World ? Asia ? South Korea

South Korea: Best Dining Bets

  • Noshing in the Food Alley in Namdaemun Market (Seoul): You haven't really experienced the charm of an outdoor market until you've had a bite to eat from the street vendors in this shijang (market). Fuel up for your next round of shopping with a fresh flatcake hot off the griddle or a plate of soondae (blood sausage).

  • Enjoying a Cup of Tea While Overlooking the City's Shoppers (Seoul): Although Seoul's Insadong district has more traditional tea shops, the modern O'Sulloc Tea House is a great place to rest your tired feet and let the world pass by on the streets below.

  • Cooking Your Own Meat on a Tabletop Grill: For the full Korean dining experience you really must try galbi (beef short ribs) or samgyupsal (sliced pork) that you've cooked yourself on a grill at your table.

  • Dine on Top of the World (Seoul): Okay, so you're not technically on top of the world, but you do get a pretty great view of the city below when you dine at Top Cloud. Come for dinner, when the lights of Seoul twinkle below.

  • Drinking Homemade Rice Wine in a Remote Village: If you get a chance to travel to one of South Korea's small villages, stop under one of the thatched roof joints to enjoy a gourd full of the milky rice wine makgeolli, and some good old-fashioned traditional food.

  • Having Hot Chicken Soup on an Equally Hot Day: Certain Koreans believe that fighting fire with fire is the way to go. So to beat the oppressive summer heat, the masses get their own bowl of samgyetang (young chicken soup). If that doesn't keep the doctor away, nothing will.

  • Picking Your Catch at Jagalchi Market: There's a certain power to deciding which fish is going to get sliced up for your hwae (raw fish) meal. Luckily you just point and the work is done for you, and you can't get it any fresher than that.

  • Eating Fresh-Caught Live Squid: There's nothing like having to catch your food with your chopsticks before it has a chance to wriggle away. In Jeju-do, Busan, or other seaside towns, look for this exciting delicacy for adventurous eaters.

  • Enjoying Everyday Jeolla-do Cuisine (Jeolla-do): The Jeolla-do region has the best food in the whole country -- and it's not just Jeolla residents who'll tell you this. You can walk into any restaurant and get a good, if not excellent, meal without breaking the bank. A regular hanjeongshik (Korean traditional meal) is a great way to enjoy the fresh vegetables and rice from the area.

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