‘I drink to make other people more interesting’, Ernest Hemingway famously once said. While Busan is a vibrant city, capable of holding the interest of even the most bitter cynic, there’s no denying the pleasures of a pint (or five) in a good pub with good people. Here are the best places to go for a drop of the good stuff in Haeundae.
The Wolfhound is Haeundae’s only Irish pub. A popular expat haunt, it’s located a two-minute walk from Haeundae Beach, and offers a wide selection of local and imported beers, strong drinks, tasty cocktails and hearty home-style food. On the weekends, a DJ keeps the atmosphere lively with good music, while the bar’s annual St. Patrick’s Day festivities are a springtime Haeundae highlight.
Haeundae was the second location (after Gwangalli) opened by the Galmegi Brewing Company. This stalwart of the Busan craft beer scene now has a number of brew pubs around the city; Haeundae is the largest, with a whopping 16 taps of craft beer from all over Korea and the world. The pub also serves a range of food, including hand-stretched pizzas, sausages, and its well-known kimchi fries.
One of Haeundae’s most popular bars, the riotous Thursday Party is loved by Koreans and foreigners alike. It has games including beer pong, table football, and darts, and a generally lively atmosphere that ensures that even if you arrive alone, you will leave with lots of new friends. It has a small bar snacks menu, and a sister bar (Burger & Pasta) a little further down the same road ,which is more of a dining destination. Thursday Party have numerous bars in Busan and Seoul — look out for them in Gwangalli, Seomyeon and Hongdae.
Peter’s Pub is known for its cocktails and wine, but also serves beer and other drinks. Its location, a short walk from Haeundae’s main drag, means that it’s often a little quieter, and prices are competitive. The pub serves food including hot dogs (unusually for Korea, Western-style and in a bun), giant hamburgers and pizzas.
Sports pub Sharkys is an institution in Haeundae’s nightlife scene, and especially popular with foreigners. It has a good shooters menu, some cocktails and great draft beers on tap. It serves Mexican and American food including burgers, steaks, burritos and fajitas. All the staff speak excellent English.
Although it advertises itself as a ‘dining pub’, Fingers & Chat is much more a restaurant than a pub. It does, however, serve excellent Western-style pub grub, and it’s particularly famous for its fish and chips. It’s located in The Bay 101, in the expat hotspot of Marine City. It has a great sea view, and you can sit on the balcony with a cold beer and fried goodies such as calamari, prawns or sea bass.