How To Eat Your Means By means of South Korea On A Funds

Korean meals doesn’t have as excessive of a global profile as another nationwide cuisines, so when you arrive in South Korea, you’ll have loads of new meals to strive.

Thankfully, the meals value in Korea is exceptionally low (and the meals is scrumptious), making the cost of traveling in South Korea a fairly whole lot.

Listed below are just a few tricks to preserve your meals funds low, delicacies to look out for, and issues to bear in mind whilst you’re travelling in South Korea.

1. What You See (on the value tag) is What You Pay

In South Korea, taxes are already included within the value of all the things you buy. There are no tips or delivery fees, no matter the place and the way you purchase your meal.

From avenue meals distributors to main eating places, the value of meals in Korea is precisely what it says on the invoice. If the value listed in your meals is 10,000 gained (₩), a 10,000₩ invoice will cowl the entire price.

That is particularly necessary when you’re going to stay within the nation for some time; whenever you’re in an city space, each place goes to ship – even McDonald’s.

In consequence, you’ll see most costs rounded off to the closest 1,000 gained – the smallest paper invoice, roughly equal to a U.S. Greenback (or, extra particularly, 90 cents on the time of writing). In different phrases, making change in Korea is very easy!

2. Eat Plenty of Native Avenue Meals (and preserve the value of meals in Korea at a low)

A number of the best and most unique foods you’ll stumble throughout in Korea shall be from avenue distributors, and so they’re typically bought at very affordable costs.

Look out for tteokbokki (떡볶이), a sort of spongy rice cake boiled with fish in a spicy pink (gochujang) sauce. It’s a standard snack meals in Korea, and might typically be purchased by the cup for 2-3,000₩ ($1.75 – $2.60).

Egg bread (assume candy cornbread with a fried egg baked inside) and hodduk, a donut-like confection stuffed with chopped peanuts and honey, are widespread finds.

Good for vacationers who’ve a candy tooth, these treats will sometimes run you about 1,000₩ ($0.87) — these avenue snacks undoubtedly preserve your meals funds at a low.

Different issues to search for are meals on sticks or skewers.

You may get fried fish cake, corn canines encrusted with precise French fries, and even entire, fried squid. The fried squid tends to be just a little costlier, typically priced at round 7-8,000₩ ($6 – $7), nevertheless it’s an enormous portion you could break up with a few mates.

Take a look at the following tips for eating healthy while traveling abroad!

3. Brace For Spicy Meals – Even The place You Least Anticipate It

Korean meals is spicy — and Koreans are pleased with it. Most meals you’ll get will are available different levels of spiciness, and there’s a widespread assumption that foreigners are further delicate to spicy meals. For that reason, salespeople and wait workers will typically know sufficient English (or gestures) to ask how spicy you need your meals.


In case you love spicy meals, then you definately’ll match proper in!

Oftentimes, the locals shall be impressed when you can tolerate the warmth, and also you’ll have loads of alternatives to point out off. In spite of everything, you possibly can hardly stroll a block in Seoul with out seeing a spot promoting a meals surrounded by flames.

In case you can’t deal with spicy meals, there are nonetheless loads of issues so that you can strive, however it’s essential be vigilant; generally a spicy flavour will creep in locations you’d least anticipate, like in fried hen or pasta.

Whereas it might not be what South Koreans deem spicy, there may nonetheless be some simple warmth there. It’s completely possible so that you can get a plate of spaghetti that’s too spicy so that you can end!

☞ Can’t resolve on neighbourhood in Seoul? Take a look at Where To Stay in Seoul

4. Gimbap is a Miracle Meals

It doesn’t appear like a lot — sort of like an enormous sushi roll full of gadgets aside from fish. However gimbap (or kimbap, 김밥), is a really distinctive dish, and also you’ll have a tough time discovering one other meals with the identical mixture of vitamin, a low value, and pure deliciousness.

A roll typically prices about 2-4,000₩ ($1.75 – $3.50), relying on the elements, nevertheless it eats like a full meal. 

Gimbap is similar idea as sushi, with a seaweed wrapper (gim) and rice (bap) surrounding a number of different elements. However, not like sushi, these elements could be something — not simply seafood. Most rolls of gimbap come pre-sliced and embrace between 8-12 items.

Some widespread elements embrace carrots, spinach, pickled radish, cucumber, egg, and a few type of meat. This can be beef, ham, sausage, crab sticks, and even Spam! (By the way, Spam is ceaselessly eaten in Korea and is definitely one thing of a delicacy.)

There are eating places specializing in gimbap, however you too can discover them at stalls and your common comfort retailer.

5. Don’t Snub Comfort Retailer Dishes

To Westerners, the idea of shopping for sushi from 7-Eleven might be deeply unsettling. Don’t assume Korean comfort shops are the identical, nonetheless. Freshly ready meals is commonplace in most of those shops. Whereas it isn’t precisely restaurant high quality, will probably be tasty and can assist preserve your meals prices in Korea at a low.

