August 10, 2022

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The Best Barbecue in Seoul: 14 Must-Try Restaurants

Grilling at Nam-Yeongdon.
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Robert Evans/Eater

Barbecue has long been an integral element of Korean cuisine. Dishes like bulgogi day back hundreds of years, even though depictions show noblemen gathering outdoors in the 18th century to grill meat in excess of an open hearth while drinking and reciting poetry. Right now there’s no shortage of barbecue dining places in the country, especially Seoul — however there is lots of mediocre barbecue much too, so it is good to know what to search for.

Nearly any merchandise can choose middle phase in Korean barbecue: Pork, beef, and chicken are all typical, and organ meats are broadly popular as effectively. The most coveted are cuts of hanwoo, Korea’s beloved indigenous cow breed recognised for its flavorful, fatty marbling (there are over 120 terms in the Korean dictionary to describe unique beef pieces, if you want to get technological). Sourcing great ingredients is vital while sometimes intensive marination can mask the flavor of inferior products and solutions, on the complete, planning for Korean barbecue is relatively straightforward, allowing pure high-quality to show as a result of. Mouthwatering household-built banchan is also a great indicator of a standout cafe. So is siksa (practically “meal”), a carb-based mostly dish that could stand on your own as a meal but works even far better following a round of barbecue, with common alternatives such as naengmyeon (cold noodles), fried rice, and kimchi jjigae, as effectively as a lot more unconventional normally takes that new dining establishments use to distinguish themselves.

Look at this tutorial a starting off issue as you eat your way all over Seoul. The listing includes some timeless classics blended with some hotshot newcomers all people is speaking about. No make any difference in which you choose, be organized to hold out in line, as most dining places do not acquire reservations. As very long as you make your mind up on the suitable restaurant, the wait around is often worthy of it.

Matty Yangwoo Kim is a previous Eater intern and a photographer of A Pretty Serious Cookbook. Outside the house his working day position, he eats his way all over Seoul, often documenting dining places and cooks by the lens.

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Note: Dining places on this map are outlined geographically.