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Best Restaurants in Hongdae, Seoul 2024 – What to Eat in Hongdae, Seoul

Hongdae, located in the vibrant city of Seoul, South Korea, is a trendy neighborhood that exudes youthful energy and creativity. Famous for its thriving arts scene, fashion boutiques, and lively nightlife, Hongdae is also a food lover’s paradise. With a plethora of dining options, ranging from traditional Korean cuisine to international fusion dishes, the neighborhood and the many Hongdae food streets is a haven for gastronomic adventures. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best restaurants in Hongdae that promise to delight your taste buds and leave you craving for more.

Restaurant Street in Hongdae

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Best Restaurants in Hongdae, Seoul – What to Eat in Hongdae, Seoul

There are a lot of great Hongdae restaurants because it is a popular area to visit and because of Hongik University, there are many affordable options due to the many college students that reside there. The area is constantly changing and updating which can make it difficult to keep up with all the new restaurants that pop up. However, there are a few tried and trusted restaurants worth checking out. Some of my favorite things to do in Hongdae Seoul is to try all of these new restaurants with my friends and family.

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Best Korean Restaurants in Hongdae

Eat Delicious Hongdae Street Food 

Hotteok - Korean Pancake filled with Brown Sugar, Seeds and Sometimes Nuts - Korean Street Food

Street food is popular all over Seoul, but there are quite a few street vendors in Hongdae as well. Hongdae has an amazing Hotteok vendor which is a must-try in Seoul. Quite often, you will see many of the strawberries on a stick covered in a thin layer of hard-glazed sugar.

  • Strawberries on a stick
  • Hotteok
  • Odeng
  • Egg Bread

Korean BBQ Pork Belly at 홍구삼겹

Samgyupsal (Pork Belly)- Korean BBQ - Restaurants in Hongdae

Going to a Korean BBQ restaurant is a staple in South Korea and there are many great places to eat Korean barbecue in Hongdae. Some popular cuts of meat you might find at a Korean BBQ include galbi (marinated beef short ribs), bulgogi (thinly sliced marinated beef), samgyeopsal (pork belly), and dak galbi (marinated chicken). These meats are typically served with a variety of side dishes, such as kimchi (fermented spicy cabbage), pickled vegetables, lettuce wraps, and dipping sauces. These accompaniments add depth and flavor to the grilled meats, allowing you to create your own delicious combinations.

Honggu, however, specializes in pork belly which is part of Korean culture is popular and a favorite among Koreans in terms of some of the best BBQ restaurants. Be sure to order the fried rice afterward as well. It’s not considered a meal in Korea unless you have rice. There is also an option to order plain white glutinous rice. 

EXPLORE THE VIBRANT GWANGJANG MARKET WITH A LOCAL GUIDE | Delve into the bustling energy and culinary wonders of Gwangjang Market in Seoul. With a history dating back over a century, this iconic market is a hub of activity and a true food lover’s paradise. Full details here.

Korean Fried Chicken at 치킨뱅이 or Kyochon Chicken

Korean fried chicken, often referred to as KFC, is a beloved culinary delight that has gained international recognition for its crispy texture, flavorful seasonings, and unique cooking techniques. It has become a staple in Korean cuisine and is enjoyed by locals and visitors alike.

What sets Korean fried chicken apart is the double-frying method, which results in an incredibly crispy exterior while maintaining tender and juicy meat inside. The chicken is typically coated in a variety of delicious sauces or seasonings, offering a range of flavors to suit different preferences.

One of the most popular styles of Korean fried chicken is yangnyeom chicken, which is coated in a sweet and spicy sauce made with gochujang (Korean chili paste), garlic, ginger, and other seasonings. It delivers a perfect balance of heat and sweetness. Other variations include soy garlic chicken, which offers a savory and garlicky flavor, and plain crispy chicken for those who prefer a simpler taste.

What make’s Korean fried chicken so popular is Chimaek, a portmanteau of “chicken” and “maekju” (Korean for beer), refers to the popular combination of fried chicken and beer that has become a cultural phenomenon in South Korea. Chimaek restaurants are establishments that specialize in serving fried chicken paired with beer, creating a casual and enjoyable dining experience.

Budae Jjigae at 놀부부대찌개 합정자이점

Budae Jjigae

Budae Jjigae, also known as “Army Stew,” is a popular Korean dish that has an interesting history and a unique blend of flavors. It originated in South Korea after the Korean War, when food scarcity led to the creation of a stew that combined leftover ingredients from U.S. military bases with Korean staples.

