If you like to snack, you’ll have lots to do in South Korea!

Although Korean cuisine is quite distinctive, it does have some features in common with other Oriental cultures. Since the korean food is considered by many to be quite healthy and since Koreans now live in many countries, Korean restaurants have been popping up all over the world.

While there’s a tantalizing restaurant every few meters throughout the entire city, it’s street food carts and tents that fill all the open spaces. Walking through Seoul is like having to walk through a slot canyon of culinary goodies all calling your name.

Unlike Bangkok street food where you can eat entire meals on the sidewalk,  most Korean street food in Seoul to be more along the lines of snack material.

Instead of wolfing down bowls of rice and full dishes, Korean street food is often reserved for things that can be eaten standing up, especially catering to Seoulites that are running from subway to subway. Stuff on sticks or things can can be eaten with toothpicks are common.

Korean street food carts are bulky and quite sturdy in design, kind of like boats of food on wheels.

Gimbap – Korean Street Food

Gimbap :

As a beloved South Korean food, you can be assured gimbap is available in restaurants and on the street too. Packed onto street carts, often accompanied by tteokbokki, gimbap begins with a sheet of seaweed that’s filled with rice, a few pickled veggies and a slice of egg. The street version is normally pre-made and wrapped in plastic to remain moist and soft.

Cost – normally about 1,500 Won ($1.32) per roll.


Jjinmandu  (or just Mandu):

Korean mandu is eaten both in sit down restaurants and also on the street. These particular dumplings were resting in the warm outdoor air, just asking to be devoured.

Cost – 3,000 ($2.63) for a plate of 3 – 5 mandu dumplings

Fried Mandu covered in cabbage in Myeongdong

In Myeongdong, there’s no shortage of modern trendy and tasty street food treats to taste. This plate of deep fried dumplings was sliced with scissors, piled with sliced cabbage and drenched in tomato chili sauce and teriyaki sauce.


Twigim (Korean Deep Fried Vegetables):

Deep frying is one of the world’s favorite street food cooking methods – crunchy, greasy, and packed full of tastiness. I don’t think there’s a culture in the world where deep frying is not present and Korea has lots of deep fried goodies.

Korean street food tempura (deep fried goodies!)

Very similar to Japanese tempura, Twigim is a greasy man’s favorite treat – slices of veggies fried and waiting on the side of the street to be ordered.

Tornado potato

Tornado Potato:

It seems the trendy shopping district of Myeondong, where some 2 million people visit per day, is kind of a Korean street food pioneer in testing out new delicious snacks.

One of the popular items that kids and supermodels munch on the tornado potato. This impressive potato swirl is a potato cut into a spiral, spread out on a long stick, deep fried until crunchy and sprinkled with addictive MSG cheesy tasting powder.

A Tornado Potato swirl is the marriage of French Fries and potato chips.

These treats have made such a name for themselves that they’re even available in Bangkok.

Cost – 2,000 Won ($1.75)

Korean French Fry Hot Dog

Korean French Fry Hot Dog

Do you enjoy the duo of hot dogs and French fries?

Well the South Korean street food scientists decided to wrap a hot dog in French fries and deep fry the entire thing. Though it looks more like a medieval war club, I can assure you that it’s much tastier.

Tornado Potato wrapped Hot Dog

Tornado Potato wrapped Hot Dog

This snack was not designed for the health conscious.

A long skinny hot dog wrapped with the same spiral cut potato, deep fried in the same oil, and served for only the purest deep fried fanatics.

Korean street food  hot dogs!

Hot Dogs

South Koreans have more than an obsession with hot dogs. These lardy bite sized hot dogs were stuffed with a variety of things, some were wrapped in bacon, and they were cooked in their own grease and then skewered to be served.

Deep Fried Dumplings 

Deep Fried Dumplings (Hotteok)

Deep fried dumplings are almost always delightful. These things are a little like Korean street food samosas, tasty filling with a crunchy outer layer.

These deep fried dumplings are served straight out of the oil so they’re extremely hot. They are place in a little cup and you sort of eat it like an ice cream cone.

Cost – 1,000 each ($0.88)

Dried and fried squid and octopus in Seoul

Squid and Octopus Stand

Seoul street food would just not be the same without tentacles of fried and dried octopus and squid. They really are some of the most delightfully flavorful and pleasingly textural item from the sea.

Seoul street food carts tend to carry a variety of different of different squid and octopus to satisfy whatever you craving happens to be.

Soondae (also spelled Sundae)

This South Korean dish may not be for everyone, but those who indulge in the finer pleasures of blood sausage will be delighted with Korean soondae. Mixed with sticky rice or transparent noodles.

They also threw some sliced lungs on top!

Cost for the entire plate – 6,000 Won ($5.26) at the Gwangjang Market.

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