South Korea is a wonderland, an ideal destination for food lovers. When coming here, you will enjoy dishes imbued with Korean culture: A light meal with unique flavors, a full breakfast that you will not forget, and a wonderful dinner with a few cups of soju. But where to get delicious meals when coming to South Korea? Follow us in this post below to discover the local cuisine here.
So, what should I eat in Korea and what to eat in Korea? Let’s check out our suggested 15+ top food in Korea including best food to eat in Korea (best food in Korea, best food to try in Korea), best street food in Korea, famous food in Korea, food must try in Korea (must try food in Korea), food must eat in Korea (must eat in Korea), most popular food in Korea as follows!
Breakfast (# must eat in korea)
Hobakjuk (pumpkin porridge)
Pumpkin is considered a brain tonic because of its abundant glutamine acid content. Therefore, pumpkin porridge is a dish not only for tourists but Koreans also love for breakfast.
This dish is made from pumpkin and glutinous rice, so it has a sweet taste and provides a lot of nutritious sources such as vitamins and nutrients for humans.
In particular, you can have pumpkin porridge hot or cold, both are very delicious, good for health, and beautifying skin and hair. When serving, if you like the greasy taste, you can add a little fresh milk to make the taste even more appealing.
Gaeran tost-u (sweet egg sandwich) (# must eat in korea)
Traditionally, Korean breakfast is usually made from rice such as porridge, rice, or pancakes, and other side dishes such as kimchi. But due to the influence of the West, light breakfasts like sweet egg sandwiches are gradually becoming more popular and favored.
This dish is made from eggs and some vegetables such as cabbage and cucumber, adding a little brown sugar to the bread and then baking it. In South Korea, enjoying Western food is definitely an exciting experience for you.
Ddukbokki (spicy rice cake)
In South Korea, ddukbokki is very popular and is sold by street vendors. The special feature that makes this dish is the cylindrical rice cakes or triangular fish cakes served with sweet and spicy chili sauce, bringing out the flavor of Korean cuisine.
You can easily enjoy the taste of ddukbokki at pojangmacha on small streets or in alleys anywhere in South Korea. Coming to this country in winter, enjoying ddukbokki with a spicy sensation from the tip of the tongue is definitely an interesting and fascinating experience.
Mul naengmyeon (cold noodles)
Cold noodles are quite attractive to tourists because of their unique and impressive taste with the texture of thin, chewy, and delicious noodles. This dish originated in North Korea and then spread to South Korea and was invented during the Joseon period.
Naengmyeon cold noodles are made from Chewy or buckwheat noodles. The noodles are cooked and then put in cold water to drain. When enjoying cold noodles, you will see the special thing is that the noodles will remain intact and not cut short because, according to the Korean concept, this symbolizes health and longevity.
You can have cold noodles with beef add some vegetables, sesame and an egg. Visiting South Korea in the hot summer, there is nothing more wonderful than enjoying a bowl of refreshing Korean-style cold noodles.
Dinner (# top food in korea)
Bibimbap (mixed rice)
Korean mixed rice, also known as Bibimbap, is a typical dish imbued with Korean culinary culture. This dish is easy to make, delicious, and nutritious thanks to the delicate and harmonious combination of ingredients.
A bowl of mixed rice can include anything from namul (sauteed vegetables and stir-fried vegetables), to meat, soy sauce, and gochujang (chili paste), and sometimes even more ingredients. For Koreans, to have a perfect and mouthwatering mixed rice dish, the bowl must be full of five different colors and the top will be covered with an egg.
You can enjoy this dish at restaurants, eateries, or small shops along the road or in small alleys in South Korea. Especially, if you like a fancy setting, you can go to big restaurants. Here you will enjoy bibimbap in a unique way, the chefs will directly prepare it at your table. Eat well and admire how bibimbap is made – this will be a complete trip.
Bulgogi (marinated BBQ beef) (# most popular food in korea)
Talking about BBQ, South Korea is definitely the first place many people think of because this is the most famous dish in the world. Not only that, but South Korea is also the first place where this special dish was invented.
The way to prepare this dish is also quite simple, just thinly slice the beef then add some spices such as onions, garlic, and some other seasonings. In South Korea, you can either grill the meat and eat it at the table, or you can order ready-to-serve grilled beef, all of which are delicious and will make an unforgettable dining experience.
Kimbap (seaweed rice rolls)
Seaweed rice roll, also known as kimbap, is a typical dish that you can enjoy only in Korea. Kimbap is made up of a few easy-to-find ingredients such as rice, kimbap leaves, radish, spinach, eggs, sausage, and crab stick combined with some seasonings like rice vinegar, sesame oil, sesame seeds, sugar, and salt.
You can enjoy it in luxury restaurants or on sidewalk snack bars because kimbap is everywhere in South Korea. There are shops that offer visitors samples to try, which you should not miss.