The main components of Budae Jjigae include a spicy soup base made with gochujang (Korean red chili paste) and other seasonings, along with a mix of ingredients such as sliced sausage, spam, ham, instant noodles, tofu, kimchi, and various vegetables. The combination of these ingredients creates a hearty and flavorful stew with a fusion of Korean and Western influences.

Budae Jjigae is typically cooked and served in a large communal pot at the center of the table, allowing everyone to share and enjoy the dish together. It’s often enjoyed during social gatherings or as a comfort food option on cold days. I highly recommend getting the one with cheese which can help cut down on the spicy taste, it’s one of the most most popular places and my favorite place to get budae jjigae. 

You can easily get a lot of food at an affordable price and this is one of the best food options for a traditional Korean meal. 

EXPLORE THE VIBRANT GWANGJANG MARKET WITH A LOCAL GUIDE | Delve into the bustling energy and culinary wonders of Gwangjang Market in Seoul. With a history dating back over a century, this iconic market is a hub of activity and a true food lover’s paradise. Full details here.

Okdongsik 옥동식 

Okdongsik 옥동식 

This is a popular restaurant on the Michelin Guide in Seoul. They only serve a delicious pork broth soup (돼지곰탕) and Mandu (steamed dumplings). It’s known for it’s simplicity in flavors. The serving experience is quite nice and enjoyable.

Okdongsik is a favored dining option for both locals and visitors seeking authentic Korean flavors at affordable prices. With its wide selection of dishes, set menus, and inviting atmosphere, Okdongsik offers a memorable dining experience that captures the essence of traditional Korean cuisine and ox bone soup. 

In regards to a Michelin restaurant, they definitely have reasonable prices. However, it can be hard for locals to see the reason why this place is so great in terms of maybe not knowing this dish well. 


“맛있는순두부&김치찜” (pronounced “Masitneun Sundubu & Kimchi Jjim”) translates to “Delicious Sundubu & Kimchi Stew” in English. This combination suggests a restaurant or eatery that offers both delicious sundubu (soft tofu stew) and kimchi jjim (kimchi stew). The pairing of these two dishes is popular in Korean cuisine, as they complement each other well in terms of flavor and texture.

This is the perfect place to grab some of Korean’s best tofu stews in Hongdae. One of the best ways to eat this is with a bowl of rice where we grab spoonfuls of rice and dip them in the warm spicy broth. 

Myth Jokbal

Myth Jokbal is a popular Korean restaurant specializing in a beloved dish called jokbal. Jokbal is a traditional Korean dish that consists of braised pig’s feet, known for its tender meat and rich flavors. Myth Jokbal has gained a reputation for serving exceptional jokbal, attracting locals and visitors alike. 

At Myth Jokbal, you can expect to find a variety of jokbal dishes on the menu. The pig’s feet are typically slow-cooked in a flavorful broth until they become tender and succulent. The dish is often served with an assortment of side dishes (banchan), including pickled vegetables, kimchi, and dipping sauces to enhance the overall dining experience. You might be afraid to try pig’s feet, however, for Korean food lovers, it’s a must-have on your list of the best things to eat in Korea

Icheumo Ramen 

So technically not Korean food, but it is Japanese food. Icheumo Ramen is a popular ramen restaurant located in Seoul, South Korea. Known for its flavorful and authentic ramen dishes, Icheumo Ramen has gained a reputation among locals and visitors alike.

Icheumo Ramen offers a variety of ramen options, each carefully crafted with attention to detail. From rich and savory tonkotsu (pork bone broth) ramen to lighter and refreshing shoyu (soy sauce) ramen, there is something to suit every taste preference. The noodles are cooked to perfection, and the toppings are thoughtfully chosen to enhance the overall flavor profile of each bowl.

The restaurant takes pride in using high-quality ingredients and traditional cooking techniques to create their ramen. Whether you’re a fan of classic ramen or looking to try unique variations like spicy miso ramen or seafood ramen, Icheumo Ramen offers a diverse menu to cater to different preferences.

RELATED: Myeongdong Street Food

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International Food Options

Many expats and immigrants in Korea have had their fill of Korean food and may be looking for more Western food options. If you are not a fan of Korean food or an expat wanting something other than Korean food, these are some of the places I suggest you go to grab a bite.

Monster Pizza

For pizza enthusiasts, Monster Pizza is a true gem in Hongdae. This New York-style pizzeria serves up enormous slices of pizza that are as delicious as they are Instagram-worthy. With a wide array of toppings to choose from and generous portion sizes, you’ll find it hard to resist their mouthwatering creations. Whether you opt for a classic Margherita or a loaded meat lover’s slice, Monster Pizza delivers on taste and quality.

