The city's third-ever Michelin guide awarded one star to five new spots and bumped two restaurants up to two stars.
Seoul, South Korea
Credit: @ Didier Marti/Getty Images

Seoul received a ton of attention for its food scene back at the beginning of 2018, when athletes, chefs, and celebrities flocked to PyeongChang for the Winter Olympics. While David Chang was acting as NBC Sports’ Olympics Food Correspondent and snowboarding sensation Chloe Kim tweeted about all things ice cream and churros, inspectors from the Michelin Guide were also eating their way through the city. And today, the all-powerful group of critics released the list of 26 restaurants in Seoul that they’ve recognized with stars.

This year, two restaurants that were awarded one star for 2018 were bumped up to two stars: Alla Prima, which serves Asian-Italian fusion food, and Mingles, a contemporary Korean spot. They join three restaurants that have maintained their two stars from last year: Jungsik, Kojima, and Kwonsooksoo.

Five new restaurants, spanning all kinds of cuisines and cooking styles, have been given one star: Hansikgonggan and Lee Jong Kuk 104 are both Korean, yet they each take a different approach. According to the Michelin Guide Seoul 2019 Selection, the former “juxtaposes the past and present flavors of Korea” while the latter uses carefully prepared sauces and preserved ingredients to “form the basis of all the food.”

Both Mosu and Muoki are what the Michelin Guide call “innovative.” Mosu comes from chef Ahn Sung-jae, who moved his restaurant over from San Francisco. And Muoki, which means oak tree in South African dialect, offers inventive takes like “five different kinds of carrot-based desserts.” The last addition, STAY, is a modern French restaurant from chef Yannick Alléno, located on Signiel Seoul Hotel’s 81st floor.

With the 61 Bib Gourmand picks for this year, the 2019 Michelin Guide for Seoul includes a total of 87 establishments.

Three stars:
La Yeon

Two stars:
Alla Prima (New)
Mingles (New)

One star:
Balwoo Gongyang
Dining in Space
Hansikgonggan (New)
Jin Jin
Joo Ok
Lee Jong Kuk 104 (New)
Mosu (New)
Muoki (New)
STAY (New)
Table for Four
Yu Yuan
Zero Complex