April 13, 2024

Seoul's Culinary Secrets Unveiled: Exploring Deoksugung and City Hall's Best Eats


Embark on the second leg of our culinary journey around City Hall Station and the historic Deoksugung area, where Seoul's pulsating heart beats in sync with the tantalizing aromas of traditional and contemporary kitchens. This segment of our guide delves deeper into the bustling food scene, where each street corner and alleyway reveals culinary treasures beloved by locals and office workers alike.

The essence of Seoul's cuisine is its ability to tell a story, and the restaurants featured in this part of the guide are no exception. Each establishment not only offers mouth-watering dishes but also embodies the rich history and evolving culture of Korean gastronomy.

Featured Restaurants in Part 2:

춘천닭갈비 (Chuncheon Dakgalbi): Experience the spicy and savory world of Chuncheon-style Dakgalbi, a grilled chicken dish that's a favorite among locals for its hearty flavors and communal dining experience.

누리옥 (Nuliog): Delve into the depths of traditional Korean soups and stews at Nuliog, where each bowl is a warm embrace of authentic, homestyle cooking.

삼우정 (Samwoojung): Savor the grilled perfection at Samwoojung, a destination for those who appreciate the art of Korean BBQ, with its meticulously prepared meats and vibrant side dishes.

Join us as we continue to explore the rich tapestry of culinary offerings around City Hall Station and Deoksugung. These hidden gems not only tantalize your taste buds but also offer a glimpse into the soul of Seoul's food culture. Stay with us, as we uncover more delights in the heart of the city.

춘천닭갈비 (Chuncheon Dakgalbi): A Favorite Among City Hall Station Diners

Located just a short walk from City Hall Station, 춘천닭갈비 offers a delightful culinary retreat in the midst of Seoul's bustling city life. This hidden gem in the Bukchang-dong food alley is a favorite among locals and office workers alike, renowned for its authentic and flavorful chicken galbi (Korean grilled chicken).

Representative Menu: 춘천닭갈비's menu is an ode to classic Korean flavors, featuring dishes like traditional 닭갈비 (Chicken Galbi), 치즈닭갈비 (Cheese Chicken Galbi), and 오삼닭갈비 (Chicken and Squid Galbi). Each dish is carefully prepared to offer a taste of Chuncheon's beloved culinary traditions right in the heart of Seoul.

Description of Food and Taste: At 춘천닭갈비, the chicken is marinated in a savory, slightly spicy sauce and grilled to perfection, creating a harmony of flavors that's both rich and comforting. The addition of cheese in 치즈닭갈비 brings a delightful creaminess, perfectly complementing the spicy chicken. The 오삼닭갈비, with its combination of chicken and squid, offers a unique texture and flavor contrast that's sure to tantalize your taste buds.

How to Enjoy: For the ultimate dining experience, wrap the succulent pieces of chicken in fresh lettuce or perilla leaves, adding a refreshing crunch to each bite. A must-try is their 볶음밥 (fried rice), prepared in the same pan as the chicken galbi, soaking up all the delicious flavors. Enhancing the meal with 쫄면사리 (chewy noodle add-ons) is a popular choice among regulars, adding an extra layer of texture and flavor to the dish.

Atmosphere and Service: 춘천닭갈비's interior, though modest, offers a cozy and inviting atmosphere. The tables are often bustling with diners enjoying their meals, and the staff is known for their friendly and efficient service, ensuring a pleasant dining experience.

Opening Hours and Location: Situated at Seoul, Jung-gu, Namdaemun-ro 25-15, 춘천닭갈비 is just a 381-meter walk from Exit 7 of City Hall Station. Open from 11:00 AM to 10:00 PM from Monday to Friday, the restaurant is a convenient spot for both lunch and dinner. Do note that they are closed on weekends, making it a weekday dining haven.

Why Visit 춘천닭갈비: Whether you're a fan of traditional Korean chicken galbi or looking for a cozy spot to enjoy a hearty meal, 춘천닭갈비 offers an authentic taste of Chuncheon's famous dish in the heart of Seoul. It's a place where you can indulge in a satisfying meal, filled with flavors that remind you of home-cooked comfort food.

Location: Naver Map

Location: Google Map

누리옥 (Nuliog): A Culinary Haven Near City Hall Station

Just a short walk from City Hall Station, 누리옥 stands as a beacon for connoisseurs of traditional Korean cuisine. This restaurant, nestled in the heart of Seoul, is a celebration of Korea's rich culinary heritage, offering dishes that are both soul-warming and palate-pleasing.

Representative Menu: 누리옥's menu is a delightful showcase of Korean culinary artistry. The restaurant takes pride in its 소고기뭇국 (Beef Soup) and 평양냉면 (Pyongyang Cold Noodles), both exemplifying the depth and diversity of Korean flavors. The 수육 (Boiled Beef Slices) is another highlight, promising a tender and savory experience.

Description of Food and Taste: The 소고기뭇국 is a marvel, with its rich, clear broth that’s been simmered to perfection, brimming with succulent beef and hearty chunks of radish. Each spoonful reveals the depth of flavor achieved through hours of careful cooking, with the beef tender to the point of melting in your mouth. The 평양냉면 is a harmonious blend of delicate broth and springy noodles, topped with thinly sliced, tender beef that adds a luxurious texture. It's a dish that perfectly balances subtle flavors with refreshing undertones. As for the 수육, it's a testament to the quality of the meat – soft, juicy, and perfectly seasoned, melting away with each bite.

