If you are planning to visit Seoul, Hongdae is most likely on your list of places to explore. The famous district is known for its bustling nightlife and creative landscape, with various live performers busking on the streets and food vendors surrounding the area. If you’re big on food, hunting for the right spots can be overwhelming.
An excellent place to start is Ryse Hotel which is located next to Hongik Arts University and in the heart of the lively district. Opened in 2018, the luxury contemporary hotel, which is part of Mariott’s Autograph Collection, offers four food and drink options that perfectly capture the eclectic spirit of Hongdae. From cocktail bars to Korean-Western fusion, Ryse Hotel is a one-stop place that will satisfy your cravings from morning till sundown with its offerings.
Blue Bottle Coffee
For coffee lovers, Blue Bottle Coffee needs little to no introduction. The specialty coffee brand first founded in Oakland, California, is known for its fresh brewed-to-order coffee. With nine cafes around Seoul and Jeju, the franchise has quickly become one of Korea’s go-to places for caffeinated goodness. Located on the first floor, you can enjoy a hot cuppa in a comfortable environment featuring light wood fixtures and pastel cushions. The cafe offers a variety of speciality blends as well as pastries such as cakes and croffles.
Head up to Ryse Hotel’s fourth floor where a two-toned minimalist bar awaits. The Brooklyn-inspired cocktail bar was founded by five members of Tokki who met while living in New York City. Tokki Bar is an estate bar, meaning all spirits are made in-house from gin to soju. So if you want to try authentic Korean soju, be sure to add Tokki Bar to your list! The space offers a wide array of signature concoctions, highballs, and Korean-inspired bites such as Galbi Tacos and Spicy Beef Noodles.
For something more substantial, walk over to Charr which is also located on the fourth floor. As Ryse Hotel’s answer to gourmet dining, the restaurant offers an immersive dining experience for diners looking to enjoy delicious Korean-Western fusion cuisine. Taste the harmonious balance of Korean flavours in classic Western dishes such as Jeju Pork Chop, Pollack Roe Polenta, Jiri Mountain Hanwoo Ragout Pasta, and more. With its swanky and contemporary interiors, you can enjoy refined soul food using the best of Korea’s local produce.
Side Note Club
To end your night on a high (literally), make your way to Ryse Hotel’s 15th floor and enter the Side Note Club. This social space is for anyone who appreciates good music and the art of mixology. Sip on classic cocktails with a modern twist on their plush and velvet couches or head out to Side Note Club’s spacious rooftop bar with the sprawling nightscape of Hongdae as your view.
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