57 Best Bars in Seoul, South Korea

After Jerk Off

Jung-gu Fodor's choice

A bar and bottle shop with an interior as memorable as its name, After Jerk Off's cinematic space is inspired by the aesthetic of Asian street food markets. Each detail of the bistro—from the Buddha head in one corner to the towering green plants under the dim, red lights—comes together for a powerful effect. The menu, which changes seasonally, offers natural wine, cocktails, and simple Asian-inspired dishes. Note that the bar is less kid-friendly than most as there are some provocative photos on display.

Bar Cham

Jongno-gu Fodor's choice

Located within a traditional hanok, this intimate bar with dim lights and a warm wooden bar serves modern takes on traditional liquors and spirits. It's a memorable place to sample the best Korean flavors, soju, and craft cocktails. No wonder it's been named one of the 50 best bars in Asia. Bar bites are available; they're open until 1 am.

Bar Tea Scent

Gangnam-gu Fodor's choice

Tea is the hero of the cocktail menu at this Zen-like bar meets teahouse, starring in everything from the Earl Grey Bourbon to the Champagne Oolong. It's a unique experience, but be prepared to spend about ₩25,000 per tea cocktail.

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Jongno-gu Fodor's choice

Tucked away in an elegant hanok in Naeja-dong, Cobbler is a whisky and cocktail bar that serves slices of cobbler pie with every visit. The space, dimly lit and furnished with imported antiques, only has room for 20 guests, but plenty of people are willing to wait as the bar’s owner, Robin Yoo, is one of the best-known mixologists in the country. There is no menu, but you can choose from their takes on classics like the Old Fashioned and Moscow Mule or ask the staff to recommend a drink based on your preferences. Come before 7 pm to ensure you’ll get a seat or visit their second, more spacious location in Yeonhui-dong.

Gopchang Jeongol

Hongdae Fodor's choice

While bars and restaurants that play today's Korean top hits may be a dime a dozen, Gopchang Jeongol is the rare institution that focuses on Korean rock from the 1970s to 1990s. The bar’s name means “beef tripe hot pot,” but their menu offers little out of the ordinary, including Korean beers by the pitcher, green bottles of soju, and basic cocktails alongside Korean-style fruit salad (a common bar food until the 2000s). The bar retains a charming, old-school feel with a live DJ on weekends, disco lights, and heavy, outdated furniture. Musicians who once ruled Hongdae's streets come to listen to favorites like the Kim Sisters, Shin Jung-hyun, and Lee Sun-hee.

Luxury Su Noraebang

Hongdae Fodor's choice

The country’s most recognizable noraebang has tall glass windows allowing pedestrians to look in on your singing shenanigans and clean, spacious facilities. Thanks to Su Noraebang’s popularity, the area is filled with several similar establishments.

Magpie Brewing Co.

Itaewon Fodor's choice

A local institution for craft beer, Magpie was founded in 2011 and kicked off South Korea’s craft beer revolution. Their signature beers include the Magpie IPA, Porter, and Stout, but in recent years, they’ve become well known for their more experimental drinks such as the Juicybox (sour ale with cherry and guava) and Sounds Good (a hazy IPA with Jeju Hallabong). Their space is divided into a basement bar and a ground-level space which opens up to the street. There are a few food items on the menu, including a range of delicious pizzas. With Magpie beer sold at bars and restaurants across the country, it’s quite famous and it's not uncommon for residents of the neighborhood to stop by casually for a bite and a beer after work.

Nogari Alley

Jung-gu Fodor's choice

Approximately a dozen bars occupy two parallel streets outside Euljiro 3-ga Station to make up Nogari Alley, one of Seoul’s most festive places to have fresh beer and nogari (dried pollack). While the fish snack is not everyone’s cup of tea, the ambiance is a crowd pleaser unlike anything else you’ll experience in the city, especially in warmer weather. Each bar sets up red and blue lawn furniture outside, and the streets fill with friends and coworkers kicking back with cold drinks. It may be difficult to find a table between 8 pm and 10 pm, but if one bar is full you can easily hop to another. There’s little to differentiate them. Fried chicken and jwipo (fish jerky) are also on the menu.

Pussyfoot Saloon

Yongsan-gu Fodor's choice

Opened in 2018, this upscale bar in Hannam-dong is inspired by vintage train travel, where everything from the drinks to the decor would be right at home on a first-class carriage. Sit at the bar and have a chat with the bartenders if you’re having a drink on your own, or opt for a seat in the courtyard if you’re out with friends on a summer night. The bar’s signature cocktails—the Ramos Gin Fizz, Jimmy Roosevelt, and Breakfast Martini—are creative takes on crowd favorites. Make sure to order from the food menu as the dishes here, such as crispy bacon, deep-fried shrimp sandwich, and crab cakes, are a step above the ordinary.

