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Exploring Seoul’s Street Food: Top Picks for Foodies

Seoul is a food lover’s paradise, offering a dazzling array of street food that’s both delicious and affordable. From the tangy and spicy tteokbokki to the sweet and chewy hotteok, the city’s vibrant street food scene is sure to captivate your taste buds. Whether you’re wandering through bustling markets or exploring quiet alleys, Seoul’s street food offers a culinary adventure like no other.

Day 1: An Epicurean Expedition in Myeongdong

hotteok-top picks korean food

Morning: Start with a Sweet Breakfast

Begin your street food journey in the bustling district of Myeongdong, known for its vibrant shopping streets and tantalizing food stalls. Start your day with a visit to a hotteok vendor. These sweet Korean pancakes, filled with a mixture of brown sugar, honey, nuts, and cinnamon, are a perfect morning treat.

Next, explore the stalls selling bungeoppang, a fish-shaped pastry filled with sweet red bean paste. This iconic street snack is both charming and delicious, making it a must-try for first-timers in Seoul.

tteokbokki-top picks korean food

Midday: Savor Authentic Korean Flavors

For lunch, dive into the heart of Korean street food with a plate of tteokbokki. These spicy rice cakes are one of Korea’s most beloved street foods and can be found at numerous stalls throughout Myeongdong. Pair them with eomuk (fish cakes) and a cup of steaming broth for a complete and satisfying meal.

Don’t miss out on corn dogs, another street food favorite. Korean-style corn dogs come in various forms; some are covered with crispy potato pieces, while others are coated in a thin layer of sweet sugar. Each bite is a delightful mix of savory and sweet flavors.

Afternoon: Unique Snacks and Beverages

In the afternoon, continue your exploration with some lighter snacks. Try gimbap, a Korean rice roll packed with various fillings like vegetables, eggs, and sometimes meat or seafood. It’s the perfect snack to keep you energized as you continue to explore the streets.

Refresh yourself with a cup of bingsu, a Korean shaved ice dessert. In Myeongdong, you can find many varieties, from traditional red bean bingsu to modern takes featuring fruit and condensed milk. It’s a delightful way to cool down after a day of food exploration.

dakkochi-top picks korean food

Evening: Experience Myeongdong’s Night Market

As evening falls, Myeongdong transforms into a night market filled with vibrant sights, sounds, and smells. Sample dakkochi (chicken skewers) glazed with a choice of sweet, spicy, or soy-based sauces. The sizzling sound and mouth-watering aroma are simply irresistible.

Myeongdong’s night market is a feast for all the senses, ensuring that your first day exploring Seoul’s street food scene is a memorable one.

Day 2: A Culinary Adventure in Gwangjang Market

kong-guksu-top picks korean food

Morning: Indulge in Traditional Korean Breakfast

Start your second day at Gwangjang Market, one of Seoul’s oldest and largest traditional markets. Known for its authentic street food, Gwangjang Market offers a unique breakfast experience not to be missed. Begin with a bowl of kong-guksu, a cold soy milk noodle soup that’s both refreshing and filling.

Another breakfast favorite is bindaetteok (mung bean pancakes). Crispy on the outside and savory on the inside, these pancakes are made from ground mung beans mixed with vegetables and sometimes meat. Enjoy them with a side of kimchi for a true Korean breakfast.

Midday: Snack on Market Favorites

As you continue to explore Gwangjang Market, you’ll find an array of tempting snacks. Try mayak gimbap, literally translated to “narcotic rice rolls.” These mini gimbap rolls are highly addictive, filled with simple yet flavorful ingredients. Dip them in savory mustard sauce for an extra kick.

Don’t miss the sannakji, a dish of live octopus tentacles that are chopped and served fresh. It’s an adventurous snack, known for its slight chewiness and unique experience as the tentacles continue to move on the plate.

