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    Seoul's restaurants offer a huge range in menu selections from each of Korea’s regional cuisines. With so many great choices available, finding your favourite dish is easy. However, as the nation's capital is also a popular tourist destination, how can you be sure you're getting the authentic Korean flavours? You go to the places the locals go is how.

    While Seoul's 5-star restaurants will certainly serve you some outstanding dishes, no one can afford to eat in such places every day. Koreans tend to gravitate towards the budget-friendly places that still pack a mean punch when it comes to flavour. Here are some of the best places to go for just such a restaurant - the best places to find real local food in Seoul.

    1

    Yeonnam-dong

    Yeonnam-dong has a beautiful forest path nicknamed Yeontral Park, which means 'Central Park'. Influenced by Hongdae culture, quaint restaurants, cafés, and shops abound, making it the perfect venue for strolling or a romantic date.

    The official name is Gyeongui-Sun Forest Road, and it was created as a part of the underground construction of Gyeongui-Jungang Line and the Airport Railroad. Along with Cheonggyecheon, it's a great natural space in the middle of metropolitan Seoul.

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    Foto: Christian Bolz (CC BY-SA 4.0) retusjert

    2

    Usadan-gil

    For halal food

    Usadan-gil, whose official road name is Usadan-ro 10-gil, is a long stretch that starts from Seoul Central Mosque and ends at Dokkebi Market. Close to the Seoul Central Mosque are restaurants selling halal foods that are hard to find anywhere else. Naturally, that makes it a popular place for locals to eat.

    Artistic murals bring the streets and staircases to life. The exotic signboards and vendors hawking their wares make it feel like you're in a different country.

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    3

    Jangchung-dong

    Jokbal Alley

    Jangchung-dong earned the nickname "Jokbal Alley" for the number of places serving this specialist local dish, which consists mostly of pig's feet. Many traditional Jokbal restaurants here have been open since the 1960s and '70s, following the opening of Jangchung Arena.

    All of the jokbal restaurants here have similar menus and prices and are open until late or even round the clock. They're excellent hangouts for late-night chats and snacks.

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    Foto: sellyourseoul (CC BY 2.0) retusjert

    4

    Gwangjang Market

    Everything in one place

    Gwangjang Market is a great spot for casual dining. The market is most famous for mung bean pancakes (bindae-tteok), however, they also offer local snacks such as stir-fried rice cakes (tteok-bokki), Korean sausages (sundae), and fish cake (eomuk). You can also get traditional foods such as stir-fried noodles and vegetables (japchae), gimbap, bibimbap, and dumplings (mandu), all at reasonable prices. From snacks and starters right through to desserts, it's one place for everything.

    Beliggenhet: 88 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno 4(sa)-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Åpent: Daily from 9am to 6pm

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    Foto: Kars Alfrink (CC BY 2.0) retusjert

    5

    Garosu-gil

    For a romantic meal

    Visit Garosu-gil street for trendy franchise restaurants. Upscale restaurants take advantage of Garosu-gil's elegant ambience for a can’t-miss dining experience, making it especially popular with local couples.

    From a light brunch to authentic western or Korean cuisine, the restaurants here serve a wide selection of dishes, so there's almost certainly something here to your taste.

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    Foto: sellyourseoul (CC BY 2.0) retusjert

    6

    Seorae Village

    For a stylish brunch

    Seorae Village offers a glimpse of Paris in the middle of Seoul. A French school and a growing population of French expats enjoy life here. Many brunch cafés and restaurants in Seorae Village offer a meal or tea alfresco for an authentic continental-style atmosphere. Looking for a stylish brunch? Visit Seorae Village.

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    Foto: Luvepoli (CC BY-SA 4.0) retusjert

    7

    Hwayang-dong

    Lamb Skewer Street

    Jayang-dong, near Konkuk University, is known as a Chinese food culture street and earned the nickname "Lamb Skewer Street". There are more signboards written in Chinese than Korean here, and you'll also find more Chinese than Korean dishes. Lamb skewers are certainly the star attraction, but hot pots come a close second. It's close to Hangang Park and Konkuk University, so there’s plenty to do after your meal.

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    8

    Ikseon-dong

    For dessert

    Ikseon-dong's Hanok Village has many unique restaurants, cafés, and shops that have been renovated from the old single-story Hanok (traditional Korean house). Enjoy the ambience and mood with a fine selection of teas and desserts in Ikseon-dong, where about 110 Hanok houses display their individual charm. The get to Hanok Village, get off the subway at Jongno 3-ga Station, come out at Exit No. 4, and cross the street in front.

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    Foto: Alejandro (CC BY 2.0) retusjert

    9

    Namdaemun

    Braised Cutlassfish Alley

    Namdaemun Braised Cutlassfish Alley is an offshoot near the wide Namdaemun Market, so it might be hard to find if it's your first visit. Diners may have to wait in line to enjoy spicy stewed braised cutlet and grilled fish at an affordable price – it's that popular with locals. However, despite the wait, it's a must-try if you're visiting Namdaemun.

    Beliggenhet: 21 Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Hoehyeon-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea

    Åpent: Monday–Saturday from midnight to 11pm (closed on Sundays)

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    Foto: Sakaori (CC BY-SA 3.0) retusjert

    10

    Euljiro Golbaengi Alley

    Whelk Alley

    Euljiro Golbaengi (Whelk) Alley was well known to nearby office workers in the 1970s when it was first formed. Nowadays, it's a hot place for young people, as retro fashion has rapidly gained popularity. This is a great after-work stop for a delicious golbaengi dish at an affordable price, with a beer to wash it down.

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