!
Hacienda is a mid-ranged restaurant offering Latin American cuisine. That means you can gorge on dishes like Beef Burritos, Fish Tacos, Beef Tacos, Black Tortillas, Quesadillas, and many more. The meat is juicy, and the restaurant serves avocado generously. The service is excellent, and you can order alcohol here. Hacienda is easily one of the best places in Itaewon to have Mexican and other Latin American delights.