Patbingsu (Red Bean Shaved Ice)

Seoul Travel Guides / November 15, 2016
Patbingsu (Red Bean Shaved Ice) Image credit: kaiskynet

Two of Korea’s greatest gifts to the culinary world are kimchi, on the hot end of the spectrum, and patbingsu, on the freezing, opposite end. Patbingsu is shaved ice topped with red beans, rice cake, and special syrup. It’s usually sold in the summer, but some cafes have it the whole year round.

The classic patbingsu has evolved into myriad variations, much to the pleasure of patbingsu fanatics and to the disdain of patbingsu purists. To each his own, right?

Trendy patbingsu variants include coffee, green tea, topped with ice cream, topped with fruits, and even in a cup as a drink. If you’re a patbingsu newbie, classic patbingsu is the only perfect way to start.

Here are the best places to have patbingsu in Seoul.

  • MEAL TOP | Gangnam-gu
    For patbingsu that locals call “the best one in town”
    What to order: Strawberry Patbingsu, Coffee Patbingsu, Milk Bingsu
    Price range: 10,000 to 15,000 Won ($8.57 to $12.86)
    When: 10:30 to 20:00 Daily
    Where: 5F Hyundai Department Store, Apgujeong-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
  • HAP | Gangnam-gu
    For one-of-a-kind patbingsu
    What to order: Citrus Patbingsu, Traditional Cookies, Rice Cakes
    Price range: 8,000 to 12,000 Won ($6.86 to $10.29)
    When: 12:00 – 21:00 Daily
    Where: 2F 93-3 Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
  • BING BING BING | Mapo-gu
    For patbingsu the whole year round
    What to order: Yogurt Patbingsu, Milk Patbingsu, Red Bean Bingsu
    Price range: 5,500 to 11,000 Won ($4.71 to $9.43)
    When: 12:00 – 21:00 Daily
    Where: 5-29 Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
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