To truly understand a city and its culture, one must take the time to appreciate and experience its food scene. With Seoul, it is no different and Myeong-dong is one of the best places to immerse yourself in some authentic and tasty Korean street food.
Besides being a good place to embark on your street food journey in Seoul, Myeong-dong is also filled with endless streets of cosmetic stores, clothing boutiques and plenty of great deals.
From perennial favourites such as the Hweori Gamja and Ddeokbokki, here are 20 Best Street Foods You Must Try When At Myeong-dong. Well, you can’t shop on an empty stomach, right?
#1 BEEF STEAKS
Who says you can only have steak at a proper restaurant? You can find a few stalls in Myeong-dong selling beef steaks done on the spot for you. Do not be surprised to find a crowd around these stalls because it is impossible to resist the heavenly aroma of these sizzling beef steaks.
Bunggeo-ppang (“carp bread”) is a golden and crispy fish-shaped pastry which is traditionally stuffed with a sweet red bean paste. If you are not fond of red bean, you will be able to find alternative versions of this street food at Myeong-dong, where the Bunggeo-ppang is filled with other fillings such as pastry cream and chocolate.
#3 CHEESE DDEOKBOKKI
You may know what Ddeokbokki is but have you tried cheese ddeokbokiki? Instead of pairing the rice cake with the standard spicy sauce, this one grilled lightly and wrapped with cheese and sweet condensed milk. Definitely a sweet treat you should not miss out!
Ddeokbokki—or stir-fried rice cakes—is one of the more famous Korean street foods that most would know, popularised by various Korean dramas. Primarily consisting of small rice cakes, fish cakes, boiled eggs, scallions are examples of the kind of ingredients that are often added to the sweet and spicy mix.
Hot and fulfilling, this would be a good street food to have especially during the cold winters in Seoul.
#5 EOMUK GUK
A good street food to have during the cold and harsh Seoul winters, Eomuk Guk encompasses fish cake skewers served with hot broth. Not only will this be a good snack or light meal to have, Eomuk Guk is often ordered as a side dish whilst partaking in alcoholic beverages.
#6 FISH CAKE SKEWERS
If fish cakes in soup are too boring for you, go for these skewers wrapped with fish cake! There are many choices for you to pick from but our favourite of the lot goes to the sausages wrapped with fried fish cake.
Gimbap is a quintessential Korean dish that all must know. It is the Korean variant of sushi, which comprises rice and various meat and vegetable fillings compressed together in sheets of dried laver seaweed. The rice is also seasoned with salt and sesame oil.
#8 GRILLED OCTOPUS SKEWERS
Aside from Eomuk Guk, grilled octopus is another popular street food snack in Korea that is often paired together with an alcoholic beverage or two. Simply marinated with salt, the octopus skewers are crispy and chewy and you would find yourself finishing this snack before you know it.
#9 HONEY VANILLA ICE CREAM BREAD
Those who are looking to satisfy their dessert cravings can look out for this stall offering Honey Vanilla Ice Cream Bread. While the concept is nothing new, the ice cream treat is a choice that cannot go wrong—especially during humid and hot days in Seoul.
#10 HWEORI GAMJA
Also affectionately known as the Tornado Potato, Hweori Gamja is recognised as South Korea’s famous spiral street food. Served with various seasonings such as chilli, cheese or barbeque powder, you can also enjoy a sausage encased in Hweori Gamja itself.
A timeless classic, Jajangmyeon is a Korean Chinese noodle dish featuring noodles tossed in black bean sauce. While it looks unassuming, Jajangmyeon is actually very popular among the locals who eat it on a frequent basis. This savoury dish is perfect for those who are looking for something to fill their tummy up.
Japchae is huge in Korea and you can find it in many Korean eateries and restaurants. It is essentially stir-fried glass noodles with beef, bean sprouts, onion and vegetables. You can have it as a main or appetiser.
#13 KOREAN EGG TOAST
Yes, the Korean egg toast is as simple as it sounds—a half-boiled egg is fused with a deep fried bun. You have to eat this when you are in Seoul. Period.
#14 KOREAN GRILLED CHEESE LOBSTER
Albeit not the cheapest street food that you can find in Myeong-dong, the Korean grilled cheese lobster is worth a try if you lover seafood. Layered with a thick slab of cheese, the Korean grilled cheese lobster is a sinful treat worth indulging in.
#15 LOOP CHURROS
Loop churros are beautiful to look at and they make for great pictures to post on your social media sites. Churro stalls usually have a decent selection of toppings for customers to choose from—chocolate, strawberry, rainbow sprinkles and nuts.
Similar to the Japanese Gyoza, the Korean term ‘mandu’ means dumplings and if you have been to Korea, you would know that this is a must-try over there. Common fillings include minced meat and vegetables but they differ among stalls.
#17 MILKY BEE ROSE ICE CREAM
Although this is not a street food that you can purchase from street vendors, the Milky Bee rose ice cream is still found along the streets of Myeong-dong. Get your fix of this rose-shaped ice cream (similar to the famous Amorino ice cream) at Milky Bee, an ice cream parlour along the streets of Myeong-dong.
#18 RAINBOW COTTON CANDY
Not satisfied with just having a single-coloured cotton candy? Make sure that you seize the opportunity to grab some rainbow cotton candy during your visit to Myeong-dong. Skilfully prepared and presented in a cone shape, this is a pretty street food that will be sure to brighten up your Instagram feed.
Sausage skewers can be found everywhere in Myeong-dong and you are spoilt for choice when it comes to variety; there are those with cheese fillings and others wrapped with bacon. This is a sinful snack that we are willing to forgo our diet for!
Takoyaki is a flour-based snack that is shaped like a ball stuffed with different types of ingredients such as octopus, crab meat and squid. You get it piping hot from the pan and the Takoyaki balls are served with bonito flakes, mayonnaise and sweet sauce.
Looking for more food recommendations in Seoul? Read our Seoul Food Guide.