Eating or drinking solo, dubbed in Korean as honbap and honsul respectively, is becoming more common in Korea. To keep up with the trend, an increasing number of restaurants and bars in Seoul are designed in a way to allow solo customers to enjoy their personal time to the fullest. If you are planning to travel solo, read on for our top six recommended places to give yourself a treat!
For a nutritious but delicious meal, visit Yangbo. Yangbo serves food made with fresh vegetables personally grown in the restaurant’s garden. Its signature menus are pork cutlet with omelet soufflé and Hamburg steak. Kkagdugi (diced radish kimchi) served on the side enhances the flavors of these savory menus with its spicy yet refreshing taste.
You will be pleased even before you take a bite as the food here is presented adorably with an artistic touch, thanks to the owner’s talent as a food stylist. The desserts are also unique, like the grilled butter banana, cosmos tea, and lotus tea. After a satisfying meal, take some time to look around the attractions nearby, such as Seodamun Museum of Natural History, or walk along the Ansan Jarak-gil Trail.
Downtowner is a popular burger place that was featured in Korea’s food television show “Wednesday Food Talk.” Its signature burger is the avocado burger. The colorful juicy burgers look even more scrumptious in their black and white striped wrapping paper, served stuffed in a rectangular box.
Toasty buns, fresh vegetables, and the plump, juicy patty create a perfectly balanced harmony of flavors together with the smooth taste of avocado slices. It’s recommended to visit when you’re not in a rush as you may have to wait in line due to the restaurant’s popularity,
Parc specializes in authentic home-cooked Korean meals. The restaurant has already been visited by numerous international visitors. Not only was Parc chosen as the best restaurant by the Vans International Pro Team during their Korea tour, but it also catered delicious lunch boxes to Facebook Korea’s global conference.
Parc is the perfect place to honbap as the menus are offered in individual servings. Menus served may seem simple and plain, but the taste proves otherwise. Lunch menu changes every two days, rotating the main ingredients among vegetables, meat, and seafood.
Jebi Dabang is a playground for all adults who love music. Jebi Dabang, which means “Swallow Coffee Shop,” is jokingly referred to as “Drunken Swallow” at night as this stylish café turns into a live music club after 6 p.m. The live music performance takes place on the basement floor every week from Thursday to Sunday; no additional entrance fee is required to enjoy the performance.
The most popular menu at Jebi Dabang is the old-fashioned grilled rice cakes. A plate of grilled rice cakes is served together with honey and soy dipping sauce, giving more flavors to the mildly sweet and chewy rice cakes. Traditional drinks to go along with the rice cakes, such as misutgaru (roasted mixed grain powder drink) and yuzu tea, as well as alcoholic beverages.
Beer lovers are in for a treat! At Mikkeller Bar, visitors can taste up to 30 different kinds of craft beer from Denmark. A one-time visit may not be enough as the bar’s tap lineup changes regularly. Along with the tapped beer for visitors to try out, house beers with different levels of hops, alcohol content, taste, and scent are also available.
Aside from the wide selection of beers to choose from, Mikkeller Bar also has glasses in different sizes, offering an excellent tasting opportunity for solo drinkers. What makes Mikkeller Bar even more special for honsul visitors are its hallway-like rooms. These special well-lit rooms are separated by partitions, allowing visitors to take advantage of a peaceful time alone.
If you are seeking to spend an evening at a luxurious, classic bar, but intimidated to enter alone, then More than Whiskey is just the place for you. The bar may feel like a cozy café at a glance but the dim mood lights and the surrounding atmosphere are enough to pass as a classic yet stylish bar. If you’re not familiar with whiskeys, just ask the friendly bartender for a recommendation.
One of the best menus at More than Whiskey is the Godfather cocktail. Order one of these and you will be entertained with a mini fire show. Instead of sitting at a corner and spending your time alone, take a seat at the counter for an opportunity to make new friends!
* This column was last updated in January 2018, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details before visiting.