Hanok restaurants in Seoul: The Hanok Smith Likes
A hanok is a traditional Korean house that is well-made and is beautiful without the use of additional adornments. Hanok buildings have an open garden and lots of windows, allowing for plenty of natural sunlight and air to reach its occupants, which helps create a relaxed and peaceful ambience. In the following column, we introduce some of the best restaurants in Seoul that operate in traditional hanok buildings.
While walking along Samcheong-dong Road across from Gyeongbokgung Palace, one will come across an alley at the corner of the Embassy of the Republic of Poland where the Italian restaurant ‘The Hanok Smith Likes’ is located. The traditional Korean hanok restaurant is shaped like a “ㄷ” (Korean consonant “di-geut”) and is comprised of a restaurant and a café along with an outdoor terrace with flowers. The exterior of the restaurant is a traditional Korean-style house while the inside of the restaurant presents a mixture of traditional and modern aspects.
The Smith in the restaurant’s name refers to a blacksmith as well as Mr. Smith which is a common name in some parts of the West, comparable to Cheolsu in Korea. There is another meaning behind the name, and that is to create the concept that Mr. Smith is a virtual person who cooks his favorite dishes in a hanok.
One of the interesting aspects about this restaurant is that they serve hwadeok pizza (brick oven pizza) and pastas which are not the dishes one might expect given the hanok exterior. They also serve delicious salad, risotto, steak and wine at the restaurant. Particularly, the nighttime atmosphere of the restaurant offers a more serene and cozy experience thanks to the traditional hanok architecture.
- Address: 22-7, Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
- Hours: 11:30-22:00 (Break time 15:00-17:00 / Last order at 21:00)
- Menu: Italian cuisine, steaks and wine, and more.
- Directions: Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3) Exit 1. Walk straight from the exit for about 430 m and turn right onto Samcheong-ro. Then, turn right at the second alley (after the Polish Embassy). The restaurant will be ahead on the left.
- Inquiries: +82-2-722-7003 (Korean, English)
- Closed: Seollal (Lunar New Year’s Day) and Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving Day)
- Korea Travel Hotline: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Photo courtesy of The Hanok Smith Likes (bottom left)