Ray’s Kitchen

An overall great place to get a few American staples from pasta to pizza to hamburgers to steak, this restaurant has a bit for everyone. They have a variety of staples that can provide a bit of comfort while navigating in a country you aren’t familiar with. 

Witch’s Kitchen/마녀주방 

If you are looking for a themed restaurant and still a huge Harry Potter fan I suggest you check out this pretty good Witch’s Kitchen. This is a Witch themed restaurant with everything related to Halloween. Get your ghouls and goblins here for a nice dinner.

SF Bagels

Around the corner from B’Mucho is SF bagels. After a few months of arriving in Korea, I did not realize how much I was craving a bagel until I saw this place. There aren’t many bagel shops in Korea and for someone like me who loves jalapeno cheddar bagels, those are hard to come by. At SF Bagels they have that and jalapeno cream cheese which is also hard to find. If you love bagels and live or stay near Incheon, there is a great bagel place in Songdo I highly recommend.

SMØR Nordic Kitchen (스뫼르) 

A great place to grab Brunch and a traditional American breakfast. From hearty open-faced sandwiches (smørrebrød) with various toppings to flavorful meatballs, Nordic-style salmon, and comforting stews, SMØR Nordic Kitchen presents a range of dishes that capture the essence of Nordic cooking. The menu often incorporates locally sourced ingredients and traditional cooking techniques, ensuring an authentic experience.

The interior design of SMØR Nordic Kitchen reflects the clean and minimalist aesthetics often associated with Nordic design, creating a modern and inviting atmosphere for guests to enjoy their meal. The friendly and knowledgeable staff are happy to provide insights into the dishes and offer recommendations based on personal preferences.

Urban Plant

Urban Plant has quickly become our go-to brunch places in the area. Housed in a beautifully converted building, this café boasts a simple yet inviting decor adorned with lush leaves and vibrant plants. With ample seating options on both the first and second floors, including a spacious patio area, there’s always a cozy spot to enjoy your meal. The menu features expertly prepared omelets, egg sandwiches, and other brunch favorites that are sure to satisfy your cravings. 

Don’t miss out on their delightful autumn drink selection, including the ever-popular maple latte. The friendly staff adds to the welcoming atmosphere, and the abundance of greenery surrounding you truly creates a tranquil and refreshing experience. Whether you’re a plant enthusiast, a food lover, or simply seeking a cozy ambiance, Urban Plant is the perfect spot for you to unwind and indulge in good food amidst a lush, green oasis.

Bro’s Burger 

If you are looking for a good American cheeseburger place, I’ve heard raving reviews about Bro’s Burgers. There aren’t many places where you can get an authentic American-style burger. Many are catered to a fast-food style or feel.

Pie Republic

Pie Republic - Meat Pies at one of the popular restaurants in Hongdae

If you are from New Zealand, Australia, or South Africa, you can come here to get some of the best meat pies in South Korea. They have 3 different styles and I promise you the flakey crust is to die for. Be sure to try their rack of lamb if you can.

Slow Taco

Slow Taco is a popular taco joint located in the vibrant neighborhood of Hongdae, Seoul. This casual eatery is known for its relaxed atmosphere and delicious Mexican-inspired fare. This is not an authentic Mexican restaurant, but it does have some good flavors and they have a pan grilled option similar to fajitas. It’s for some of us comfort food as many of us living in Seoul don’t have much access to Mexican cuisine in Korea. 

Rosso 1924

Pizza in Hongdae Restaurants

The use of a brick oven for cooking the pizzas adds to the traditional and authentic experience, as brick ovens are known for producing that distinctive, crispy crust and flavorful toppings. Offering personal-sized pizzas allows for a customized dining experience and ensures that each pizza receives individual attention. By focusing on the authentic Italian-style rather than Korean sweet-style pizzas, Rosso 1924 provides a unique and distinct option for pizza lovers in Seoul. 

It’s exciting to have a place like Rosso 1924 that offers a taste of Italy in the vibrant culinary scene of Hongdae. It’s a great place located on the main street to get some Italian-style pizza. 

Gusto Taco

Gusto Taco restaurant in Hongdae is a popular Mexican eatery that brings the vibrant flavors of Mexico to the bustling streets of Hongdae. With its lively atmosphere and mouthwatering menu, Gusto Taco has become a go-to spot and one of the best places for locals and visitors craving authentic Mexican cuisine.

