My absolute favourite meal of the week is brunch. I don’t know what it is about the breakfast-cum-lunch meal that gets my juices flowing but I cannot get enough of it. In Seoul there are places popping up left right and centre offering the weekend treat. In my eyes a brunch spot needs three things to make returning worthwhile; good food, good booze, and a good location. I have found that while most places in Seoul can score well in two of these categories, they can rarely hit all three, making my search for the perfect place never ending. Since I have been to so many recently I thought I should compile a list of favourites. It has almost been two years since I wrote the last one, and half of those places have since closed down. So here is a new top ten, click on the name at the beginning to get through to full review of each place, or click here, for a list of every brunch cafe I have ever been to.
1. Summer Lane – Summer Lane is one of my favourite places to eat brunch, as it spitting distance from my house. Located in Gyeongridan they offer an Aussie style brunch. Specialities include topped avocado toasts, and eggs benedict on homemade cheddar waffles. They also offer booze, in particular a Bloody Mary and sangria, though there are other spirits available if you want to liquor up one of their homemade ades or smoothies.
2. The Royal Food & Drink – The Royal is located up on the hill by the intersection at the top of Haebangchon (HBC). The eatery has a plethora of healthy options, and plenty of picks for vegetarians and vegans. My favourite item is the Green Breakfast, though they also have bagels, salads, and sandwiches. They also have cocktails including a Bloody Mary and a pineapple margarita. They recently added a rooftop too, though sadly you were not allowed to eat up there at my last visit, only drink.
3. The Flying Pan – The Flying Pan is probably the Grand Dame of Seoul’s brunch scene. It has been around forever and for good reason, the food is great. One of the first places to serve salmon eggs benedict; they have a very wide and varied menu, including plenty of savoury and sweet dishes. They also serve mimosas, wine, and beer.
4. Sunday Arvo– This place only just opened up in Gyeongridan, but as I have already been back twice I wanted to include it. The Aussie menu includes some really awesome eggs benedicts, along with an amazing salmon sandwich, and a weekday breakfast plate that includes a coffee for only 8,000 won. The only bad point is that they currently don’t serve any alcohol apart from a couple of beers.
5. Bills – The Aussie celeb chef has two locations in Seoul, one in Jamsil, and one in Gwanghwamun. The menu is a collection of trendy Aussie brunch dishes, made famous by the ever popular Bill Granger. It is one of the best spots in town to get a Bloody Mary, and is famous for the ricotta pancakes. If you want breakfast it runs from 8am-11am, whist brunch items are available from 11am onward. I’ve been to Bills on a couple of occasions now, and have always found the service to be very mediocre, but the food and booze usually makes up for it.
6. Parnell Cafe – Parnell cafe is a Kiwi style brunch joint located in Apgujeong. It hasn’t been open long but its beautiful down-under fare has already made it very popular. The steak sandwich and eggs benedict are not to be missed. They also serve wine, beer and cider but unfortunately no cocktails.
7. Little Neck – Little Neck had its first location in Gyeongridan, but it since moved to Cheongdam. They have an interesting menu of poached eggs on top of avocado toast, and a bacon and egg stuffed pretzel burger. While the food is exceptionally good, they are lacking in brunch time cocktails. However for those who can’t bare to eat a meal without alcohol, they do have wine.
8. Rye Post – Rye Post only just started offering a weekend brunch, however the food was so tasty I could not resist putting it on the list. There are only four items on the menu, a big breakfast, eggs benedict, baked eggs, and pancakes. However every item is fantastic. They also offer all you can drink mimosas and run their normal sandwich and burger menu alongside it.
9. Caravan – I recently visited the Hapjeong location of Caravan. However there are actually three locations throughout the city. The brunch menu while a bit on the pricey side is quite varied and includes avocado toast and eggs benedict, and if you visit the Dosan Park location they have cocktails too.
10. Hotel Brunches – If you have your heart set on something a little bit more fancy, then the hotels are your best. Two I have been to are The Conrad and The Four Seasons. The 37 Grill at the Conrad in Yeouido is more traditional with all you can drink champagne at 115,000 per person. While the Boccalino at the Four Seasons in Gwanghwamun offers an Italian brunch with all you can drink prosecco for 90,000 per person.
I was honestly surprised how many options I actually for this article, so wanted to mention the best of the rest. Brera, Uncle Sams, Bimbom, Just BLT, WinK, Cafe Avocado, Original Pancake House, Made, My Ssong. For a full list of all the brunch joints I have reviewed just click here.