People usually say that SNU campus is dead, the area around SNU is boring, SNU students don’t party, Hongdae is better, etc… And so before I came, I thought that I was going to be placed in some kind of mountain with nothing to eat. Since eating is important, I was very worried. If this concerns you in any way, do not let it. There is a large amount of cafeterias on campus with each offering multiple different dishes. And if none of those are to your likings, there are many restaurants on campus. And if those don’t work either, a 10-minute bus ride to SNU station will definitely satisfy your hunger.
Streets in Seoul (and of course, SNU station) are filled with restaurants. SNU campus too. Sometimes, it might be difficult to pick which one to go to especially if you’re new to the area. Over the past few months, I’ve tried many different places and some of them basically became my home. Here are some of my favorite places to eat around SNU.
- Restaurants on campus. Lounge O and Olive Green are, in my opinion, two of the best restaurants on campus. Lounge O sits right next to CBA (College of Business Administration) and is very convenient if you are looking for some high quality food that isn’t too fancy but don’t have time to travel off campus. Their pizzas are not bad, especially the corn pizza. Olive Green, on the other hand, is the cheaper option that is conveniently located right next to the dorms. Olive Green offers delicious dishes at a very low price. For $5, you can enjoy a huge meal there. It’s like a Five Below for food, but with really good food. Dongkatsu at Olive Green is great. And oh, the ramen there is amazing.
- Cafeterias on campus. Don’t have time and try to save money? Look for the numerous cafeterias on campus. There are so many cafeterias on campus that when you ask the students for the exact number, they will not be able to give you an answer. The good thing is that each of them serves at least 2 different dishes so you have a huge variety to choose from. The two cafeterias that you will find yourself going to would be the one at dorms and the one at the student center. The student center one always have good food. It has a larger selection too due to it having two different cafeterias within the same one: level one, and basement. The 919 cafeteria at dorm is also great. If you’re looking to be lazy and/or trying to save money, you can easily pass by with the alternation between 919 and Olive Green. Food at the cafeteria generally range from $1 to $5, and you get a discount as an SNU student so don’t forget to swipe your card when you purchase the ticket. The extra $1 every meal will add up.
- Korean BBQ
- All-you-can-eat KBBQ (정육식당). Everyone loves KBBQ. Remember how KBBQ is extremely expensive at home? And they don’t even taste that good? You can forget about all of that. When you’re in Seoul, you’ll have so many options to pick. Try all-you-can-eat KBBQ. Don’t underestimate the $11 all-you-can-eat KBBQs. Try it once, and I’m sure you will not want to waste money going for those eat-as-you-order KBBQs. For $11, you can fill your empty stomach with great meat. I repeat. GREAT MEAT. While there are many of these restaurants around, the one near Exit 2 of SNU station beats them all. 정박사 정육식당 literally became my home. My friends and I come here at least twice a week. Sometimes twice a day! For $11, you can eat as much pork belly as you would like, and as much of those thinly sliced beef as your heart desires. Come with a party of 4 or more and get a free Pepsi! The downside is that this place is usually crowded so make sure to come early if you have a big party.
- Hanam Pork House (하남돼지집). If you are not satisfied with the all-you-can-eat KBBQs, and want to feel fancy, stop by 하남돼지집. For about $60, your stomach can easily be stuffed with delicious pork with another friend. If you’re lucky, you might get free service and be able to try some cool meat for free! Again, plan to spend some time here as this place is usually packed too.
- Fancy beef BBQ (남고집). If you’re feeling really fancy, spend your dinner at 남고집 near Exit 2. The quality is top notch. Words can’t describe how good the beef of this place taste. You will just have to try it for yourself. But be aware that you’re looking to spend about $50 per person if you want to treat yourself with this dinner.
- Fried chicken on Exit 2
- The Frypan. Koreans love fried chicken, and I’m sure you will too. You will find so many different chicken places but try The Frypan. The Frypan’s fried chicken are great. The servings are big so be careful not to order too much!
- Oppa’s Chicken (오빠닭). I sincerely love the chicken here, especially the original boneless chicken. If you’re tired of fried chicken but still want to eat chicken, definitely give this place a chance.
- Non-korean restaurants
- Hello Vietnam (안녕베트남). If you’re tired if Korean food (you won’t, but just in case) and are looking to try some new dishes, check out this Vietnamese restaurant. It’s a 10-minute walk from Exit 2 and always have a long line, but it’s worth it. As a picky Vietnamese eater, I can guarantee that this restaurant serves good authentic Vietnamese food. When I went there with a couple of other Vietnamese students, we all agreed that it felt like we were eating at home. My favorite dish here has to be the pork chop rice. But everything else are just as good! I’ve tried them all because I came here so many times…
- A taste of India in Korea (옷살). Also located on Exit 2 is this Indian restaurant with the name of 옷살. The curry here is great but keep in mind that they could be a bit spicy (even if you order it to be not spicy). There is a huge selection of curry to choose from. Though I haven’t tried all of them, I can basically confirm that you cannot go wrong with picking any random ones because they are all good. A small appetizer, a curry, a naan, and 2 lassis would be a feast for 2 people with just about $30. Make sure to give this restaurant a try.
- Japanese Kitchen (시오). This Japanese restaurant can be difficult to find as it’s located on the 5th floor of a building that’s filled with some other restaurants. But make sure to find it because you will regret it if you don’t. For $13, you will be able to enjoy a delicious Japanese meal. Unfortunately, the menu is rather small with just about 4 or 5 dishes, but they all worth every penny. If you don’t trust me, trust that the chef was featured on some TV show because of his food!
- Delicious pancakes dessert (오후의 과일 dessert). After fatten up yourself with meat at 정박사 정육식당, come up to the 2nd floor and treat yourself some delicious pancakes at 오후의 과일 dessert. The ambient of this dessert place is more than romantic. Bring your date here and impress him/her with a beautifully made pancake that melts in your mouth. The fruits pancakes have a limit. (I think they only sell 10 a day!) so come early if you want to try them. But the original pancakes are just as good!
SNU area has so many restaurants but I ended up falling in love with the above. I hope the above list will be able to give you a quick guide of what to eat around campus when you have difficulty choosing a restaurant. But don’t be afraid to just walk into any random ones on the street and try them all out while you’re here!