Bogunok 보건옥 (Euljiro, Seoul)

For nearly 40 years, Bogunok has been specializing in everything meat – specifically hanwoo beef. This prized domestic beef is used in most of their dishes, but their signature bulgogi (“fire meat”)  is the main star and couldn’t have been a better starter for me and my hungry friends who came near and far for some traditional food. We were treated to tender, flavorful pieces of thinly sliced beef cooked down in a milky bone broth (sagol yuksu) with a generous portion of veggies. Combined with a variety of fresh and funky banchan, this was an absolutely delicious meal made even better with beer and soju to wash it all down.

Having eaten Wooraeok’s version just a few weeks ago – considered one of the best in Seoul – I much prefer this version because it’s a balance of flavors (not overly sweet) and it’s half the cost of Wooraeok’s, pricing at a modest 15,000 won per 150 grams compared to Wooraeok’s 33,000 won per person (150 grams). But, one important thing that both restaurants share is their clientele, consisting of mostly elderly patrons who have probably been coming to each respective restaurant for years if not decades – a huge plus in my books.

If bulgogi isn’t your thing, popular anju (food paired with alcohol) like yukhoe (seasoned raw beef) and yukhoe sashimi (thin slices of raw beef) are other crowd-pleasers while solo diners gravitate towards their yukhoe bibimbap, yukgaejang (spicy beef soup), and seolleongtang (beef soju). No matter what you choose, you’ll be guaranteed a quality meal at a modest price in this no-frills, beer-and-soju-friendly establishment.

Food: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars

Service: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Ambiance: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Value: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars

Bogunok (보건옥)

Jugyo-dong 89-1 (서울 중구 주교동 89-1)

Phone: 02-2275-2243

Hours: Open every day 10 am ~ 10 pm

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