The area near Hongik University, also known as Hongdae Ibgu (홍대입구) is bustling with the younger generations looking for fun and excitement. It is a place where you can shop, dine, drink and dance. Little do the non-locals know that there is a small strip of street that has amazing restaurants and with a park-like area you can hang-out with your friends. This area is called Yeonnam-dong (연남동).
I went with EnaEats to Yeonnam-dong for some filling food and awesome cocktails.
How to get there?
It is located on the northwest side of Hongdae and reachable within 10 minutes of walking.
This is one of my favorite places in Seoul even when it is a bit too crowded. There are restaurants and a take-out drinks store. It is kept clean since residential buildings are within the vicinity.
There are also guesthouses you can stay in.
During my few visits, I found places that I enjoyed. But let’s talk about that in a bit.
Where to eat?
Basically, you can eat anywhere. If you want fine-dining-ish restaurants, you got it! Japanese or Izakaya places to have a few rounds of sake or Japanese beer, they have it as well! Western, Korean, any cuisines; you name it! You can also find take-out food places that sell steaks. Yes, steaks. Well, something that looks like steaks anyway.
My favorite place is a place called 돈이 좋은 세상 (a world where money is good) and it speaks for itself! Why? One serving of Samgyeopsal only costs 5,500 KRW! IKR??? Don’t know what I am talking about? Normally, Samgyeopsal will cost from 8,000 to 12,000 KRW depending on the area you plan to eat.
Kimchi Stew 2,000
Dwenjang Stew 2,000
Cold Noodles 3,500 (non-spicy)
Mixed Cold Noodles 4,000 (spicy)
Water is self-service. 😉
Okay, maybe you doubt the taste of the meat due to its price. It is actually pretty good when you think about the price. Me and my friends order Samgyeopsal for 3 persons, 2 rice, 1 Dwenjang-jjige (됀장찌게) and we only pay a bit over 20,000 KRW!!! Amazing.
They open from 6PM so make sure you get there early because it is hard to get a seat after 7PM, depending on the day.
Where to hang-out?
There are grassy areas where you can just lay down a mat or sit on the bench and talk with your friends if you are looking for a quiet night. If you want a few drinks, there is a place called Soolpuh Market (술퍼마켓) where you can buy beer and other alcoholic drinks. I think it’s a nice idea to chill outside than to stay in a noisy bar or restaurant. Also, it is always nice to people-watch.
Aside from grabbing a drink outside, you could always scout around for a nice place to grab a few drinks. Coffee and dessert shops are all over the place as well.
However, if you want to grab a few cocktails in a small and cozy bar, there is always Lucky Strike.
I absolutely love this place and they (he) make the most awesome Mojitos! EVER! (Let me warn you that it can become pretty expensive.) It is run by one guy and it is usually quiet. It has all sorts of stuff inside the bar and the owner can rock a cocktail. I have been going regularly from time to time to grab a Mojito or a Gin & Tonic (Hendrick’s or Bombay, depending on the day.)
What to do after?
If you don’t feel like going back to your accommodation and want to experience the Korean nightlife, you are in the right area. Hongdae is famous for its nightlife and is the hotspot for all artists. You can see buskers, dancers and other street performers along the street. Street food, shopping, more food, you name it! Everything is in Hongdae.
College students tend to crowd this place so you can always find something new and fresh.
Have you been to Yeonnam-dong? How was your experience?
What are other places in Seoul you loved? Or would like to see?