Sampling the local street food in Seoul was one of the things I was looking forward to the most when heading to South Korea. I’m a big fan of Korean food (at least from what I’ve had in the US), and I was thrilled to finally try authentic street food. And I was certainly not disappointed. Throughout the whole trip, we wandered the alleys of Seoul, searching for the best street eats.
While that may sound weird, it’s actually exactly how it is. Random alleys open up to bustling neighborhoods, and are packed with people, restaurants and shopping. For some reason, these areas are all off the main road, scattered throughout Seoul.
And I’m happy to say, everything we tried was pretty damn good. The food there, whether it’s street food or at a restaurant, is generally consistent, and I didn’t taste anything terrible. Contrary to my normal travel habits, we didn’t plan out where we were going to eat ahead of time. We just wandered around and checked out what looked good. This kind of made me freak out a little, but it always worked out :). When I asked C how he knew what restaurants would be good, he couldn’t really explain it. “You just know,” he replied. Well, then. His instincts were on point. Must be a Korean thing.
This was by far one of my favorites. Running you about a $1, it is a pancake filled with japchae. We saw a line forming and knew we had to try it. They were all made by an elderly couple with just a deep fryer on the street, and it was DELICIOUS. Like, REALLY delicious. If you see it, you must try it.
And of course, when I saw the little fish ice cream desserts, I couldn’t resist.
And… I have to say I was disappointed by this. Despite how adorable they looked, they were not great. One was filled with red bean, whipped cream and cacao nibs (left) and the other with soft serve, cacao nibs and strawberry topping (right). The cones were good, but the ice cream and toppings weren’t so tasty. The topping tasted a little too artificial and the soft serve was too icy. Well, at least it looked cute.
Another day, we stumbled upon a darling little cafe named Tia Pol. It’s not actually street food, but I had to include it. They specialized in having cotton candy coffee. WHAT?! Mind blown. It was so darn cute.
The decor felt familiar— like something I’d see back in the states. Polaroid cameras, string lights and random dog paintings? Yup. So hipster.
And fortunately, the coffee lived up to its looks. The latte itself was tasty, as well as the cotton candy. Definitely for those who have a sweet tooth, though!
Have you been to Seoul? What street food did I miss out on?