When it comes to street food in Asia, Korea reigns supreme as the true heavyweight offering up a diverse spread of delectable street snacks that range from sweet to salty and from savory to spicy. Whether you’re in the mood for a small bite – or a huge feast – you’ll certainly find what you’re looking for at an affordable price as most Korean street food items are priced between 1000 to 4000 Korean Won.
When many foreigners think of Korean cuisine the first thought that may come to mind is having Korean barbecue at a Korean restaurant; however, Korean food is so much more than that and I truly believe it is showcased in its finest form on the streets of Seoul – or any Korean city/town for that matter.
Where can you get the best street food in Korea? In my opinion, the street food in Seoul is as good as it gets; however, the truth is that Korean street food can be found all over Korea – from sprawling urban center to tiny little rural village.
Whether your outing is for breakfast, lunch, dinner, a snack or even a hangover cure, eating on the street is as real and authentic as it gets in South Korea.
Please be sure to let me know how your experience eating Korean street food compares to other types of Asian street food and/or street food from around the world.
The following is a guide to some of our favorite Korean street food bites that you’ll want to try when you visit Korea for the first time:
I’ve now traveled to over forty countries and I’ve yet to experience street food that can compete with Korea. Known locally as Pojangmacha, you can tantalize your taste buds with spicy, savory, salty and sweet street snacks. Two of my personal favorites include Tteokbokki (떡볶이) and Hotteok (호떡).
The following is a guide to some of our favorite Korean street — warning — I hope you’re not hunrgy while watching this.
And we are going to show you the different kinds of food you can buy in this alley.
So that looks pretty appetizing. What do you have there? It sure does. Well we found some food on a stick here. Different kind of battered food objects. So if you want to take a look. We’ve got what appears to be a rice cake, kind of a lobster roll and as we go down a bit lower sort of like a hotdog/sausage thingamajig. And this is our first little snack food of the day. It looks tasty. Let’s try it. Okay, I’m going to have the rice one. Very classy! Mmmmmm. Nice.
Alright, now you are up. What are you going to have? I’m going to take a bite of the hotdog. Scarf it. Mmmmm. It’s nice and spicy. Is it? This is really good. Yeah. You’ll have to try this one.
호떡? 얼마 죠? 1000 원입니다.
Okay, so we have got a delicious treat here called Hotteok. And it’s a fried kind of sweet treat. Inside it’s filled with cinnamon, honey and sugary kind of goodness. You bit into it and it’s really warm. Perfect for the fall or winter. So I will take the first bite here.
Oh yeah. Oh yeah. That’s good. Mmmmmmm….haha
So we’ve found ourselves a nice little back-alley to enjoy it. We’re going to feast on the hotteok. It’s delicious. Show us how it is done. It’s hot. It’s hot! Oh nice! The gooey-ness.
It’s made of honey. Malt. M A L T. Actually honey is liquid right? We boil this for one week. We make it solid because I have to show you a performance. It’s hard. This is corn flour. Make a hole. Like this. Like this. Stretch. Stretch. Little by little.
I have a clump of candy in my cheek. Nice. We just bought some sticky rice taffy and it is all natural. It is very sweet. It is kind of like a chewy candy.
This would appear to be ice cream in some kind of cane.
Look at what we’ve got here. Nice. Big enough? Go take a bite of that. Take a look at this. I think it is big enough to share. Well, good.
Is that the biggest ice cream you’ve ever had? Yeah, that is really good.
If you’re looking to try Korean street food Insadong (인사동) is one of your best bets in the entire country let alone Seoul.
When traveling to Korea don’t be afraid to sample as many Korean street food snacks as you possibly can — your taste buds will surely be rewarded.