South Korea food guide by a foodie aka me 🙂
I just came back from a 3 week holiday in South Korea and it was beyond amazing. Such a rich culture and gastronomy.
I did not have time to try every single restaurant or dish in 3 weeks, but I think we did a great job 🙂 so the idea of this post is to share the restaurants, markets, food tours I truly loved during my time in South Korea.
How to buy sashimi at a fish market and bargain a good price. What is a good price? How much should you pay for a sashimi plate?
Where do locals eat in Seoul? Looking for a nice street food tour? Cooking class in Seoul?
Who am I?
I am Enara, the recipe developer at RootsandCook. For you that do not know me, I love cooking but I also love eating good food! not expensive but good food. When I travel I try to find restaurants, food tours, markets… where I can taste real local cuisine. My focus is always on seasonal and high quality ingredients, so I am picky yes, I do not like any kind of food. It can be deep fried street food, but I will pay attention if the batter is good, if the oil is good or it has been there for 3 years.. I think you get what I mean.
Now that you know me a little bit better and if you look for similar things when visiting a new country, hope you like or find useful this selection.
Itinerary for 3 weeks in South Korea
Seoul – Jeonju – Gyeongju – Busan – Seoul
That was our itinerary for 3 weeks in South Korea, so the idea is to share where to eat places in each of those cities.
Where to eat in Seoul?
We stayed in Seoul a 10 days so we had time to try plenty of restaurants, I did not like them all, so here are my favourite places to eat in Seoul.
1 – Insadong Sujebi – 인사동수제비
Might not look like the cutest place in Seoul but trust me you have to go to this place.
Inside is cosy and full of locals, which is always a good sign.
Must try: Seafood pancake and Sujebi (hand pulled noodle soup with oysters). Both are more than enough for 2 to 3 people as portions are large in Korea.
What is Sujebi: Sujebi is a hand-pulled dough fish soup. Broth is usually made with dried anchovies or seafood. So basically a delicious fish/seafood soup with hand-pulled dough.
Location: 14-1 Insadong 8-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea (google maps)
2- Oreno Ramen Insa
BIG YES to this place. 10/10
Clean broth, lots of flavour and absolutely delicious!
Must try: The just have 2 type or ramen, spicy chicken ramen and non spicy chicken ramen. I had the non spicy chicken ramen and I can tell you I am testing recipes already to make it at home, I need that ramen in my life 🙂
Location: 49-4 율곡로 Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea (google maps)
3 – Plant Cafe Seoul (Itaewon)
At some point during your trip to South Korea you will be looking for a good salad or some more vegetables than the banchan.
Loved this place in Itaewon for a great tasty salad.
Location: 2 floor, 117 Bogwang-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea (google maps)
4. Jangjagjib – Korean roasted chicken
Hongdae area. If you are in Hongdae, you need to try this place.
Juicy roasted chicken stuffed with rice and other delicious things that you can customize with different toppings and a delicious sauce.
Must try: Any of the roasted chickens.
Location: 19 World Cup buk-ro 6-gil, Yeonnam-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea (google maps)
5. Noryangjin Fish market in Seoul
I made a separate post about that experience, a must! – Noryangjin Fish market in Seoul (how to buy fish, sashimi, cost…)
6 – Street food tour at Gwangjang market
You will try lots of different Korean food and he was an amazing guide that knows all the good spots. A must!
Seoul Netflix lady – Was it worth it?
If you join the Night market tour you will stop at the Netflix lady for soup and dumplings. Both delicious but specially because the guide will let you know how to eat the dumplings. You will not get this info if you go there by yourself.
Eat the pork dumplings with a bit of kimchi on top and the kimchi dumplings with the soy sauce mixture you will get.
Are dumplings that good? They are good but not the best I had in Korea. I think the dough was way too thick.
7 – Cooking class in Seoul – Corean cuisine
I wanted to enjoy a Korean cooking class and went for this one: Korean Cooking Class with Full-Course Meal & Local Market Tour in Seoul.
Lovely host and a really relaxed cooking workshop where you will cook 3 different dishes.
If I am 100% honest with you, I did not like it. There was not much hands-on cooking and the fact that you will be sitting for 3 hours in a U shape table looking at the host/teacher felt a bit like a primary school class.
This is of course my personal opinion, because the host was lovely, and if you are looking for a more easy and casual cooking workshop you might love it.
