Seoul is a city made for couples and groups of friends. You can’t help but notice how most businesses especially restaurants are catered for a communal culture. This is also ingrained in their dining culture as majority of restaurants offer “sharing” dishes and take orders based on the number of portions, usually measured by how many people are dining with you. “Sharing food dishes” commonly include Korean BBQ, army stew, Korean-style broiled pork belly (Bossam 보쌈) and many more. In fact, most restaurants have a minimum order of 2 portions and might even refuse to serve you if you’re a solo diner.
This might come across as alarming for some solo travellers who aren’t well versed with the Korean culture. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of places for solo travellers to dine that serve the regular Korean fare. But on some days, you really just want some good Korean BBQ or some army stew but you don’t feel like making a new friend just for it, that’s when you realised you’re at a dead end.
If you prefer to travel solo, like me, here’s a list of restaurants where you can enjoy “sharing dishes” all by yourself!
1. Korean BBQ
Name of restaurant: Dokgojin Restaurant (독고진 돌판구이&철판볶음)
Address: Sang-rok Central Tower, 244 Jungdong-ro, Bucheon, Gyeonggi-do
BBQ restaurants usually serve meat in portions and if you were to walk into a BBQ restaurant alone, chances are you’re gonna get politely escorted out. This restaurant is here to save your day! The interior consists of solo booths with a grill pan for yourself and they even have a small personal TV and mobile phone charging ports at each table.
2. Bossam (보쌈), Korean-styled Broiled Pork
Name of restaurant: Fight Expert (싸움의 고수)
Address: Stores are planted all over Seoul! Check http://www.ssaum.co.kr/store/index.php for more information
Korean-styled broiled pork or otherwise known as bossam is pretty much known as a party food. It usually comes in large portions and when I mean large, I mean really large portions that can feed a family of five. Which makes it even harder for a solo person to enjoy. But fret not! This restaurant has you covered. They divide the meat into individual portions and serve it up with the side dishes needed for bossam (lettuce and any type of vegetable kimchi) and a bowl of steaming hot rice.
3. Army Stew
Name of restaurant: Mat Song Song Noodle House (맛송송면집)
Address: No. 109 1st Floor, 156 Yanghwa-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Army stew, a dish we’re all already very familiar with. I often find myself having cravings for it alone and find no outlet to relieve it. Now you can in Seoul! This restaurant offers a variety of different stews in individual pots for solo diners who need a pot of warm soup for their soul. Every table is equipped with an induction heater and unlimited toppings for your stew. They offer specially customised 1-person menus and it’s only 2,000 for a refillable beverage!
It’s not always a bad thing to travel alone. After all, like Tolkien said, “not all those who wander are lost”. Are there any restaurants for solo diners you would like to recommend? Let us know in the comments below!
Article by: Cass @ KAvenyou