Destinations Asia

The Ultimate South Korean Food Diary

“Why do you like to visit South Korea so much?” I’ve been asked this question so many times. Among visiting friends, shopping and sightseeing, Korean food is awesome!

School Food was a cute restaurant in Myeongdong that sold lots of “school-inspired” dishes that were simple and easy to eat. I ended up eating Udon noodles, which are actually Japanese.


The Korean food below is from a restaurant in Incheon. I have developed a love for squid and the squid I had there was really good.


Besides the squid, there were tempura items such as veggies and shrimp.

What can I say about the Supreme Shrimp Burger from McDonald’s? (And I never eat McDonald’s in the States.) It’s worth a plane ticket to Asia right now. You can only find it in Japan and Korea. Imagine actual whole shrimp encased in a crispy, flaky patty. Then, it gets smothered in spicy secret sauce. I was able to find a recipe for a homemade version, though.

During my stay in April, I ate a lot of convenience store food. Included in that were these dumplings, below. For frozen dumplings they were pretty good. They’d probably have been even better if I had pan fried them. They were the perfect companion to my Flower juice.

Yes, it was the end of cherry blossom season and that is Minute Maid cherry blossom and apple flavored juice. There was also a grape and rose flavor that I never ended up trying.


Dak Galbi is a great option to share with friends. It can consist of chicken, veggies, noodles, and/or rice. You choose your level of spiciness. Everything cooks together in the pan on your table. I really enjoyed the Dak Galbi below. It had noodles instead of rice. My other friends at the next table had the rice version.

Jeon pancakes are a great option when you’re only a little hungry or want a lighter option. The one below included scallions. It was cooked perfectly and not too oily. I enjoyed it at a good court in the Doota Mall in Dongdaemun.

This chicken Katsu, called Dak Katsu in Korea, is actually Japanese. There are a lot of international options in Korea. Besides Korean food, there are Japanese, Chinese and U.S. options, to name a few. They customize each food to cater to Korean tastes.

The restaurant with the Katsu was inside a food court. That food court was located on the second floor of a building. The building was connected to the Bupyeong train station, which is located in Incheon. (That was a mouthful.) I ate here waiting for my nail appointment (checkout out Ms. Lee Nails if you’re ever at the Bupyeong station).

The stall below was part of the restaurant where I bought the Katsu. It was a self-serve buffet station. The restaurant included it with the meals. The sign literally translates to “Self Cart.”

Everyone at the restaurant was so friendly. They actually filled plates and bowls of food from the cart and brought them to us. “Those foreigners,” they must have thought. “They won’t know what to get. Let’s give them some of everything.” They brought so much my friend and I couldn’t even finish all the food.

Back to the convenience store Korean food. There were lots of sweet treats. The Japanese Kit Kat flavors were cool to try. It was impossible to decide on ice cream flavors. And they even had candies that matched the ice cream flavors.

These rice and seaweed wraps were a great on-the-go snack/meal. They actually were great for lunch as we were always on the go. This one below included chicken and spicy seasoning.

In addition to all the spicy rice wraps, I ate a lot of abalone porridge. I ate it to the point of almost getting sick of it. But it is such a good hearty snack/meal. Abalone is a type of seafood if you didn’t know.

Speaking of porridge, pumpkin porridge is amazing! It’s enjoyed best during the fall. It didn’t matter though. This past April was so cold in Korea. It was the perfect cozy comfort food.

I purchased the porridge below at Bon Juk in the Coex Mall. There were signs advertising a porridge restaurant, but it was really difficult to locate. It was so worth the effort though. Check out the menu.

I took the meal to go and they wrapped it up like you’d only see in Korea. Each side dish went in its own individual container. Then they put everything in a sturdy shopping bag to carry my food out in. You would never see that in the States.

Delimanjoo is a staple of subway treats in Seoul. They make corn shaped cakes filled with custard that are absolutely addictive. They reminded me a little of Japanese Taiyaki. On a trip to Itaewon, I stumbled upon the self-proclaimed first Delimanjoo in Korea. The owner was kind enough to pose for a picture.

The photo below is a close up of when I tried Delimajoo for the first time in 2016. That’s when the addiction began. They are always fresh out of the oven and you end up burning your mouth due to impatience.

So there you have it, one of the reasons I love visiting South Korea. I want to buy a plane ticket right now.

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