What to Eat, Drink and See in Seoul’s Trendy Euljiro District

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Seoul is on many Singaporeans’ travel plans this year, but if you’re looking for a slightly less touristy experience, consider an adventure around Euljiro.

Nicknamed “Hip-jiro”, a portmanteau of the words “hip” and “Euljiro”, the area’s biggest draw for locals and visitors is akin to entering a dilapidated building with not much to wait for, only to find a fancy bar or cafe or restaurant.

If you look a little closer, however, you’ll realize that Euljiro is the physical embodiment of the modernization dilemma: while the younger generation decorates their spaces with neon lights and plants, they are intertwined with older makers who have worked hard at their craft. in hardware and furniture stores for decades — keep or replace, that is the question.

Whichever side you take in terms of gentrification, it doesn’t take away from the fact that Euljiro is an incredibly interesting part of Seoul to visit. To help you on your next adventure, we’ve put together a list of our favorite places in the area.

What to eat, drink and see in Euljiro in Seoul:

Eat and drink as you wish

Euljiro Brewery is probably the most talked about bar in the area, popular for its neon lights, craft beers and retro vibe. A crowd favourite? Seersucker IPA. Ggeek Beer Company is also another place you might want to head to if you’re going to make craft beer, with ten varieties of craft beer curated from breweries in Korea. Go for a spin and pick one at random, or talk to one of the staff to find out more about the beers.

Another “new-tro” spot to visit? Seendosi (신도시). The bar and lounge, renovated by photographer Lee Yoon-ho and artist, designer and musician Lee Byeong-jae, are marked only by a retro RGB-colored sign that faces a dilapidated building. Step inside and you’ll find a place of neon signs and vintage furniture that will remind you of the 80s. There are regular events and shows here, so be sure to check them out. instagram for updates.

Euljiro Boseok (을지로보석) is a coincidence when you are here, but not because of the food. The restaurant and bar, tucked away in an alley in Euljiro, only has 10 seats available at any one time, making it difficult to get a seat. Here, the cuisine is inspired by Korean and Japanese cuisine, with a careful selection of sakes and natural wines to accompany your dishes. Crowd favorites here include Minari Shrimp Pancake (미나리 보리새 우전) and Spicy Fermented Octopus Capellini (낙지젓갈 카펠리니).

Pocha is the local version of a super-casual late-night hangout, complete with street food wagons, tents and, of course, tons of cheap booze. Euljiro 3-ga Pocha Street, also known as Euljiro Nogari Alley (을지로노가리골목), is full of tent poles with indoor and outdoor seating. The tent bars here are much larger than the others, with indoor and outdoor seating for you to choose from. There are relatively more popular ones, but don’t get too carried away with the chaos of the whole place. Just choose any stand, sit down and enjoy.

Those not too into beer or soju can also find themselves at a wine bar or two in the area. In case you didn’t already know, there is a drink of choice for anyone coming to the area. The temple offers delicious dishes served in an atmosphere of splendid music, while Nope honors natural wines.

Those who crave Italian food — yes, we’re in Korea but we should be used to the globalization of food, right? — can stop at Meeting room. They are best known for their Cloud Pasta (구름파스타) and Fat Cheese Tteokbokki (통통치즈떡볶이), which are both delicious and incredibly aesthetically pleasing.

want to be really immersed in Korean cuisine during their stay? Wonjo Nokdu (원조녹두) is what you are looking for. The old school local has been run by a couple from Jeonju since 1971, and they serve over a dozen varieties of jeon (savory Korean pancake). Here, Chilli Scallion Pancake (고추파전), Green Onion Pancake (파전), and Meat Pancake (동그랑땡) are menu highlights.

Take a walking tour of the area

Those familiar with Korean dramas like Guardian: The Lonely and Great God and Vincenzo will be no strangers to Sewoon Square (세운상가). Besides being the filming location for these two dramas, the plaza is actually South Korea’s mixed-use commercial building; an image of the country’s technological revolution in the 70s, as well as a sign of the digital revolution in the late 80s when it sold software products and computers.

Vinyl lovers will lose track of time here. Clique Records, for example, curates a selection of new and used albums from independent artists and labels around the world. If you just want to browse vinyl records, vinyl material and have a coffee next door, MIO recordings is a great option in the area too.

Euljiro Seoul South Korea What to eat, drink and see in Seoul Euljiro Jay Park Jungkook BTS
Jay Park with BTS’s Jungkook (Image credit: @moresojuplease)

N/A gallery, which opened in 2018, is run by photographers Park Jinwoo and Oh Jinhyeok, an offline space for crowds to gather and appreciate the art in person. The exhibition often features photography works, sculptures and more.

ARMYs are no strangers to AJO AJOBYAJO – The members of BTS have been spotted wearing their cuts several times, including a recent image that appeared online with Jungkook wearing the brand’s shirt in a photo with Jay Park in a recording studio. If you want to browse their wares, they have opened a flagship store with an attached bar/cafe in the area called after jerking offa three-minute walk from exit number 11 of Euljiro 3-ga station.

(Hero and star image credit: @baetsokilgi through Instagram)

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