12 foods to eat in Seoul, South Korea
Updated: May 18
One of the greatest thing to do when travelling to a new country is to try all its food! So here's a compiled list of delicious food in Seoul.
Jajangmyeon is a Korean Chinese delicacy which is chinese noodles topped with a thick gravy consisting of pork and diced vegetables. It is almost like the chinese black bean paste minced pork noodles. You can get Jajangmyeon in many Korean Chinese restaurants or even at the Myeongdong Street food stalls.
Wherever you find Jjajangmyeon, you'll also find Jjamppong! It is a Korean Chinese dish made from a red seafood, or pork based broth peppered with Korean chilli powder. You can either have it as a soup with rice, or with noodles in the soup.
3. Rice cake sausages
This is an interesting dish as a sausage is wrapped around rice cake and deep-fried till it is golden brown. There is then a wide variety of sauces you can choose from as topping on the rice cake sausage. Most locals enjoy them with sugar. This is a snack that will certainly get you addicted!
4. Fried Chicken
One must definitely try Korean Fried Chicken when you are in Korea! Some of these fried chicken are those that are lathered with sauce but try the crispy original fried version too! This was amazing. We got these as supper for two nights in a row! Each chicken only costs 4,000 won!
Gimbap is a Korean dish made out of lavered seaweed with rice and ingredients such as eggs, ham, cucumbers and pickleds. Gimbap is a popular convenient food and it is a perfect food to have for a picnic by the Han River.
Mandu are korean dumplings. There are both steamed and fried versions. The filling usually consists of pork and kimchi but there are other fillings too. Most korean restaurants serve these delicious mandus. Dip them in a vinegar sauce for some sour flavour.
Samgetang is a Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup that is oh-so-good especially during the long and cold winters! The broth is rich and tasty and you'll find a whole chicken stuffed with glutinous rice! Dip some of the chicken in some salt and this would be such a nutritious meal!
8. Korean BBQ
One should definitely try Korean BBQ when in Seoul. They use charcoal and you can cook your own meats. Many BBQ restaurants also offer a buffet menu where you can have as much meat as you desire. The number of side dishes they serve are also incredible!
To have Korean BBQ, wrap your meat in perilla leaves (for a minty and refreshing taste) or lettuce, put some gochucang and kimchi/onion/pickles, or all of them and munch down! The vegetable helps to clear the oil which allows you to eat even more meat!
Tteokbokki are Korean rice cakes! It is a popular street food in Seoul but you can also choose to have it in a restaurant! This was a tteokbokki buffet at Dukki. They have several outlets all over Seoul. If you're unsure how to cook the rice cakes, the helpful waitresses will help you with it. You can pick from a selection of rice cakes, and vegetables and cook them in a variety of sauces (your choice!).
We also chose to top up to add mozzarella cheese onto our tteokbokki! It was extremely carb-heavy but it was a super fulfilling meal!
Another special version of tteokbokki that you should try is this grilled rice cakes with mozzarella cheese (found in Myeong-dong!). The sweet cheese paired with the rice cakes makes it to be extremely delicious! So, instead of the usual rice cakes, try these two versions when you are in Seoul!
10. Isaac Toast
You must be thinking, isn't that just a regular breakfast toast? What's special about Isaac Toast is that they use a special sweet butter when they make your toast that makes it really tasty. We tried several flavours during our trip to Seoul as this was our breakfast staple. We would say, stick to HAM AND CHEESE as it was the unadulterated form of toast. The rest were also extremely yummy but we much preferred the simple ham and cheese!
11. Sweet potato in honey sauce
This is another popular street food which is basically fried sweet potatoes tossed in honey sauce. Even though it was just a simple dish, it was delicious because it tasted more like a dessert! Great to get rid of all the oily fried street food that you've just eaten!
Hotteok is a sweet dessert pancake that can be found in many street stalls. These cost about 1,000 - 1,500 won and is a great snack for those with a sweet tooth. Most hotteok in Seoul contains honey or brown sugar inside but you can sometimes also find different versions of it.
Bonus: Have chocolates!
I know, I know, who goes to South Korea to eat chocolates? But well, if you're craving for a real sweet treat, head over to Dame Cacoa for her comprehensive list to find good chocolates in Seoul, South Korea!
So these are 12 (+1) must-eat food in Seoul, do try them and tell us what you think! If you're also wondering what you can do in Seoul, South Korea, check out our blog post: 18 things to do in Seoul, South Korea!
This post is part of our South Korea Travel Series, read also our other blog posts on: