The coastal city of Busan, South Korea has a thriving culinary scene, which boasts world-class gastronomy, as well as delicious local food. Here are 10 of the city’s must-try restaurants characterized by Busan’s distinctive tastes.
If you’re looking for some hearty beachside grub, then Sharky’s Bar and Grill is the place to go. Served here is good old tasty American comfort food, cooked with the freshest, quality ingredients and a huge dollop of Cali-soul. Californian brothers Mike and Rick Schneider have done a wonderful job in bringing an authentic slice of San Diego to South Korea. It’s a good fit for this laid-back beach city. Taking inspiration from a San Diego bar called Sharky’s, the brothers’ small business has captured the hearts of locals and expats in the area, helped by a great atmosphere and super friendly service. Not only that, the food is filling and lovingly prepared, with their award-winning Big Boy Burgers, Mexican fare and prime cuts of steak on offer, as well as a wide selection of draft beers. Sharky’s now has three venues, each with a distinctive character and atmosphere – so choose wisely. The original bar is located close to Haeundae Beach, in the Pale de Cz building. It’s a comfortable, cozy neighborhood local with live music on Friday nights. The second location, on Gwanganlli Beach, is the largest and has a cool party vibe at the weekends. It also has a beautiful view of the Gwangan Bridge, and a custom-built shuffleboard. Finally, Sharky’s newest bar, opened early in 2014, is on the Haeundae Strip. It has a bar on the second floor and a restaurant on the third.
Situated inside the Novotel Busan Ambassador hotel, Ventanas is a gourmet grill and seafood restaurant, which some claim serves the best steaks in town. It also features a wonderful sea view overlooking Haeundae Beach, which is the largest beach in South Korea and one of Busan’s most attractive spots. The restaurant’s subtle yet modern decor and romantic mood lighting make for a wonderful ambience. The set menus offer the freshest seafood, and top quality beef and lamb sourced from Australia. The culinary experience would be incomplete without the good quality wine to go with it, and Ventana’s does not disappoint. In fact, its extensive wine list is probably the best in Busan. The restaurant’s Sunday brunch is also a winner.
Hidden away under a mountain in Busan, Yong Ggum is the strangest and hippest venue in the city. Though the name translates as ‘dragon dream’, the restaurant is also known as The Cave Bar as it’s housed in an old World War II bomb shelter, carved into the side of the hill. This makes for a surreal, but enchanting experience, amplified by the low lighting and drip-dripping of the cave water. Traditional Korean seafood and liquor is the order of the day, with the dongdongju, traditional Korean rice wine, coming highly recommended.