Since we were going to be in Seoul over night during our vacation I was really excited because we could go to places I normally can’t, like a bar. I’m not a huge fan of bars back in the US. I go to chat with friends and I can never hear them over the music and I always want food but in some places (like Prague) the kitchens close early so it’s just drinks. In Korea, that’s not how it works. Most of the time you have to order food with your drink. So I talked my friend into going with me to the Southside Parlor in Itaewon (somewhat close to Noksapyeong Station Exit 2).
It’s on the other end of the street but there is a underground way to cross if you just keep going the way the exit spits you out. You’ll also get to walk along a really lovely little tree covered pathway next to barbed wire (apparently US property).
The Southside Parlor is on the 4th and 5th floor. The 5th floor is their roof top seating which looks super comfortable (with fires and cozy lawn furniture and a decent view of the city). But it’s not always open so check in on the 4th floor first to find out.
This bar while seeming loud when you go in isn’t actually that loud. They put the speakers by the door which kinda blasts you when you go in. We went on a Sunday which is their off day, so the noise level and how packed it is may change if they’re busier. (Fridays and Sundays are packed and hectic for the staff.) We were seated at the bar which I loved because I got to watch them make drinks. It’s slow, but they put a lot of care into it and have a warning on their drink menu pages.
My strawberry fields forever drink was strawberry infused tequila, rhubarb liqueur, thyme syrup, lime, egg white (probably what made the thick foam on top), and thyme. It wasn’t too strong in taste and a bit refreshing.
Most of the staff speak fluent English so it’s pretty easy to ask questions and even ask for some changes to be made to your food. I ordered the pulled pork sandwich which came with sweet potato chips and my friend ordered a burger. My pulled pork sandwich had espresso BBQ sauce, pickles, onion, cilantro, and sriracha mayo. I asked for it without the sriracha mayo. I inhaled it it was so good. We also ordered their piggy chips to split (but it turned out to be spicy even without the chipotle mayo so I had two bites and my friend finished it.). Their piggy chips are creole sweet potato chips, pulled pork, monterey jack cheese, smoked gravy, onions, and cilantro. My friend loved it.
We sat there for quite awhile, just sort of exhausted. Our third day had been packed with stuff. I had fun chatting with the bartender and since my friend was still working on the mound of piggy chips that I couldn’t help her with, I ordered one more drink. On the menu they do have a selection of non-alcoholic drinks and one caught my eye. Chai iced tea. Chai is another one of my favorite kinds of tea but I’ve never had it like a southern sweet tea, and it was amazing.
I would love to go back to Southside Parlor when I’m not exhausted and can chat with the bartenders more and try more of their drinks or participate in one of their nerdy events. I loved the atmosphere and the food.