April 21, 2015
So we’ve been living in Korea for almost seven years now and in that time we’ve found a lot of favourite places. Some of those places we’ve shared via our videos but other places we just go to on a Friday night after work or on the weekend to play board games and hang. We’re always torn because we find these great spots and say to each other “OMG we need to make a video about this awesome places” but videos are really high production, require a lot of time, lighting and audio, and preparation, and sometimes we just want to go out on a date to our favourite places without bringing all the gear with us. So we found middle ground. We’d like to share some pictures of the places we go to and let you know about some cool spots to hang out. If you’re visiting Seoul or already living here, hopefully this will help you find some Simon and Martina approved locations!
We’re starting with Southside Parlor 사우사이드 팔러 located in Itaewon but closer to Noksapyeong Station and the HBC (HaebangChon) area. We’ve spent many hours here, and will spend many more in the future. Why? Because it has the best drinks we’ve ever had in Korea. Easily. And we’re really into good drinks. Don’t confuse that with us being into getting drunk. We’re not into cheap tequila shots mixed with some over sweet orange juice for W1,500 leaving you with a sloppy ripping hangover. We’re not into drinking to the point of drunkenness. We’re not sloppy people that get hammered and hit on everyone in sight and barf in hallways. But we can definitely sit down and enjoy a hand crafted cocktail made with care and creativity while playing board games or talking about the Marvel movies with friends.
Southside Parlor has a traditional menu with all the classic old school cocktails on them but they also have seasonal menus with so many creative choices it’s sure to please everyone in your group. When you order a drink from their menu they explicitly let you know that each cocktail will take time to make, they don’t rush these drinks. In fact, while there is a great view overlooking Seoul from their window ledge seats, we love sitting at the giant copper bar and watching the bartenders work their magic. They make homemade bitters, sodas, syrups, and have a selection of import alcohol that you just cannot get in Korea. SQUEEEE!!!! Bar nerd Martina gets so excited looking at their menu! Also, they aren’t snobby arseholes. If you don’t know what that weird word listed as an ingredient in a drink, ask them and they’ll let you know without making you feel like an idiot. If you’re not into drinking alcohol they also have a small section of non-alcoholic beverages that are also unique, such as homemade Lavender Lemonade and Gingerbeer.
Southside also has a small but great Texas style food menu. The Piggy Chips made with homemade sweet potato chips, piles of pulled pork, cilantro and more are glorious, and have more toppings on them than chips, which is a good thing. The Chicken Thigh Tacos are on point. The burgers are crazy good as well, and even though they don’t market themselves as a burger joint they’re better than a lot of burger places in Korea. And, though we’re not from the US or familiar with Southern cooking all too much, Leigh – who is a proud Texan – has eaten there many times and can vouch for its quality. We just like it because it’s delicious.
Lastly, they’ve got a plain old great vibe going on. It’s dim, not dark. They play great music, from Nujabes to Slum Village to 50s doowop, and play it – get this – not loud! You don’t have to shout over your drinks, like you do in other cheap bars that just try to get you to drink more. And, hell, they’ve got two vintage arcades set up: one with Street Fighter 2 Turbo, and another with 1000 games on it. And Marvel posters on the walls, along with a projector playing X-Men The Animated Series. It’s just about everything I’d want in a bar, and so it’s pretty clear why we’ve spent so many hours there.
Here are some pictures from our Saturday night there. We got a new night vision camera to play around with, so we took it out for some pictures so you can get a better look at the place:
Things to Remember:
-they’re located on the 4th floor of the building, so look up!
-by subway leave Noksapyeong Station Exit 2 and you’ll find yourself walking past Southside but on the wrong side of the road. Don’t worry, keep going until you get to the underpass and cross over and walk back to Southside.
-they have an elevator available to get you to the 4th floor if you can’t take the stairs.
Here’s a map:
And you can find them on Facebook as well for more details including phone numbers, hours, and more map stuff.