Hongdae Restaurants: Discover the Best Dining Spots Right Now

If you’re in the mood for Korean food and some makgeolli, then visit this Joseon-themed restaurant in Hongdae!

Highlights

  • With so many cheap and casual restaurants, Hongdae is a great place to visit when you’re looking to eat out in Seoul.
  • One of the crowd-favorites here is The Dam, which is included in the Blue Ribbon Survey — Korea’s very own restaurant guidebook.
  • Hongdae is also home to 943 King’s Cross, the Harry Potter cafe in Seoul. You can check out their menu here.
  • To book restaurants in Hongdae at a discount, use WAUG. Download the app here and sign up to get a ₩3,000 or $3 coupon!

Explore more: Gangnam Restaurants: Where to Dine in Seoul’s Glitzy Neighborhood

Where to Eat in Hongdae: Restaurants to Try

Hongdae is known for its vibrant scene, but there’s a lot more to this neighborhood than shops, pubs, and folks who are unable to walk straight after midnight. From BBQ joints and dakgalbi restaurants, to traditional Korean houses and places that serve international cuisine, the area is a certified paradise for foodies (which is why I chose to live here!). If you haven’t been to this neighborhood yet or if you’re in search for new dining spots to try, check out this list of Hongdae restaurants (sorted in no particular order):

1. The Dam

Grilled Ginseng Pork.

The Dam is a restaurant in Hongdae that’s on the Blue Ribbon Survey, the local counterpart of Michelin Guide. They serve modern Korean food, which is perfect for first-time visitors who are looking to have a good taste of the city.

The menu items that you can enjoy here are the Charcoal Grilled Ginseng Pork that comes with leaf wraps, as well as their Sirloin Garlic Stem Wrap. They offer various lunch and dinner sets, which come with appetizers, mains, dessert, and a whole lot of side dishes. Expect to have a satisfying meal when you come visit this place.

Find reviews for The Dam and book them at a discount by clicking below:

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2. Joseon Era Pub (조선시대 주막)

Makgeolli Set.

Whenever I have friends visiting Seoul for the first time, I always bring them to the Joseon Era Pub in Hongdae. For one, I like the traditional concept of the place. Here you can get the experience of dining in a hanok village, which stands out if you consider the youthful and trendy vibe of Hongdae.

As a resto-pub, Joseon Era Pub will certainly not disappoint. They serve different kinds of makgeolli (Korean rice wine) and soju, which they pair well with tasty fritters, cheesy tteokbokki, and their best-tasting jeon (savory pancakes filled with kimchi or seafood). But, of course, if you’re not a drinker, you can visit the Joseon Era Pub for lunch and enjoy their Jeonju Bibimbap and Spicy Bulgogi Rice meals.

Book this restaurant in Hongdae below:

3. The Grid

Italian restaurant in Hongdae.

If you’re a foreigner living in Korea, then you probably know that there’s a handful of Italian places in Seoul that quite disappoint. I’ve had my fair share of poor dining experiences, but The Grid is an option that I wouldn’t count out — in fact, it’s up on my list. Here they make fresh flatbread pizza, which go well with their perfectly-seasoned cream pasta. Many customers who booked this restaurant in Hongdae here said that the pizza was the clear standout, however I’d also commend the well-appointed dining room and customer service if we were to consider the overall experience.

Book WAUG’s special 2-person set below for only ₩19,000 or $16!

4. Jin Mandu

Simple yet flavorful. This is how Jin Mandu makes their Korean dumplings. The restaurant is popular, cheap, and tiny, which only means that you will most likely have to wait to be seated. Make sure to try both their steamed and fried dumpling variants when you visit!

5. Ichiryu

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Ichiryu is a Michelin-listed restaurant in Hongdae where you can feast on Sapporo-style grilled Australian lamb. The meat here is tender and tasty, but the way they’ll be cooked in front of you is just as delightful. Definitely one of the places to visit for a chill weekend hangout!

6. Pixxa

Ginos-pizza-itaewon

Speaking of weekend spots, you can also check out Pixxa, a cozy Hongdae restaurant that consistently makes rounds on social media. Their 18-inch four seasons is a visual delight, but just wait ’til you bite into their pie — it’ll definitely impress! They close at 2am everyday, so if you’re looking to have a night-out with friends, this is where you should eat in Hongdae!

