A Complete Guide To The Best Seoul Food Tours
South Korea and especially Seoul is a paradise for real foodies! You will find an abundance of Seoul night markets, Korean street food stalls and traditional Korean restaurants. But what are the best places to visit? Where can you find famous Korean food? And what is the must eat Korean food? The best way to find out is by taking a Seoul Food Tour of the many vibrant markets in Seoul! Read on to find out more.
The Korean food market scene is a vibrant and rapidly growing industry that has gained immense popularity in recent years. Korean cuisine is known for its unique flavors, vibrant colors, and healthy ingredients. In many parts of the world, Korean restaurants and street food vendors are popping up, and supermarkets are stocking up on Korean food products. Korean food exports have also been steadily increasing, with kimchi being one of the most popular and well-known Korean foods. With the rise of Korean pop culture, known as K-pop, and Korean dramas, known as K-dramas, the interest in Korean food has also increased. The Korean food market scene is expected to continue to grow as people around the world discover and enjoy the delicious and healthy flavors of Korean cuisine.
- Things To Know About Seoul
- Why Should You Take A Seoul Food Tour?
- The Best Seoul Food Tours
- Food Tour And Cooking Classes
- Frequently Asked Questions
Things To Know About Seoul
- Getting Around Seoul: The Seoul public transport system is great. It is super easy to get from one side of the city to the other in less than an hour. Make sure to get a transportation card to use on the public transport.
- Tap Water: The tap water in Korea is safe to drink and it is one of the cleanest water in Asia. Make sure to bring your reusable bottle as many museums and public spaces have drinking fountains.
- What To Wear: This depends on which season you’ll be visiting Korea. Check this guide on what to wear in Korea for more info.
Why Should You Take A Seoul Food Tour?
So why should you go a food tour instead of venturing out by yourself? First of all food tours allow you to taste food risk-free. If you go out on your own you would order one dish, the chances are that you end up not liking it. With a food tour you get to try very small portions of different kind of dishes, even if you don’t like one of the dishes, you still get to sample other yummy food. Second of all your local Seoul food guide will teach you things you can not learn from a guide book. You will learn stories from the local vendors and restaurant owners, which gives your experiences an extra touch. Finally, a tour guide takes you off the beaten path to the more local hidden restaurants. Which is a great way to experience the real local culture.
The Best Seoul Food Tours
There are multiple food tours running in Seoul, each with their own theme and different location. From group Korean night food market tours to alcohol tours. There are so many districts in Seoul with great food and excellent markets. Seoul is really a foodie city!
1. Gwangjang Market Tasting Tour
Gwangjang market located in Jongyo is the first permanent market in Korea, and is a very popular street food destination especially for local Koreans. The huge but compact market is still not that popular among foreign tourists. It is almost hard to believe that Gwangjang Market Seoul houses over 5000 shops and has more than 20 000 employees.
On a 3 hour Seoul street food tour, you will have the opportunity to try one main meal, a couple of snacks and a traditional drink.
The Seoul food guide, was born and raised in Korea but is fluent in English. His passion for food and history really reflects in his tours and in his explanation of the background and history of each dish and street vendor. If you’re brave enough the ‘live octopus’ is a must try! This is one of the most authentic food tours I’ve tried so far.
2. An In Depth Food Tour With Context Travel
Context travel creates tours all around the world which focus on giving a deeper context to travelers. The tours are with no more than 6 people and the guides are ‘specialists’ in the field.
Context travel has two docents on the Savoring Seoul Food Tour: Beyond Bibimbap, both equally passionate about history and food. The tour starts at 10 AM in front of Gwangjang Market. This tour is for a very small group or even private bookings.
Price: Check latest price here
Discount: Use FRIENDS10 for a 10% discount
3. Bukchon Traditional Korean Alcohol Tour With Gastro Tour
We all know that Koreans love to drink! But what exactly is it they like to consume? The most popular alcoholic drinks in Korea are soju, a distilled spirit, and Makeolli, a rice wine. These drinks can be purchased at any convenience store, but are 100 times better when made by a local brewer.
The brew master tour run by Veronica (Korean food tours master) at Gastro Tour Seoul focuses on introducing modern masters who are still brewing and distilling their own traditional Korean alcohol. During the tour you will learn the whole process of turning rice into Soju and Makeolli. On the tour you will have the opportunity to sample different kinds of alcohol which will be served alongside with some pork, seafood and side dishes.
4. Noryangjin Fish Seoul Food Tour
Noryangjin Fish Market opened originally in 1927, just next to Seoul Station but was moved to it’s current location in 1971. Around 300 tons of marine products are traded through the market each day in wholesales and in retails. The market is most lively around 3 AM as then visitors can see a live fish auction.
On this 2,5 hour tour with your local Korean food guide, you will be able to choose your own fish from one of the vendors and take it to the restaurants on the second floor to have it prepared for you. Without a local Korean guide, you will struggle buying the fish at the right price, so this tour is perfect if you like to try a local experience.
Availability: Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday 14:00 – 16:30
Price: 89 000 per person (2 people minimum)
5. Korean Street Food and BBQ Tour
BBQ is huge in South Korea, you can’t have been to Seoul without trying a proper Korean BBQ with soju or makgeolli. During the tour you’ll have the opportunity to try different street food like Korean style egg muffin, spicy rice cake and fried pork dumplings and finish with a proper barbecue. The tour starts around Anguk station, which is at the entrance of Bukchon traditional hanok village, and ends in Insadong.
Availability: Wednesday/Thursday/Friday 13:00 – 15:30
Price: 59 000 per person
Food Tour And Cooking Classes
Instead of taking a food tour, why not go for a market tour and cooking class? So you can learn to make all your favourite Korean dishes and show of at your next house dinner party.
1. Cooking Class And Market Tour
Spicen up your food tour by adding a cooking class to it. Learn how to make real Korean food from a professional. Every day there is a different dish on the menu, so if you are looking for a specific dish to cook then make sure to check the calendar.
Dishes include Sundubu-jigae, Haemul-pajeon, Bulgogi, Bibimbap, Doenjang-jjigae, Dakbokkeum-tang and Japchae. These are all traditional Korean dishes. The classes are designed for beginners who want to learn more about the Korean kitchen and the local cuisine.
Price: 70 000 per person
2. Food Tours And Cooking Classes By OME
OME stands for 5 tastes. This cooking school will take you to the local Korean markets and teach you how to make the best Korean dishes including Ginseng Chicken Soup, Kimchi, Korean Pancakes, Korean BBQ, Kimbap, Ddeokbokki, Korean Tofu Pot, Boiled Pork, Cabbage Soybean Paste Stew, Nabemono and traditional Korean desserts.
Each day of the week the menu is different and during the class you’ll learn how to make multiple dishes. The cooking class and walking tour take around 4 hours from start to finish.
Price: 60 000 per person
3. Korean Fried Chicken Market Tour And Cooking Class
Friend chicken in Korea is like an institution. It is one of the most popular things to eat among locals and foreign visitors. Like no other fried chicken in the world. This cooking class specialized just in Korean fried chicken. It starts of by going on a food walking tour in a local market and continues with a cooking class.
Availability: Thursday and Friday
Price: 100 000 per person
Frequently Asked Questions
Gwangjang Market is by far the best place to take a food tour in Seoul. It is a huge market that isn’t too touristic yet.
Most tours have vegetarian/vegan or gluten free options, but please double check with tour company before booking.