The sandwich scene in Seoul is quickly evolving, as if the hoagie gods had heard our bellyaching loud and clear. Bless the entrepreneurs who’ve seized the day, and embarked upon the not-so-simple task of repainting the landscape in good bread, good meat and good cheese. Groove recently published a nice roundup of their top five picks for best sandwiches around the city. We’d like to humbly mention our opinion of an additional worthy six.
Brothers Wahid and Karim Naciri are the celebrities of Seoul’s sandwich scene. Their chicken sandwich has been an ongoing standout, but other options on the menu deserve love, too. We especially like The Omelette, a startling union of pillowy potato balls, egg and caramelized onions seasoned with a house blend of Moroccan spices and leveled between crusty, chewy, fresh French bread.
Yongsan-gu 2-Ga, Yongsan-dong 44-8, Noksapyeong exit 2
Hours: Tuesday–Friday: 5 p.m. until the bread runs out. Saturday and Sunday: 1 p.m. until the bread runs out. Closed Mondays.
Deli Heinzberg serves up a triple threat of meats and cheeses in the aptly named Troika, a combination of house-cured corned beef, roast beef and roasted turkey stacked with sauerkraut, mushrooms and Emmental, Gorgonzola and Grana Padano cheeses. And with a hefty price tag at 14,000 won, you’d expect it to be great (and big). It’s both. Bonus: a ramekin of beet pickles served alongside.
534-1 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Sinsa station exit 8
Hours: 10:00 a.m.–11:00 p.m. (last order at 10:30 p.m.)
Prime Lamb Burger
A sandwich is not always a burger, but a burger is always a sandwich. Agree or disagree? One bite of Hungry Dog’s contender and you won’t give a damn. MJ Kim, HD’s owner, offered the first lamb burger in Haebangchon on a block of door-to-door burger joints, and it remains her biggest seller to date. Spiked with garlic and a blend of covert spices, she serves hers with a zippy tzatziki, which pairs perfectly with her wedge cut fries.
45-13 Yongsan-dong 2-Ga, Yongsan-gu (Noksapyeong station exit 2)
Hours: 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m., weekdays and weekends (closed Wednesday)
At the advice of friends, couple Lim So-young and Matthew Joon Woo Choe opened Rye Post with Choe’s recipes he’d made at home. And aren’t we glad they did. The Torta is a meld of chicken breast, salsa, refried beans, jalapeños and cheese on grilled bread that’s baked fresh daily. Out of any on Rye Post’s menu, it’s the one that took the most time to perfect. What it may lack in size is surely made up in taste and originality as the first of its kind in town.
8,800 won at Rye Post
117-3 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu (Itaewon station exit 4)
Hours: 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m., closed Mondays
Roasted Turkey on flaxseed whole wheat
Owner Yeoun Soo Cho opened Good To Go last week with her husband and business partner. Together with Chef Francis Kim, Cho runs the kitchen and bakes the flaxseed bread, the bagels and the baguettes in house. Handmade mayonnaise, tuna salad bejeweled with capers and shallots, and thin, floppy cuts of roasted turkey push these sandwiches closer to those of a New York deli than any others we’ve tried in Seoul, thanks to Kim and his New York roots. Long-term goals for Kim and Good To Go include curing and smoking their own meats and baking 100% of the bread they use.
46 Yongsan-dong 2-Ga, Yongsan-gu (Noksapyeong exit 2)
Hours: weeknights and weekends 11 a.m.–10 p.m.
Linus’ Applewood Smoked Pulled Pork
Photo by Michelle Min of Touch. Taste. Design.
Seoul is lucky to have barbecue zealot Linus Kim. Splitting his time between Korea and the U.S., Kim has built a staunch following of pork lovers with his applewood smoked pulled pork, us among them. Our only qualm is that we can’t have more of it–Kim sells his sandwiches at sporadic pop-up events in Itaewon or Gyeongnidan (and this Saturday’s his last of the run for awhile). Stop by Magpie in Gyeongnidan for their second birthday this Saturday, April 19th from 1–10 p.m. to try a limited run of their IPA with an Original Pulled Pork Sandwich. Don’t come too late, as he’s sure to sell out. We dare you to stop at one.
under 10,000 won
*Pulled Pork Honorable Mention: Beale Street’s Memphis dry rubbed pulled pork sandwich
Address: Mapo-gu, Seogyo-dong 363-28 2F
Hours: Sunday–Thursday 12 p.m.–12 a.m., Friday and Saturday 12 p.m.–2 a.m.
Special thanks to Hongkyu Choi