The best kimbap in Seoul? Teacher Kim (Kim Seon Saeng 김선생)


I’ve mentioned before how I like the kimbap shop Kim Ga Ne (I recommend the spicy anchovy and chilli kimbap). But recently I tried Teacher Kim’s kimbap (김선생) and oh, this kimbap is so good….

It was 5pm and I wasn’t really hungry as I had had a late lunch. But I was walking past the Kim Seon Saeng shop, and it looked very inviting so I though I might as well get a couple of kimbap and SAVE THEM FOR LATER. But when I got home, I opened the box JUST TO TRY ONE SLICE and ended up eating EVERY BIT OF KIMBAP IN THE BOX. I usually go for something spicy, but this time I tried the basic vegetable kimbap. (2,900 won)  It has less rice and more  crunchy vegetables than usual, so the texture is light and fresh. The vegetables are finely sliced rather than chunky which I really liked too. Divine. 김선생 Kim seon saeng are here on Facebook.


I was attracted to this kimbap shop because it looks so clean and modern. It has a large window that looks out onto the road and you can see the cooks at work through the window – always a good sign.


It’s only a small shop with about 6 tables for 2. But I expect most of the business is po-jang (take-out). One lady was eating in when I arrived, and then three of us were waiting for po-jang. The shop is new and clean with wooden tables. Everything has a natural feel. Bottles of in-house sesame oil are on sale at the counter.

According to the menu, the ‘hit’ kimbaps are 크림 치즈 김밥 cream cheese kimbap and 매운 제육쌈 김밥 spicy pork kimbap. But next time I think I will try the 튀김 김밥 fried prawn and squid kimbap. :)

Apart from the nicer shop interior and in-house sesame oil for sale, another sign that this kimbap is posher than normal kimbap is that it is served in a bag with the shop’s name printed on it. In your average shop the kimbap will come in a black nameless bag.

kim son seng kimbapkim son seng kimbap

The service was great with friendly and helpful staff who suggested I order the vegetable kimbap (since I’m trying not to eat red meat). I usually have to specifically ask for kimbap WITHOUT HAM. But then when I get home the kimbap may well have ham in it, anyway. (That’s happened more than once. I think they just make it without thinking as in some shops ALL kimbap seems to have ham in it.) Once when I was eating in the shop I pointed out to the server that I had ordered the kimbap without ham and he replied, ‘well you can pick it out.’ Thanks. luckily I’m not a strict vegetarian. :(


Here each kimbap comes in its own box with information on the box in Korean emphasising the natural ingredients that are used and reminding us that we should eat our kimbap ideally within one hour of purchase as the ingredients are very fresh.



The kimbap has a thin layer of rice and the centre is packed with finely sliced cucumber, carrot, and burdock. Also egg (not too sweet) and radish. I usually don’t like the radish in kimbap – it’s too chunky and the colour is too luminescent yellow – it worries me. But this radish looks more natural and is not too sweet (or chunky) either. I ate all of the above kimbap like I was in some kind of speed eating competition – AND I WASN’T EVEN HUNGRY! 😀


According to their Facebook Page they have just opened some new restaurants. One is near Seoul National University Station (line 2) exit 2. Go straight past the KB Bank and it’s on the left.

seoul national university

Another one has opened near Yeoksam station (line 2) in Gangnam. Exit 2 or 3 by the Gangnam Finance Centre (강남 파이낸스센터)

Gangnam branch

For the Mapo branch take exit 1 Mapo subway station (purple line 5) and go straight towards the Mapo Ramian apartments. See below.

mapo branch

9 thoughts on “The best kimbap in Seoul? Teacher Kim (Kim Seon Saeng 김선생)

    • December 11, 2014 at 4:27 pm

      prices start at 2,900 won per kimbap and go up to 4,500 won. :)

  • January 5, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    Hi there ! How do u go to this restaurant if taking the subway?

    • January 6, 2015 at 1:33 pm

      Hi. So there’s one in Yeouido 5 minutes walk straight from saetgang station 샛강 (line 9) exit 2. According to their Facebook page they have just opened a few more restaurants though. One has just opened a short walk straight from Seoul National University station 서울대입구 (line 2) exit 2. And another near Yeoksam station 역삼 in Gangnam (line 2) GFC branch exit 2. go around the Gangnam Finance Centre. I’ll put the maps up in this post.

  • March 24, 2015 at 11:01 am

    Hi! Which branch is closest to Myeongdong? I can’t understand a word on their website. :( Will be visiting Seoul next week and really wanna try these after watching the Song triplets (KBS Return of Superman) eat them. Haha :) Do you also know which branch the triplets went to?

    • March 26, 2015 at 2:12 pm

      You mean when they ate the mandu dumplings? From what I can find it looks like that was in Busan. According to Naver there is a Kim Seon Saeng kimbap branch in Shinsegae Department Store in Myeongdong. The department store is connected to Hoehyeon subway station (Namdaemun Market) (blue line 4 exit 7). Hope you find it. Have fun. :)

  • April 5, 2015 at 10:49 pm

    Hi! Would really hope you can help because i can’t understand the address in hangul on their website. But can you help me check whether there is any outlet hnear to hakdong/gangnam gu or any near hongdae area? :) Thanks in advance!!!

    • April 18, 2015 at 11:17 am

      sorry for the late reply. I’ve put a couple of maps up on this post. There’s a Teacher Kim’s kimbap branch in Gangnam just by the Seoul Finance Centre, Yeoksam station line 2. And near Hongdae there’s one near Mapo station line 5. Take exit 1 and walk towards the Ramian apartments.

  • October 18, 2015 at 8:59 pm

    This is great… coz I’m seeing all veges within that kimbap. I love kimbap but since I don’t eat spam or any pork or red meat much due to some personal reason… it’s hard to find kimbap without any of those when I tried to buy them in Seoul, even when I asked them to omit it out from my orders. My best bet was just to get some mayak kimbap (since naturally there’s only veges inside it..) I’m gonna visit this place this winter! Thanks for this useful info~ have a good day ^.^

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