Seoul's best pub and bar food for a late night out
Fancy a high-end cocktail bar or craft brew pub? Or maybe you are in the mood for Korea’s mouth-watering take on fast-food – the famous Korean fried chicken. We have the best options in the South Korean capital for the perfect night out.
- August 2019
After a hard day on the tourist trail or pounding the shopping pavements, the best cure is a good relax at a cool pub or bar, serving local brews and delicious snacks. Here are our picks of where to go to get fed and watered in Seoul.
This high-end cocktail bar sends you around the world one drink at a time with its destination-inspired menu. And you’ll travel in style: the decor is modelled on first-class railway cars of times gone by. Though new to the scene, the Pussyfoot Saloon is already sweeping in awards. In a city obsessed with period speakeasies, this one stands out as a little less gimmick and a little more glam.
At nightfall, the Swallow Café (Jebi Dabang) flips its sign to become the Drunken Swallow (Chwihan Jebi), one of the best indie music bars in Seoul. The schedule is chalked beside the brilliant red door. Inside is a two-tiered venue with a basement stage overlooked by a ground floor “balcony” and bar. Grab a glass of wine or settle in with a mug of tea and toasted rice cakes.
Magpie Brewing Co
Domestic craft beers are changing the drinking landscape of Seoul and Magpie has been a powerhouse in Korea’s craft brew movement since its beginnings in 2012, with year-round porter, ale, kölsch and IPA. You’ll find their bar and basement gastropub in Itaewon. Come hungry – the pizza is as good as the beer.
Chimaek – a mashup of “chicken” and “maekju” (beer) – is the go-to night out in Seoul. Korean fried chicken is famously sublime. Try it all but start with Kkanbu. There are 14 kinds of chicken on the menu, including barbecue wings, chicken in garlic and soy sauce and the best-selling classic crispy variety. They all pair with an icy mug of draught beer. Ring the bell on your table for another round.
White Bear Makgeolli Bar & Brewery
Once dismissed as outdated, Korean rice wine (makgeolli) has come full circle to retro-hip. Nowhere showcases this better than White Bear, where there are 45 varieties of makgeolli on offer – try the apple-flavoured. Korean bars expect you to order anju (drinking food). Everything is portioned to share, so bring a friend.