Delving into the Korean Street Food Scene


It is impossible to visit South Korea without experiencing (or at least seeing) stalls of street food, which are located in every city and town throughout the country. There are even certain areas in Korea which I believe have the best of the best of certain kinds of street food. Street food is a large part of the South Korean culture and can be great when you are out all day and need something cheap to eat, or after a long night of partying.

There is a HUGE amount of different kinds of street food in Korea. Instead of making a full guide to Korean street food, I am going to list my top-3 street food picks. If you are interested in longer lists discussing street food, check out the ‘Further Reading’ section at the bottom of the post.

Hotteok (호떡)

hotteok busan

Hotteok (호떡) is a sweet pancake-like food that is filled with sugar, stuffed peanuts, or sesame seeds.

In Seoul, my favorite place to buy Hotteok is in Myeongdong (although many people go to Insadong to get the famous sweet hotteok). Outside of Seoul, the best versions I have tasted have been in Daegu and Busan.

Tteokbokki /Ddeokbokki  (떡볶이)

Tteokbokki is rice cakes served in red pepper chili sauce. It is usually served with odeng or noodles and an egg, but there are many variations of the dish that people have created to turn the snack into a meal.

Tteokbokki is such a wildly popular street food in South Korea that there is even a Tteokbokki Town

[떡볶이 타운] in Seoul!

Odeng (오뎅)

Odeng is fishcake on a long stick that is served with a small paper cup of spicy soup. I

Interesting fact: Odeng is also sometimes referred to as eomuk [어묵] the original name of the fishcake on a stick. 

More about Korean Street Food…

There are a number of other Korean street foods that I enjoy including: Mandu (만두) which are Korean dumplings;  Kimbap (김밥) which are Korean dried seaweed rolls filled with rice, vegetables, and meat;  and Gogooma (고구마) which are Korean sweet potatoes.

Further Reading

Are you interested in reading more about Korean street foods? Check out the links below!

Have you ever tried Korean street food? What are your favorites?

By |2017-07-30T01:10:10+00:00May 27th, 2014|Culinary Tourism, South Korea|11 Comments


  1. Pauline May 28, 2014 at 11:36 am - Reply

    I LOVE Korean street food. Toronto has quite the thriving Korean population, so I’ve had my fair share and they’re delicious. I’m obsessed with those Tteokbokki and the fish waffle filled with red beans (LOVE!). I actually learned how to make the tteokbokki over the weekend – pretty easy stuff!

    • Chanel May 28, 2014 at 7:53 pm - Reply

      I will definitely have to try to make it up to Toronto to try the Korean food there! 🙂 Thanks for visiting!

  2. Bianca @itsallbee Jun 2, 2014 at 3:08 am - Reply

    I would love to visit South Korea someday! Those little dumplings are calling my name 😀

    Champagne and Scones – Afternoon Tea At Milestone

    • Chanel Jun 2, 2014 at 11:28 am - Reply

      Hi Biance, thanks for visiting! You definitely should visit South Korea, the food is amazing! 😀

  3. Agness Jun 2, 2014 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    Yummy, yummy! I’m a big fan of Korean BBQ meals, but I see Korean cuisine has so much to offer when it comes to street food. I’ve never heard of Hotteok, but I love sweet pancake with peanuts so I guess I would have it for my breakfast or snack when in South Korea!

    • Chanel Jun 2, 2014 at 10:34 pm - Reply

      Yes there are so many different options to explore with Korean street food. Hotteok is amazing as a quick street food and it is one of my favorites!

  4. Sarah@Travelcake Jun 9, 2014 at 9:38 am - Reply

    This looks so tasty! It’s a shame we don’t have any Korean food places where I live, I’d love to try some!

    • Chanel Jun 9, 2014 at 1:31 pm - Reply

      Yes the street food is so delicious in Korea!

  5. Michelle Jun 9, 2014 at 1:21 pm - Reply

    Those all look so good! I’ve been obsessed with korean food ever since I found the most perfect restaurant here in Munich haha. There’s this pork belly dish that’s amazing. I also love bulgogi and bibimbap!

    • Chanel Jun 9, 2014 at 1:31 pm - Reply

      When I come to Munich I have to sample that restaurant that you found! 🙂

  6. Katie Aug 23, 2014 at 8:25 pm - Reply

    Street food is only 1 of a million reasons I am so excited to go to South Korea in T-minus 3 1/2 weeks! Love the pictures and how delicious everything looks. The names of things are so tricky though!

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