Soap Seoul

Itaewon Fodor's choice

One of the most sought-after clubs in Seoul, Soap's basement club pumps out house, disco, and hip-hop music late into the night for up to 400 guests. They frequently invite international acts and give guest DJs relative freedom on the stage. Past acts include Tokimonsta, Jacques, and Habibi Funk among others. Drinks at the bar are not cheap, but their signature cocktails—the Oragina Special, Jeju Mule, and Flamingo—are delicious. Soap typically peaks around 1 am, and there are typically lines to get in. Check their Instagram page before you go as you may need tickets in advance for special guest shows.

Timber House

Gangnam-gu Fodor's choice

Situated in the basement of the Park Hyatt hotel, Timber House bills itself as an upscale vinyl record bar, with Izakaya-themed Japanese dishes and top notch cocktails, whiskeys, and wines. As the name suggests, the space is all deep varnished wood and soft, tasteful lighting, with DJs spinning a collection of the records Tuesday through Sunday night. The drinks aren't cheap, but the bar is worth a visit for the experience alone. Their happy hour, from 5 to 7 pm, offers half-price entrees and drinks that takes some of the sting out when it comes to time to pay the bill. 

Tokki Bar

Hongdae Fodor's choice

Beloved in the neighborhood, this dark sultry hotel cocktail bar has become locally famous for its gin, soju, beer, and liquor, all made in-house. The team behind the bar aimed to bring a bit of Brooklyn to Seoul, having met in New York, so it's no surprise you'll see Italian American classics like chicken parmesan in addition to small bites on their menu. Real partiers can rejoice: Tokki Bar doesn't close until 6 am.

Alice Cheongdam


This basement speakeasy inspired by Alice in Wonderland serves whimsical, fun cocktails befitting of its theme while still managing to avoid being gimmicky or over-the-top.

All That Jazz


Opened in 1976, All That Jazz continues to be Seoul's premier jazz club. The club has good acoustics and a relaxed community vibe. Weekends often feature well known Korean jazz artists as well as new talent.

112--4 Itaewondong, Seoul, South Korea
Nightlife Details
Rate Includes: ₩5,000

Bar 81


Located on the 81st floor of the Lotte World Tower, Bar 81 delivers spectacular views and a sophisticated, upscale bar experience. They boast an extensive wine list and claim to have the largest Champagne collection in all of Asia. None of this comes cheap, of course, but it's worth a visit if you desire a blast of pure class during your visit to the neighborhood.

Beer Room


With scores of great craft beers on tap and a full menu of Italian food, Beer Room is one of Gangnam's best spots for a pint and a bite. The decor of the two-story space adds to the ambience, with concrete floors, acres of glass, and outdoor tables where you can sip a hearty ale and watch the night unfold. They also play music of the mellow techno and jazz variety, which is a rarity in an otherwise sea of K-pop. 

Bonggu Beer


If you like your suds cold and cheap, Bonggu Beer is the place for you. This nationwide chain is inspired by Japanese "small beer" bars, and that's what you get: a super intimate interior with Korean beer on tap, as well as a small selection of imported bottles. They also offer simple and inexpensive anju (side dishes) such as French fries, sausage, and dried squid.

39, Olympic-ro, 32-gil, Seoul, 05543, South Korea

Brown Seoul/Soul


Opened in 2012, Brown Seoul/Soul is a hip-hop club recognized by many artists in the community. They play a mix of soul, funk, hip-hop, and R&B—both Korean and Western—and well-known DJs like Soulscape, Mello, and Ghostex spin here on a regular basis. Weekends are packed with dancing partygoers and weekdays are typically more lowkey, making it possible to focus on enjoying the music and cocktails. Brown is the playground for nearby YG Entertainment employees who hang out here on quiet nights, so don’t be afraid to mingle.



This landmark club in Itaewon is one of the most established names in hip-hop nightlife in Seoul. Many would even credit the opening of Cakeshop to shifting the nightlife center away from Gangnam and into Itaewon. A basement space with a capacity for up to 200 guests, Cakeshop hosts a range of musical guests from Kode9 to FKJ (French Kiwi Juice) and has often hosted afterparties for bigger festivals. Local music lovers in Seoul might argue that Cakeshop’s prominence over the years has caused it to lose a certain edginess, but the club is still a good bet if you’re looking for a full house on a Saturday night. The club also has a brother location with a more relaxed feel, called Pistil, down the street.

Casa Corona


Calling itself an “urban oasis in the middle of Seoul,” Casa Corona is a rooftop bar with beachy decor. It's particularly popular in warmer months, when most visitors prefer to sit outdoors. There are several tables also accommodating large groups. The menu features a long list of liquor (available by the glass and by the bottle), signature cocktails, and a handful of quick bites. DJs play live sets during the weekend and occasionally, there is live music, mostly jazz bands. 

