Street Food in Seoul

As you walk down the streets of Myeongdong, you are submerged in the aromas of the best Korean street foods. Myeongdong is a neighborhood in Seoul that is filled with stores to shop, cafes to relax, and food carts to indulge in. My advice is to try absolutely everything. If you’re traveling with people then share an item from each cart so you don’t fill up too quickly. With prices ranging from 1,000 to 5,000 won, these treats are beyond affordable. And while I thought some items weren’t as tasty as others, it’s always good to taste everything for yourself.

Once you get off the Myeongdong stop (exit 2), walk down the busy streets to your left and take on the street food challenge. Below is what I was able to try.

Tteokbokki

What is this? Rice and fish cake drenched in gochujang (a sweet red chili sauce)
Review: I had a few varietions of this dish and I must say I enjoyed it in a restaurant more so than out on the streets. Also, the spicier the better for me.

Tornado Potato

What is this? Spiral cut potato wrapped around a stick, sprinkled in your choice of cheese and/or onion powder 
Review: I wasn’t expecting much from this. Thought to myself that it’d just taste like a potato chip, but it was actually very satisfying. My mom even went for a second round because we devoured the first one so quick

Hotba

What is this? Rice cakes, imitation crab, or hot dogs wrapped in fish paste
Review: Great flavors from the fish paste. I got the variety stick, but to be honest I couldn’t differiente the difference between each item. The covering overpowered the inside.

Odeng

What is this? Fish cake served either regular or spicy. You can grab a cup of broth for afterwards.
Review: This is a very popular street food item and locals seem to love it. However, I thought the fishy taste was way too powerful. We got it spicy, which I enjoyed the kick, but I could not get over that fishy flavor. (Yes, I know…it’s fish cake, but I like it to be subtle)

Dakkocchi

What is this? Grilled skewered chicken smothered in barbeque, hot sauce, and mayonnaise 
Review: The chicken was moist and had great flavor especially when served spicy. The condiments added are necessary to make the chicken really stand out. Although good, I didn’t think it was anything special.

Gyeranppang

What is this? Bread topped and baked with egg 
Review: A slightly sweet pastry with a soft interior. The egg added some heartiness to it. I’m one of those people who believes adding an egg to anything makes it better, so this was a win for me.

Cup Chicken

What is this? Korean fried chicken
Review: Another staple for Korean street food. A great size portion with moist chicken covered in a sweet chili sauce. I wish the chicken was crispier, but it was still tasty nonetheless.

Gul Tare (Dragon Beard Candy)

What is this? Honey stretched out until it separates into 16,000 strands. It is then filled with either almonds, chocolate, or fruit.
Review: The show they put on is amazing. It’s neat to see how they create each piece of candy. Also, when they let you taste it..you’re even more amazed. It melts in your mouth and tastes exceptional. However, we ended up disappointed after buying 9(!) boxes. They actually become very chewy later on and not as delicious.

Hotteok

What is this? Fried pancake stuffed with honey
Review: This pastry was fried to absolute perfection. It wasn’t overly sweet, which made it an ideal treat. The warm crunch exterior you bite into was so satisying on a cold day in Seoul.

Fried Ice Cream

What is this? Fried dough stuffed with ice cream
Review: I am a sucker for ice cream, so this fulfilled all my sweet tooth needs. The The ratio of ice cream to dough was spot on. They also drizzled strawberry and chocolate on top and yet somehow made sure it wasn’t overly sweet.

Cheesy Baked Scallops

What is this? Flamebroiled scallops with an abudance of cheese and butter
Review: Deliciously cheesy and surprisingly fresh. We actually started our street food adventures with this item, which made is extremely excited to see what else was in store.

Grilled Cheese & Rice Cakes

What is this? Grilled cheese & Rice Cake
Review: Something so simple, yet so delightful. The condense milk drizzled over this snack really pulled it all together. The crusted exterior created from grilling the cheese made this texturly pleasing with a soft interior and chewiness from the rice cake.

Galbi Meatballs

What is this? Ground galbi meatballs 
Review: These meatballs were tender and seasoned well. Initially I was hesitant, thinking it’d just taste like pure meat, but this Korean street vendor proved me wrong.

Assorted Fried Seafood

What is this? An assortment (squid, shrimp, octopus, crab) battered then fried
Review: This wasn’t bad, but I didn’t think the batter had any flavor to it. They pour sauce on it, but I would have preferred the item itself to stand out. My favorite of the seafood provided was the baby crabs.

Pan Fried Mandu

What is this? Korean dumplings filled with cabbage and ground pork
Review: A light crisp on the outside from being pan fried with a delicious piping hot interior. I usually have a dipping sauce to accompany dumplings, but this was just find standing on its own.

Massive Cotton Candy

What is this? Ok, this is no unordinary treat. Sugar sensation that is great for photos!
Review: Cotton candy is a childhood favorite for me, so this treat was extremely nostaglic. And of course gave me that sugar high I needed to get over the food coma I was about to experience.

Cheesy Grilled Lobster

What is this? Grilled Lobster with Cheese
Review: This was similar to the cheesy scallops mentioned above. Although pricey (15,000 Won), it tasted great. It was doused in butter then topped with corn and cheese before being placed under a broiler. I loved the addition of corn to this street food item.

Cheese Ball Shrimp

What is this? Shrimp coated in cheese and potato then fried 
Review: Honestly all I could taste was the potato with mayo and ketchup. It appeared more intriguing than it was. It’s also served with tator tots which didn’t help my case.

Assorted Tempura

What is this? A variety of items (imitation crab, shrimp, vegetables, egg) dipped in tempura batter then fried
Review: I didn’t think I’d like these tempura items as much as I did! They each had their own individual taste to it. My favorite was the hard boiled egg tempura.

Japchae

What is this? Stir fried glass noodles with vegetables and topped with sauteed beef
Review: A very fulfilling dish with tons of flavor, which we added even more with the chili sauce they provide. Adding that extra kick that I always desire.

Ice Cream

What is this? A ginormous Blueberry & Green tea soft serve ice cream
Review: So, I mentioned before that I have an obsession with ice cream. My eyes lit up when I saw this masterpiece. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to share with my family. And okay, I’ll be even more honest…I hardly did. They were able to snag a taste each. I devoured the entire thing in less than 10 minutes. Ashamed? Not one bit.

3 thoughts on “Street Food in Seoul

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