Naengmyeon, a common Korean noodle dish, is an excellent example of the creative nature of Korean food. When I first tired naengmyeon, I thought, “How did they think to put these ingredients together? The noodles are iced!” Naengmyeon is as popular as it is creative. Yookssam Naengmyeon, a naengmyeon joint in Hongdae, not only serves this unique dish, but they have also tried to recreate the galbi/naengmyeon experience.
I was wandering around Hongdae with a friend, searching for a unique restaurant. We wanted to go somewhere out of the ordinary — not a common chain, hof, or café. Nothing seemed to fit the bill. Just as we were about to give up on our hunt, we stumbled upon Dallyeora Jogaegui Pocha (달려라 조개구이 포차), a seafood restaurant located in the heart of Hongdae. As luck would have it, Dallyeora Jogaegui Pocha was everything we wanted and more.
Guest Author: KungPyo Rhee
If you have had enough of fried or greasy chicken, Bong Chu Steamed Chicken(봉추찜닭), located near Hong Dae, provides you a new and healthy experience. Unlike other traditional Korean restaurants, Bong Chu Jjim Dak facinated me with its modern interior décor. The restaurant was crowded but not disturbingly so.
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Soju is drunk in Gangnam. Champagne in Cheongdam, and coffee or wine in Garosu-gil, Sinsa.
So which drinks fit the Hongdae scene?
If anything, Hongdae has it all. Hole-in-the-wall soju and beer places are everywhere. Jagermeister and tequila shots are commonplace in clubs. There are plenty of wine bars and other bars that sell hard liquor. But can you think of a place where you can have some sangria?
El Bliss is a dining lounge that you would expect to see in Cheongdam. El Bliss is reminiscent of Bliss in Itaewon, with similar wall design and light lamps that hang low.
But if anything El Bliss feels more like a cocktail lounge. In other words, totally un-Hongdae-like.
Guest Author: KungPyo Rhee
Often, when people think of cafes, they think of quiant little shops where couples, families, and friends can drink coffee, eat sandwiches, and have a few pasteries. This is such a place. Adorned with a diverse selection of ornaments, Buccella provides you a range of visual satisfaction while you have delicious sandwiches!
The name Cafe aA has always been under debate — some call it a cafe, others call it a museum, and there are even some people who consider this venue a showroom for designer’s furniture. But no matter what you call it, aA Design Museum (Cafe aA) provides a multitude of visual, historical, and culinary experiences that are sure to delight even the pickiest of cafe critics.
International restaurants are becoming more common throughout Seoul, but the generally inflated price tag accompanying them requires that you be an especially discerning judge; there’s no dining injury more painful than a bruised wallet following an insulting meal. Thankfully, the restaurant DIWAN-I-AM offers authentic Indian cuisine that is well worth the price.
Pregaming in Korea usually involves soju, beer, and a host of greasy side dishes which are less than satisfying. Although this is to save money, there are better options. Oversound in Hongdae offers extremely affordable prices, yet provides a chic atmosphere with quality music (and a sound system setup which can only be described in pictures).
With dozens of clubs in the Hongdae party scene, in order to stand out a venue needs to provide something unique and entertaining. Club Cocoon sports one of the liveliest and most progressive atmospheres in Korea, and together with good prices and good music result in it being one of the top clubs north of the Han River.
Along with one of the best art schools in Korea, Hongdae boasts an eclectic assortment of fine cafes and novel restaurants. Deciding where to go for coffee or food in this area is always a challenge. Moreover, since Hongdae is always packed, I like to find a quiet place to have a cup of coffee or read papers. If you don’t mind wandering a bit off the map, Cafe Wonderland, with its cozy atmosphere, is one of the best places for you to take time to relax.
Cafe Wonderland is located just behind SeoKyo Elementary School, about a 15-minute walk from Hongik University. It’s refreshingly removed from the clutter of central Hongdae, but be careful not to miss it: The alley down which it appears is full of wine bars and cafes, and Wonderland’s second story location makes it doubly easy to go unnoticed.