Foodie guide – 10 unique Korean dishes you got to try!
How much Korean food have you eaten? Are there any Korean foods in your home country? Some may have heard of Bibimbap and Bulgogi, two famous dishes from Korea. But do you want to try foods that are less famous outside of Korea and really popular with the Korean locals? Well here are my top 10 dishes you have to try before you leave Korea!
Fun fact: Did you know that “Banchan” aka side dishes are always FREE!!?? Yes, that means when you finished a side dish you can ask for more of them without any extra cost!
1 Chuncheon Dak galbi – Korean Spicy Chicken Stir Fried
This dish called Dak galbi is really famous and comes from Chuncheon a city not far from Seoul! It’s made out of a marinated diced chicken with sweet potatoes, perilla leaves, cabbage, scallions, rice cake and more! If you are still a bit hungry after you almost finished it all up, you can ask for Bokkeumbap! Which is stir-fried rice, you get in the same large pan. Yummy! You can find this pretty much everywhere in Seoul but if you want to go try the original take a trip to Chuncheon!
TIP: If you want to visit Nami island, there are delicious Dak galbi places nearby! Click here for Nami island tours
Don’t miss Promotions! Now 1+1 for our Chuncheon tour during the Chicken BBQ Festival! (Aug 28 – Sep 2, 2018) Click below:
Chuncheon Shopping tour and Nami Island! Looking for a Seoul day trip? Want to enjoy Korean food? Need to do some duty free shopping in Korea? Our Chuncheon Sights, Bites and Shopping Tour is perfect
2 Cheesy seafood BBQ in Busan!
Seafood is a must if you visit any coast side in Korea! Especially in Busan where you can find this kind of cheesy bbq! Clams, shrimp, and spicy octopus will all be grilled fresh at your table! Want to eat this or other kinds of seafood in Busan? Book a trip with a tour guide here: Busan 1 day with private driver or tour guide option
See other: Busan group tours
3 Han Jeongsik “Korean table d’hôte”
This is a Korean style full-course meal characterized by its array of small side dishes called “banchan” usually in various colors. This is a must try! Although you can find this in Seoul, I recommend you to enjoy it in a traditional Hanok village such as Jeonju or Gyeongju, because it’s much cheaper and delicious to eat over there! Take a look at tours to these cities here:
4 Mul Naengmyeon – Summers best dish!
Did you know that Korean summer is deadly HOT?!! You will be sweating so much outside and that is why Mul Naengmyeon is a saver! It’s cold noodles in an ice cold broth (literal ice in it) It’s fresh, sweet and savourly with slices of cabbage, cucumber, and pear in it! It may sound weird to some but it will be worth a try! Original Mul Naengmyeon has very thin noodles but some places have thicker buckwheat noodles as well. If you like a more spicy version with less soup order the Bibim Naengmyeon. If you are traveling to Seoul I recommend you to book a Private car tour with a Tour Guide who can show you the best food and places customized for you! Click here to book!
Visit anywhere in Seoul with a friendly driver and guide. And free to get a recommend itinerary from our professional travel advisor. BOOK NOW!
5 Budae Jjigae Army stew
Budae Jjigae is made of ham, sausage, spam, baked beans, kimchi and red pepper paste (gochujang). This dish is also called army stew for a historical reason. It was created after the Korean war when there was a shortage of food, people started using foods from the U.S army bases as well as Korean foods. Although the dish was born in the period of post-war impoverishment, it continues to be popular till this day! There are many restaurants specializing in Budae Jjigae and is also a popular Anju (food you eat together with alcohol). Warning: a little spicy!
6 Kalguksu – Korean noodles
Kalguksu is a handmade, knife-cut wheat flour noodle dish that many Koreans often eat in the summer. It’s served in a large bowl with broth and other ingredients. You can also order with dumplings inside or on the side, together with kimchi. You can find Kalguksu almost everywhere, Jeonju City is very famous for having delicious Kalguksu! Take a shuttle bus tour over there and try!: Jeonju Hanok village 1-day shuttle bus
7 Mul hoe – Spicy raw fish soup
If you are visiting the coast, for example, Gangneung, you got to try Mulhoe! It’s a freezing cold soup with thin noodles and fresh raw fish! The soup is spicy, sour and a little sweet. Mulhoe is also a very refreshing Summer dish! Check out this fun tour to the east sea in Gangneung city!: 2018 Korea East Sea tour in Gangneung – kdrama Goblin filming spot – bike and zipline..
8 Jeju Heuk Dwaeji – Jeju Black pork
You have probably heard of Samkyeopsal (Korean pork belly BBQ) but did you know that Jeju Island has a Black pig breed and it’s said to have a unique taste quite distinct from other breeds. This bbq is a must try if you ever visit Jeju island! We recommend booking this Private van with a tour guide to help you pick the best places to eat and show you around (customizable).
