Fulfilling your dream of travelling the world?. There’s no doubt that travelling feeds the soul and during this time, you’d need food to feed your body too. But should that be the only reason to eat?
Appetizing food doesn’t just fill your stomach; it also lifts up your spirit. And when you’re travelling on a budget, each meal counts. You might be tempted to try out some amazing hotels and restaurants, but if you want to stretch your money on your holiday, that’s not a viable option. As you walk down the streets, the aroma of appetizing food stops you in your tracks and it is not from the open air restaurants or barbecues sizzling in someone’s backyard. Street food is the saviour of budget travellers and when you’re in the great city of Seoul, you’ve got to experience it. Korean food is readily available around the world but if you get the chance to try the real deal, don’t let it pass you by.
The street food in Seoul is sure to tantalize your taste buds and the affordable price won’t weigh heavy on your pocket. Your trip to Seoul might be filled with shopping sprees or sightseeing, but if you want to experience the true essence of the city, you definitely have to try the street food.
So we’ve come up with a guide that’ll help you navigate and experience the best street foods in Seoul. You can add a day for a street food tour on your itinerary or spread the experience over your whole trip. You can experience Korea through food and eat your way through the city. Just literally!
Ddeokbokki (Korean Spicy Rice Cakes)
If you’re a fan of rice cakes, this delicacy will surely become your favourite. With a spicy twist, the soft rice cake is made of fish cake and sweet red chili sauce. You can easily find this at street stalls and even restaurants. First try the food from street vendors and for a twist to this simple food, just head over to the Express Bus Terminal Station. The Ddeokbokki there is served with a difference!. Usually street vendors serve the food with a thick chili paste. At the station, however, you’ll get a more liquid-like sauce. Nevertheless, there’s not much difference in the taste, so make sure you don’t miss out on one of the best street foods to try in Seoul.
Dakkochi (Korean Spicy Chicken Skewers)
Who doesn’t love chicken skewers but when Koreans do it, they add their own twist to the simple food. Quite popular among teenagers, it is an on-the-go snack that is readily available on the streets of Seoul. Definitely one of the street foods to try in Seoul if you want to feel the tangy zang of tender chicken. The skewers are grilled with spring onion and served with a variety of sauces. This can help diners control the degree of spiciness and enjoy the food to their liking.
Kimbap (Korean Sushi)
Don’t be fooled by the name. Although this Seoul food is referred as sushi but that’s only because of its similar appearance to the delicacy. Kimbap is steamed rice that’s coated in a sheet of crispy seaweed. The stuffing is a combination of egg, pickled veggies, ham, and a garnishing of sesame seeds. This is the perfect snack to boost your energy level and surprisingly it’s quite filling too. Though generally popular at restaurants, Kimbap is also available as street foods to try in Seoul. They are also sold at moving carts but the vendors keep them wrapped in plastic to retain the taste and freshness.
Dakgalbi (Pan Fried Chicken)
Originating from Chuncheon in the Gangwonprovince, Dakgalbi is a marinated and diced chicken that is stir fried with sliced cabbage, sweet potato, scallions, onions, perilla leaves, and rice cake. They are all cooked on a hot plate to get the perfect flavour. They are usually served alone but most street food vendors give you the option of stir fried noodles. Add noodles and you’d love the amazing taste of the dish. This is definitely one of the best street foods to try in Seoul.
Patbingsu (Red Bean Shaved Ice)
The Korean shaved ice cream is a great delicacy that you must try. This Seoul food is a shaved ice dessert with a sweet topping of your choice. Although the toppings vary from vendor to vendor, you’ll mostly find chopped fruit, condensed milk, red bean paste, or fruit syrup. Some vendors have added their own twist to the food dessert but it’s almost pretty much the same all over the city. Readily available at cafes and even restaurants, Patbingsu is a delightful addition on the list of street foods to try in Seoul. You can get the dessert on almost any food street in the city but if you are searching for the best of the best, you should just head over to Homilpat.
Sannakji (Live Baby Octopus)
The name of the food might be enough to kill the appetite of most people but if you are adventurous, this is surely one of the best street foods to try in Seoul. Certainly not a dish for the faint hearted, Sannakji is raw and live baby octopus. Served chopped into small pieces, you can still see the tentacles squirming around. The movements are sure to put people off the food but if you’re brave enough to try it, Sannakji is a different experience. You might find it hard to pick up the squirming pieces but you’ll get the hang of it after a while. Just dip it in sesame oil and enjoy. The sensation of squirming tentacles in your mouth is a totally unique feeling but it can be dangerous too. Make sure you chew the tentacles thoroughly or their suction caps will stick to your mouth cavity. This can risk causing so make sure you chew right.
So this was a short list of street foods to try in Seoul. You can go and explore more on your own. Better not to ruin the surprise!