Hwangnidan-gil (황리단길) is a foodie’s haven with some of the best cafes and restaurants in Korea’s ancient capital Gyeongju.
Gyeongju (경주) is popular amongst tourists and locals as it was the capital of Korea during the Silla Dynasty. It’s just like a museum without walls with old burial mounds, cultural village, Anapji Pond, observatory, and Bulguksa Temple.
You might wonder what’s a foddie gonna do in this ancient city of Korea. Well, recently a new area has come up – Hwangnidan street (황리단길). It is a foodie paradise with some of the best cafes and restaurants in Gyeongju. Amidst the traditions and history of Korea, this street and surrounding area is becoming famous for its variety of food outlets. New places are constanly popping up and you’ll surely find somthing to your liking!
Here are the best cafes and restaurants in Gyeongju that you can grab a meal and give your tastebuds a treat!
Bichkkuli is one of the most popular teahouse in Gyeongju. There are many other teahouses but what makes it one of the best teahouses in Gyeongju is it’s Instagrammable beauty. It is housed in a hanok and you have to remove your shoes before entering the teahouse. There is seating on the ground to give you an authentic tea ceremony experience. The teahouse has very calming and relaxing atmosphere. They have some delicious drinks and you must try their Citron Tea. Food is also epic, especially the Korean rice cake snacks which come in a range of pastel color with honey dipping sauce.
It is the OG restaurant that kickstarted the opening of restaurants in Hwangnidan-gil. Located at the top of the street, you will often see a queue of people waiting outside for a table. There are only a handful of table within the restuarant which certainly adds to the desirability of the restaurant. It’s a cozy space and at a time there can be few diners sitting in the space keeping up with the vibe. The food is super delicious, fresh, and filling. You must try the Nordic Salad and French Fries!
Seasoning is quite popular amonst the younger crowds with its delicious food dishes in traditional hanok setting. You can get modern variety of pasta and other rice dishes in Seasoning. The traditional white paint and exposed wooden structures make it Instagrammers favorite place to eat!
Temtris gives an abandoned house vibe with its huge revolving door and empty alcohol bottles. It’s like someone cleaned up Miss Havisham’s house (from Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations) but left the chandeliers and pictures on the wall. Food-wise, it offers a variety of Korean and western dishes. You will find tteokbokki, fried Korean sides, risotto, and even pasta! Try tteokbokki as the sauce is pretty good!
Imagine eating delicious pizza, steak, and pasta in a hanok! Well, if you like Italian and traditional hanoks, Pizaok is the best cafe in Gyeongju that you must visit. As soon as you walk in, you can smell the mouthwatering aroma from the kitchen. It will be difficult to just choose one dish as everything is just amazing. Focaccia Bread Pizza is something to try especially after exploring the old tombs and buildings.
Oncheonjip is a Japanese shabu-shabu chain where you will not see anything like rice or pasta on its menu. It is one of the best and prettiest restaurants in Gyeongju. With an avenue of green bamboo, wicker lanterns, and white gravel leading to the restaurant building past a pond, its a sight to behold. There are many delicious dishes like Shabu-Shabu, Roast Beef Steak Rice Bowl, or Bowl of Rice Topped with Truffle and Fries.
Bonjeon Makpo (본전막포)
Bonjeon Makpo is a makgeolli dive bar located in the Gyeongju city proper unlike other restaurants and cafes in the Hwangnidan street. Even though it is slightly away from the hub of food joints, the walk is worth the effort. The wide variety of makgeolli is incredible along with the food. Main attraction of this place is the beautiful decor – walls covered with comic book pages and sticky notes from guests giving raving feedback to the bar. Even if you are not a makgeolli fan, the experience and atmosphere is worth checking out!
Right next to Bulguksa Temple, Roamers Coffee is a great place to revitalize out after the hike to see Seokguram Grotto. The second floor of the cafe has big glass windows from where you can see the gorgeous views of the mountain. Be sure to try the Croissant Sandwiches and Black Sesame Latte!
If you are looking for incredible views of Gyeongju, Cafe OHI is the best cafe that you can explore. The views from the rooftop are magnificent and is you happen to be there around sunset time, the scene is just so beautiful that there are no words. It’s a three story cafe in a hanok-style house with exposed wood and white paint. The cafe is located on the corner of Hwangnidan-gil where you can relax and even people watch while enjoying your food and drinks. The drinks are especially awesome and the waffles are a must-try dish.
Venzamas is a brunch cafe in Gyeongju that’s located on the opposite side of the tourist spots from Hwangnidan street. You won’t be able to reach the cafe in a car but you can easily walk there. It is a popular spot with lots of new buildings but they still blend in with the traditional architecture and Korean countryside. You can see miles and miles of farmland and mountains. Two dishes that you must try in this cafe are the Beef Brisket Salad and the Venzamas Brunch.
So, next time you plan to visit Gyeongju, make sure you explore the Hwangnidan street and all the best cafes and restaurants it has to offer. While enjoying the treats, you can also check out the fashion shops, cute gift shops, and book shops in between. Well, in case you don’t like the above suggestions, do wander around and find the hidden gems in Korea’s ‘museum without walls.’
Don’t forget to check out these other South Korea travel posts:
- Fun Things to Do in Gyeongju: Museum Without Walls
- Go on A Historical Adventure in South Korea – Things To Do in Gyeongju
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