Food Trip (Seoul): 15 Must Eat Korean Food 2015

Any plan visiting South Korea? Well, here are some of Korean food that I had earlier while in Seoul. Summed, my version, 15 Must Eat Korean Food, actually they have a lot more, tteokbokki is one that I took out from the list because it's extremely popular and it's everywhere in Seoul.

Read more about Seoul Travel Guide 2015Seoul Food Guide, and the beautiful Samcheongdong Area, also LINE Friends Cafe & Store in Garosugil. 

1. Bibimbap

This is probably the most popular Korean Food, when in Korea you definitely need to eat Bibimbap. It is a rice dish topped with veggies, such as bean sprouts, carrot, spinach, egg, and (sometimes) beef, with gochujang (red pepper paste) as the seasoning. While regular Bibimbap is served in a bowl with sunny side up, Dolsot Bibimbap is the one that is served in a stone pot. Personally I like Dolsot Bibimbap better than the regular one, smoky, sizzling, very appetizing. Every Korean restaurant has Bibimbap, though the taste can be vary from one to another.

Jaedong SundubuAnguk Station (Line 3) exit 2. Walk straight until you see the sign for Buckon-ro 2-gil, turn right. Walk for few meters, the place will be on your right

2. Boribap

Almost similar to Bibimbap, it's Boribap, rice and barley, mixed with veggies and gochujang as the seasoning. For boribap they usually put some raw vegetables such as lettuce, perilla leaves, chives, and various kimchi, while bibimbap is filled with cooked and seasoned vegetables. I like one that I found in Gwangjang Market better than Namdaemun as it has various veggies. At Namdaemun Market, it can be found at the Kalguksu Alley.

Gwangjang Market: Jongno 5-ga Station (Line 1) exit 8 / Euljiro 4-ga (line 2 & 5) exit 4
Namdaemun Market: Hoehyeon Station (Line 4) exit 5, walk about 10 meters through Gate no 6, you'll see the Kalguksu Alley

3. Jjajangmyeon

When it comes to noodle, I'd definitely go for Jjajangmyeon the black bean sauce noodle. Though they also have refreshing cold noodle (Naengmyeon), but this dish is way more appetizing and very comforting. Portion is generally quite big, for first timer it's probably taste a little weird but once you like it, you'll crave for more. 

Jong Won Paik's Noodle House Myeongdong or any of Chinese Restaurant in Seoul.

4. Tangsuyuk

Jjajangmyeon's best friend, it's Tangsuyuk, sweet and sour pork. Crispy battered pork in sticky sweet and sour sauce. Korean believes that it's best to be served with Jjajangmyeon. Unlike the sweet and sour sauce that I found here in Indonesia, Korean version is very clear and almost colorless, while here usually in strong red sauce.

Where: any of Chinese Restaurant in Seoul

5. Korean Fried Chicken (KFC)

KFC stands for Korean Fried Chicken, anyway they also have Kentucky Fried Chicken here but different. So, what makes KFC special? Juicy, full of flavors, bone or boneless both are very tasty. The main ingredient, chicken, they use certain size of chicken, usually not too big. Eating fried chicken in Korea is very popular along with drinking beer, I don't drink so soda is just OK. There are many places for fried chicken but I found an alley between Jeungsan and Saejeol Station that filled with Fried Chicken Restaurant, they're open in the afternoon until late. Definitely not familiar with the name but local Fried Chicken Restaurant with super tasty Korean Fried Chicken I've ever tasted for my entire life. You know I never really write those words, but an exception for that one restaurant that visited last year, too bad that I did not write down the name, it's the second restaurant on the left. Well but I believe those restaurants in that alley are worth to pay a visit, if you feel adventurous enough, or the chain restaurant is surely just fine.

Fried Chicken Alley near Saejeol Station (Line 6) exit 1 cross the bridge, turn right, the alley will be on your left

6. Kimbap

Rice roll wrapped with seaweed (kim), usually filled with yellow pickled radish, carrot, cucumber, spinach, egg, and ham. Variation between gochu (pepper), cheese, tuna, and beef also available at some places. Personally, I prefer ones with strong aroma of sesame oil that coated onto the seaweed sheet. Regular kimbap will cost around 2000 won and up, though the price may vary from one place to another. Mayak Kimbap is a name for the smaller kimbap, meatless, mayak means drug, because of the small size, one is not enough, addictive, it can be found at Gwangjang Market and several street food vendors in Seoul. 

From street food vendors to Korean restaurants, it's also available at the convenience stores, the most common is samgak kimbap (triangle kimbap).

7. Sundubu Jjigae

Spicy Soft Tofu Stew, the most common consists of soft tofu, sliced meat, clams, and scallions. Raw egg is included, it will be cooked as the serving method is always in a hot stone pot. There are some special Sundubu Restaurant with few variants of soft tofu stew, but again it's available at most of Korean Restaurant, as it's popular as Doenjang Jjigae and Bibimbap. I do recommend a place named Jaedong Sundubu as they make their own tofu, it's different from places that I've visited, crumbly bean curd, their comforting soup was none like others.

Jaedong SundubuAnguk Station (Line 3) exit 2. Walk straight until you see the sign for Buckon-ro 2-gil, turn right. Walk for few meters, the place will be on your right

8. Kalguksu

Homemade noodle is always be my preference, and I'm team thick-cut chewy noodle. Kalguksu, a comforting noodle dish topped with seaweed, red pepper paste (gochujang), sesame seeds, and sliced of tofu skin. I had Kalguksu at Namdaemun Market, it's served with complimentary, delicious kimchi and service (bonus), bibim naengmyeon, spicy cold buckwheat noodle.