Odeng (fish cake)
Korean fish cake is like Japanese fish cake. You will enjoy fish cakes with some salty, hot sauce with a bold flavor of Korean cuisine to create a delicious taste.
You can easily find this dish on the street at street vendors or in snack bars on small alleys because this is quite a famous snack in this country.
Moreover, the reasonable price that is suitable for every visitor’s budget is also an attractive plus point of odeng. Therefore, do not miss this dish when you come to the beautiful country of South Korea.
Side dishes (# most popular food in korea)
One of South Korea’s oldest and most famous dishes is kimchi. The main ingredient is cabbage combined with some spices such as onion, garlic, ginger, and especially paprika – the main spice that creates this attractive dish.
In particular, kimchi is also a dish with high nutritional value, high fiber content, and low calories and fat. The most prominent is the spicy taste of chili powder. If you enjoy it for the first time, you will be shocked by the pungent taste of this dish.
In addition, for all visitors, this is an indispensable dish when coming to South Korea. Moreover, you can also directly participate in the process of making kimchi at traditional festivals here. Going to South Korea without having kimchi would be considered an incomplete meal and a regrettable trip.
Dessert (# best food to try in korea)
Bingsu (shaved ice) (# food must eat in korea)
This is a traditional Korean refreshing dish when the weather becomes hot in the summer. This dish is prepared according to the taste of the individual enjoying it. You can try mixed shaved ice with full flavors of fruit, syrup, condensed milk, sweet red bean paste, and cream.
Most tourists who come to South Korea for their honeymoon or couples who want to warm up their romance will not miss the giant bowls of bingsu for dessert. This is because it shows emotions and brings a feeling of comfort and coolness.
Hotteok (brown sugar pancake) (# top food in korea)
Brown sugar pancakes are French-style pancakes. This dish is a must-try because of the sweetness of brown sugar, covered by a crust that is crispy, chewy, and savory.
According to the visitor experience, brown sugar pancakes have to be consumed when they are fresh out of the oven. Because then the brown sugar melts together with the sweetness of the pancake, you will understand why this dish attracts visitors. You can experience this dish in large and small restaurants or in street vendors anywhere in South Korea.
Soju is a clear, colorless alcoholic beverage made from fermented rice, wheat, and barley. You can drink it in a chilled shot glass or it can also be made into a cocktail or mixed drink.
In addition, there is an interesting way to drink it. You can try soju mixed with yogurt or beer. A new taste, a new experience surely makes you satisfied.
According to research, soju has an alcohol content ranging from 16-50%, at a neutral level, so it is rather safe to consume. This drink is like regular vodka. The highlight is that it has a sweet taste, so it is easy to drink, even those who can’t drink alcohol can drink soju.
Sikhye (rice punch)
This is a drink made from malt, a sweet beverage that can be consumed as an everyday dessert.
In particular, with the purpose of supporting the digestive system, this drink is often used after meals and can be processed with some other foods such as pine nuts and pumpkin. In addition, rice punch also contains a lot of nutrients that are good for health and skin. Visiting South Korea, you will be invited by locals to enjoy this delicious drink.
Saeoo snek (shrimp-flavored potato snack)
This is a pretty famous and popular snack in South Korea. With a great taste, the crunchy texture is the plus point of this snack.
Moreover, many tourists also buy saeoo snek as a gift to relatives and friends during their trip to South Korea. Because of its uniqueness and impression, the snack brings a delicious and craving feeling to everyone. In fact, there are quite a few young people who love this snack and come to South Korea just to enjoy it. However, saeoo snek is made from shrimp so it will taste a bit fishy of seafood, so be careful if you are allergic to shrimp dishes.
Cheese ramen (cheese instant noodles)
Instant noodles are quite popular food for everyone. But going to South Korea without enjoying ramen is a waste. A special feature that attracts visitors and sets the dish different from other types of instant noodles is that it will come with a packet of cheese powder, broth, and spices.
In addition, the chewy, delicious noodles are also the plus points of this type of noodles. When serving, you can add a little cheese or beef and green vegetables. The taste will definitely make you remember your trip to South Korea forever.
Above are the 15+ dishes to try when coming to South Korea. For those who want to try Korean cuisine and don’t know where to start, don’t miss out on the dishes mentioned here. Wish you have a happy trip to the Land of Kimchi!
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- Private Incheon International Airport Transfers (ICN) for Seoul
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- Bukchon Oneday Hanbok Rental Experience (4/24 Hrs)
- Nami Island, Petite France, Garden of Morning Calm, and Gangchon Rail Bike Day Tour from Seoul
- Seoul City Sightseeing Bus (Downtown Palace Namsan Course/Seoul Panorama Course)
- [Limited Offer] Incheon International Airport (ICN) Luggage Services (Between Airport and Hotel) by Safex
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Are you looking for more Seoul travel guide and top things to do in Seoul: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Read more: Seoul itinerary 5 days — How to spend 5 days in Seoul & what to do in Seoul for 5 days perfectly?