Korean dining is mind-numbingly good. If you ever think you’re going to lose weight on vacation because you’re walking around a ton, don’t press your luck! Especially in Korea! The food in Korea..ahhhh…just thinking about it makes me fat. lol. Everything is sooo good. BRO. They know how to entice you..From aesthetics to prices to taste everything is heavenly! I’ve tried almost everything 🙂
First things first! No tipping! YAYYY! The price you see is the price you pay.
Second thing! There are cafes EVERYWHERE. There are cafes next door to cafes. Cafes on top of one another. Cafes in makeup stores. Cafes in underground subway stations. It is endless. People just go to cafes as a casual meeting spot and spend hours there (myself included).
In this review I’ll briefly go over various types of dining out in Korea.
Cafes are a dime a dozen in Korea.
Homestead, Marley Coffee, Cafe Bene, Paris Baguette, Nestle Cafe, Zoo Coffee, Line Cafe, and even themed cafes!
They all have coffee, smoothies, baked goods, and probably ice cream. All decorated really cute and homey. There are always jugs of water near the trash cans so water is self serve. When you order they’ll give you a little circle that lights up when your order is ready!
Oh! If the place is packed and you want to save your seat before you order just leave your bag or coat on the seats/table. Korea is pretty safe in that aspect so not to worry~
Cafe Bene and theme cafes have been the most expensive in my experience.
Paris Baguette is really really really common and easy to find. The food isn’t bad but if you go every day it gets boring fast.
^ Baked goods and sandwiches from Paris Baguette. DUDE. oh my god I almost forgot they have the most amazing garlic bread I’ve ever tasted. And my mom’s a COOK. That says a lot. 🙂 It was sweet yet soft with garlic and other seasonings that melted in your mouth..They came in long baguettes and I wish I could get it again..lol
*Fact: They sell lemonade and any other ade everywhere. (blueberryade, strawberryade, orangeade)! Some are carbonated kind of like soda so be aware!
Bathrooms in cafes are usually not open to the public without permission. Ask the cashier for the nearest bathroom and they will either give you a key or tell you you can use it after purchasing something first. If they say the bathroom is outside of the building in an alley or back road DON’T GO. These are common areas for theft or assault. Believe it or not there are psychos in Korea so only go to bathrooms inside the building you are in!
Almost all cafes and restaurants have WiFi and a sign with the id and password written either at the front of the cafe or around the walls of the store! Look closely before asking 🙂
Throw away all of your trash inside the cafe too since there are no public trash cans on the street! (Korea is very strict with trash and you have to pay for it so they are not available outside).
I stayed in Itaewon which is basically restaurant central. The way my friend said it is the price of land in the city of Itaewon is so expensive that only small food stores can survive in that situation. No big box stores like Lotte Mart or E-mart would be caught dead putting up shop in that pricey area.
Hong Seok Cheon is a famous celebrity (known for his bald hair and flaming personality) and he has 9 restaurants in Itaewon ALONE. Homeboy is everywhere.. his face can be seen in all of his stores LOL. His face is even on the red banner on the bottom left picture ^ I’ve been to about 5 of his restaurants so far. My chelsea, My China, My Chi Chi and others I don’t remember the name of. They’re all okay but they are pricier because of his celeb factor.
In Korea they usually guide you to your seats and then walk away. They don’t introduce themselves or ask you what drinks you’d like. They just leave and don’t come back for awhile..lol. Since there is not tipping they really couldn’t care less whether you like them or not LOL. Water is given in jugs and are placed at your table so they are self-served. Some places ask you to come and order at the front so look out for that~~
Okay. As shown in the picture above cream pasta in Korea is the BOMB. Legit, it’s very different than how Americans serve pasta in America. I like it so much better in Korea. It’s very thick and creamy and pure. Beware though because anything foreign food is hella expensive. Pasta is around $18!!!
Pizza of any kind, even delivery, is around $30-$50 with delivery..WHUUUT. Ridiculous. I did not eat pizza while staying in Korea for this reason. The picture above on the left is pizza my friend Lyssa ordered..she said it did not taste good. The dough was black! Koreans do very fancy shmancy things with pizza man..
As for more traditional Korean places, chicken, beef and lamb kabobs are the way to go. My friends and I went to get lamb kabobs and it was so fun! There was a rotating pit that roasted the skewers and you cooked them yourself! We ordered lamb, chicken, and shrimp and they were all really yummy!
THEY’RE SO MUCH CUTER THAN THEY ARE IN AMERICAAAAAAAAAAAAA.
Even the Baskin Robbins is better man. USA, you is slacking..
The design of the store from the beginning is cuter. The door handles are shaped like the iconic pink Baskin Robbin spoons! You can just tell how much effort they put into the look and feel of the place.
This ice cream here is a scoop of Shooting Star which is berries & vanilla ice cream with pop rocks mixed in! It was pretty good and I thought the pop rocks would be nasty in ice cream but it’s actually quite yummy!
SULBINGGGGG! The King of dessert cafes! I needed to go there because I saw Bangtan eat Sulbing and they raved about it so I had to tryyyy! I went to the one in Insadong and that place was a hot mess. The cashier girl was completely confusing; she told me to order on the other side but there was not even a cashier there. That was the pick-up corner. I think she was having a bad day and she picked me to face her wrath. Anyhoo I ordered a double chocolate bingsoo (shaved ice) and it was HUGE. The white squares were cream cheese and whipped cream on top! The powdered chocolate made it hard to chew and swallow with ease…lol. Me and my friend finished most of it though! This place was two floors which was really nice but no one was cleaning up after themselves..they just left their trays near the trash so there were piles of junk everywhere. There was a sign that clearly said to bring the trays back downstairs to the drop-off area. Rudeee.. But the employees still should’ve put more effort into tidying up. That was a huge turn off about the franchise in general~
This is another cute ice cream store in Itaewon! I think it was called O’Shake! I’m not positive but the ice cream was cheap and good! As you can see from the picture above a milkshake is only $2! Holy crap I can barely get a single scoop for $4 in my neighborhood..
If you’re planning on eating inside the place with your friends for hours, try to order more as the hours go by just out of politeness. If you buy like a water and lounge in there for 2-3 hours they might ask you to leave…!
Omg there was this one ice cream store in Incheon inside the Fairytale village that wouldn’t even let you stand inside their store unless you bought something! Even if you’re with a friend and they bought something you still have to leave!! It was July and freaking over 90 degree weather.. I was about to murder them for making me leave their air conditioned igloo…grr.
Anywayyyy! That’s all for dining in Korea!! If you’re planning a trip budget a lot for food!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! its. so. good. you won’t regret it I promiseee!!!
Until next time!