Seoul-o Bliss: 5 BBQ Spots for Solo Travelers
· 33 min read
No trip to Seoul is complete without a delicious Korean BBQ meal. The sizzle of meat on the grill, the spicy aroma of gochujang sauce, and the lively atmosphere of a bustling restaurant are all part of what makes dining in the Korean capital such a memorable experience. However, most BBQ shops in South Korea requires a minimum order of a 2-pax portion, with some even rejecting single customers even if you were to order a 2-pax portion.
As a solo traveler and food lover who is looking to indulge in a BBQ meal, this guide will take you on a journey through the top BBQ spots in Seoul that are great for solo travelers to help you find your own bliss in the world of Korean grilled meats.
Hongo is a restaurant in Seoul that is set-up to allow solo diners to enjoy the K-BBQ experience, and its dedication to serving solo diners can be seen from its name. The ‘Hon’ in Hongo is short for Honja (혼자), which means alone; and the ‘Go’ in the name is short for Gogi (고기), which means meat. The restaurant is small and cozy, and the main seating area is made up of two long bar tables suited for solo diners. Each customer will have their own individual grill, with portions suitable for individual diners. A single set, which includes a 1-person portion (150g) of beef top-blade, 1-person portion (150g) of chicken, mushroom, and sausage and a cup of highball costs 39,000KRW. If you don’t eat beef, there is also the option of ordering just the chicken meat.
🕤 Opening Hours: 5pm - 10pm daily from Sundays to Thursdays, 5pm-11pm on Fridays and Saturdays
Shinssihwaro Express (신씨화로 익스프레스)
Tucked away in Lotte World Mall, this restaurant caters specifically to solo diners with its intimate and interactive dining experience. The set-up is rather similar to what you would expect at restaurants for solo grill, where diners are seated side-by-side at long tables, with each seat having its own in-table grill. As with in-table grills, the heat is not strong, so the thicker meat cuts might take a longer time to cook. The meats are sold in portions ranging from 100g to 250g, perfect for single diners. At just 9,900KRW for a 100g beef bulgogi set menu, Shinssihwaro Express is not only a delicious option for solo diners, but also an affordable one. The menu at Shinssihwaro Express is primarily beef-based and might not be suitable if you don’t eat beef.
🕤 Opening Hours: 10am - 10pm
Nestled near Gangnam station, this casual restaurant specializes in Hanwoo beef, a rare breed that's indigenous to Korea and prized for its marbling and tenderness. While Doma3 doesn't exclusively cater to solo diners, its welcoming ambiance, table settings, and menu items make it the perfect spot for solo travelers looking to treat themselves to a special meal. Prepare to indulge in some of the highest quality beef you'll ever taste - whether it's a juicy sirloin or a succulent cut of Hanwoo, every bite will be a revelation. Of course, quality comes at a price - but for an unforgettable solo dining experience, the 33,000KRW price tag for a single set of Hanwoo and sirloin is well worth it. Keep in mind that Doma3's menu is all about beef, so if you're not a beef eater, this might not be the spot for you.
🕤 Opening Hours: 11.30am - 11pm daily, break time from 2pm - 4pm on weekdays
Wangbijip is a Korean BBQ restaurant with multiple locations in the heart of Myeongdong. It is one of the most popular-with-tourists Korean BBQ restaurants in the area, and as expected of a restaurant located in Myeongdong, Wangbijipip is tourist-friendly with easy-to-read English menus. There is no requirement for a minimum of two diners per table, but there is a minimum order of one menu item per person — though their food portions are relatively smaller. Sink your teeth into juicy cuts of both beef and pork, all cooked to perfection right at your table by the staff. If you want to skip the fuss of barbecuing but still enjoy the grilled meat, they also have set menus during lunch that you can choose from. Keep in mind that the queues could get long and during peak hours, solo diners may be redirected to one of Wangbijip's less crowded branches.
🕤 Opening Hours: 10am - 10pm daily, break time from 2pm-5pm
If you're craving some melt-in-your-mouth pork belly, head to YukTongRyeong in Myeongdong. While they do offer some beef items on the menu, pork is the star of the show at this beloved restaurant. Sink your teeth into their famous black pork ogyeopsal (pork belly), juicy and thick with a rich flavor that will leave you craving more. However, be prepared for service that may be lacking, especially during peak hours - but trust us, the black pork is worth it. They have another branch located location at Gyodae (Seoul Univ.)
🕤 Opening Hours: 11.30am - 11pm