Seoul: food items and photos

Some typical food items:

  • kimchi: pickled spicy cabbage (served with every meal)
  • banchan: side dishes that accompany meals (inc. in price; excludes the soup, kimchi and sauces)
  • bibimbap: rice (bap) bowl with colourful veggies, meat (or seafood) and egg on top (can be ordered without meat/seafood)
  • dolsot bibimbap: bibimbap served in a stone hotpot (keeps the food warm longer, and you get some crispy rice at the bottom)
  • gochujang: spicy red pepper paste
  • galbi: beef ribs (I didn’t eat any, but including for semi-completeness)
  • bulgogi: thin slices of beef (or pork)
  • samgyeopsal: streaky pork belly
  • jjigae: like a stew, usually orange-coloured and served in a stone hotpot
  • jeon: savoury wheat pancakes
  • bindaetteok: savoury mung bean pancakes (heavier than jeon)


  • Meals usually include kimchi, soup and several banchan (how many of the latter depends on how fancy the resto is)
  • Taxes are included in the prices (or there are no taxes?)
  • Tipping is not expected (and would be insulting), though apparently some high end restos add a service charge
  • Water is served free (it was always safe in Seoul) or is available self-serve from a water filter machine; sometimes tea is served
  • Chopsticks are usually stainless steel (and rectangular at the narrow end, instead of round, which also helps grip food a little)
  • It’s hard to get truly vegetarian meals (except at Buddhist temples/restos) as most meals include some kind of meat, and even kimchi is often made with fish sauce

Here are a few photos of food and meals I had around Seoul (I pretty much enjoyed all of them!):

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