Hongdae has become incredibly gentrified over the years, with many old stores closing their doors to make way for franchises. What was once the heart of Korea's underground music and art scene has transformed into a shopping district for tourists and playground filled with clubs blasting torturous EDM music. Most classic Korean restaurants in the area have made way for trendy modern fusion food and restaurant franchises, but Hongik Sutbulgalbi has withstood this tide of change. Since opening its doors in 1988, thirty years ago, its transformed itself into a local institution.
Hongik Sutbulgalbi, at first sight, might not seem so special with its cheap looking chairs and rowdy atmosphere. However, come dinner time there's always a line, with plastic stools set up outside for waiting. People are attracted to the old school atmosphere here, and the meat they serve up is good quality and reasonably priced. Two dramas, Jealousy Incarnate (질투의 화신) and Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo (역도 요정 김복주), have shot scenes here, and famous indie band Busker Busker also played a special set here for an online program, so don't be surprised to find foreign hallyu fans lining up to get a seat as well.
As the name indicates, Hongik Sutbulgalbi's specialty is, you guessed it, galbi. It's actually quite cheap, 250 grams for 12,000 won, which is surprising for such good quality meat. They also serve up moksal, samgyeopsal, galmaegisal, beef brisket, and sogalbi. The waiters recommend ordering multiple types of meat together, rather than just a single type to enhance the taste. The meat is lightly grilled outside before it's brought to the table to be fully cooked, mostly due to the lack of ventilation inside. When the weather is nice, the floor-to-ceiling windows are open all the way to let in the warm, fresh air. Sometimes, especially on weekends, they even set up tables on the street to deal with the huge amount of customers.
|Company Name||Hongik Sutbulgalbi Saenggogi (홍익숯불갈비생고기)|
|Category||Food, Drink & Nightlife Social|
|Opening Hours||15:30 - 04:00|
Eoulmadang-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea 146-1 Eoulmadang-ro
Take Line 2 to Hongik Univ. Station and go out Exit 8 -> Turn right outside the exit and walk straight for about 100 meters until you reach the circle -> Turn left at the circle and walk straight for about 100 meters -> Hongik Sutbulgalbi Saenggogi will be on your right.