HILLSIDE PUB & BISTRO: FRESHEST MOJITO IN KOREA

A fresh Mojito at Hillside Pub & Bistro in Itaewon, Seoul, South Korea.

Outside Hillside Pub & Bistro in Itaewon, Seoul, South Korea.
If you’re looking for a refreshing mojito, go to Hillside Pub & Bistro. Located just off the busy strip in Itaewon, Seoul, Hillside is a relatively new joint getting a lot of attention.

Although the mojito is served a bit sweeter than I’d prefer, a large amount of fresh mint makes up for it, as does the use of actual limes. At least I’m pretty sure they were limes. Why is it so hard to find limes in Korea?

Not only does Hillside Pub & Bistro offer one of the best, fresh mojitos I’ve had in Seoul, it’s also one of the few places I’ve seen calamari on the menu. I can’t do squid unless it’s fried. And the fried squid at Hillside pairs well with Sunday afternoon cocktails on the rooftop.

Its rooftop is quite small, and somewhat hidden from view. However, a tiny terrace on the main floor opens directly to the busy side street in front—if you’d prefer to be part of the action inside and out. The back of the narrow restaurant is where you’ll find the bar with a little seating area, as well as the restroom.

It seems harder to get a spot on the rooftop if you go in the evening. I’d suggest stopping by earlier, and be sure to ask about making reservations for larger groups. The rooftop would be a perfect place for a small, private party.

Lemon margarita at Hillside Pub & Bistro in Itaewon.
In addition to mojitos and calamari, Hillside Pub & Bistro serves a variety of hard-to-find-in-Korea cocktails, beer, as well as pub grub. The only complaint I have is the bun on my burger was too small and soggy. But, the burger tasted great. Prices for everything on the menu are comparable to what you’d expect to pay in the foreigner district of Seoul.

I look forward to stopping by Hillside Pub & Bistro every time I visit Itaewon. It's become a place I take friends who are visiting Korea, as it provides the perfect atmosphere to catch up over a drink or three. Service is excellent, and workers speak English as well as Korean.

This review was written for a new series I'm beginning with AngloINFO Seoul. The hope is for Cup of Korea to be your go-to cocktail for beverage exploration in Korea.

57-28 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul | 070-4136-2208

Itaewon Station, Line 6, Exit 1 – Walk straight for about five minutes. When you reach KEB (Korea Exchange Bank) on your right, take the small road that goes up the hill.

Now open everyday from 12PM to 12 or 1AM. Hours may change depending on the season.

Calamari at Hillside Pub & Bistro in Itaewon, Seoul, South Korea.
Calamari at Hillside Pub & Bistro in Itaewon, Seoul, South Korea. July, 2013.

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