Michelin Guide Seoul : Recommended 4 Best restaurants in Korea

Michelin Guide Seoul started since 2017, 35 restaurants received the stars in Michelin Guide Seoul 2023. Relative informations on internet are quite outdated, you probably need newly updated information. Let’s start from 3 stars.


3-Michelin starred restaurants in Michelin Guide Seoul

Gaon(가온)

Gaon awarded 3 stars since 2017 first year of Michelin Guide Seoul, still hold 3 stars. The only restaurant keep holding 3 stars now from start of Michelin Guide Seoul.
Gaon is Korean cuisine, but little bit of contemporary touch compare to LaYeon in Shilla Hotel. They serve French-like amuse-bouche, A Course contains Japanese inspired also.
Unfortunately, Gaon is no longer opening from last day of 2022. Staff told me it could be permanent. They told ‘currently closed’ on their Instagram. Follow them if you are looking for good news from them!

https://www.instagram.com/gaon_seoul/

Mosu(모수)

Mosu is one and only currently running 3 starred restaurant in Seoul. Head Chef Ahn worked at legendary restaurants such as The French Laundry in Napa, Benu in San Francisco. He opened Mosu at San Francisco on 2015, also awarded 1 star. But he came back to his home country left behind Michelin starred restaurant. He opened a restaurant in Seoul with same name. It awarded 1 star in Michelin Guide Seoul 2019, step up to 2 stars in Michelin Guide Seoul 2020. Finally, Mosu awarded 3 stars in Michelin Guide Seoul 2023!

Mosu has outstanding signature menus such as abalone taco, burdock tarte tatin, acorn truffle pasta. In my opinion, main dish isn’t great for the 3 stars, Hanwoo(Korean beef) is boring main dish in Korea. Koreans are not familiar with exotic meats like pigeon, deer, lamb. I think it is limiting their choice of ingredients. But still the best restaurant in Korea, no doubt. Wine pairing isn’t worth its price, way behind of other Michelin starred restaurants in Asia. But I fully agreed Mosu is refined enough for 3 stars.
Mosu is placed in Hannam, near Itawon and Yongsan. Hannam is technically center of the Seoul, easy to reach from any part of Seoul. But extremely hard to make a reservation.

Abalone taco with a burnt piece of lime served by Mosu, 3 starred in Michelin Guide Seoul.
Abalone taco with a burnt piece of lime by Mosu, Seoul. This is one of amuse-bouche.

Lunch : 210,000KRW, only one course available.
Dinner : 370,000KRW, only one course available.

https://mosuseoul.com/

https://www.catchtable.net/shop/mosuseoul


2-Michelin starred restaurants in Michelin Guide Seoul

LaYeon(라연)

LaYeon is restaurant placed in Shilla Hotel, Seoul. Shilla Hotel is considered as most luxurious, historical, iconic hotel in Korea. LaYeon had awarded 3 stars since start of Michelin Guide Seoul, but stepped down to 2 stars this year, 2023. LaYeon is serving most Korean foods what Koreans think, real traditional Korean cuisine.

Bugak(dried chip snack) is most unique start of fine dining course and main course is highlight of their courses. There are up to 4 choice of main, grilled sirloin, bulgogi, galbi jjim(braised short ribs), tteokgalbi(grilled short rib patties). They are so tender, melt in mouth texture, well balanced. Entrees are usually seafoods cooked variety ways, grilled, steamed, braised.

LaYeon is worth to visit, if you are curious about what Korean king was eating. They stepped down, but still good enough, no restaurant can substitute. LaYeon and Mango-Bingsu is best course I can recommend.

Yukhoe bibimbap by LaYeon at Shilla hotel, Seoul. 2 starred in Michelin Guide Seoul.
Yukhoe bibimbap by LaYeon at Shilla hotel, Seoul. Iconic dish of Korea.

Lunch : 185,000KRW, Vegan course available.
Dinner : 290,000KRW, Vegan course available.

https://www.shilla.net/seoul/dining/viewDining.do?contId=KRN


You can visit LaYeon with your kids. If you are with your kids, check more kids-friendly restaurants here.

Alla Prima

Now, we moved to Gangnam, richest town in Seoul. Alla Prima is placed at backstreet of Nonhyeon furniture street, Italian-Japanese cuisine. Alla Prima awarded a star since start of Michelin Guide Seoul, awarded 2 stars in Michelin Guide Seoul 2019. The chef has experience of Italian cuisine and Japanese cuisine, he combined them into Alla Prima.

Alla Prima serves many raw fishes. If you are not familiar with raw fish or not comfortable to eat them, you must contact the restaurant before making reservation. Most of course are changing every season, only one menu can be considered as its signature in my opinion. salt ice cream with olive oil, it has unique flavor and texture.
I can’t describe Alla Prima enough through the text, it is hard to define in words. If you are interested in, just make a reservation now!

Lunch : 150,000KRW, only one course available.
Dinner : 290,000KRW, only one course available.

https://www.allaprima.co.kr/

https://app.catchtable.co.kr/ct/shop/allaprima