Afternoon: Sweet Treats and Refreshing Drinks

After a fulfilling morning, it’s time for some sweet indulgences. Grab a hoeddeok and wash it all down with traditional Korean beverages available in the market. Try a glass of sikhye, a sweet rice drink that’s both refreshing and nourishing. Alternatively, enjoy some traditional Korean tea at one of the teahouses located within the market premises.

jokbal-top picks korean food

Evening: Feast on Street Food Dinners

As the evening sets in, Gwangjang Market comes to life with even more food vendors setting up shop. Enjoy a hearty portion of jokbal (pig’s trotters), braised in a rich soy-based sauce. Jokbal is best enjoyed with a side of garlic, green onions, and spicy dipping sauce.

For those who prefer something less adventurous, opt for dalkbal (chicken feet), which are equally delicious and come seasoned with fiery Korean spices for those who like it hot.

End your day with a few bites of soondae, a Korean blood sausage filled with noodles and flavored with spices. It’s a local delicacy often enjoyed with a pinch of salt and a side of lung or liver for the full flavor profile.

Gwangjang Market offers a tantalizing mix of traditional and contemporary street food, making it an essential destination for any foodie exploring Seoul.

Day 3: Culinary Delights in Dongdaemun Night Market

kkwabaegi-top picks korean food

Morning: A Leisurely Stroll and Light Bites

Begin your third day with a leisurely morning stroll through the vibrant Dongdaemun area. While Dongdaemun Night Market is more active in the evenings, the quieter morning time allows you to enjoy some light bites from the early vendors setting up shop.

Start with egg bread (gyeran bbang), a popular Korean street food that combines the sweetness of bread with a savory egg center. It’s a perfect morning snack that will give you the energy to continue exploring.

Another excellent morning treat is twisted doughnuts (kkwabaegi). These doughnuts are deep-fried to perfection and coated with sugar, offering a deliciously chewy texture.

Midday: Traditional Dishes with a Modern Twist

As you continue to explore Dongdaemun, stop by one of the food stalls for a taste of mandu (Korean dumplings). These can be found steamed, fried, or boiled and come with a variety of savory fillings, from pork and vegetables to seafood and kimchi.

Try a modern take on traditional flavors with tteokgalbi, grilled short rib patties that are tender and juicy. They’re often served on skewers and are a savory delight you won’t want to miss.

Afternoon: Sweet and Savory Snacks

In the afternoon, indulge in a mix of sweet and savory snacks. Savor yakgwa, a traditional honey biscuit that’s chewy and flavored with a hint of ginger. It pairs wonderfully with a cup of traditional Korean tea.

If you’re in the mood for something savory, try buchimgae (Korean pancakes). These crispy pancakes are made with a variety of ingredients, including seafood, kimchi, and green onions. They’re often served with a soy-based dipping sauce that enhances their flavor.

Soju-top picks korean food

Evening: Dongdaemun Night Market Extravaganza

As the sun sets, Dongdaemun Night Market comes alive with a dazzling array of food stalls and vendors. Start your evening feast with bulgogi (marinated beef) skewers. These tender and flavorful skewers are grilled to perfection, offering a perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors.

For a truly unique experience, try kkultarae (Korean court cake). This traditional dessert is made by stretching honey into thousands of fine strands and wrapping them around a mixture of nuts and seeds. The result is a delicate and sweet confection that melts in your mouth.

Late Night: Comfort Foods and Drinks

Round off your night with some satisfying comfort foods. Enjoy a bowl of rabokki, a combination of ramyeon noodles and tteokbokki in a spicy sauce. This fusion dish is popular among locals and offers a hearty late-night snack.

Pair your rabokki with a bottle of soju, Korea’s famous distilled spirit. It’s a perfect way to toast to an exciting day of food exploration and immerse yourself in the local culture.

Dongdaemun Night Market is a paradise for street food lovers, offering an endless variety of flavors and textures that are sure to satisfy any craving.

