by: PAULINE OPERIANO
Early in February of this year, I finally got the chance to stay in South Korea for a vacation. Honestly speaking, the weather was not as good as I wished it would be because it was still Winter. But you only get to live once, so I had to brave the cold to enjoy my two-week trip!
One of a few reasons why you need to visit South Korea, is their food. There are countries who sell Korean food, but still those freshly cooked by the ‘ahjummas’ and ‘ahjussis’ are still the best!
Let me show you a brief summary of the food I had during my trip, though most of it are street food because they are cheap and the best-tasting!
- BANANA MILK
I actually am lactose intolerant, but strangely, I enjoy drinking Milk Teas and my new favorite – Banana Milk. If you are a K-Drama fan, you will often see this as the most common drink Koreans have. It also comes in other flavors such as Strawberry, Melon and Light – and I prefer Strawberry more because it tastes like Milk Tea 😀 You can purchase these at they convenience stores and supermarkets and usually it costs 1,500 KRW which is about $1.
This one is also a common convenience store food among Koreans. I bought my banana milk and sausage from GS as soon as I arrived in South Korea 😀 I am not sure what the sausage is made of, but I guess it’s made of (a weird kind of) cheese lol It’s honestly fun to munch, and is very famous among “Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo” and SEVENTEEN fans.
In the Korean drama WFKBJ, it was Bok Joo’s favorite snack and it was also led her and Joon-hyung to meet again.
In SEVENTEEN’s One Fine Day Season 1, vocal team member Boo Seungkwan ate a sausage secretly which was later found out by his members, which I think was the funniest part of all!
Before we headed to my friend’s place in Seoul, we had to stop by a convenience store to buy an easy-to-cook food since my friend has to go to work and she had to leave me behind so we bought this lunch set for about 2,500 to 3,000 KRW or $2.50. It’s not bad at all and it tasted like a newly home-cooked meal ❤ As you can see, there are a lot of sides such as potatoes, sausage, beef, fish balls and kimchi – and I swear, it was enough even for brunch! As far as I’ve seen in dramas, employees who are always in a hurry and in a budget get this for their meals, which is a good deal!
A trip to Korea wouldn’t be complete without trying their Korean BBQ may it be samgyeopsal, bulgogi, dak bulgogi, or others. Every order comes with side dishes such as spicy radish, kimchi, chili pepper, and bean sprouts; it was also served with lettuce and sliced green chili peppers and garlic. I like how thin the meat is in Samgyeopsal, thus I’m enjoying it too much.
I swear everything in Korea is just too cute and yummy! We went to Lotte Mart in Jamsil to haul food and I wanted to buy everything, in all honesty. The first thing I wanted to get was a box of choco pie or any cake snacks since there’s a lot of it in Korea, and it also comes in different flavors but what I had so far were chocolate and banana. It’s weird how the choco pie I had in Korea tasted so much better than the one I bought in New York although it’s both from Lotte brand. So I suggest you buy as much choco pies in Korea as you can, PLUS it’s way more cheaper there! 🙂 The Banana-flavored ones aren’t as bad as you think; it’s actually fun to eat since it’s soft and bubble gum-ish 😀
This is the most common street food, I say; you can find these almost anywhere in Korea! For some it may look weird, but it’s actually good! It’s the cheapest street food you can get (1,000 KRW, some places sell it at 700 KRW per stick) and is also good for Winter because the soup really warms your stomach. If you eat it in Myeongdong, the cheapest would be 1,500 KRW I suppose since it is a tourist place.
I love this so much, especially when I eat it with Odeng! I like how sweet it is and how the spiciness blends with it, not to mention how fun it is to chew 🙂 The only problem I have when eating Tteok is the sauce because it gets splattered everywhere especially when you use chopsticks (and because I am clumsy). The best Tteok I had in Seoul was in this food place in Gangnam at Exit 4. We ate there like four times in a week because everything they served tasted great!
I know we haven’t eaten a formal meal in Korea because we prefer the usual 😀 Chicken is everywhere. When you order for one, they mean one whole chicken lol We ordered chicken from 3 different places: Kyochon, DD Chicken, and Chicken Maru.
The Kyochon place we went to was in Bongeunsa-ro, and as much as I can remember we had garlic flavored chicken two days in a row!
We had to order from DD Chicken because my favorite idol group was it’s endorser: SEVENTEEN. If you order a set, you get a box with their faces on and a group poster. We ordered Garlic, Chili Tomato and Honey. It was too yummy that I think I finished 2 whole chicken.
On my last day, we were supposed to order DD Chicken again but the stores near we stayed were already closed so we had to pass by a nearby chicken place and it happened to be Chicken Maru. Their chicken tasted like DD too, but we find DD more interesting 😀
When Koreans are too lazy to get something to eat, they just cook Ramen and I think it’s cute. The most common one is SHIN RAMYEON, which is cooked in 3 minutes or less. But if you go to eat out, their ramen tastes MUCH better than what you cook at home lol! The ahjummas Ramyeon menu comes in different kinds but we always order the original.
Honestly, I don’t eat rice. Not that I don’t like it, but my body is used to not having rice at all since 6 years ago but the only I had it again was when Kimbap and Bibimbap is served. Korean rice tastes better than what we have in the Philippines (haha), Kimbap is waaay better than Japanese sushi and Maki! One roll is enough for a meal, or even just half of it is satisfying!
Below are other food we had – some are Korean dishes and some are international food yet I believe it tastes better to eat it in Korea 🙂
- FRIED DUMPLINGS (Mandu) – Gangnam
- DRIED SEAFOOD – Myeongdong
- EGG BUN – Myeongdong
- FISH WAFFLES – Myeongdong
- SPICY BABY OCTOPUS with bean sprouts – Insadong
- KEBAB – Myeongdong
- PASTA – Jamsil
- PIZZA – Gangnam