One of the most delicious meals to grab in Seoul is an irresistible bowl of Samgyetang. This scrumptious bowl of chicken, ginseng, noodles, and spices is a soup to cure any sickness or, more importantly, hunger pangs. In Seoul, there are many storefronts that sell Samgyetang, but to get it right takes a skilled hand an experienced taste.
That's why we did the homework for you and put together the best Samgyetang in Seoul. Check them out below!
If you're looking for a delicious bite to eat around Gyeongbokgung Palace, this is a stop you certainly don't want to miss. Operating since 1983, it has continued representing the vision of founder Jung Myung Ho's concept of making the most delicious a healthiest food in Korea.
Made with black sesame, walnut, pine, chestnuts, ginseng, ginko, garlic, pumpkin seeds, and more healthy morsels, its a bowl that will surely tantalize your taste buds. Also, this specialty soup is enjoyed during the hottest part of summer. It is believed that eating healthy hot soup during the hottest time of the year allows the warmth to reside within, giving you happiness and health.
Location: No.5 Jahamun-ro 5-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Named one of the top 100 restaurants by local Koreans, this traditional restaurant has kept its doors open since the 1960's and is by far one of the best samgyetang in Seoul. This second-generation restaurant has been cooking up comforting bowls of samgyetang to locals and visitors from all around the world.
One of the best features of their specialty soup is they are served in traditional stone pots. These are crafted stone pots that maintain the soups integrity and temperature while you eat. Also, if you're in the mood for switching up your taste buds, Korea Samgyetang serves abalone stew, Ohyang-jokbal (five flavored pork hock), and whole roasted rotisserie chicken.
Location: No1. Seosomun-ro 11-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
Located right next to the hustle and bustle of the popular shopping destination Myeongdong, this samgyetang shop is healthy, delicious, and a one of a kind. Unlike the traditional milky white broth its competitors serve, the healthy summer chicken ginseng soup is served in a clearer deep golden broth, a family recipe that keeps customers coming year round.
In order to achieve this delicious balance of flavor and texture int he broth, the chicken is actually cooked in a reduced sanghwang mushroom with mineral water that is specially sourced. It's the perfect balance of flavor and health, and you can even add a little extra salt to pack a serious flavor punch. Overall, it's a delicious spin on samgyetang that you must try if you are planning of visiting Seoul.
Location: Euljiro 1-ga Station, Line 2 (Exit 6)
Baeknyeon Tojong Samgyetang
Another samgyetang shop you don't want to miss is Baeknyeono Tojong Samgyetang. With two popular locations in Hongdae and Bukchon, this is the perfect shop to stumble upon for a comforting bowl of Korean chicken soup.
What makes this shop stand out from other samgyetang restaurants is that they use locally sourced chickens. Since they re locally sourced, they are much meatier and thicker than the smaller chickens their competitors use. You can enjoy the hanok style restaurant interior that keeps the traditional atmosphere alive as you eat. Plus, the meal comes with delicious side dishes such as kkakdugi (diced radish kimchi).
Location: 118 Yanghwa-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Known to be among Seoul's Top 3 Samgyetang restaurants, this special shop has been serving us delicious chicken stew since 1978. What makes this bowl of stew unique is they only use chicken that's 50 days old. Now, I know you're probably thinking that is a bit strange. However, the aged chicken is fall-off-the-bone tender and full of flavor.
If you like a bit more sweetness to your stew, you're in luck! Their specialty samgyetang soup is packed with sweet rice, dates, chestnuts, ginko nuts, ginseng, and whole garlic cloves of garlic and garnished with shredded spring onions, sunflower seeds, and black sesame seeds.
Location: 13-10 Wonhyo-ro 89-gil, Wonhyoro 1(il)-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
For those of you who want to calm the nerves a bit and relax during your meal, Baekje Samgyetang is the place to be. Not only do they serve delicious traditional boiling bowls of chicken soup, they also sell ginseng liquor to accompany your meal. You have the option to put the shot into your soup or shoot it down the hatch the old-school way.
Because this is located close to the beating heart of the ever-popular tourist destination, Myeongdong, this location is constantly pulsing with energy. Plus, it has gained massive popular overseas with tourists. So, don't be surprised if you see roughly 80% of the customers as Chinese and Japanese tourists. Overall, this is a great stop to hit up after a long day of shopping.
Location: 30-1 Myeongdong-gil, Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul
For those of yyou who are looking to get a fuller belly and a heartier meal, this is the soup for you. Since the chefs at Hosu Samgyetang utilize perilla seed powder and glutinous rice powder, the texture of the stew is much thicker and pastier. The soup also comes with a few sides like freshly cut cucumber and peppers.
Also, if you're the type that has a hard time choosing your menu items (like me), no need to worry! The house samngyetang is the only thing on the menu, so it makes life easy and your belly happier. You can find this tasty classic restaurant in Yeongdeungpo and one in the Gangnam area.
Location: 342-325, Singil-dong, Yeongdeungpo-gu, Seoul
Hongdae (Hongik University)
For those of you who are looking for a more cooler and hip crowd, Hongdae is your best bet. This area is close to Hongik University grounds, where many of the students explore the town for nightlife. Also, aspiring KPOP fans set up shop and perform in the streets.
There are so many places to shop and eat in this area, so definitely make sure to stop by.
Cat Café MyeongDong
Make sure to stop by this adorable cafe to get some extra special kitty time in! It's a great way to take a break after a day or shopping and use the free wi-fi. Get to know all the 41 cats. There's a wall displaying all their pictures and names, so cute!
Also see: The 10 Best Cat Cafes in Seoul
If you're not completely worn out from a whole day of shopping, head over to Dongdaemun Market. This iconic shopping area opens at around 9pm and closes at around 5am. There, you can kind some of the best deals on fashion, since most of the shops there are wholesalers.
Also see: 7 Things you need to know about Grocery Stores in Korea | What to eat in Seoul
Day 4: Explore Innovation and Relaxation
After you've done all of your shopping, it's time to explore the more innovative side of Seoul. In the last 30 years, there has been a huge technological boom in the city of Seoul. The city itself has turned into a futuristic landscape mixed with traditional culture. Here are a few cool spots to explore the interesting architecture and excursions:
Namsan Seoul Tower
This stunning structure is the highest structure in all of Seoul, coming in at 236.7m tall. At the top of the tower, there are 4 different floors where you can dine with a 360 degree panoramic view.
Lotte World is truly an adventure you don't wan to miss especially if you're planning on visiting Seoul with the family. The theme park has roughly 7.3 million visitors a year and consists of the largest indoor theme park in the world and an outdoor theme park called "Magic Island." Here, you can explore shops, restaurants, themed rides, and all sorts of family friendly activities. It's essentially like the Korean Disneyland on steroids.
One of the most interesting and relaxing excursions to explore is the traditional Korean Bathhouse. Although Dragon Hill has many upgrades than the really nitty gritty jimjilbangs, it's definitely top of the line when it comes to quality.
Be sure to brush up a bit on your Korean before you get there because many of the staff do not speak English. Also, be ready and comfortable to be fully unclothed with fellow same-sexed bath house goers. It's really an experience you can't miss and certainly won't forget.
Also, be wary if you do have tattoos, you are not allowed to enter the bath house.