For those that don’t know, Daegu is my hometown! I lived there for seven years and still go back to visit my parents whenever I can.
Since I was able to spend an extended amount of time there this summer and tried a variety of places, I put together a list of some of the places I was able to try this year!
1) New York Chicken (뉴욕통닭)
Korea is known for its chicken so wherever you go, you will find lots of restaurants that sell and deliver fried chicken. I’ve tried A LOT of chicken while in Korea, but I can confidently say that New York Chicken in Daegu had the best marinated fried chicken.
Unlike most fried chicken establishments, this chicken restaurant does not deliver! In fact, if you want to secure yourself a chicken you will need to call them as soon as they open (at 11:30 AM) and place your order. Don’t be surprised if you wait to call a few hours later and find that they are all sold out for the day. It has happened to me many times.
The restaurant is located in the bustling downtown area in Daegu, and you will have to go there to pick up your order. There is no separate parking lot for the restaurant and no area to stop your car, so you will want to either park in a mall parking lot or walk there.
They do have a few tables, but very limited seating so don’t count on eating there.
They have marinated fried chicken, fried chicken, and marinated braised chicken ranging from 18,000~25,000 Korean won (around $16-23 USD).
When you go to pick up your chicken, you will see them busy making and frying chicken!
What differentiates this chicken from others is that this deep fried chicken is particularly crispy (even after a few hours) and the taste of the sauce is the perfect mix of sweet and savory. It is not overly sweet and even has a slightly caramel taste similar to dakgangjeong (sweet crispy fried chicken without bones). The sauce is not overly wet either, so the chicken does not get soggy with sauce. It was also covered with sesame seeds, which gave it a good finish.
Overall, it was worth the price and even worth driving all the way there to get it if you have some time!
Address: 12 Jong-ro, Dongseongno 3(sam)-ga, Jung-gu, Daegu, South Korea
2) Choi’s M (초이스엠)
This bakery is located in the Palgong Mountain area in Daegu, so it is good to stop by on the way to or back from the mountain!
There is a lot of indoor seating, but it still gets crowded around peak times on the weekend.
They are known for their quality red bean bread, and I highly recommend getting some!
The red bean bread is soft and what makes it so special is that it has chunks of red bean and walnut in it. It was not overly sweet since they highlighted the original taste of the red bean very well.
They have a variety of other breads as well. Their Mont Blanc was my second favorite, as it was crispy on the outside and soft on the inside with layers of sweet bread!
Their Bean Bread is a good choice for those who like beans, as it had a variety of beans on the outer part of the dough and was filled with sweet red bean on the inside.
The Chocolate Pie was very sweet and was filled with sweet cream. It was surprisingly softer than it looks and would be good for chocolate lovers.
I also tried their loaf of bread to make toast and it was very soft, but not much different from loaves of bread at other bakeries.
Address: 105-1 Deokgok-dong, Dong-gu, Daegu, South Korea
3) Pizzeria Lardo (피제리아 라르도)
This Pizzeria is also located in the Palgong Mountain area!
They have a lot of seating indoors (no outdoor seating).
I was not expecting to find such amazing pizza in Daegu, but so glad that I did!
Their Italian style pizza is baked in a wood fired oven. The Tuscan pizza (19,900 Korean won ~$17 USD) had the perfect crispy crust and was packed with Beef pastrami, chunks of garlic, black olives, mushroom, Grana padano cheese, and tomato sauce. The pizza reminded me of the ones I had in Italy.
Their wings are also amazing! Very crispy and flavorful on the outside, juicy on the inside. This is coming from someone who used to live in Buffalo (known for their wings) so you can bet I have some high wing standards.
For the green lovers out there, they have a variety of salads, such as the Caprese salad and the House salad.
The tomato sauce seafood pasta was really flavorful as well with a spicy kick to it! It had lots of fresh shrimp, squid, and veggies, which I enjoyed.
Their lasagna was less than average, so I do not recommend it.
Address: 824-1 Songjeong-dong, Dong-gu, Daegu, South Korea
4) Hyun Jjamppong (현짬뽕)
This Chinese fusion restaurant is known for their Squid Jjamppong and big portions!
They have many tables inside, but they do not have a parking lot so it was difficult to find street parking. We ended up having to move our car towards the end of our meal. They offer takeout but no delivery.
Their Squid Jjamppong was definitely the highlight, served with a whole squid on top of the spicy soup. The broth is on the thicker, heavier side, but the squid was tender and the broth was packed with veggies and other seafood like crab.
The Tangsooyook was crispy and differed from other places in the mountain of onions they packed on top with the sauce. It was sweet the sweeter side, so the onions balanced out the sweetness well.
Their Seafood Seafood Jjajangmyeon (black bean noodles) was also very good with lots of seafood, veggies, and cucumbers on top, but other than the seafood it was not too different from other Jjajangmyeon I have tried.
Address: 539-37 Icheon-dong, Nam-gu, Daegu, South Korea
5) Breathing Soondubu (숨쉬는 순두부)
This restaurant specializes in soft tofu, known as soondubu in Korean.
They have a lot of indoor seating, which was full when we went around lunchtime.
They make the tofu at the restaurant, and you can see their machinery at the side of the restaurant.
They pride themselves on making fresh tofu daily using beans harvested in Korea, and you can see a detailed diagram of how they make their tofu on the menu!
The seafood soft tofu soup was very flavorful and packed with a lot of tofu, but not much seafood. The meal also came with side dishes ranging from marinated soy beans, kimchi, fish cake, seaweed. Although the meal itself was nothing extraordinary, the quality of the tofu made it worth it for me!
Address: 350 Suseong-ro, Suseong 2(i).3(sam)ga-dong, Suseong-gu, Daegu, South Korea
6) Hitto (힛또)
Hitto is located on the 11th floor of Daebaek Plaza mall.
As most mall restaurants in Korea have, they have plastic replicas of all of their dishes so you get a preview of what your dish will look like!
As you can see from their motto, “The secret behind their taste is honesty towards people.”
They have extensive indoor seating and takeout available (no delivery).
The Salmon and Flatfish sushi was very fresh and came with wasabi, as well as a little container of picked garlic and peppers.
Their Pork Katsu and Shrimp Tempera were extremely crispy and the quality of the meat inside was also fresh. It came with rice, cabbage, and pickled radish.
Overall, it’s not worth traveling far for, but if you are in the vicinity, it is worth trying!
Address: 214 Daebong 1(il)-dong, Jung-gu, Daegu, South Korea
Hope you enjoyed this extremely long post and the many options available in Daegu!