Seoul is rapidly becoming the preferred destination for avid travellers, and it is easy to see why: there’s a wealth of cultural sites, a lively nightlife, and a burgeoning food scene. Seoul is a great city to visit for budget travellers, and even though the cost of living is rising rapidly in the city, there are still lots of places to suit those who prefer to travel lightly and cost effectively, especially if you’re there for the food.
Korean BBQ is taking off globally, and the attraction of cooking your food at the table is a big hit with many diners. However, Korean food isn’t just BBQ, and the tapas style dishes can be an intriguing way to try different styles of this delicious cuisine.
Korean BBQ is probably the most well known of Korean cuisine and has been appropriated across the world; however, there is no place better than Seoul to try the country’s signature dishes.
Korean BBQ is special because of the way that the meat, typically beef, pork or chicken is marinated and cooked over hot charcoals. Often it is done in front of diners’ eyes at tables fitted with their own charcoal grills. When you order your meat, you will get complimentary side dishes or banchan to accompany the barbecue.
Once you leave Seoul, the BBQ cravings will probably stick around but there’s no need to worry because, as it becomes more popular around the world, BBQ restaurants are popping up everywhere. Sites such as deliveroo.com.au make BBQ a good takeaway option.
If you want to go the extra mile and impress guests with a home cooked BBQ, you could invest in a tabletop cooker so you can feel as though you really are in Seoul. There’s a great selection on ebay.com.au and you can pick one up for a reasonable price.
BBQ & Banchan
However, cuisine in South Korea is often seasonal and comprises of much more than just BBQ. Head down to the Noryangjin fish market, which is open 24 hours and boasts some of the best seasonal seafood you can get your hands on. If you’re a fan of sushi, then Korea’s raw fish won’t disappoint. Pick your fish from the market and the stallholders will slice it up for you. There are tables dotted around the market, where you can eat your chosen delicacy.
The subway is the best way to get around Seoul, and many places can be quickly and easily reached by taking the Seoul Metro. It’s the cheapest way to get around the city and, once you get used to the seemingly complicated map, you will find that it’s an easy alternative to a taxi or bus. The subway connects all parts of the city, including the Bukhansan National Park, which is revered.
You can hop off the subway and arrive ready for a hike and some fresh mountain air before getting back on the train and heading into town for dinner. After hiking, you’ll probably be interested in something warming and full of protein. In the heart of Seoul, from street food restaurants to Michelin starred joints, you can find steaming bowls of Samgyetang, a hot soup made with meat and medicinal herbs for a restorative meal.
Bukhansan National Park
Whilst Korean BBQ is often the prevailing theme of food in South Korea, there are plenty of other dishes and restaurants on offer. Seoul’s food scene is diverse and worth checking out in different seasons so that you can truly enjoy the diversity of the dishes on offer.