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Exploring Seoul’s Street Food: Top Picks for Foodies

Last Updated: June 20, 2024

Seoul is a food lover’s paradise, offering a dazzling array of street food that’s both delicious and affordable. From the tangy and spicy tteokbokki to the sweet and chewy hotteok, the city’s vibrant street food scene is sure to captivate your taste buds. Whether you’re wandering through bustling markets or exploring quiet alleys, Seoul’s street food offers a culinary adventure like no other.

Day 1: An Epicurean Expedition in Myeongdong

hotteok-top picks korean food

Morning: Start with a Sweet Breakfast

Begin your street food journey in the bustling district of Myeongdong, known for its vibrant shopping streets and tantalizing food stalls. Start your day with a visit to a hotteok vendor. These sweet Korean pancakes, filled with a mixture of brown sugar, honey, nuts, and cinnamon, are a perfect morning treat.

Next, explore the stalls selling bungeoppang, a fish-shaped pastry filled with sweet red bean paste. This iconic street snack is both charming and delicious, making it a must-try for first-timers in Seoul.

tteokbokki-top picks korean food

Midday: Savor Authentic Korean Flavors

For lunch, dive into the heart of Korean street food with a plate of tteokbokki. These spicy rice cakes are one of Korea’s most beloved street foods and can be found at numerous stalls throughout Myeongdong. Pair them with eomuk (fish cakes) and a cup of steaming broth for a complete and satisfying meal.

Don’t miss out on corn dogs, another street food favorite. Korean-style corn dogs come in various forms; some are covered with crispy potato pieces, while others are coated in a thin layer of sweet sugar. Each bite is a delightful mix of savory and sweet flavors.

Afternoon: Unique Snacks and Beverages

In the afternoon, continue your exploration with some lighter snacks. Try gimbap, a Korean rice roll packed with various fillings like vegetables, eggs, and sometimes meat or seafood. It’s the perfect snack to keep you energized as you continue to explore the streets.

Refresh yourself with a cup of bingsu, a Korean shaved ice dessert. In Myeongdong, you can find many varieties, from traditional red bean bingsu to modern takes featuring fruit and condensed milk. It’s a delightful way to cool down after a day of food exploration.

dakkochi-top picks korean food

Evening: Experience Myeongdong’s Night Market

As evening falls, Myeongdong transforms into a night market filled with vibrant sights, sounds, and smells. Sample dakkochi (chicken skewers) glazed with a choice of sweet, spicy, or soy-based sauces. The sizzling sound and mouth-watering aroma are simply irresistible.

Myeongdong’s night market is a feast for all the senses, ensuring that your first day exploring Seoul’s street food scene is a memorable one.

Day 2: A Culinary Adventure in Gwangjang Market

kong-guksu-top picks korean food

Morning: Indulge in Traditional Korean Breakfast

Start your second day at Gwangjang Market, one of Seoul’s oldest and largest traditional markets. Known for its authentic street food, Gwangjang Market offers a unique breakfast experience not to be missed. Begin with a bowl of kong-guksu, a cold soy milk noodle soup that’s both refreshing and filling.

Another breakfast favorite is bindaetteok (mung bean pancakes). Crispy on the outside and savory on the inside, these pancakes are made from ground mung beans mixed with vegetables and sometimes meat. Enjoy them with a side of kimchi for a true Korean breakfast.

Midday: Snack on Market Favorites

As you continue to explore Gwangjang Market, you’ll find an array of tempting snacks. Try mayak gimbap, literally translated to “narcotic rice rolls.” These mini gimbap rolls are highly addictive, filled with simple yet flavorful ingredients. Dip them in savory mustard sauce for an extra kick.

Don’t miss the sannakji, a dish of live octopus tentacles that are chopped and served fresh. It’s an adventurous snack, known for its slight chewiness and unique experience as the tentacles continue to move on the plate.

