Seoul is a bustling metropolis with countless food options. It seems like there are just too many choices on authentic, yet modern Korean cuisine. Especially for foreigners living in South Korea, it can be difficult to find restaurants that are popular among local Koreans for their homemade ingredients. When Daniel Gray of Delectable Travels invited me and other fellow Korea bloggers on his hipster Seoul Food Tour, he showed us exactly these kinds of eateries.
Here’s what the Seoul Food tour has in store for you:
The Tour Guides
Delectable Travels is a local travel company by food blogger Daniel Gray and his wife Yoonie. Before starting the food tours in Seoul, Daniel was already active in the culinary scene as he writes his blog Seoul Eats. With Delectable Travels, Daniel and his wife have created fun food experiences for foreigners to promote Korean cuisine.
Daniel invited us on his “Hipster Tour”, which took place in the trendy area of Hapjeong-dong, an upcoming area with lots of hip eats. We met at 6 PM and ventured off on our 3-hour long tour.
Stop #1 Korean BBQ
Daniel and Yoonie took us to a lovely Korean BBQ restaurant in Hapjeong-dong for our first stop of the tour. The restaurant’s specialty is Samgyeopsal (pork belly), which I usually tend to avoid because of the large fatty parts of the meat. However, the restaurant absolutely blew me away with its homemade marinates in which they let the pork (and beef too!) soak for 3 days! After the day-long preparation is complete, the meat is tender and soft – just how I like it! Daniel also explained how Koreans love to eat several meals at different restaurants when going out for dinner. The first place is usually a BBQ restaurant because the food is not heavy and the soju (Korean alcohol) accompanying the meat lightens up the mood.
Stop #2 Korean Pancakes And Rice Wine
Next up was a local favorite, known for its superb Korean pancakes, jeon, and rice wine, makgeolli. I have had jeon before but did not know how many variations there were. We got to try meatballs, spam, tofu, chili and fish. I loved the laid-back atmosphere and had a chance to chat with fellow Korean bloggers, including Star from 87pages, Kate from the Toronto Seoulcialite and Rebel Annie.
Stop #3 Local Korean Market
On our way to our final stop, Daniel took us through an authentic Korean market offering lots of delicious snacks. In fact, Mangwon Market is filled with some of the oldest Korean street food stands in the city. For example, Daniel showed us his all-time favorite Korean chicken stand that offers chicken of different varieties in homemade sauces. I also loved trying Hotteok, sweet Korean pancakes, that are perfect for colder weather!
Final Stop: Dakgalbi
While my stomach was already pretty full by the time we reached the last stop, my eyes were surely attracted by the amazing dakgalbi (spicy stir-fried chicken) Daniel presented us. We commenced immersing in Korean culture by playing several fun drinking games involving Korean beer and soju (Korean schnaps). The atmosphere was relaxed and everyone seemed to enjoy the tour and company of one another.
Are You Hungry Yet?
Whether you are traveling Seoul or have been living in Korea for years – Delectable Travels‘ food experiences will absolutely blow you away. You will be taken to some of the best restaurants and hidden gems in the city. Even though we had popular Korean dishes, they were served with a modern twist. I also enjoyed the cultural aspect of the tour when Daniel showed us drinking games and told us about the importance of eating in Korean society. This Seoul food tour is a must for anyone looking for great food in a great city with great people.
Thank you, Delectable Travels for this amazing Seoul Food Tour experience.