The restaurant prides itself on serving up delicious and satisfying tacos, prepared with fresh ingredients and bursting with flavors. From classic options like carne asada and al pastor to creative combinations like Korean BBQ tacos with a Mexican twist, Gusto Taco offers a wide range of choices to suit various taste preferences.

The Tandoor in Hongdae

At The Tandoor, you can expect a diverse menu featuring a wide range of Indian dishes that showcase the rich flavors and spices of the region. From flavorful curries to aromatic biryanis and mouthwatering tandoori dishes, The Tandoor offers a true taste of India in Hongdae.

One of the highlights of dining at The Tandoor is their selection of tandoori specialties. These dishes, such as tandoori chicken, seekh kebabs, and naan bread, are prepared in the traditional clay oven, resulting in a unique smoky and charred flavor. The restaurant takes pride in their commitment to using quality ingredients and ensuring the authenticity of their dishes.

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Cafes and Restaurants in Hongdae to Grab Sweets

Hongdae’s dessert scene is a paradise for anyone with a sweet tooth. From whimsical cafés to artisanal gelato shops, the neighborhood offers an array of delightful sweets that will satisfy even the most discerning dessert lover. Whether you’re in the mood for picture-perfect treats or classic indulgences, the cafes and restaurants in Hongdae mentioned above are sure to delight your taste buds and provide a memorable sweet experience. 

Randy’s Donut

Randy's Donuts

​​Randy’s Donut is an iconic donut shop that has become a beloved landmark in Los Angeles, California. With its distinctive giant donut-shaped sign, Randy’s Donut has captured the hearts of locals and visitors alike. This legendary establishment has been serving delectable donuts since 1953, and its timeless appeal has made it a pop culture icon, often seen in movies, TV shows, and music videos. 

Randy’s Donut offers a wide variety of mouthwatering donuts, from classic glazed and chocolate frosted to unique flavors like maple bacon and red velvet. Each donut is freshly made with care, ensuring a fluffy texture and heavenly taste. Whether you’re grabbing a donut on the go or indulging in a dozen for a special occasion, Randy’s Donut is a must-visit destination for any donut enthusiast.

If you are a big donut fan, this is a great place to get an American-style donut. For us living in Korea, it’s a bit of heaven, but for those just visiting it’s probably just another donut shop to you.

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Dingga Cake

Dingga Cake is a renowned bakery in Hongdae that has gained a reputation for its exceptional and artistic cakes. Known for their attention to detail and exquisite designs, Dingga Cake creates edible masterpieces that are as visually stunning as they are delicious. Each cake is meticulously crafted, showcasing intricate decorations and vibrant colors that make them stand out from the crowd. 

Whether you’re looking for a cake for a special occasion or simply want to treat yourself to something extraordinary, Dingga Cake offers a wide range of flavors and designs to suit every taste. From elegant floral designs to whimsical characters, their cakes are a true feast for the eyes and taste buds, leaving a lasting impression on anyone fortunate enough to indulge in them.

This is a popular cake shop in Hongdae that is very well known and has been featured on TV. They have a lot of interesting and cute decorated cakes from pizza cakes to beautiful flower cakes.

Closed Restaurants in Hongdae 


This place hands down is one of the best Mexican restaurants in Seoul. This place has the best enchiladas that I highly recommend getting and I am not even an enchilada fan. The chef is from Mexico and serves authentic Mexican dishes totally worth eating. It’s in a hidden area further off the map of Hongdae. This place, however, is very small so if it is super busy, it might be hard to find seating.


Zapangi is a hidden gem that has gained popularity for its whimsical and Instagram-worthy desserts. As you step inside this unique café, you’ll find yourself surrounded by pastel-colored vending machines. But don’t be fooled, these vending machines are actually doors that lead to a delightful world of sweets. Indulge in their famous “Bbang” (cupcake) series, featuring flavors like red velvet, matcha, and cookies and cream. From their adorable unicorn cakes to their mouthwatering milkshakes, Zapangi is a must-visit for those seeking an enchanting dessert experience.

Conclusion for Restaurants in Hongdae

Hongdae’s culinary landscape is as diverse as its artistic flair. From traditional Korean comfort food to international flavors, the neighborhood boasts an array of exceptional restaurants that cater to all tastes. Whether you’re a local exploring your own backyard or a visitor eager to indulge in the city’s vibrant food scene, the best restaurants in Hongdae are sure to satisfy your cravings and leave you with unforgettable dining experiences. So, venture into this dynamic neighborhood and embark on a culinary journey that will delight your senses and create lasting memories.

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