Afternoon: Sweet Treats and Refreshing Drinks

After a fulfilling morning, it’s time for some sweet indulgences. Grab a hoeddeok and wash it all down with traditional Korean beverages available in the market. Try a glass of sikhye, a sweet rice drink that’s both refreshing and nourishing. Alternatively, enjoy some traditional Korean tea at one of the teahouses located within the market premises.

jokbal-top picks korean food

Evening: Feast on Street Food Dinners

As the evening sets in, Gwangjang Market comes to life with even more food vendors setting up shop. Enjoy a hearty portion of jokbal (pig’s trotters), braised in a rich soy-based sauce. Jokbal is best enjoyed with a side of garlic, green onions, and spicy dipping sauce.

For those who prefer something less adventurous, opt for dalkbal (chicken feet), which are equally delicious and come seasoned with fiery Korean spices for those who like it hot.

End your day with a few bites of soondae, a Korean blood sausage filled with noodles and flavored with spices. It’s a local delicacy often enjoyed with a pinch of salt and a side of lung or liver for the full flavor profile.

Gwangjang Market offers a tantalizing mix of traditional and contemporary street food, making it an essential destination for any foodie exploring Seoul.

Day 3: Culinary Delights in Dongdaemun Night Market

kkwabaegi-top picks korean food

Morning: A Leisurely Stroll and Light Bites

Begin your third day with a leisurely morning stroll through the vibrant Dongdaemun area. While Dongdaemun Night Market is more active in the evenings, the quieter morning time allows you to enjoy some light bites from the early vendors setting up shop.

Start with egg bread (gyeran bbang), a popular Korean street food that combines the sweetness of bread with a savory egg center. It’s a perfect morning snack that will give you the energy to continue exploring.

Another excellent morning treat is twisted doughnuts (kkwabaegi). These doughnuts are deep-fried to perfection and coated with sugar, offering a deliciously chewy texture.

Midday: Traditional Dishes with a Modern Twist

As you continue to explore Dongdaemun, stop by one of the food stalls for a taste of mandu (Korean dumplings). These can be found steamed, fried, or boiled and come with a variety of savory fillings, from pork and vegetables to seafood and kimchi.

Try a modern take on traditional flavors with tteokgalbi, grilled short rib patties that are tender and juicy. They’re often served on skewers and are a savory delight you won’t want to miss.

Afternoon: Sweet and Savory Snacks

In the afternoon, indulge in a mix of sweet and savory snacks. Savor yakgwa, a traditional honey biscuit that’s chewy and flavored with a hint of ginger. It pairs wonderfully with a cup of traditional Korean tea.

If you’re in the mood for something savory, try buchimgae (Korean pancakes). These crispy pancakes are made with a variety of ingredients, including seafood, kimchi, and green onions. They’re often served with a soy-based dipping sauce that enhances their flavor.

Soju-top picks korean food

Evening: Dongdaemun Night Market Extravaganza

As the sun sets, Dongdaemun Night Market comes alive with a dazzling array of food stalls and vendors. Start your evening feast with bulgogi (marinated beef) skewers. These tender and flavorful skewers are grilled to perfection, offering a perfect balance of sweet and savory flavors.

For a truly unique experience, try kkultarae (Korean court cake). This traditional dessert is made by stretching honey into thousands of fine strands and wrapping them around a mixture of nuts and seeds. The result is a delicate and sweet confection that melts in your mouth.

Late Night: Comfort Foods and Drinks

Round off your night with some satisfying comfort foods. Enjoy a bowl of rabokki, a combination of ramyeon noodles and tteokbokki in a spicy sauce. This fusion dish is popular among locals and offers a hearty late-night snack.

Pair your rabokki with a bottle of soju, Korea’s famous distilled spirit. It’s a perfect way to toast to an exciting day of food exploration and immerse yourself in the local culture.

Dongdaemun Night Market is a paradise for street food lovers, offering an endless variety of flavors and textures that are sure to satisfy any craving.

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