In case you’re simply on the lookout for a filling snack, you possibly can often buy gimbap or rice balls for a pair thousand gained. However when you’re on the lookout for a full, multi-course meal, you possibly can typically discover a entire boxed-lunch set for simply 4-6,000₩ ($3.30 – $5). Whereas it gained’t be a three-star meal, it’ll style higher than you’d anticipate for the value you pay.

Korea Food

Talking of low-cost meals you should buy in a comfort retailer, when you’re into the moment noodle scene, chances are you’ll be overwhelmed by the choice right here. Complete aisles of “ramyun” in numerous flavors could be present in any retailer, and often for between 1-2,000₩ ($0.87 – $1.75) every.

Whereas that’s greater than you may anticipate to pay for immediate noodles within the U.S., the flavouring can be rather more subtle.

As an alternative of getting one flavour packet, you may get a seasoning packet, a packet of sauce, and a few oil. In consequence, the flavour may be very sturdy and might emulate a variety of completely different noodle dishes. Understand that whereas it tastes good, it’s nonetheless prompt, so mood your expectations.

6. Western Meals is Out there, However Costly

Usually talking, each sort of Western meals could be present in Korea when you’re actually craving it. Hamburgers, pasta, pizza, fried hen, and even steaks have made their method into Korean culinary tradition.

Nonetheless, when you’re on a funds, Western food generally isn’t your best bet.

Pasta dishes at a restaurant can go upwards of 20,000₩ ($17.50) per plate. A single pizza can price as a lot as 30,000₩ ($26.10), particularly when you go for one of many tricked-out Korean-style pizzas with shrimp, potatoes, mayo, corn, and about 5 different toppings. Korean pizza could be sophisticated, to say the least.

pizza at lake ohrid

Beef may be very costly in Korea, so a sirloin streak is tough to seek out for lower than 50,000₩ ($43.60), and hamburgers can price between 10 and 15,000₩ ($8.75 – $13). Fried hen is extra manageable and is certainly one thing it’s best to strive whilst you’re right here.

Korea has various completely different takes on fried hen, so you possibly can strive quite a lot of flavours. When you have a buddy or two, it’s far more cost-effective to get a set and share it between you (a 15,000₩ / $8.75 set of hen with fries and drinks can often feed two folks).

It shouldn’t be too laborious to seek out — fried hen and beer is a well-known Korean consolation, consider it or not.

In case you’re undecided what to strive, give gangjeong hen (닭강정) a go. It’s served in a candy and spicy sauce that’s sticky like honey and topped with chopped almonds. 

Buffets and all-you-can-eat locations are massive companies in Korea, and they could be a excellent spot to strive a variety of completely different meals directly. In case you’re the kind of one that desires to be adventurous, however nonetheless likes to strive a chew or two earlier than you dive in, a buffet is the proper answer.

street food in south korea

There are a variety of various methods to go about discovering a buffet. There are some buffets that target Western meals, some on sushi, and a few on traditional foods. There are even barbecue eating places that, for 10-12,000₩ ($8.75 – $10.50), will preserve bringing you pork stomach to grill up till you pop.

Buffets are going to be costlier than most of your single-serving meals.

Usually talking, the value for buffets run between 15-30,000₩ ($13 – $26), relying on what you get. That’s a steep value in comparison with many of the different issues on this record, nevertheless it’s the easiest way to strive quite a lot of meals all on the similar time.

It’s doable to seek out cheaper buffets, however high quality varies broadly.


What’s attention-grabbing about buffets in Korea is that even chain buffet eating places like Ashley will differ broadly from one location to the subsequent. Even in the identical city, two completely different Ashley places will cost completely different costs.

The distinction is generally that you just get what you pay for; the upper the value, the extra choice and the upper the standard. It’s not a hard-and-fast rule, nevertheless it’s fairly dependable. Some buffets may also impose a time restrict (often round 2 hours), so be looking out for that.

Like every buffet, this isn’t one thing you’ll need to do every single day, however it may be good to do early within the journey so you will have an concept of what you’ll like. That method, which meals to search for on a funds for the remainder of your time in Korea!

So, Is Korean Meals Costly?

As you possibly can inform after studying this submit, I feel it’s secure to say that the meals costs in Korea are fairly low. The price of travelling and consuming your method round South Korea could not evaluate to that of its extra cheap neighbours in Southeast Asia, however there’s some nice worth for cash available. 

Plus, consuming is at all times a enjoyable journey — greatest had with a few mates, and a few beers. Take pleasure in consuming your method round South Korea.

Fascinated with Meals? Take a look at the Goats On The Street Cuisine Section!

Like This Article? Pin it!

Disclaimer: Some hyperlinks on this article are affiliate hyperlinks, which implies that if you buy by means of them, we obtain a small fee. This may by no means price you further and in lots of circumstances you obtain a particular low cost. We respect your help!

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Close Menu
Translate »