Seoul. A metropolis of food. It’s easy to eat delicious things in Seoul, but it’s hard to taste Seoul’s original soul food. We’ve compiled a list of ten places you must try to experience authentic Korean flavors and eat like a true Korean.
1. Fried Chicken | Banpo Chicken
It’s hard to imagine Seoul food without fried chicken. Banpo Chicken, which first opened in 1976, is one of the forebears of Korean fried chicken. Be sure to try their famous dish garlic chicken, chicken doused in pungent sauce made of crushed whole garlic.
Address: 06548 38, Sinbanpo-ro, Seocho-gu
2. Dakgalbi | Chuncheonjip Dakgalbi Makguksu
Galbi is beginner’s fare for the foreigner, but have you tried Dakgalbi? Tender chicken marinated in spicy red pepper sauce, Dakgalbi is a dish every Korean loves. After finishing off the chicken, don’t forget to add cheese and fried rice to the spicy leftovers and go in for round 2!
Address: 1 Yonsei-ro 5ga-gil, Seodaemun-gu
3. Cheesy Fried Rice and Ribs | James Cheese Back Ribs
Imagine American barbeque ribs, jalapenos and melted cheese, and fried rice. Need we say more? Try this famous fusion barbeque and rejoice in meat and cheesiness.
Address: 7-6, Myeongdong 10-gil, Jung-gu
4. All You Can Eat Tuna | Lee Chun Bok Cham Chi
Fresh, raw, juicy tuna? All you can eat buffet? And even better, cactus liquor shots with tuna eyeballs? You can’t get more authentic and quirky at once than this renowned seafood haunt.
Address: 84-7 Namyeong Dong, Yongsan Gu
5. Marinated Pig’s Feet | Pyeongando Jip
Pig’s feet is a popular Korean comfort food. It’s chewy, delicious, and full of collagen so it’s even good for you! The pig’s feet at Pyeongando Jip are marinated 24 hours before they’re cooked. The buttery, tender meat is well worth the wait.
Address: 62-16 Jangchungdong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu
6. Korean Lunchbox and Bingsoo | Miss Lee Cafe
Dosirak is a classic Korean lunchbox packed with rice, toasted seaweed and various banchan or side dishes such as kimchi and fried sausage. Get it in the authentic metal box and shake up the contents to get a truly old school Korean meal! And don’t forget to try the classic bingsoo after.
Address: 144 Gwanhun-dong, Jongno-gu
7. Tteokbokki | Mukshidonna Tteokbokki
You’ve heard of tteokbokki, and you’ve probably sampled these spicy rice cakes before. But have you had them with ramen and cheese? Mukshidonna is famous for their soupy, spicy, cheesy, seafood and meat-filled tteokbokki. Now go get messy!
Address: 12, Myeongdong 3-gil, Jung-gu
8. Kimbap | Kim Sonsaeng Kimbap
Bursting with flavor and convenient to eat, kimbap is the most popular Korean picnic food. Kim Sonsaeng’s Kimbap is famous for its use of local organic ingredients and its generous portions of fillings.
Address: 82 gil 7 Yeongdong-daero, Gangnam-gu
9. Dumplings | Jonny Dumpling
Get the most famous dumplings in Itaewon! These Chinese style dumplings are ideal for snacking or full meals. Juicy, flavorful and warm.
Address: 5 Bogwang-ro 59-gil, Yongsan-gu
10. Korean Tea and Rice Cakes | Gahwadang
If you want to taste a traditional Korean dessert, go to Gahwadang. This old fashioned Korean tea house, serves traditional herb and fruit teas such as jujube and omija tea. Try the roasted rice cakes or the fried honey cakes, traditional desserts that are sweet, sticky and fun to eat.
Address: 16-1 Samcheong-ro 4-gil, Jongno-gu
*Many recommendations and photographs in this post were inspired by and borrowed from anakjajan.com and seouleats.com
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