There’s so much more to food in South Korea than just Korean food. The nation’s capital, Seoul, has it all — including North African cuisine! As an Algerian living in Korea, I sometimes find myself craving the flavours of my home country. Moreover, as North African and Korean food are so different, I didn’t think I’d be able to taste home while living here. Of course, I wouldn’t be writing this article if that was true! Here are some delicious North African restaurants in Seoul.
Deemed ‘authentic’ by my Moroccan friends, Morococo Cafe serves up classic Moroccan dishes. But that’s not all, the entire restaurant and its music and decor follow the theme, as such, it has a special place in my heart. You may have heard of tagine, the internationally loved Moroccan stew; there’s nothing better than sharing tagine with friends.
Morococo Cafe has incredible attention to detail. Not only do they serve traditional tagine, but Kefta tagine too, made with chicken and preserved lemon and olives. Another signature dish is their Morocco-over-rice dish with your choice of chicken, shrimp, lamb or vegan alternative. My personal favourite is the chermoula carrot salad — another great choice for the veggies out there!
Every Friday, the head chef will either make fresh couscous in alternating flavours, or a brand new dish all together! When you regularly dine at Morococo Cafe, there are surprises in store every time. If you’re not in the mood for food, its right there in the name “cafe.” Enjoy a coffee on the terrace or try the famous Moroccan mint tea.
Morococo Cafe Address: 34 Sinheung-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul Operating Hours: 12:00pm - 10:00pm Tues - Sun, closed Mon. Directions: Noksapyeong Station (Subway Line 6) Exit 2 walk straight for 13 mins, taking the first left at the crossroads, until you reach Morococo Cafe on your right.
While typically attributed to Western cuisine, make no mistake, Morocco makes a mean sandwich. To that end, welcome to Casablanca Sandwicherie, named after the largest city in Morocco and in alliance with Morococo Cafe.
They have a huge variety of sandwiches on offer, my favourites being marinated chicken and Kefta meat fillings. However, there are vegetarian options available as well. Sandwiches are 8,000 won and are sure to fill you up. Each meal features a large sandwich packed with veggies, sauce and potato cakes known as Maakouda — all in addition to your chosen filling!
Aside from sandwiches, they also have shakshouka (eggs poached in spiced tomato sauce), lentil soup and Moroccan salad.
Casablanca Sandwicherie Address: 35 Sinheung-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul Operating Hours: 12:00pm - 10:00pm Tues-Sun, closed Mon Directions: Noksapyeong Station (Subway Line 6) Exit 2 walk straight for 13 mins, taking the first left at the crossroads, until you reach Casablanca Sandwicherie.
After spending 3 years in Tunisia, Korean owner Lee Ji-hye opened Couscous, to share Tunisian cuisine with her home country.
I actually had never eaten Tunisian food before coming here so I could not attest to its authenticity. However, I read online that Couscous has attracted Tunisian expats from all over Seoul. Why not give it a try?
Couscous Address: 16-2 Jahamun-ro 5-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul Operating Hours: 11:30am - 11:00pm Mon, Wed - Sun, closed Tues Directions: Gyeongbokgung Station (Subway Line 3) Exit 2. Walk straight for 4 min and turn left at GS25. Walk straight again and Couscous is on the right just around the bend.