How to Enjoy: 누리옥's dishes are best enjoyed in their traditional form. For the 소고기뭇국, immerse yourself in the Korean way of eating by gently dipping the rice into the soup, allowing it to soak up the flavorful broth, or by savoring the soup and rice separately to appreciate the individual flavors. With 평양냉면, experience the authentic taste by enjoying the noodles in their original broth without additional seasonings, letting the subtle flavors shine through. The 수육 is perfect for sharing and can be dipped in the accompanying sauces to enhance its flavor. It's an interactive and communal way of dining, perfect for bonding over a delicious meal.

Atmosphere and Service: The restaurant's two-floor setting offers a spacious and comfortable dining environment. With its clean and simple décor, 누리옥 provides a serene backdrop for a delightful meal. The service is warm and attentive, adding to the overall welcoming ambiance.

Opening Hours and Location: Located at Seoul, Jung-gu, Namdaemun-ro 1-gil, 26-6, 2nd floor, 누리옥 is an easy walk from Exit 7 of City Hall Station. Open from 11:00 AM to 9:00 PM on weekdays (with a break from 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM) and until 5:00 PM on Saturdays, the restaurant is ideally situated for both lunchtime escapes and evening indulgences. Note that it's closed on Sundays and Christmas Day.

Why Visit 누리옥: 누리옥 is more than just a restaurant; it's a culinary journey through the heart of Korean cuisine. Whether you're seeking the comfort of a hot soup on a cold day or the refreshing zest of cold noodles, this restaurant offers an experience that’s both authentic and satisfying. It's a haven for those who appreciate the finesse of Korean cooking and the joy of a meal shared with friends or colleagues.

Location: Naver Map

Location: Google Map

삼우정 (Samwoojung): A Journey of Traditional Flavors Near City Hall Station

Located just a stone's throw away from City Hall Station, 삼우정 is a culinary gem renowned for its mastery in traditional Korean dishes. With its warm ambiance and a menu that pays homage to classic flavors, it stands as a testament to Korea's rich gastronomic legacy.

Representative Menu: 삼우정's menu is an exquisite collection of Korean favorites. The highlight is the 불고기정식 (Bulgogi Set Meal), a classic dish that resonates with the soul of Korean cooking. Other notable offerings include 훈제오리 (Smoked Duck), 꽃등심 (Flower Sirloin), and 생등심 (Fresh Sirloin), each prepared with meticulous care to bring out the best of Korean flavors.

Description of Food and Taste: The 불고기정식, priced at 19,000 KRW, is a must-try. This dish features succulent slices of Australian Wagyu beef, marinated and cooked to perfection, offering a balance of sweet and savory notes that tantalize the taste buds. The accompanying fresh vegetables and perfectly cooked rice complement the tender beef, creating a harmonious blend of flavors and textures. The 훈제오리, a full smoked duck dish, is a testament to the restaurant's culinary artistry, delivering a smoky and rich taste that's simply unforgettable. The 꽃등심 and 생등심, both premium cuts of beef, are cooked to highlight their natural flavors, ensuring a juicy and satisfying experience.

How to Enjoy: To fully appreciate 삼우정's 불고기정식, begin by savoring the beef on its own to enjoy its pure flavor. Then, experiment with the provided sides. Dip the meat in the beaten eggs, enhancing its richness and creating a delightful Sukiyaki-style experience. You can also wrap the bulgogi in fresh lettuce, adding a crisp texture to each bite. The eggs provided are not just for decoration but are a crucial part of the experience. Break an egg into the bulgogi broth, and let it cook slightly to create a soft, custard-like delicacy that adds a creamy dimension to the dish. This method, a fusion of traditional and innovative techniques, elevates the dish to a new level of enjoyment.

Atmosphere and Service: 삼우정 boasts a cozy and welcoming atmosphere, making it an ideal spot for both casual lunches and formal dinners. The service is notable for its warmth and efficiency, ensuring a pleasant dining experience.

Opening Hours and Location: Conveniently situated near City Hall Station, at Exit 9, 삼우정 is located at a short 2-minute walk from the station. It is open from Monday to Friday, 11:00 AM to 9:30 PM, with a break from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM, and the last order at 8:45 PM. Note that the restaurant is closed on weekends.

Why Visit 삼우정: 삼우정 is not just a restaurant; it's a celebration of Korean culinary traditions. Its dishes, especially the 불고기정식, are a testament to the rich flavors and heritage of Korean cuisine. It's a perfect choice for those looking for an authentic Korean dining experience near City Hall Station, offering a taste of tradition in the heart of Seoul.

Location: Naver Map

Location: Google Map


As we continue our gastronomic journey in Part 2 of the City Hall Station and Deoksugung Culinary Adventure, it becomes evident that this area is a treasure trove of culinary delights. Here, the time-honored traditions of Korean cuisine meet the bustling energy of modern Seoul. From the spicy kick of Chuncheon Dakgalbi to the comforting warmth of Nuliog's soups and the sizzling delights of Samwoojung's Korean BBQ, each restaurant offers a unique insight into the soul of Korean cooking. These spots, popular with locals and office workers, are must-visit destinations for anyone seeking to immerse themselves in Seoul's rich and varied food scene. If you haven't yet, make sure to explore the eateries featured in Part 1 of this guide for even more culinary discoveries around City Hall Station. Stay tuned for the final installment of this series, where we will unveil more hidden culinary gems.

Link of Part 1

Link of Part 3

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