You wake up one day and are completely overcome with a gut-consuming desire for Cafe Mama’s creamy ricotta cheese salad, or savoury kimchi carnitas fries from Vatos Urban Tacos. Problem is, there’s sure to be a mile long line up of people waiting at these restaurants (as there often is for popular establishments in Seoul) and you’re pretty sure your stomach won’t wait.
You resign yourself to foraging through your empty fridge for last night’s kimbap, or think about ordering yourself some Korean fried chicken, but then remember Gourmet 494.
Located in the basement of the eye-catching Galleria Department store, Gourmet 494 is the brainchild of some genius who (I think), basically wandered around Seoul to find the trendiest, most popular restaurants in the city’s current food scene, and put them all in one luxurious food hall.
Pastries and coffee from Eric Kayser? Pizza from Pizzeria d’Buzza? Check. Burgers from Brooklyn, the Burger Joint? Sure. Sushi from Matsumoto? Oh yeahhhh. And of course, we can’t forget dessert. How about homemade tarts from Tartine, or experimental ice cream from Fell and Cole?
For me, Gourmet 494 is like some kind of ridiculous food nirvana, where it is actually possible to satisfy your gluttony with a meal made up of all your Seoul favourites.
And best of all? You won’t have to wait in line.
When you get tired of gobbling everything in sight, you can peruse the amazing international cheese selection in the grocery, scrutinize the chefs working in the open kitchens, or post all your drool-worthy food photos to your Instagram account using the free wifi.
How to get there
Gourmet 494 is easily accessed from Exit 7 of Apgujeong-Rodeo subway station, on the yellow line.
Open every day at 10:30 in the morning and closed at 8 or 8:30, depending on the day, you could actually eat every single meal there if you wanted to. Not that we’ve done that or anything…