Busan is, for the most part, a 24-hour city. It’s not difficult to grab a bite at just about any hour of the day (or night), but it’s worth seeking out a restaurant that’s a bit smarter than a fast food joint for the best food well after dusk. From late-night BBQ joints to seafood restaurants that stay open well into the wee hours of the morning, here are some of our personal favorites.
Tap and Tapas (탭 앤 타파스)
Gastropub, Spanish, Mediterranean, $$$
The ambience and the décor of Tap and Tapas gives you the impression that you have been transported somewhere far away from the shores of Busan and over to the Mediterranean. Eat your way through the menu to savor the tastes of Spain in Korea. Plump Castelvetrano olives, nutty manchego, house-made Romesco, Spanish chorizo, and jamon Iberico all make for great late-night bites. If you’re in the mood, pair them with one of the gastropub’s hand-crafted cocktails. You won’t be disappointed.
Savor traditional Korean dishes in the elegant Ilpum Hanwoo, a high-end restaurant that has taken pride in serving an assortment of local favorites, from seafood to Korean barbecue, since 2003. Each dish is constructed with the highest quality ingredients and carefully seasoned with representative spices, while a lively atmosphere is complemented with trendy furnishings.
If you find yourself feeling peckish in the early hours of the morning in the Cheongsapo neighborhood, head straight to Noran Mahura. Open until sunrise, the open-air tent restaurant offers a wide variety of local delicacies. Their best seller, however, is jogae gui, succulent grilled shellfish. Each table is equipped with a small grill, so patrons can cook their meal as they wish.
Even as it becomes increasingly popular, Sharky’s continues to stick to its original mission of providing attentive service and a laid-back, California-esque atmosphere. In addition to boasting a large menu of beers and cocktails, they also offer some seriously delicious Mexican dishes like their San Diego Taquito Plate and California Burrito, while their burger is arguably one of the tastiest in all of Busan.
Eat at your own pace and tailor your meal to your taste at Anga, one of the most raved-about barbecue establishments in Korea’s favorite beach city. Satisfy your late-night cravings with fatty cuts of samgyeopsal (pork belly), which you should wrap up sandwich-style in lettuce and wash down with so-maek, a cocktail of soju and beer.
At Millak Raw Fish Town, you can shop for seafood on the first floor, then have it cooked into a tasty meal at one of restaurants upstairs. (Who said nothing good happens after midnight?!) To experience the true flavors of Busan, opt for a spicy fish stew, raw sea bream, or rockfish. Or, if you’re feeling really courageous – or perhaps have consumed just the right amount of soju – order a plate of sannakji, a dish of cut-up, still-moving octopus tentacles and dipping sauces.
Restaurant, Bar, Italian, American, Fusion, Pub Grub, $$$
With four locations around Busan, Burger & Pasta offers a solid menu of pizzas, burgers, and brunch, while reasonable prices make the restaurant a hit with young Busanites. The stylishly decorated eatery also offers a great view of the seashore, which is especially stunning in the late hours of the evening.
Halmae Jaecheopguk has an extensive history of serving jaecheopguk (clear shellfish soup) – one that traces all the way back to the Korean War. Because jaecheop (shellfish) is known to cure the nastiest of hangovers, the 24-hour establishment is a great spot to grab an early breakfast after a night out bar-hopping.
Located just a stone’s throw from Haeundae Beach, the Wolfhound makes for a great stop on any night out in the buzzing nightlife district. The popular Irish pub offers a nice selection of salads, typical pub grub, and all-day breakfast. For a combination of great late-night eats as well as a good time, do as their slogan suggests: “Come for the food, stay for the party.”
World-class flavors, energetic entertainment, and unsurpassed service are just a few of the things you’ll find at Hard Rock Cafe Busan. This rock-n-roll-themed chain emanates a high-energy vibe, and is sure to fill you up with their generous servings. Select from an array of international cuisines, ranging from their legendary homemade burgers to mouth-watering Korean inspired dishes handcrafted by renowned chefs.