Kondae (Konkuk University Area)

Konkuk University Area (Kondae) is packed with restaurants, bars, and lots of people
Konkuk University Area (Kondae) is packed with restaurants, bars, and lots of people

Kondae (Konkuk University), is a crowded nightlife area packed with college students, street food, restaurants, and an almost endless amount of bars. The best time to visit is at night when the place is lit up, loud, and packed with lots of hungry people looking for to party and for cheap food and drinks.

The majority of people who visit this area are college students from adjacent Konkuk University. You will also see businessmen looking for cheap food and drinks after a hard day at work. Either way, this area is packed any night of the week.

Not many tourists know of this area as they tend to stick to the more well known and more tourist friendly areas such as Myeongdong, Hongdae (Hongik University Area), and Itaewon.

There are endless choices of restaurants to try here, with new ones popping up all the time. Everyone seems to have their favorite hidden gem. As in all of Seoul, you can find your choice of BBQ restaurants and chicken and hof.

Bright lights of the Konkuk University Area in Seoul
Bright lights as far as the eye can see

There are also a large variety of seafood and grilled shellfish restaurants. As you walk through the streets, you will easily notice the seafood restaurants as they display their fresh and swimming seafood proudly in tanks by their front door.

You can also find a large number of authentic Chinese restaurants. One of the most popular is Maehwa Banjeom, which serves up cheap dishes such as lamb skewers, sweet and sour pork, and stir fried pork. If you are looking for Indian food, try Rodeo Street.

Many of the restaurants here are not as tourist oriented as in other neighborhoods in Seoul. English on menus and on signs is few and far between. If you do not know Korean, expect ordering food to be a little more difficult. Either bring a friend who knows Korean or try finding restaurants with photos on their windows or in the menu where you can pick a dish by pointing at it.

Your best bet is to just roam the streets and see what looks good and what looks busy. If it is busy, odds are it is popular and has great food.

Street vendors line the whole street at Konkuk University Area (Kondae), Seoul
Street vendors lining the street just outside Konkuk University Station

Your other choice is street food. A line of street vendors can be found lining the sidewalk just across the street from exits 3 and 4 of Konkuk University Station.

These street food vendors sell delicious items including from dakkocchi (skewers of chicken), waffles, churros, twigim (deep fried goodies), tokkebi hot dogs, croquettes (fried hot dogs), odeng (fish cakes), tteokbokki, hotteok, sundae. You can also find a few Japanese treats such as udon and takoyaki. The smells are amazing and hard to resist.

Churro street food vendor in Konkuk University Area (Kondae), Seoul
Street food vendor selling warm churros on a cool night
Fresh, hand made churro for only 1,000 won
Fresh, hand made churro for only 1,000 won

If you are looking for something warm, cheap, and sweet, give the churro vendor a try. For 1,000 won, you can have a fresh churro cooked right in front of you. Watch as the batter gets squeezed out and dropped into hot oil. In a couple minutes you will have a crispy, delicious churro.