Known as Korea’s version of The City That Never Sleeps, Myeong-dong is a place worthy of a visit. It’s the city’s consumerist heaven, filled with extensive department stores, fashion boutiques, and the most sought-after cosmetic shops. On every nook and corner of Myeong-dong, you’ll see travelers and locals buzzing with the excitement of everything they can buy. Not only that, if there’s anything you’ll discover while visiting this country is that locals know how to snack. From uniquely packaged munchies at convenient stores to fresh, tasty street food, the options are limitless. Moreover, they are all pocket-friendly and easy to eat. Experience Korea like a true local by indulging in dishes that most Koreans enjoy. If ever you decide to drop by, down below is our list of the top street food you must try in Myeong-dong, South Korea.
1. Korean fried chicken
Known as chikin in Korea, Korean fried chicken pertains to a plethora of fried chicken dishes from the country, including the basic huraideu-chikin and the spicy yangnyeom-chikin. There are three flavors to choose from—the sweet-spicy chili variety, all-out spicy, and a milder soy-garlic flavor. One of the best things about this chicken aside from its flavor is its crunchy and chewy texture. You shouldn’t miss trying Korean fried chicken like a true local by consuming it with some radish, sweet potatoes, and a soju. Discover for yourself why chicken in Korea is an all-event type of food.
2. Tornado potato
One of the famous street food in Korea, tornado potatoes are also known as twist potatoes or tornado fries. You’ll see vendors from every nook and corner selling these goodies at an affordable price. A tornado potato is a deep-fried, spiral-cut whole potato on a skewer, seasoned with various flavors, including honey, garlic, and cheese. Enjoy exploring the different streets in Korea while indulging in this tasty treat. It’s like eating fries but in a crispier and more fun way.
3. Bungeoppang (Korean fish-shaped pastry)
Another must-try street food in Korea is bungeoppang. It’s a fish-shaped pastry containing sweetened red-bean paste. It’s actually like a waffle. You can find it served with other fillings at times, like shu cream or ice cream. You will find it available almost every day, especially during the winter. These sweet treats are usually accessible at street stalls and grocery stores. They’re one of the local favorites that you should sample. If you have a sweet tooth, bungeoppang will surely satisfy your taste buds.
4. Gyeran-bbang (Korean egg bread)
Gyeran-bbang is Korean egg bread, which is a popular street snack in the country. It’s a sweet, hot, and fluffy little loaf of bread with a whole egg inside it, which is available throughout the busy streets of Korea. If you have been to Korea already yet have never tried it, then you shouldn’t miss sampling it once you come back. Imagine walking around stalls selling these goodies, with the aromatic and sweet smell of fresh bread wafting through the air. It surely will be difficult to skip them. It’s cheap, delicious, and a simple snack to eat.
5. Tteokbokki (spicy stir-fried rice cakes)
Tteokbokki or topokki are Korean hot and spicy rice cakes. They are cylindrical, chewy white rice cake noodles that are stir-fried in a delicious spicy sauce. The level of spiciness range from mild to super hot, so if you’re not a big fan of spicy food, you should try the mild spicy-flavored tteokbokki. One thing you will notice when buying these treats, they often come with quail eggs, fish cakes, and scallions. Savory elements—including dried kelp, anchovy stock, and a small amount of sesame oil—are the common ingredients of its sauce.
6. Grilled abalone
When you’re in Korea, you will see different types of grilled meat and seafood at street stalls. But abalone? Yes, you read it right. You can now relish grilled abalone by simply walking around the shopping streets of Korea. The shellfish is usually brushed with butter and spices, making it tastier and more flavorful. Typically, you’ll see the abalones hooked on sticks. Vendors prefer to put them three pieces per stick for easier and faster cooking. The process also makes them more affordable.
7. Hotteok (Korean sweet pancakes)
If you’re one of those people who love anything sweet, one sugary treat you should try when in Korea is hotteok. It’s a type of Korean pancake filled with different luscious fillings that will satisfy your sweet tooth. Typically, these pancakes contain dark brown sugar, ground nuts or seeds, and cinnamon powder. However, nowadays, you can also buy some whose fillings are kimchi, vegetables, or cheese. The best thing about hotteok is its crunchy outside, but once you take a bite, you will instantly feel its sweet, gooey filling melting in your tongue.
8. Pork belly vegetable roll
Pork belly vegetable roll is another common Korean street food that both locals and tourists alike love to eat whenever roaming around the streets of the country. As the name implies, it’s vegetables secured with pork belly as a wrapper. The main ingredients are braised pork belly, rice paper wrappers, thinly sliced lettuce, avocado strips, and beansprouts. When it comes to the dipping sauce, vendors use red chili sauce, blood orange juice, and rice vinegar. You also have a plethora of toppings to choose from, including onion rings and dried seaweed.
9. Takoyaki (ball-shaped snack or appetizer)
Originally a Japanese snack, Korean takoyaki is one of the favorites of the locals, which is why you’ll see vendors from different street stalls selling them. For those of you who are not familiar with it, takoyaki is a ball-shaped snack having a flour-based batter. It usually contains minced pieces of baby octopus, green onions, and tempura crumbs. You will see these goodies topped with dried seaweed and fish shavings. There’s more! You can choose your sauce—from sweetened to spicy ones. It’s a yummy treat worth your money. It won’t even make a dent in your pocket since takoyaki is budget-friendly.
10. Pajeon (Korean pancake)
Known as a savory Korean pancake, pajeon is a type of jeon (Korean dish with minced fish, vegetables, and meat) with scallion as its main component. It’s a local dish made from a batter of eggs, rice flour, wheat flour, and other ingredients, depending on the kind of pajeon being cooked. Kimchi, shellfish, and squid are some of the add-ons mostly used. The dipping sauce is usually a combination of honey and soy. If you’re looking for something perfect for a snack, appetizer, or light lunch, pajeon is the right food to eat.
Explore the liveliest district of Korea
Known for its impressive shopping offerings, vibrant nightlife, and remarkable food scene, Myeong-dong is one of the liveliest places in Korea. If you’re in the country and looking for somewhere to go, this neighborhood is the place to be. Everything that is Korea, you’ll get to experience by just exploring this district. If ever you plan to visit, above is our list of the best street food to try in Myeong-dong, Korea.
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