Also read: Where to Get Great Pizza in Seoul

7. Wine Connection

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Wine Connection is where you want to be if you’re looking to have a fancy lunch or dinner. Their elegant space is most ideal if you’re looking for a quiet and intimate spot in Hongdae (yes, such a place exists), and their Seabass and fine selecton of wine will definitely impress. Wine Connection currently has a perfect 5-star rating, and you can book their Seabass Set below at a discount:

8. Pasasa Bistro

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홍대핫플맛집하면 다~~아는 레스토랑 @pa.sa.sa . . 🌈여러분 비가 그치고 날씨가 맑아졋어요~ 홍대에서 데이트 중이거나 소개팅이 계획 중이시라면 코로나로부터 안전하고 음식은 맛과 가성비를 느끼실 수 있는 이곳을 한번 방문해보세요😘 서비스 , 맛 둘다 🍝느껴 보실수 있는 이곳‼️‼️ 파사사 단골이 되실듯🥰🥰🥰 . 서울특별시 마포구 어울마당로133 2층. ☎️02 336 2916

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Looking to have steak in Seoul? Check out this Hongdae restaurant! Pasasa Bistro serves top blade steak, which you can enjoy with wine and their signature spicy rose pasta. If you’ll come with a date, I suggest getting the ₩30,000 cash voucher that you can book below at a 10% discount.

Also read: 5 Best Wine Bars in Seoul That’ll Make Your Evening

9. Abiko Test Kitchen

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#아비꼬테스트키친 #그린카레 #블랙카레

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If you’re thinking about visiting Abiko Curry in Hongdae (be it the one inside EXiT Mall or the one in 25 Hongik-ro), then hear me out: you’re better off going to Abiko Test Kitchen in the same area. Not only do they have a cleaner look, they also offer more exciting options like squid ink curry and basil curry, which will be a treat for fans of this Japanese curry franchise! I’d stay away from their fried fish topping just because they don’t taste as fresh as their pork, but overall, it’s a good restaurant to visit.

10. Hong Cup

Even if I didn’t know one of the people who man this chicken-in-a-cup joint, Hong Cup will still have a place in this where-to-eat-in-Hongdae list. This is actually not a proper restaurant (they only have a very small dining space for 3 people behind their kitchen and counter), but this fried chicken spot is definitely a must-visit for foreign visitors. They serve various flavors of fried chix here (like sweet and spicy, garlic, mustard, etc.), which will only set you back ₩3,000 or $2.5 for a small cup. Definitely a good alternative if you don’t want to spend more than ₩10,000 in a proper fried chicken joint! (P.S. Get the cheese.)

11. 943 King’s Cross Cafe

943-kings-cross-cafe-in-seoul
Dragon Leg.

You might have seen photos of this tourist-favorite show up in your Instagram feed, but 943 King’s Cross is more just than the Harry Potter attraction in Seoul. Here they make different kinds of coffee-based and alcoholic beverages, which you can enjoy with their huge Dragon Leg set. If you’re a Potterhead, then you can read this guide about what you can expect on your visit. Otherwise, click below to check out the menu options that you can book online!

12. Hongdae Jopok Tteokbokki

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When you’re looking to get a fill of your favorite Korean streetfood, check out Hongdae Jopok Tteokbokki. This is a no-frills dining spot where you can enjoy tteokbokki, blood sausage, bibimbap, and a warm bowl of ramen at an affordable price. Good place to visit after you indulge yourself in any of the bars in Hongdae!

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BONUS: Mono Cheese in Hongdae

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A good place to get bagels in South Korea.

Adding this shop in this list of Hongdae restaurants just ‘cuz it’s hard to find bagels in Seoul that are really good! I’d say more, but check out this review instead:

As a New Yorker, I was really craving bagels during my visit to Korea. This place filled my appetite. Very good bagel and cream cheese, perfect for breakfast.

Customer Review for Mono Cheese on WAUG | 2019-10-27 06:10

Find more about this sandwich shop in Hongdae below:

Discover dining spots and activities in Seoul

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Aside from restaurants in Hongdae, you can also use WAUG to book attractions, classes, and other dining spots in Seoul — for less! Get the WAUG app by clicking below:

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Kevin

Kevin

안녕하세요. 글로벌 콘텐츠 마케터 Kevin입니다. Hey, I'm Kevin from the Marketing Team. If you have any questions about WAUG or this blog post, feel free to send me an email!

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