8 – Seoul cute coffee places
South Korea is for sure THE place for cute cafes. Specifically Ikseon are in Seoul. I would avoid any of these places during the weekend as they get so busy.
My favourite coffee places in Seoul:
1- Cafe Sa Sa (google maps)
2 – Donut Jungsu (google maps)
3- Rami scones (google maps)
Where to eat in Jeonju?
1. Ramen, 호시마츠생라멘
Delicious ramen place. Thick and flavourful broth.
Must try: Ramen.
Location: (google maps)
2. Lazyke Habitat
Cutest place for Sunday brunch. Food was absolutely delicious and the place could not be any cutter.
Must try: Loves scrambled eggs.
Location: South Korea, Jeollabuk-do, Jeonju-si, Wansan-gu, Jeonjugaeksa 1-gil, 46-11 1층 (google maps)
3. Hankook Jib
Famous for its bibimbap so a must in Jeonju. My opinion? it was not the best bibimbap I had in Korea, so I would not go again. Bulgogi was delicious though.
What is Bibimbap? Cooked rice served in a bowl with lots of toppings. Usually served with gochujang (Korean chili paste) and mixed together before enjoying it.
What is Bulgogi? Marinated slices of meat grilled or barbecued.
Location: 2-3 Jeon-dong, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do, South Korea (google maps)
4. Dumpling at Moraenae market, 먹보왕만두
If you go to Moraenae market you have to stop at this place for dumplings. The lady that owns the place is lovely at the dumplings are so so good. Thin dough and a delicious filling. Kimchi dumplings are spicy! but so good! In most Korean places dumplings are called mandu.
Must try: Dumpings, both pork and kimchi
Location: 236-161 Inhu-dong 2(i)-ga, Deokjin-gu, Jeonju-si, Jeollabuk-do, South Korea (google maps)
Where to eat in Gyeongju?
It is always busy so try to go during the week and early (17:30), but the short ribs are amazing.
Must try: Braised short ribs
Location: 224-7 Hwangnam-dong, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea (google maps)
2. Thankyou chicken
It is a little bit hidden at a small market, but the fried chicken is just the best I had in Korea.
Everything is freshly made when you orden it, thin and crispy batter, juicy chicken, so so good! Plus the couple that owns the place is lovely.
Must try: Half and half chicken (orden 2 different flavours or toppings)
Location: Hwangnam-dong, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea (google maps)
3. Hwangnam Wooeong gimbap
Famous for their gimbap. They have 1 type of gimbap with an spicy topping or a non spicy topping (that is still a bit spicy, cos Korea 🙂 ).
Must try: Gimbap
What is gimbap? A rice and seaweed roll stuffed with pickled vegetables, fresh vegetables and fish or meat.
Location: South Korea, Gyeongsangbuk-do, Gyeongju-si, 경북 경주시 포석로 1074 남편동 1층 황남동 294 경주 황리단길 (goole maps)
Incredible sushi! so so good! You have to try it!
Must try: Tuna bely nigiri
Location: South Korea, Gyeongsangbuk-do, Gyeongju-si, Seongdong-dong, 360-3 2층 (google maps)
BONUS: Did not have time to try this place but every night was full of locals 😉
백년손님 (google maps)
Where to eat in Busan
1. Samik Sikdang, 삼익식당
A must in Busan to enjoy pork Bulgogi. Grilled marinated pork, absolutely delicious. We had bulgogi, dumplings and beer, total cost = 17 euros.
Must try: Bulgogi
Location: 20 Nampo-gil, Jung-gu, Busan, South Korea (google maps)
2. Jagalchi Market
To be honest the experience of buying fish and eating at the market was not as good as at the fish market in Seoul. We bought the sashimi directly at the restaurant, big mistake. So what be got was really bad quality sashimi that was chewy and not nice to eat, we left half of the food there.
If you visit the market, I would suggest you follow the tips I share for the fish market in Seoul. Truly hope you get a better experience.
Location: 52 Jagalchihaean-ro, Jung-gu, Busan, South Korea
BONUS: Outdoor fish market. (google maps)
What I did loved was the little street next to the fish market with an outdoor fish market. Local, old fashion fish market, loved it!
THE END 🙂
Hope you liked this post about South Korea food guide-by a foodie