Seoul is a huge city with a diverse range of bars to choose from. Deciding on which places to check out can be a daunting task for anyone unfamiliar with the city, so take a look at this guide to help direct you to some of the finest watering holes in the South Korean capital.
Once in a Blue Moon
Once in a Blue Moon
If live jazz music is your thing, then this is one place that you’ll want to visit in Seoul. The bar covers three floors, each featuring a different musical genre. Based on the Blue Moon bars in the US, Once in a Blue Moon provides a romantic and intimate setting where local musicians can unleash their creativity in front of an appreciative audience. They also serve French, Mexican and local cuisine. The quality of the food is high and the service is second to none.
Once in a Blue Moon, 85-1, Chungdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea, +82 2-549-5490
Korea Beer Exchange
If you’re a craft beer lover who isn’t content with the staple Korean beers, then this is the place for you. A wide selection of beverages is readily available, both on tap and bottled, and the staff are extremely friendly and very knowledgeable about the drinks being served. The atmosphere is warm and inviting and there is a good choice of food to boot. The Korean craft beer scene is small but growing, which makes this bar a unique gem.
379, Yeouidaebang-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu | Jeil Bldg. 1st floor, +82 2-761-9953
WooBar a very sleek, modern and stylish open-space lounge bar which is popular with a young crowd. There is a live DJ every night and you are spoiled for choice when it comes to the wine and spirit selection. Behind the bar is an interactive art display, and the bar also happens to be the longest in Korea, stretching a full 18 meters. A very cool place all round that aims to woo the soul, hence the name.
Woo Bar, 177 Walkerhill-ro, Seoul, Gwangjin-gu, 143-708, +82 2-465-2222
If you’re in the mood for sampling some Italian wine in a cozy setting, then the Noxa Lounge should be right up your alley. Italian-style cuisine is also on the menu and the staff pride themselves on their Cosmopolitan cocktails, which they say are the best in the city. You’ll have to sample one yourself to see whether you agree.
Noxa Lounge, 671 Itaewon 2-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul 140-861, South Korea, +82 2-790-0776
Bar, Restaurant, Indian, $$$
Fundoori prides itself as being the first tandoori bar in all of Korea, and that’s certainly an accomplishment considering the dearth of Indian restaurants in Seoul. Here, visitors are able to sample a taste of the Indian subcontinent on the Korean peninsula, all the while enjoying a fine selection of craft beers in an active and vibrant setting unlike anything else in town.
Fundoori, 274-2 Hangangro 1-ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, 140-011, +82 2-797-1333
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Restaurant, American, Pub Grub, $$$
A wonderful cocktail bar and restaurant run by American ex-pats, here you will find some of the friendliest people you’re likely to come across. Lots of colorful drinks to choose from and delicious tacos will satisfy anyone who feels like they need a break from Korean food. The rooftop is open in summer if you need some fresh air.
Southside Parlor, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea, +82 2-749-9522
Cheeky Kiwi Bar
Bar, Pub Grub
Cheeky Kiwi Bar
This delightful establishment provides a unique New Zealand themed setting for patrons to soak up. This bar, which is run by Kiwi ex-pats, offers up a range of New Zealand wines that are very difficult to come by elsewhere in Korea. You can also take the rare opportunity to watch live rugby and cricket games on the big screen, or sample some distinctive cocktails and spirits.
Cheeky Kiwi Bar, 57-16 Changcheon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, Sinchon, +82 2-3144-8683
Bar, Pub, Pub Grub, $$$
A popular spot with both locals and ex-pats, the Bulldog Pub offers up a lively and welcoming atmosphere where you can relax and unwind in the company of like-minded individuals from all over the world. The staff are used to interacting with foreigners, and will be glad to assist you in selecting food and drink. The prices are very reasonable too, which is certainly a positive in a city that can get quite expensive if you’re not careful.
Bulldog Pub, 2F, 810-2, Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea, +82 2-563-9196
Maloney's Pub & Grill
Pub, Irish, $$$
Maloney’s Pub & Grill
If you’re after nothing more than a delicious burger and a thirst-quenching beer to wash it down, then Maloney’s Pub & Grill should be your destination of choice. Located in tourist-friendly Itaewon, here you will find quick service and welcoming vibes. Not to be missed if you’re in the neighborhood.
Maloney’s Pub & Grill, Itaewon 2(i)-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea, +82 2-3785-1675
This surprisingly tranquil oasis can be found in the heart of Seoul’s busy upmarket Gangnam District. Here you will find a North American atmosphere complemented by numerous beers that have been imported from the United States and Canada. Well worth a visit if you’re in the mood for a distinctly non-Korean evening.
Big Rock, B1F, 818-8, Yeoksam-dong, Seoul, South Korea, +82 2-539-6650