Bars and Cafes in Seoul

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Sameera Kumar

Seoul boasts some very fashionable bars and cafes that mark as hotspots for both youngsters and tourists alike. The areas around major universities are especially crowded with pubs and assume a very different life at night with swarming students who are attracted by the cheap liquor prices. There are also a few world renowned chains that set up franchises here and they are distinguished by their unique atmosphere and entertainment.

Hard Rock Café

Specializing in American cuisine, the Hard Rock Café is a tone apart from other worldwide franchises by encouraging their manager and the staff to experiment with and accommodate local tastes. Located in the notorious Itaewon district near exit two of the subway station, Hard Rock fits right in with the crazy night life and high concentration of foreigners in the area.  The walls here are adorned with memorabilia of your favorite music icons including Shakira’s pants and Bon Jovi’s guitar. There is a grand piano on stage and some of Seoul’s best live music performances happen here after 9 pm every night excluding Mondays. The food is awesome, not to mention the cocktails which are very reasonably priced. Try mouthwatering specialties like the Hickory BBQ bacon cheeseburgers and don’t forget to bring along your dancing shoes!             


Located in the Samcheong-dong area, the BookCafe has a flair for good food and ambience. From the wine bar donned in fiesty orange to the white brick walls at the back decorated with beautiful photographs, the place proves that the gaudier it is, the more fun it radiates. If you have a taste for wines, this is the place to be. With prices that are very much affordable, the place also boasts of wonderful finger foods and other appetizers to go along with your wine.


Zzyzx is an unusual and happening bar and café in the Chingdam-dong district near the Hankook chinaware store. Thronged by trendy youngsters, the place is as lively as it can get. With stylish interiors, bright lights and entertaining music, you can groove and enjoy that knockout of a cocktail they make.

Café Yeon: Travelers Hangout

 Situated on a raised part of the main street, Café Yeon definitely gives out the vibe of a hippie joint. Having an architectural outlook of a traditional Korean house, this place is ideal for Sundays, to sit back, relax and read books. There is an assorted collection of books and the surroundings evoke intellectual discussions.  While you do that, you can sip a cup of tea, a beer or a bottle of wine and take a bite of the delicious banana pancakes and chicken tikka masala.

Three Alley Pub

If you are a beer lover, this is the place to be. Nestled behind the Hamilton hotel in Itaewon-dong, the pub boasts of the largest array of draft beers in the country.  You can be economical and go for the local beer or gratify your more exotic tastes. The food is scrumptous and very reasonably priced.  The staff is friendly and the place will keep you busy with pool tables, dart boards and large television screens.

Apart from these, and in addition to the ones located inside major hotels, the neighborhood of Hongkik University and Sinchon, around Yonsei University is populated with distinctive bars and cafes that feature live performances by underground artists. There are several bars and cafes in the Gangnam station area for people looking for a drink after work.

January 29, 2010 change by schitti

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