Updated: May 11, 2020
The South Korean dining culture is very highly esteemed, and a lot of people from around the world go there just to experience the rich tasting Korean cuisines and culinary scene. The drinking culture in South Korea also almost always involves dining; people tend to select their drinking holes around the type of food served. So that being sad, its no surprise that so many Korean bars put food front and centre as the appeal to attract customers. We love them for it!
What makes a bar in Seoul good?
You could have a fantastic cocktail menu but unless it comes complete with a robust food pairing menu – it gets pushed to the bottom of the list. We have seen bars in Seoul boasting with award-winning bartenders and some of the best decors in the city close down quicker then you can finish that gourmet cocktail because, you guessed it… patrons were hungry!
As far as the drinks themselves are concerned, a lot of bartenders in Seoul are experimenting with cocktails made of traditional Korean Liquor and are winning awards because of their creations using this local alcohol. Such as Makgeoli which is a milky rice wine that’s very popular with Korean farmers and Soju, which you might think of as rice vodka. The best bars in Seoul are home to the most innovative bartenders and chefs alike, and if you’re in Seoul, you just have to hit these bars; leaving without doing so will mean that you missed out half of what Seoul has to offer.
Vinga in Apgujeong
“Makgeoli – a milky rice wine that’s very popular with Korean farmers and Soju, which you might think of as rice vodka”
The Vinga, which opened in 2005 is pretty much like a second home to all kinds wine lovers in Seoul. One of the first things that you’ll notice about this bar is the classy and antique atmosphere it has; this kind of an interior automatically makes you feel like you’re someplace grand like an ancient Greek castle perhaps. The bar derives its name ‘vinga’ from two of its roots; French for ‘Vin’, which means wine and Chinese for ‘ga’ which means house. If you’re a wine fan, then this wine house it for you.
Bar da, Hongdae
If you’re looking for a western style bar where you can have a nice smoke with potent drinks, then you’ll find Bar Da hidden somewhere in Hongdae’s alleys, which we think gives it that perfect sense of escape, which is what this bar will provide you.
Vinyl ‘Street bar’, Hongdae
While some of us visit bars just to unwind and have a nice and easy time, some of us want to drink and socialize. If you’re part of the latter than the Vinyl street bar is for you; tasty drink, interesting environment and loads to talk about!