Our one-day private van tour + Tour Guide is perfect for you! Pick your own tour, set your own pace, do it absolutely your way! BOOK NOW!
9 Mayak kimbap – a mini food snack
Kimbap is rice with fillings like vegetables or meat, rolled up in dried seaweed. It’s the most popular Korean picnic snack out there. It comes in many different flavors, shapes, and sizes. I recommend you try the child-size Mayak Kimbap! Mayak literally means narcotic drugs, so it has a reputation for being addictive. It’s a specialty of Gwangjang Market, a big and crowded market in the center city of Seoul, where they serve these with a sweet and tangy hot mustard sauce. It’s this sauce that makes the kimbap SO addictive.
10 Bossam and Jokbal – two Pork dishes
Bossam is a pork dish usually of belly pork that’s been boiled in spices and thinly sliced. Served with side dishes such as spicy radish salad, sliced raw garlic, wrap sauce, salted shrimp, and kimchi. You wrap it up with any lettuce type such as perilla leaves or napa cabbage. Bossam is a great Anju which is food that goes well with alcoholic drinks like soju.
Jokbal is pigs feet cooked with soy sauce and spices. Very similar to Bossam as it is also an Anju and you eat it while wrapping the pork in lettuce together with sauces and other vegetables. This has a stronger flavor than Bossam.
From left to right: Jokbal dish, lettuce and kimchi plate, Bossam dish.
Don’t miss anything! Book a Private Car + Guide Tour!
Make sure to book a Private Car Tour with a Tour Guide so that you can get most out of your travel and try all the foods that you want! Don’t miss anything, no need to plan everything, travel easy and enjoy more!
Other Recommended Tours:
The Prettiest places to see Around Seoul – Nature and garden Special
Are you after an escape from the busy city and just relax in Nature or calmingly walk around cute villages? Then please continue reading, I have the best list of places to see around/near Seoul!
Jade Garden – Small Europe in the Forest
Jade Garden, created under the theme of “Small Europe in the Forest,” is located in Chuncheon (a bit outside of Seoul) This arboretum presents us with a beautiful mix of green gardens, flowers, and European-style architecture.
You can choose from three different walking courses (each 2 hours in length) around the arboretum and a gardening program is also available for aspiring gardeners.
Want to visit this place? Contact us or customize your own day trip here:
The private car tours with KoreaTravelEasy's EXCLUSIVE around Seoul and Gyeonggi area 1-day tour. BOOK NOW!
Petite France – A colorful Village with a big collection of French items!
Did you watch the Kdrama my love from the star? One kiss scene was filmed in Petite France, a French cultural village located in the Korean countryside. The concept of Petite France are ‘flowers, stars, and the Little Prince.’ The village contains a memorial hall dedicated to Saint-Exupery, who is the author of the famous French novel, Le Petit Prince! It truly is a fairytale-like village!
You can also enjoy a gallery with sculptures and paintings of “le coq gaulois” (the Gallic rooster), the national symbol of France; Orgel House where a 200-year-old music box plays a sweet melody; a shop that sells herbal and aromatic products; a souvenir shop; and many other locales where you can experience French culture.
This is truly a romantic place to be in especially in Winter when all the lights and other x-mas decorations are up!
Le Petite France in Summer
Le Petite France in Winter
A cute small Eiffel tower!
Mt Seorak! (Seoraksan Moutain) – Enjoy a colorful hike this Fall!
Seoraksan is about 3 hours away from Seoul and loved by many for fall foliage views. It is the third highest mountain in Korea, after Mt. Halla and Mt. Jiri. The latter ones are very far away from Seoul, compared to Mount Seorak. Enjoy a hike or cable car and take beautiful fall pictures with colorful trees and the mountain view!
Autumn Season is here again in Korea and it's the best time to catch Korea's fall foliage. Seorak Mountain leaves will leave you bewitched. Book your tour now.
Nami Island – Romantic forest walk
This beautiful half-moon shaped island is famous for its nature, animals, galleries and being the film set of the famous Kdrama Winter Sonata.
Fun fact: There are no telephone poles! This is because all electric wires were built underground to keep the natural feeling of the landscape.
Nami island’s famous tree-lined road
Nami island during Winter gives you a magical feel!
Garden of Morning Calm – A BIG Garden
The Garden of Morning Calm is open year-round! The Garden has around 5,000 kinds of plants and the flowers are in bloom from March to November, so the garden is usually busy during that period. But whenever you desire to pay a visit, there will be some sort of festival and displays:
* Spring: Spring Garden Festival
* Summer: Festival of Roses, Hydrangeas, and Roses of Sharon
* Autumn: Festival of Chrysanthemums and Autumnal Tints
* Winter: Lighting Festival
During the Winter lights festival
Final words and recommendations
These places are easy to get to if you book a shuttle bus tour but we always recommend a private car tour for those traveling in small groups, it is way more affordable and comfortable! Read more about what really is the big differences between a private car service, guided tour, and shuttle bus tours?