Eat, Shop and Relax in Seoul

We just came back from a week spent in South Korea – between Seoul, the 2018 Winter Olympic host and Jeju Island, here’s a guide to our favorites…


uddhist temples meet designer boutiques – as South Korea’s largest city, Seoul certainly has a claim on being one of the financial and cultural epicenters of East Asia. But this city’s most compelling trait may be how it continues to embrace its ancient traditions while also becoming a Silicon Valley hub with endless food streets, high-energy nightlife and cutting-edge architecture. When you visit Seoul, you’ll see a study in contrasts. To chart your own course through the city, read more in our Seoul travel guide.

Seoul is flanked by the Yellow Sea to the east and the Korean Demilitarized Zone to the north, and the Han River cuts the city into two halves while also giving ample opportunity for water sports, boating, cruising. When you travel to Seoul, you won’t want to miss the Insadong Tearooms, which serve traditional brews not available anywhere else in Korea.

50 Apgujeong-ro 46-gil, Gangnam-gu
+82 70-4281-3372

Anyone who admires beauty and desires to lead a relaxed lifestyle has dreamed of something like this at least once in their lifetime: a space, which is a two-story building filled with beautiful flowers and trees, and a rooftop where you can enjoy a fragrant cup of coffee while basking in the sun. We may never own a place like that, but there is a place in Seoul where we can experience it! Queen Mama Market simply wants to be known as an “urban lifestyle shop.” It is a space that breathes green life into those dwelling in the concrete jungle.

The place turns out to be a creation by none other than Kang Jin-young and Yoon Han-hee, the designers for women’s apparel brand, Obzee, and O’2nd. This married couple has made it to the top in the field of Korean fashion, and was one of the first Korean fashion designers to enter New York Fashion Week. After a stop in L.A, they returned to the motherland bringing their taste and lifestyle from L.A. to Queen Mama Market. The building is filled with energy so that it can be a space where city life, nature, Seoul art and people connect. From the entrance tothe B1 level, there is a collection of painted china and cutlery, as well as tools and plants for your gardening needs. The first floor is the platform space, which is intended to embody art and nature, and is currently holding an open.


Keats Hotel
tae won 2 dong
Very hidden and hard to find (they dont even have a website), Keats Hotel is not really an hotel but more of a concept coffee/restaurant, where you can have yourself made a custom suits by a Japanese tailor or enjoy a tea with friends in privacy. If you wonder what’s inside, check here on Instagram

520-1 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul

‘Ryunique’ one of Seoul’s top restaurant (actually #79 best restaurant in the world) )

An integrated word of ‘Tae Hwan Ryu‘ and ‘Unique’—is located on the quiet street of Garosugil in Sinsa-Dong, Gangnam-Gu. In an effort to satisfy the public’s expectation, Ryunique‘s skilled team presents and recreates exquisitely crafted dishes from Chef Ryu’s recipes. Ryunique offers Seasonal Lunch Set & Dinner Tasting Menu, featuring fresh market ingredients and wine pairings recommended by Ryunique’s professional sommeliers.

With a menu averaging under the $100 mark (70,000 KRW), it is definitely “A Must Go” if you are in Seoul!


Four Seasons Hotel
97 Saemunan-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul

In the heart of Seoul comes a collection of restaurants and bars in the Four Season Hotel, imagined by an international dream team of creative minds, culinary talents and visionary designers.

Dazzling dining experiences await as each restaurant and bar offers jaw-dropping décor and hand-selected menus that span regions and tastes, all created with two non-negotiable truths in mind. Their passion for impeccable food, cocktails and wine combines with signature Four Seasons service to create Seoul’s leading destination for food lovers – where the city comes to eat, drink and be seen.


Cafe Ato
1-141, Sa jik dong, Seou
A cafe is born at an alley of tranquil residential area of Sinmunro. There are many small and large restaurants and cafes from before in this area. Cafe Ato is a complex cultural space for diverse meetings and cultural events planned as local attraction next to Gyeonghuigung, by renovating the annex in the existing building of Metro Seoul newspaper.

21 Apgujeong-ro 60-gil, Gangnam-gu
The first multi-brand fashion store in Seoul, Boon The Shop is the guiding light for a generation of affluent, trend-conscious Koreans. A must go for Shopaholic but be careful for your budget!

Bukchon Son Mandu
42-5, Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu
Bukchon, the historic neighborhood between Gyeongbok-gung and Changdeok-gung palaces in the heart of Seoul, is the home of buk-chon son mandu, which translates as “handmade dumplings.” Even though this is a Seoul chain restaurant, the namesake location is here, and it has the feel of a neighborhood hole-in-the-wall. All is fresh, made right in front of you.

Hotel Prima Spa
536 Dosan-daero, Gangnam-gu
At Hotel Prima Spa, you alternate dips in hot, cold, herbal, and hinoki (lemon-ginger scented Japanese wood) stone baths that are designed to improve circulation and overall health. Request a full body scrub. You will be shocked by what they slough off. My favorite part is bathing in serenity outdoors in a hot hinoki pool. Afterwards, go upstairs and enjoy Korean food and freshly squeezed juices that are supposedly good for the skin. Be warned: No bathing suits allowed in these non co-ed facilities.

Line Friends Store & Cafe
126 Hangangno-dong,
Upon entering, you are greeted by a cuddly 3.2 meter high ‘Mega Brown’ plush. On this floor you can find smaller and more practical sized plushies to take home with you, along with figurines, stationary, pens and a random assortment of other trinkets. Upstairs you will find backpacks, hats, headbands jewelry and clothes. Everything any child or adult Line fan could possibly want to get geared up from head to toe. Both floors have different character statues and cute photo zones for your picture taking needs.

10 Corso Como
416, Apgujeong-ro, Gangnam-gu
10 Corso Como is a network of spaces rolled into one; art, design, fashion and cuisine. It is a multifunctional space, a place where people are encouraged to meet and exchange culture, ideas and experiences. Today 10 Corso Como collaborations with leading designers add a glamorous note to its prestige in the industry. Named after its location in Milan in an industrial building, it has locations in Milan, Seoul, Beijing and Shanghai.

Published January 6, 2016