I rarely want to do any best-list on my blog because after doing that for a period of time under a publishing company, I have to honestly admit its still pretty inaccurate. This list is collated after I drank at a number of places and its specially catered to the keen alcoholics who visit Seoul. I am not listing drinking carts, convenience stalls and club bars because they are everywhere and there have been features on other websites listing them as a must-do in Korea travel to experience their local culture.
These 5 special places all have a different character and is so worth visiting each and every one of them. In the perspective of a girl who travels, eat and drink alone, I also judged the places after the rate of safety. Its quite easy to navigate your way around Seoul too! So ladies, you can have a great chill out place to go to without compromising your safety at the same time. Hope you enjoy checking out these places as much as I do! I really ♡ them for the booze, service and atmosphere!!
Cool Czech Beer – Castle Praha
The Castle Praha company have a few branches over Seoul but only this one situated in Hongdae is modelled after the actual Castle Praha in Czech that’s infamous for its unique architecture. Surprisingly, the food is as amazing as its exterior. I’m recommending visit to this place for their tasty Czech beers . For sides, order their sausages to pair with the beer, its a great match! They also have quite an extensive assortment of wines in their wine cellar on the 2nd floor, as well as a menu of the usual apéritifs for you to choose from.
서울시 마포구 서교동 395-19
Seogyo-dong 395-19, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
02-337-6644 / 02-334-2121
Monday – Thursday 12pm-2am
Friday, Saturday & Eve of Public Holidays 12pm-3am
Public Holidays 12pm-1am
Nearest subway: Sangsu station (exit 1)
Local Sul Jip – 안주마을 Anju maeul
In Korea, places that specifically sells alcohol are called 술집 (Sul Jip). And all the Sul Jip usually have their own menu of 안주 (An Ju) which means side dishes, that is meant to go well with the drinks they sell. You can find the name 안주마을 (AnJu MaEul) that literally translates as ‘side dishes village’ to be found almost anywhere in Seoul but this one near gyeongbokgung opened since year 2000 is one of a kind and attracts both new and regular customers. The owner – Ko Young Kwon constantly updates the customers with not only native Korean home brands’ 술 (alcohol) but also the newest 소주 (soju) and 막걸리 (makgeolli) available in town. Adding his personal rendition of drinking dishes fixated to pair with your alcohol, you got to look out for the additional handwritten menu board as he offers seasonal ingredients or daily catch so you get to savour extremely fresh side dishes when you visit. In his Sul Jip, you experience a taste of Korean culture with typical wood furnishings and also, encountering groups of people from a company having 회식 (Hwe Sik) is a common sight.
서울시, 종로구, 내자동 1-2
Naeja-dong 1-2, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Nearest subway: Gyeongbokgung station (exit 2)
Take-out Cocktails – 비닐 Vinyl
Nestled in bustling youth area – Hongdae, night comes alive and drinking can happen anywhere not restricted just sitting down in a place. Visit this shop that sells cocktails and other common liquers served in transparent plastic zip locks. Place an order thru the shop front, collect your cocktail and drink away while you walk in the area. Best of all it is legal to drink in the streets of South Korea! Drinks are relatively cheap here but don’t expect standard to be consistent thou. I guess everyone have their bad days too? Their cute robot design exterior is like a mascot, it definitely attracts your sight so you will never miss this.
61-1 Wausan-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Nearest subway: Sangsu station (exit 1)
Bulgarian Wines From A Bulgarian Guy – 젤렌 Zelen
Famed as the only Bulgarian restaurant you can find in whole of Korea, they genuinely serve up delicious authentic Bulgarian dishes. The owner – Mihal Spasov Ashminov who is more popularly known as chef Mihal in the culinary cook-off program 냉장구를부탁해 by JTBC also operates a trading company called Balkan Trade that imports Bulgarian wines to South Korea. Being the only importer for Bulgarian wines, he is able to bring in premium quality from his native country and you can get a taste of this in his restaurant Zelen. If you crave for Bulgarian taste, this is the place! The wines are robust and paired with any of the bulgarian fingerfood from the menu, you feel like you stepped into Bulgaria anytime. Zelen have 2 branches, the first original restaurant is located at Itaewon while the newer one is at Hannam-dong. I suggest to visit Itaewon’s as they have a really nice view of the street if you manage to get a seat by the windows.
용산구 이태원동 116-14
116-14 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Operating Hours: Daily 11.30am-11pm (breaktime 3-6pm)
Nearest subway: Itaewon station (exit 1)
☆ Watch out for my article on rare authentic cuisine restaurants like Zelen and other delicious eats in Seoul slated to be published on magazine in August! ; )
Makgeolli Player In The Town – 다모토리 ㅎ (H:)
Makgeolli – Korean rice wine, is ranked top favourite alcohol of the whole nation. And here at H:, I have to say this place is an eye opener especially for the foreigners who have just learned how to appreciate makgeolli and not to forget the need of mentioning the locals are just as impressed when they come so you ought to make a visit! They sell so many varieties of makgeolli and all are compiled with a friendly guide in the menu teaching you where it was manufactured from and other information about their makgeolli. If you feel you’re heading nowhere after reading all of it and simply can’t decide which to have, don’t fuss but ask for a taster set where you can choose 5 different types of Makgeolli for sampling. Select the top 5 listed on the walls if you are too lazy to choose from the menu. They make nice crispy korean pancakes to go with which is also one of the most popular An Ju among the customers.
용산구 용산동 2가 44-18
44-18 Yongsan-dong 2-ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
82 70 8950 8362
Operating Hours: Daily 6pm-2am
Nearest subway: Noksapyeong station (exit 2)