Namdaemun Market: Hoehyeon Station (Line 4) exit 5, enter the market through Gate no 7, walk about 10 meters and turn left you'll the Kalguksu Alley

9. Albap

Bibimbap is very popular, also you may heard of boribap as I wrote earlier. How about Albap? I bet it's quite strange name even for foodies, unless you've been to Korea many times. So, it's a rice dish topped with veggies (usually lettuce), gim (seaweed), gochujang (red pepper paste), egg, and one that makes it different, fish roe. Served in a hot stone bowl, a tip from me, ask for cheese as additional topping. Fyi, it's very affordable, around 3500 won, with udon soup and kimchi as complementary. 

Albap or Alchon Edae Branch, both located crossing each other. Ewha Women University Station (Line 2) exit 2. Follow the road, you'll see Artbox on your left, continue straight. Turn left when you reach Olive Young, you'll find Albap on your left and Alchon on the right side.

10. Banchan

Side dish in Korean dining is a mandatory, from pickled vegetables (kimchi) to rolled omelette (gyeranmari). There are many types of kimchi, the most popular is baechu kimchi (spicy pickled cabbage) while the non-spicy version named baek kimchi (white kimchi). Seasoned vegetables are also very common, garlic and sesame oil are often included as the seasoning. If you come to Korean restaurant, they will serve you usually 3 to 4 free side dishes, it is possible to ask for refill. But to experience 30 Korean Side Dishes Dining surely interesting. Sigol Bapsang, located in Itaewon and open for 24 hours.

Sigol Bapsang, Itaewon Station (Line 6) exit 2. Find out directions to get there, here.

11. Ice Cream

Personally I think ice cream is just great at any season, not only summer. It is very easy to find ice cream in Korea, from the convenience stores to street vendors. During summer, softserve is everywhere. The cute chocolate vanilla twist ice cream that I got on my way to Samcheongdong to 32 cm tower ice cream in Myeongdong. Last year I found 2 stalls and this year there are 3 stalls in Myeongdong, go to the stall that use waffle cone (see my picture below). Matcha vanilla and strawberry yogurt twist are worth to try.

rose ice cream at Myeongdong

12. Macaron Ice Cream

Do you like macarons or ice cream?  Why not having them both at once? Green tea ice cream with purple macarons, adorable. First, I thought I won't like it as it's probably very sweet but I was wrong. In fact, it turned quite nice.

Penguin Macaron Ice Cream Hongdae, Hongik University Station (Line 2) exit 9. Turn left, you'll see Burger King (on your left) then turn right, continue straight, cross the street. You'll find crowded street with small clothing shop along the street, follow the street, the place will be on your right.

13. Corndog

I know it's not so Korean but really it's one of the most famous Korean street food snacks. Typical juicy Korean sausage (usually pork) covered with batter, and my favorite the one with french fries chunks on the outside. Ketchup, mustard, and spicy sauce are the most common condiments to company the corndog. 

Street Food Vendor at Namdaemun Market - Hoehyeon Station (Line 4) exit 5 or around Myeongdong and Dongdaemun

14. Eomuk / Oden

I've been to South Korea only during summer, 3 times. Well, definitely need to come back in another season. Probably winter to enjoy more eomuk. Korean BBQ over soupy dish, but this eomuk that I found in Myeongdong changed my mind. The broth was very tasty and comforting, light but rich in flavor, the Ahjussi also very friendly. The stall opens in the afternoon until late. Take a look the eomuk pot with plenty of dried chili and green onions (just like in picture). You surely can try it somewhere else but really it was the best I can find in Seoul so far. 

Myeongdong Street Food Vendor near CGV
Myeongdong Station Exit 6, walk straight into the shopping area, turn left until you'll see Daiso in front of you. You'll see H&M on your left (at the same building with CGV Cinema), continue to the end of the street, it is the stall that sells tteokbokki and eomuk

15. Bingsoo

Korean famous dessert, Bingsoo. Shaved ice with various toppings. Patbingsoo is the most popular, pat refers to red bean, patbingsoo is shaved ice with sweetened red bean as the main topping. There are so many choices from mango, black sesame, to cheesecake bingsoo. During summer, cafes and coffee shops offer their own specialty bingsoo that are always different from one year to another. If you happen to Korea in winter, you still can enjoy bingsoo at Korean dessert cafe, Sulbing. I personally always go for Injeolmi (the one with soybean powder), it's so good, definitely a must try if you're into classic Asian taste. Cheesecake is the second choice. On my last trip, I found Milk Tea Bingsoo with taro balls, pearls, and sweet potato, Taiwanese twist? Best finding, a reason to come back next year and hunt some more bingsoo.

Sulbing Korean Dessert Cafe, it's everywhere in South Korea. Very easy to find, and their shaved ice is soft, dry, and not too sweet which just right to my palate.

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  1. Baru denger banget untuk albap dan boribap *padahal korean addict nih >.<*
    dddduuuuh liat postingan ini harus bangeeeet cepet ke korea dan nyoba langsung makanan enak disanaaaaaaa :D

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  3. manteb banget ini makanannya !

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