Casa del Vino


Considered by many to be the best wine bar in the city, Casa del Vino is a must for oenophiles. They boast an extensive list of more than 600 wines, with a European focus but also some Napa Valley bottles and some more obscure picks. The interior is classy and elegant, and the rectangular bar is popular with the local business crowd. 

Channel 1969


Often glowing under sparkly, disco lights, Channel 1969 is a live music venue and alternative music bar/club. On any given night, you could walk in to find an improv comedy set, an indie music performance, or DJ sets with playlists ranging from Bollywood to Afrobeats to psychedelic to J-pop. Drinks are mostly commercial beers and cheap, basic cocktails, and the vibe is very friendly. Although Korean bars are generally considered difficult places to meet new people, Channel 1969 is the rare venue where it doesn’t raise eyebrows to strike up a conversation with a stranger. On summer nights, the bar’s scene spills out into the street where revelers drink and smoke.

Charles H.


One of the most glamorous nightlife experiences in the city, Charles H. is a speakeasy located on the basement level of the Four Seasons. Often appearing on World’s Best Bars lists, it screams luxury with its five-star service, mirrored ceilings, and plush seats. Named after 19th-century food writer Charles H. Baker, the bar’s signature cocktails include Le Comedian, a strong rye whisky and rum concoction with chocolatey notes. Make reservations in advance, come dressed to impress, and be prepared to spend some serious cash. There is a cover charge of ₩10,000, and drinks start at ₩28,000.



Head to this chilled-out, homey pub for quality cocktails, and a nice assortment of wines and beer. While the place is overflowing with comfort, it's done with a touch of class. The owner is friendly, and the bar also hosts live jazz performances.

42-16 Baekjegobun-ro, 7-gil, Seoul, 05556, South Korea

Dokil Jutaek


Tucked inside a renovated hanok (traditional Korean home), this chill bar is the perfect marriage of new Korean aesthetics and a German menu that highlights sausages and beers. Its name is a play on words: In Korean, Dokil Jutaek translates to “German House” but in Hanja, a traditional writing system for Korean based on Chinese characters, it means “to drink alone.” In Korean culture, drinking is a highly social activity but here, enjoying a drink alone and mingling with others at the bar is encouraged. Whether or not you prefer to be a social butterfly, a visit is full of Instagrammable cheese and meat plates and an impressive imported beer list best enjoyed while relaxing in the courtyard.



Known for its swoon worthy design details and hip crowd, this small makgeolli (Korean rice wine) bar was created in collaboration with some of Korea’s finest design talents. The wood-panel interior, the custom made ceramics, the funky wooden tables and seats, and the music curation all contribute to this feast of the senses. Their makgeolli selection features hard-to-come-by brewers and a few bottles made in-house. The food menu consists of banchans (Korean side dishes) such as crispy gamja jeon (potato pancake);and anju (Korean drinking foods) that pair harmoniously with the drinks.

Glam Lounge (District)


Consistently one of the busiest spots in Itaewon, District is really three venues in one building—a pub, chilled-out DJ lounge, and club. Each area has a different feel, ranging from the relaxed pub atmosphere to the beats of the club. Of the three venues, Glam Lounge is the most upscale with an offering of various cocktails and bottle service. The decor is gaudy and the crowd is slightly older, and more likely to socialize, than others in the area.

Goose Island Brewhouse


This Chicago-based company was one of the first foreign brands to make headway into Korea's emerging craft beer scene, and their Gangnam location is their mothership. It's an ultra-modern, immaculate complex with myriad beers on tap and a full food menu featuring Western pub favorites such as pork ribs and Buffalo wings. It also houses a brewery with stainless steel tanks, tubes, and valves visible right behind the long bar. The net result is a shiny piece of the United States in the midst of Seoul, so if you're homesick, perhaps this will cure it. Just don't don't expect too much in the way of service.

Hand and Malt Taproom


Since starting out in 2015, Hand and Malt has gained attention for their craft beer, winning several prestigious awards such as the International Beer Cup and the San Diego International Beer and Cider awards. In 2017, the brand opened this taproom in a hanok in Naeja-dong. Popular beers like the Slow IPA, Mocha Stout, and Hopped Cider are often paired with small bites like their truffle oil fries. The taproom’s courtyard, lit up with string lights, is an especially nice place to have a cool drink in the summer. Fans of the brand can also visit their Brew Lab located in Yongsan.

2 Sajik-ro 12-gil, Seoul, South Korea
Nightlife Details
Rate Includes: Closed Sun. and Mon.

Helen's Kitchen


Helen's Kitchen features over 25 varieties of artisan makgeolli (Korean rice wine) making it a great place for those out in Gangnam to sample this uniquely Korean drink. The food, while nothing special, serves as a good compliment to the different makgeolli on offer. The knowledgeable staff can help customers find the best variety to suit their tastes.

149--31 Samseong--dong, Seoul, South Korea