Eating Out

Information on typical South Korean restaurants, street vendors and eating out...

There are restaurants of all types in South Korea from street vendors to expensive formal establishments. There are many restaurants in between these two extremes, which offer traditional Korean food, fast food and western dishes. Eating out is very popular as it is relatively cheap and due to the fact that many people work late.

The most common foreign restaurants are Chinese or Japanese, although in recent years there has been a huge expansion in the number of recognisable fast food chains opening in the country. There are more nationalities represented in Seoul where there are a number of American, Indian and Italian restaurants to be found.

Korean barbecue restaurants, where the food is cooked at the table, are a popular way to try local cuisine. A barbecue meal typically involves sharing marinated meats, fish and vegetables with a selection of sauces and side dishes. The food is grilled on an iron basket filled with charcoal, allowing diners to cook what they want in the style they want. The barbequed meat and vegetables are wrapped in a lettuce leaf to make a sandwich, and are then eaten.

Street food is enormously popular in South Korea with a large variety on offer. It tends to be seasonal, which makes it a fun way to experience local eating habits. Pojangmacha are street carts which sell foods and are popular for lunches or quick snacks. A popular snack is twigim which are deep fried squid, dumplings, or vegetables which are similar to tempura. Other popular choices are dak-kkochi, spicy grilled chicken and waffles. There are also shik dang or hole-in-the-wall restaurants which sell cheap noodle or soup dishes.

  • For more information about food in South Korea: Click here