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20 Must-try Korean Food in Seoul

Korean BBQ

Korean BBQ is the Korean way of roasting meat over a gas/charcoal grill. The most commonly type of meat used is bulgogi - thinly sliced marinated meat. Another popular choice is galbi - marinated short ribs. Korean BBQ is not just popular among the Koreans but is also internationally accepted.


Samgyetang is Ginseng Chicken Soup. It usually consists of a whole young chicken stuffed with rice, along with other condiments like spices and scallion. It is a nice soup to be consumed during hot summer days, especially on Chobuk, Jungbok and Malbok, which is supposed to be the three hottest and most sultry days in Korea. The Koreans believed that it is beneficial to health when one consume the soup three times during this period.


Tteokbokki is a popular traditional Korean street food that consists of Korean rice cake cooked in a sweet chili sauce called gochujang.


Bibimbap is a signature Korean dish that literally means 'mixed rice'. It is either served cold in a metal bowl or hot in a stonepot (dolsot bibimbap). It consists of white rice topped with a variety of sauteed and/or seasoned vegetables, along with sliced meat, pepper paste and a fried egg or raw egg yolk.

Korean Fried Chicken

Korean Fried Chicken is the Korean way of how fried chicken is being prepared. It is different from the American style as it is twice fried, which makes the skin more crispy and less greasy. The chicken is usually seasoned with spices, sugar and salt prior to being fried, and coated with a layer of sauce after frying.


Jajangmyeon is a Korean-Chinese dish that consists of noodles topped with black bean sauce, diced meat, vegetables, and sometimes seafood. This dish originated from China, Shandong, and is then modified to fit the Korean taste.


Ramyeon is Korean instant noodles, which is usually spicy. They are thicker and more chewy, which explains why they are widely accepted and sold in Korea.


Kalguksu is a Korean dish that consists of handmade knife-cut noodles, served in a large bowl with broth and other ingredients.


Patbingsu is a Korean shaved ice dessert that consists of shaved ice topped with red beans and other sweet toppings such as condensed milk, chopped fruits and syrup. The early forms of patbingsu during Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) consists of shaved ice with red beans, Korean rice cakes and ground nuts.


Kimbap is like a Korean Sushi, It consists of steamed white rice and other ingredients, rolled in dried seaweed sheets, and sliced into serving slices. It is a popular snack for picnics and outdoor events, or as a light meal, consumed together with danmuji (pickled daikon) and kimchi. Kimbap was a modified version of the Japanese sushi that was being introduced during the Japanese occupation of Korea; to suit the Korean taste, such as replacing the rice vinegar with sesame oil.


Sannakji consists of a small raw octopus being cut into small pieces while it is still alive and served immediately. It is usually lightly seasoned with sesame oil and sesame prior to serving. The octopus pieces are usually still squirming on the plate when it is served as the suction cups on the arms are still active, which could be a choking hazard for some people. One of the best place to get them is at the Noryangjin Fish Market.


Hotteok is a Korean Pancake, a popular street food in Korea. It is usually filled with a sweet mixture made from brown sugar, honey, chopped peanuts and cinnamon, and cooked on a greased griddle.


Gyeranbbang is a relatively new Korean street snack that has gained popularity rapidly. It is literally translated as 'egg bread'. It is a sweet and fluffy loaf of bread with a whole egg in it.

Odeng Tang

Odeng is a Korean Fish Cake that is usually sold at small carts, served in a spicy soup. It may also be referred as 'eomuk'. Odeng Tang is said to be able to cure bad hangovers.

Tokkebi Hot Dog

Tokkebi Hot Dog is a fries-coated corn dog originated from Thailand. It is made by coating a hotdog in corn dog batter, followed by small chunks of potato, and deep-fried till golden brown.

Tornado Potato

Another relatively new popular Korean street snack that you can find in Seoul is the Tornado Potato. It is a spiral-cut potato served on a stick and fried to golden crispy, topped with powdered cheese. You might also be able to find Tornado Sausage Potato, with the spiral potato going around a sausage.


Mandu are Korean Dumplings. It is pretty similar to Chinese's jiaozi and Japanese's gyoza. These dumplings are called 'gunmandu' when fried, 'jjinmandu' when steamed, and 'mulmandu' when boiled. They are usually served with kimchi and a dipping sauce made from soy sauce, vinegar and chili. The filling usually consists of minced meat, beancurd (tofu), green onions (scallions), garlic and ginger.


Dakkochi is Korean skewered chicken that is widely available at street food carts. It is usually glazed with various types of marinades such as spicy chili, soy sauce or other barbecue flavours. Many tourists choose dakkochi as an introduction to Korean street food as it is one of the safest and less adventurous to try.


Another street food stall that you shouldn't miss out is the ojingeo (squid) stall. Be it grilled, fried, or in the form of a cuttlefish, it is a must-try!

Foot Long Ice Cream

One of the iconic street food of Myeongdong is the foot long ice cream! It is a popular choice especially during hot summer days as it is cheap and huge, and comes in a variety of flavours, but be careful not to drop it!

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