With Seoul quickly becoming a center of luxury spending, even when compared to cities like London and Paris, global luxury powerhouses are flocking to the city to launch gourmet programs at their flagship stores as part of their efforts to cement their loyal fan base, as well as attract an influx of new buyers.
Industry insiders say such high-end gourmet experiences allow clientele to enjoy a unique atmosphere that incorporates the diversity and identity of the brand.
Woori Louis Vuitton
At the forefront of the luxury gourmet trend is Louis Vuitton, which is running its fourth round of pop-up restaurants at Espace Louis Vuitton Seoul.
The French luxury brand kicked off its latest pop-up restaurant on Nov. 17, in collaboration with the “godmother” of Korean cuisine, Cho Hee-sook of modern Korean restaurant Hansikgonggan.
The pop-up restaurant, Woori Louis Vuitton, is serving Korean cuisine, a first for the brand, through Feb. 8.
Also participating in the pop-up restaurant are renowned contemporary Korean chefs Cho Eun-hee and Park Sung-bae of Onjium, Kang Min-goo of Mingles and Korean-French-inspired dessert boutique Lysee's pastry chef, Lee Eun-ji.
“Woori ... unveils an authentic, gastronomic experience that puts Korean culture, history and national pride at its forefront,” Louis Vuitton said in a statement.
Located in the affluent Cheongdam-dong neighborhood in southern Seoul, Woori is set inside the Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul, designed by world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, who focused on building with natural elements in earthy tones, traditional Korean textures, and a soft color palette of ivory, white and blue.
Woori Louis Vuitton
Address: 4th floor, Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul, 454, Apgujeong-ro, Gangnam-gu
Price: 280,000 won for course lunch, 340,000 won for course dinner
Opening hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., every day except Monday
Gucci Osteria Seoul
Joining the flagship Gucci Osteria da Massimo Bottura in Florence, Italy, and additional locations in Los Angeles and Tokyo, Gucci's fourth global restaurant opened in Seoul in March 2022.
Located on the top floor of the Gucci Gaok flagship store in Itaewon, Yongsan-gu, this contemporary restaurant infuses creativity, elegance, playfulness and sensuality into traditional Italian cuisine.
The menu was created by internationally acclaimed chef Massimo Bottura, the owner and chef of the three Michelin-starred Osteria Francescana, and Karime Lopez, executive chef of Gucci Osteria Florence, together with the restaurant's executive chef, Jun Hyung-kyu, and head chef, Davide Cardellini.
The restaurant’s distinctive dishes include the signature Emilia burger, made with hanwoo (Korean beef) and tortellini with Parmigiano Reggiano cream, alongside the Seoul garden salad.
Gucci Osteria's outpost in Seoul also shares a culinary philosophy that follows the seasons, according to Gucci.
“There is an invisible thread that runs through each of the Gucci Osteria globally, one that entwines Italian food with the food and produce of other great global cuisines. Korea, like Italy, embraces its food as part of its culture,” said Chef Bottura.
Gucci Osteria Seoul
Address: 6th floor, Gucci Gaok, 223, Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-Gu
Price: A la carte dishes are priced between 26,000 won and 39,000 won each, while prix fix dining is priced at 130,000 won and 180,000 won
Opening hours: Noon to 10 p.m., every day
Dior Cafe Seongsu
In addition to Cafe Dior which opened on the fifth floor of Dior’s flagship boutique in Cheongdam-dong in 2015, Dior Seongsu, a concept store that will only operate through 2025, has become a new hot spot for a special cafe experience.
Dior Seongsu, which opened in May 2022, became the talk of the town for its building inspired by the Christian Dior flagship store at 30 Montaigne in Paris. As if walking into Montaigne Avenue in Paris, not the bustling Seongsu district, the interior of Dior Seongsu is filled with colorful flowers, green trees and grass, making guests feel they are inside a fairy tale-esque French garden.
Owned and run entirely by Dior, Dior Cafe offers drinks, desserts and a simple brunch in a posh setting. An Americano is priced at 19,000 won and comes with three complimentary mini-sized macarons. The cheapest drink at the cafe is a single espresso, priced at 18,000 won.
The cafe's must-try menu items are the Dior signature cafe latte (20,000 won) and the Cafe au chocolat (24,000 won), which is decorated with Dior’s signature “star” symbol latte art.
Address: 7 Yeonmujang 5-gil, Seongdong-gu,
Price: 18,000 won to 24,000 won
Opening hours: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., every day