Home to around 300,000 people, many of them foreigners, Yongsan District is among the most vibrant in Seoul. Besides the popular Haebangchon, one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city, Yongsan is also home to Itaewon, one of the most ethnically diverse regions in Korea. It’s, therefore, no wonder that Yongsan District also boasts some of the best restaurants in town.
1. Vatos Urban Tacos
Restaurant, Mexican, $$$
Vatos has become famous for Mexican cuisine in Seoul. The Korean owner, from Los Angeles and Texas, made his dream of opening a Mexican restaurant in Seoul through crowdfunding, and currently operates four in Seoul. Signature menu items include galbi tacos, fried kimchi carnitas, and 'Makgeolita', a margarita with Korean makgeolli.
Location : Open In Google Maps 1 Itaewon-ro 15-gil, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu Seoul, 4351, South Korea Phone : +8227978226 Wemsite : Visit Website
2. Maple Tree House
Restaurant, Korean, BBQ, $$$
Yongsan doesn't just have great foreign restaurants. Maple Tree House, for example, serves delicious Korean BBQ in a modern venue. Maple Tree House's guests can enjoy perfectly aged Korean beef that is thinly sliced and gently cooked on the grill on the table.
Location : Open In Google Maps 26 Itaewon-ro 27ga-gil, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea Phone : +82227907978 Sns : Facebook
3. Prost Pub & Grill
Bar, Gastropub, Korean, $$$
Prost Pub & Grill is one of the most visited pubs in Itaewon. On weekends and in the evenings, it can get quite crowded. You’ll find your typical pub food items, such as burgers and pasta on the menu. The drink selection is huge and many guests come for the Kilkenny on tap.
Location : Open In Google Maps 26 Itaewon-ro 27ga-gil, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu Seoul, 140-201, South Korea Phone : +8227966854 Sns : Facebook
Restaurant, Chinese, $$$
Specializing in handmade Chinese dumplings, Johnny Mandu is one of the most famous restaurants in Yongsan. Five types of dumplings are on the menu, but the half moon dumplings and boiled shrimp dumplings are the signature dishes. If you're familiar with Shanghai Xiaolong Bao, you'll appreciate that the shrimp dumplings are also stuffed with a savory broth. The half-moon-shaped dumplings are also popular because of their unusual combination of fried and soft noodles.
Location : Open In Google Maps 33 Bogwang-ro 59-gil, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu Seoul, 4391, South Korea Phone : +8227908830 Website : Visit Website
5. Linus' Bama Style BBQ
Restaurant, Korean, American, BBQ, $$$
This seminal bbq joint gave Seoul’s expats from America’s deep South something to write home about when it opened its doors in 2014.
That aside, the barbecue at Linus’ Bama Style BBQ is not just for the homesick.
Linus’ Itaewon space is packed nearly every day of the week with eager diners from all walks of life communing over platters of buttery brisket and sumptuous pulled pork. As the name of the place indicates, the bbq is full-on Alabama style, smoked “low and slow” over hickory and apple woods. The process yields meat that falls apart with the touch of a fork and is packed with rich, toasty flavor.
The bbq platters (KRW 31,000 for pork and brisket) come with buttery rolls and a choice of sides, as well as the Linus signature sauces, all of which hit the perfect balance of tangy, sweet and spicy.
Location : Open In Google Maps 136-13 Itaewon-ro, Itaewon 1(il)-dong, Yongsan-gu Seoul, 4390, South Korea Phone : +8227902920 Website : Visit Website