Michelin Guide is a world-famous guide to the best restaurants across the globe. This year, there were many additions in the area of Seoul, especially focusing on restaurants serving Korean cuisine. Travelers looking for the best in Korean dining should definitely visit a Michelin starred restaurant, serving the highest quality in taste, presentation, and nutrition.
Tip) Michelin Star Restaurants
Michelin Guide has been searching for and recognizing outstanding restaurants for over one hundred years. The restaurants included in the guide are rated based on their taste and presentation, in order of three to one stars. Three-star restaurants rank supreme, being worth taking a trip just to taste. Two- and one-star restaurants follow as stand-out establishments.
Gaon is a first-class restaurant serving Korean cuisine course meals. The restaurant specializes in presenting dishes that fully explore the natural flavors of the seasonal ingredients. To focus on providing the best dining experience possible, the menu includes only two courses of Onnal and Gaon. In addition to the dishes themselves expressing the charm of traditional Korean cuisine, the interior of the restaurant is divided into artfully decorated private rooms to increase one’s dining pleasure.
☞ Address: Horim Art Center M, 317, Dosan-daero, Gangnam-gu, Seoul (more info)
La Yeon serves a sophisticated formal dinner of Korean cuisine prepared through modern recipes. Located on the twenty-third floor of The Shilla Seoul, diners can take in a view of Namsan Mountain while enjoying their meal. The re-envisioned Korean cuisine presented on La Yeon’s menu pairs well with wine, standing out from other restaurants.
☞ Address: The Shilla Hotel 23F, 249, Dongho-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul (more info)
Gotgan by Lee Jong Guk creates harmony among seasonal ingredients to present dishes showcasing the unique characteristics of Korean cuisine. The rich flavoring comes from avoiding artificial seasonings and instead selecting various pickled vegetables made through soy sauce and soybean paste that have been fermenting for over thirty years. Gotgan by Lee Jong Guk operates in the same building as the Korean cuisine buffet Sadaebujip Gotgan.
☞ Address: FKI Tower 50F, 24, Yeouido-ro, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul (more info)
The theme of Kwonsooksoo focuses on the dining culture of the noblemen of the past. A unique part of dining at Kwonsooksoo is that each meal begins with the presentation of juansang, a small table with alcohol and appetizers. The restaurant is also famous for their fried seafood dishes, especially the sweetfish pot rice.
☞ Address: 2F, 27, Eonju-ro 170-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul (more info)
Mingles serves Korean cuisine from the most traditional dishes to modern creations. These creative Asian menus are based on the traditional ingredients, seasonings, and fermenting vinegars used in Korean cuisine. The restaurant placed 15th on the 2016 edition of “Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants” according to The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, a restaurant ranking guide similar to Michelin.
☞ Address: 1F, 757, Seolleung-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul (more info)
Temple food is unique in that it does not include meat, seafood, green onion, garlic, or onion as ingredients. At Balwoo Gongyang, diners can enjoy the deep flavors of temple cuisine, prepared using seasonings and natural ingredients. In particular, the dishes served at Balwoo Gongyang can open the eyes of meat-lovers into a world of delicious vegetarian food options.
☞ Address: Templestay Building 5F, 56, Ujeongguk-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul (more info)
Bo Reum Soei is one of the only restaurants in Seoul to serve Jeju black beef. Dishes include a variety of beef cuts, from short loin and tenderloin to beef tartare. The Jeju black beef comes from a ranch operated by the restaurant, increasing the pride and reliability of the meat quality.
☞ Address: 36, Teheran-ro 81-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul (more info)
The menu of Twenty Four Seasons changes frequently throughout the year, based on dishes prepared using the best ingredients available as each season changes. The restaurant uses many unique ingredients, but even the most common ingredients take on new life through the interesting recipes used.
☞ Address: 13, Dosan-daero 37-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul (more info)
Jungsik has received accolades for their exploration into Korean fine dining. Signature menu items include an appetizer of gujeolpan (platter of nine delicacies), uniquely served with in-season sliced raw fish and fried seaweed, and the green tea cream-filled dessert shaped like a dol hareubang (grandfather stone statue). The visual is attractive enough to make eating the meal almost sinful.
☞ Address: 11, Seolleung-ro 158-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul (more info)
Keungiwajip is famous for their ganjang gejang (soy-marinated crab), using sweet crabs with no salty aftertaste. Additional menus using crab include gejang bibmbap, a mixed rice dish with vegetables and the soft meat of crabs. All orders with crab are served with a full table of side dishes for a filling meal.
☞ Address: 62, Bukchon-ro 5-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul (more info)
POOM focuses on serving re-imaginations of the exceptional dishes served to the Korean aristocracy of the past. The meals come out as a course menu, so each dish is served at its optimal timing for the best flavors. All ingredients are purchased on the day of cooking to ensure quality and freshness. Therefore, advanced reservations to POOM are a requirement.
☞ Address: Daewonjeongsa Annex 3F, 49, Duteopbawi-ro 60-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (more info)
Hamo preserves the essence of formal cuisine of the Jinju area in Gyeongsang-do during the Joseon Dynasty. The Jinju bibimbap comes served in a brassware bowl with mounds of various seasoned vegetables and beef tartare atop a bed of rice. Another specialty of the restaurant is the Joseon-style japchae (stir-fried vegetables and glass noodles), seasoned in a mix of soy sauce and mustard sauce.
☞ Address: 2F, 819, Eonju-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul (more info)
With the latest round of designations to the Michelin Guide, there are now 24 starred restaurants located in Seoul. More information on the restaurants introduced in this column as well as the full list can be found on the official Michelin Guide Seoul website. In addition, a section on Michelin starred restaurants and Bib Gourmand restaurants is planned to be added to the VisitKorea website soon.
* This column was last updated in February 2017, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to confirm the details before visiting.