(An array of different Korean hot dogs, can you spot the french fries dog? That’s just the tip of the iceburg.)
One of the best things about South Korea is that they have street food everywhere, I mean “everywhere”. Literally on every other block, you will see a bunch of street food trucks, tents, etc…etc…
(Dukpogi (떡복기) shown above)
There’s also many, many different types of street food. Probably the most popular street food is the Dukpogi. “Duk” means rice cake, “pogi” means mixed. Together, it means spicy mixed rice cake in thick Korean chili sauce. Also, many street food retailers will put some fish cake with the Dukpogi, which tastes very good as well.
You can learn to make this Dukpogi at home but it won’t taste the same as if you eat it in the streets of Korea.
Also, another popular street food is the Mandu(만두) or dumplings in English. When you are hungry and you see this Mandu, you cannot resist eating it. Besides, it’s cheap, make a dollar or two for a small serving.
I used to work in Korea for a year couple years back. At least one day out of the week, I would eat some street food as my dinner and no, I never regret that, I miss it. Also, Korean street food isn’t that bad for your health like McDonalds, you feel good afterwards, well at least I do.
Also another popular street food is the Oh-Deng (오뎅), which means fishcake. Since Korea is very cold (near freezing or snowing) in the Fall and the Winter, you will get a complementary Oh-Deng soup with order of anything. This Oh-Deng soup is really good when you are freezing your butt off.
This is called the Gold Fish Bread (잉어빵), there’s actually no fish inside, it has sweet beans inside.
Here’s some fresh chicken kabobs (생닭꼬치), this person specializes in these chicken kabobs only, made fresh to order.
Here’s another street food, if you look close, it’s a small truck that has been converted into a street food shop. Nowadays, these street food shops actually have a license to park here and sell food.
More different types of street food shown here, this is some kind of Japanese dumplings.
Here’s a street food stand that sells roasted chestnuts.
Street food has become a part of South Korean culture and over the last 20 years, there’s been more “creative” foods. If you don’t have any money but you goto South Korea, you can literally live on street food.
But be aware, most street food stands and most retailers/shops in Korea don’t open until 11AM. People start their day later in South Korea as far as retail shops go but they are usually open all night long, which is great since you don’t have to worry about curfew like here in the States. Most bars in Korea are open until 5-6AM in the morning so you won’t have a problem getting faded.
Here’s a video I took while at one of the food stands in Korea: