Korea Eats. Seoul to Busan.

In Korea for two weeks with DW, BIL, SIL and their two young daughters, 10 and 14yo. Good eaters all, except SIL.

Checked into our hotel at midnight. Started the food hunt minutes after.

Good Banchan to start. The star was the seasoned lightly toasted Nori. Perfect complement for the rice. The Cabbage Kimchee was also very good, must be the terroir.

Started with Octopus Scallion Pancake. Disappeared so fast, didn’t get a snap.

Didn’t get the name of the next dish, my niece ordered it for the fried egg. They were halfway finished with the bowl when the waitress instructed her to mix some hot rice with the ingredients. It was some kinda deconstructed Bibimbap. :grimacing: oops.

A couple of bowls of Pork Bone Soup, and one of Meat Vegetable Soup.


I picked a simple plate of sliced Boiled Pork. Pure porky goodness that was delicious with the spice of the kimchi.

Finished with some great Octopus Dumplings. Yes, there was Soju and Beer.

The first of surely many memorable meals in Korea.


I cannot wait to read along. When I saw your subject line, I hurriedly got spring onion to school so I could come home and read your report. That’s the first time all week I’ve gotten him into school before 9 AM (he’s 4.5)!


Ginseng Chicken Soup is a classic must have when in Korea. The smallish bird is stuffed with glutinous rice and slow boiled with ginseng in individual pots. Ginseng is not a taste I particularly die for, but “when in Rome”…

The restaurant is huge, with at least 3 courtyards and multiple dining rooms. They seat over 300 covers per turn, mostly western style chairs, and some rooms with on the floor seating. No :pray: thanks.




Kimchi accompaniment, of course.

Beer. Of course.

Had Scallion Pancake, sans Octopus this time. Better with the Octopus. Missed pic again.

Ginseng Chicken Soup x 2.

Chicken Potatoes, huge bowl. Very tasty, portion was way too large to finish.

Over a hundred folks waiting their turn, as we exited at 1pm.


B and I went to the chicken soup place when we transited through Seoul several years ago. It was the middle of January so it was freezing and no lines for lunch (we got there early due to our rushed schedule but the place was full by the time we left). We chose heated floor seating. I took sips of the broth while B devoured the chicken and soup. It totally hit the spot. I had some veggie or seafood dish but I can’t remember what.


You ate at this same place before? Cool!!

I look awkward if I try to dine sitting on the floor. REAL awkward. Not comfortable even when I was younger and more limber.

Sat on the floor a couple of times recently in Japan. Almost toppled over getting up, After a few beers and sakes. :frowning:


Yup, it’s a very well-known place. “To Sok Chon.”

You’re cut off! :rofl:

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I fact-checked myself by looking at my original post on Chowhound. We had an 18-hour layover a la Bourdain and our trip was in late December 2011, so “several” was actually about 8 years ago. My, how time flies.

We shared a seafood pajeon (savory pancake) which I reported that was not as good as my mom’s.


Fun times with the nieces experiencing their first Korean Street Food Market.

Octopus and Turban Snails Skewers. I had to try the Snails. Sauced more heavily than I prefer, the good snail flavor still shined through though.

Love the “open carry” in most Asian countries. And, a convenience store on every corner.

Fulfilled one of the niece’s must tries: real Honeycomb.

Fish Cake Croquettes in many shapes and forms.

Grilled Lobster Tail and what was billed as Scallops. Scallops shells were not like the signs at our gas stations back home. Looked like giant mussels. I’d seen them before, but have not tried, yet.

More foods on Skewers than you can shake a stick at.

Dumplings. Yes, please.

Rice Cakes in a sweet spicy sauce. Better than I expected. It’s a popular item. Anyone know what it’s called?

Walked to KFC street. An entire street devoted to that local specialty: Korean Fried Chicken. Alas, ran out of stomach real estate.

There’s always room for dessert.


Good night. :sleeping:


Best uncle/aunt EVER!

It’s ddukbokki (I tried to spell it the way it’s pronounced). It’s one of my favorites as well. My mom used to tell me that kids would get it after school from vendors who are waiting for school to get out. It’s definitely a treat. Kinda like the ice cream truck here in the States. Only WAY better.

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Ddeokbokki, or Tteokbokki. The most popular street snack. There are several sizes, I prefer the small ones.


Nice pics! I believe this is https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tteok-bokki.




I’d seen the rice cakes in numerous Korean food videos and read mention of them. The name is just so darn hard for me to wrap my tongue and brain around. Must concentrate.

The flavor actually stirs up a sensory memory. May be like the the spaghetti that a Chinatown grocery store dishes out for a dime, on my walk to Chinese school. SHUDDER

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Namdaemun for breakfast.

Walked by a herd of youngsters (Hey, get off my f’n lawn!!) milling in from of a not yet opened store at 10am. Some had apparently camped out overnight. Apple store? No, ADIDAS!!! sigh

Really enjoy hitting the streets and markets early, while the shopkeeps and delivery folks are fresh and setting up for the day ahead.

Some kind of steamed Sponge Cake. My Mom used to make a similar version. This was good. I wish I’d at least pretended to enjoy mom’s more. tears

The gang wanted noodles. So we hit up Noodle Alley.

Funny thing happened en route to our noodles. Sidetracked by a lady with a glorious Pork Offal Soup. Her Blood Sausage was velvety and much more tender than they have right to be.

Kimchee, Chile, Garlic and Tiny Fish for breakfast? Yes. To all. So hearty and comforting.

Next, had to tick Pork Shank off BIL’s list.

Dip whole raw garlic in bean paste, wrap pork and garlic with lettuce. Repeat.

The Jumbo Noodle Platter provided some much appreciated fibre.

Finally. KFC!!!

The French Fries were killer! Crispy outside, fluffy inside. Chicken was good, a tad overdone for my taste. Thankfully, barely perceptible sauced.

Too full for dinner. Rain gave us the excuse to stay in and digest.


Food memories can hit so deeply when you least expect it. :heart:

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Loving these posts. I have a ton of recs for Busan if you need any. Lived there for three months and my wife is from Seoul (but prefers to eat in Busan).
Most are floor-sitting spots tho…

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Thanks in advance, Mr. Jones!!

We leave for Busan tomorrow, then Daegu, then final five days back in Seoul.

Rather than ask for blanket recommendations, I’ll try to be more specific and focused when we have any questions.

We will be sure to buy some live seafood in a live market and have a restaurant cook our “catch”. Any suggestions appreciated!!

So much delicious food! Thanks for sharing your adventures!


Kwangjang Market for first bites of the day.

Kwangjang is a huge covered market, perfect for this rainy day. Customer demographics decidedly tourists, but food still traditional.

First up, the #1 item on my must have list. Chopped Octopus. Very fresh oceany tasting, with a pleasant snappy chew.


#2: Beef Tartare with Korean Pear and Egg Yolk. Raw Beef Liver and lightly blanched Beef Honeycomb Tripe. So good, we had to double the order.

Many many food stalls and venders.


We joined a very friendly stall for some Hand Cut Noodles and other goodies.

Lunch. Afterall, we are with two young girls. :slight_smile:



You can eat live octopus and other seafood in Busan to your heart’s content. I also asked them to put one in a pancake.

Sure, Seoul is cool but I prefer Busan. Spent 10 days in Busan but didn’t even scratch the surface. The beer scene is very good also.


The bits still moved (on the plate) until the end of my meal.


You were curious about eating sea pinapples, well Busan is full of them. Once is quite enough for me. The exterior is like hard plastic, I didn’t eat it.




We will definitely eat more than our share of seafood starting tomorrow when we leave for Busan. My wife and her brother are BIG Eaters, and I’m not too far behind.

Just passed these very healthy Squid and Sea Pineapples on the way back to the hotel. We had planned to go Wagyu BBQ tonight, but that Squid is calling me.

Worse comes to worse, I’ll have to wait until Busan tomorrow to sate my sashimi craving.

Btw, your Octopus looks better prepped than ours this morning. I don’t care for sauces much, prefer just barely accented as needed.