Are you dreaming of a refreshing dessert from the East? If so, then heading for bingsu in Seoul should be on your must-try list when visiting Korea. This classic Korean dessert made of shaved ice has been enjoyed for centuries, and with many modern interpretations available across the city, bingsu is something that every foodie should experience during their time in Seoul!
What is Bingsu?
Bingsu is a traditional Korean dessert, made by mixing shaved ice with sweet ingredients such as red beans, fruits, condensed milk, and syrup. It can be served hot or cold and is renowned for its icy texture and unique flavors.
Shaving ice is the basis of bingsu – they do this with various tools like ice shavers or knives, depending on the textures you want to achieve for the final product. The chopped or shaved ice cools down other ingredients making them more flavorful while providing a refreshing experience.
Different condiments are added to enhance bingsu’s flavor profile and make it visually appealing. These include red beans, fresh fruits, jellies, nuts, cereals, syrups and sometimes even ice cream.
History of Bingsu
The origin of bingsu dates back to the Joseon Dynasty, when it was served as a dessert after royal court banquets. During this time, shaved ice desserts were referred to as patbingsu (‘red beans and ice’) and could be found in traditional markets.
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Today, bingsu is a beloved dessert across South Korea and can be enjoyed at cafes, restaurants, street stalls – and even speciality shops dedicated solely to this iconic treat for the summers heat.
How to make bingsu
Making bingsu at home is simple and fun! All you need is some ice block, syrup or condensed milk, red bean paste, fruit, and your favorite toppings. To start the process, take your block of ice and use either a grater or blender to create fine shavings. Once you have all your ingredients prepared, simply layer them into a bowl (starting with the ice) and finish it off with condensed milk on top. Enjoy!
Now that we’ve taken a look at what bingsu is and how to make it – let’s explore ten of the best places to try this delicious dessert in Seoul.
10 Delicious bingsu places in Seoul, Korea
1. Dangok (당옥)
Take a stroll from Sinsa Station’s Exit 8 and you’ll find Dangok, a unique shaved ice restaurant. The owner is a master of his craft and serves up delicious bingsu in Seoul with many different delicious toppings.
Reserve your spot in advance to try their signature Tarae Bingsu, or sample other seasonal fruits like strawberry, melon or peach. Prices may be slightly higher than other places but the quality ingredients are well worth it!
Naver Address: 서울 강남구 강남대로162길 22 1층
2. Pan Honesta (빵어니스타)
Look no further than Panhonesta for a vegan-friendly Korean shaved ice. Their Pistachio Bingsu is the perfect blend of sweet and healthy, using only oat milk ice, shaved ice sauce and Honest Coconut Sugar. Enjoy the crunchy texture of pistachio powder mixed into the shaved ice or sprinkled on top for an added crunch.
Naver Address: 서울 강남구 도산대로25길 43
3. Bookhaebingsoo (북해빙수)
Head near Euljiro 3-ga station for an unforgettable experience at Hipji’s North Sea Bingsu. Their exotic shop combines various concepts that’ll make you fall in love! Taste their high-quality shaved ice at a price range of 6,500 to 8,000 won – great value for the price! The best part? You can order one serving per person, so why not bring a friend and try out a variety of different flavors?
Naver address: 서울 중구 다산로47길 28
4. Bubing (부빙)
Don’t miss out on trying their signature dish – Chodang Corn Bingsu. This unique flavor is comprised of a soft and heavy milky bingsu topped with yellowish corn puree that has a strong yet sweet chodang corn taste similar to corn soup.
Don’t limit yourself there though – sample their strawberry and matcha bingsu too! While both are common menus elsewhere, these are made with raw strawberries for a blend of sourness and sweetness, as well as matcha shavings with red beans to offer a more intense steamed matcha flavor. Plus, you can discover unique seasonal ingredients whenever you come back which means this place is worth visiting anytime.
Naver Address: 서울 종로구 창의문로 136 부빙
5. Bing Bing Bing (빙빙빙)
If you’re looking for bingsu in Seoul to cool off with when you’re out and about, head over to Bing Bing Bing in Gangnam. They’ll have just the thing for solo travelers, offering single servings of all their delicious bingsu flavors (usually bingsus are shared). Whether you’re in the mood for something sweet or need that extra caffeine hit, Bing Bing has it all – from mango and strawberry flavors to espresso bingsu.
Naver Address: 서울 강남구 삼성로149길 32
6. Maison De La Catégorie (메종드라카테고리)
Maison de la Catégorie is famous for its fusion variety of bingsu and the is a casual but elegant bistro with chic Art Deco-style interior. You can not only find some of the most delicious French-style cuisine in Seoul right here, but also an interesting fusion variety of bingsu.
Naver Address: 서울 강남구 선릉로 826
7. Singil A Reum (신길어름)
Experience the best of French-style cuisine and delicious shaved ice treats at Singil Areum located near Shinpung Station! This stylish cafe has an inviting atmosphere and 12 different types of bingsu.
The signature must-try is the Melon Bingsu – a refreshing medley of milk ice, melons, and yogurt ice cream that will make it hard to resist having more than one serving. For those who love black sesame and all things sweet, be sure to try the Heukimja Bingsu. This unique combination of milk ice, black sesame, and vanilla ice cream is super tasty.
Naver Address: 서울 영등포구 신길로39길 1 2층
If you’re looking for a truly special culinary experience, then head over to HaAp in Cheongdam. This unique cafe has an old-fashioned interior and they offer an array of traditional Korean cookies and rice cakes. The star of their menu is the Citrus Bingsu – made with fresh lemons and milk, it’s sure to give your taste buds a refreshing kick! Don’t forget their Injeolmi either – a traditional Korean rice cake made from glutinous rice and bean flour.
Naver address: 525-9 Sinsa-dong Gangnam-gu Seoul
9. Tokyo Bingsu (도쿄빙수)
For a unique bingsu in Seoul experience, why not try out Tokyo Bingsu Seoul? With flavours ranging from classic matcha and strawberry mascarpone to the more adventurous tomato flavor – (which is actually a trendy flavour in South Korea) – this is the perfect spot to satisfy your adventurous foodie cravings.
Naver Address: 서울 마포구 포은로8길 9 1층
10. Sulbing (설빙)
I almost can’t end this guide without mentioning Sulbing Bingsu. You’ll be able to find this chain almost anywhere in Korea as it has almost 500 locations throughout Korea. Traditional desserts come in various flavors and all equally tasty! One of the biggest reasons they’re doing so well is because they present new menus every season which keeps the people regularly coming back.
Naver Address: Enter Sulbing Bingsu near me in Naver and find the nearest one
I hope you enjoyed this list of 10 delicious 10 bingsu places in Seoul!