8 Best Restaurants in Hongdae: Dining Spots to Try in 2021

Looking for the best restaurants in Hongdae? This Korean dining spot has been on the Blue Ribbon Survey — Korea’s version of the Michelin Guide — since 2013!

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 Grid, an Italian restaurant that offers lunch and dinner sets for 2 starting at ₩19,000 or $18!
  • Hongdae is also home to 943 King’s Cross, the iconic Harry Potter cafe in Seoul. Book their special coffee and meal sets at a discount here!
  • WAUG (와그) is the No. 1 booking platform from Korea that you can use to book restaurants, attractions, and lifestyle activities at a discount. If you’re not a member yet, download the app here, sign up, and get ₩3,000 or $3 off your first booking 🎉

Explore more: 10 Best Things to Do in Seoul in 2021: Guide for Expats

Where to Eat in Hongdae: Best 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. 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 (더담)

The Dam is a restaurant in Hongdae that’s on the Blue Ribbon Survey, the local counterpart of the Michelin Guide. Here you can enjoy modern Korean cuisine, from rice cakes wrapped in sirloin to their signature char-grilled pork wrapped in leaves (쌈밥 or ssambap). They have various lunch and dinner sets, which come with appetizers, main, dessert, and a whole lot of side dishes. Expect to have a satisfying meal when you come visit this place.

  • MUST-TRY: Roast Pork with Ginseng Chili Sauce & Sirloin Beef Roll with Rice Cake (available in all courses)
  • PRICE RANGE: ₩23,000-53,800 or $21-32.8 on WAUG (vs. regular rates of ₩25,000-58,000 or $23-53)
  • LOCATION: 6-minute walk from Hongik Univ. Station Exit 8
  • HOURS: 12-9pm (last order at 8pm)

First time to use WAUG? After signing up, you’ll get an extra ₩3,000 or $3 discount coupon that you can apply on your first booking 🥳

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2. The Grid (더그리드)

Fancy some Italian food? One of the restaurants in Hongdae that you can visit is The Grid. They’re mainly known for their Cream Pasta and flavorful Seafood Rose Pasta, but they also impress with their Flatbread Pizza and Sizzling Steak. They offer lunch and dinner courses for 2 people starting at only ₩19,000 or $17, and they come with homemade bread, your choice of drink (ade), pasta, and your choice of flatbread pizza or beef platter (steak).

  • MUST-TRY: Seafood Rose Pasta & Beef Platter (Steak)
  • PRICE RANGE: ₩19,000-34,000 or $17-32 on WAUG (vs. regular rates of ₩20,000-38,000 or $18.5-36)
  • LOCATION: 10-minute walk from Hongik Univ. Station Exit 9
  • HOURS: 11am-10pm (last order at 9pm). Closed on Mondays.

3. Ichiryu (이치류)

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Ichiryu is a Michelin-listed restaurant in Hongdae where you can feast on grilled Australian lamb. Their Sapporo-style grilling technique makes the meat extra tender and juicy, and you’ll love how they’ll do it in front of you! The meat options at Ichiryu range from ₩25,000-29,000, while drinks are priced from ₩6,000-13,000. If you’re planning to visit as a group of 2-3, then you can book a cash coupon worth ₩100,000 on WAUG. You can use it for two servings of meat and the rest for drinks!

  • MUST-TRY: Premium Shoulder Rack & Ichiryu’s Fish Cake Soup
  • PRICE RANGE: ₩25,000-29,000 or $23-26 for 150-200g of meat / ₩6,000-13,000 or $5.5-12 for drinks
  • LOCATION: 7-minute walk from Hapjeong Station Exit 4
  • HOURS: 5pm-11pm from Mon-Sat & 5-10pm on Sundays and holidays

4. Pixxa (픽싸)

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If you’re looking for a nice and chill weekend spot, then 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!

  • MUST-TRY: Cheese & Pepperoni, Bacon & Cheese, Bulgogi
  • PRICE RANGE: ₩25,000-29,000 or $23-26 for your choice of 2-4 flavors
  • LOCATION: 5-minute walk from Hongik Univ. Station Exit 8
  • HOURS: 4pm-2am

5. PASASA Bistro (파스타를 사랑한 사임당)

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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 for a nice restaurant in Hongdae for couples? Check out PASASA Bistro, which is located just 3 minutes away from Hongik Univ. Station Exit 8. What I love about this place is that it offers a view of Hongdae’s main street and its satisfying dishes that come in large portions. The bestseller here is their Top Blade Steak, which you can enjoy with wine and their Spicy Rose Pasta.

  • MUST-TRY: Korean Spicy Rose Pasta
  • PRICE RANGE: ₩10,000-15,000 for pasta and pizza
  • LOCATION: 3-minute walk from Hongik Univ. Station Exit 8
  • HOURS: 11am-9pm

6. 943 King’s Cross Cafe (943 킹스크로스 해리포터 카페)

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Dragon Leg.

You might have seen photos of this crowd-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 on WAUG at a discount!

  • MUST-TRY: BEST Set
  • PRICE RANGE: ₩15,600-43,200 for their special sets
  • LOCATION: 10-minute walk from Hongik Univ. Station Exit 9
  • HOURS: 11:30am-10:30pm

7. Vincero Pasta e Pizza (빈체로)

Fancy some seafood pasta? Whether you want risotto, cream, or rose pasta, you can visit Vincero Pasta e Pizza! This Italian restaurant in Hongdae is a great dining spot for families and friends — and affordable too! It’s only a 1-minute walk from Hongik Univ. Station Exit 8 so you can definitely make this the start of your night out in the college district!

  • MUST-TRY: Vincero Seafood Pasta
  • PRICE RANGE: ₩10,800-12,800 or $10-11.8 on WAUG
  • LOCATION: 1-minute walk from Hongik Univ. Station Exit 8
  • HOURS: 11:30am-10pm

8. Hong Cup (홍컵)

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.)

  • MUST-TRY: Yangnyeong Chicken with Cheese
  • PRICE RANGE: ₩3,500-13,000
  • LOCATION: 10-minute walk from Hongik Univ. Station Exit 9
  • HOURS: 2pm-12am

BONUS: Floating Rooftop Bar (플로팅)

Finally, we have a nice poolside rooftop bar in Hongdae called FLOATING. This bar is located on the 22nd floor of L7 Hongdae Hotel, and while they are not a restaurant, they’re worth including in this list for 2 reasons: they offer a sparkling wine/cocktail set for 2, and they impress with the view of the college district and Han River! If you’re ever looking for a nice bar in Hongdae for a date or for a chill night-out with your friends, definitely consider FLOATING!

  • MUST-TRY: Sparkling Wine Set
  • PRICE RANGE: ₩60,000 or $55
  • LOCATION: 2-minute walk from Hongik Univ. Station Exit 1
  • HOURS: 6pm-1am

How to Book Restaurants in Hongdae Online

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If you’re unsure how to book any of the Hongdae restaurants listed in this guide, then just follow these steps:

  1. Log in or sign up for an account here.
  2. Proceed to the booking page of your preferred restaurant.
  3. Select the date and option.
  4. Check out using your preferred method of payment. (Switch the page’s currency to KRW to see options like Naver Pay and mobile payment!)
  5. Wait for your voucher on the WAUG app, which you can download 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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