green tea waffle red bean paste iced
	milk tea and iPod in Seoul, Korea egg dish in Daegu, Korea soda served in illustrated cups in Daegu, South Korea

Eating and Drinking

Korean Food

Traditional Korean food is generally very fresh and low in fat.

kimchi bulgogi and brown seaweed traditional Korean food

The most famous Korean dish is kimchi or fermented cabbage. It has a very distinct taste that some people love and some people don't, but there is no denying its healthy properties. It is the keystone of Korean cuisine.

I'm told the second most important Korean dish is bulgogi or thinly sliced marinated beef.

There are certain flavors and spices unique to Korea that are just not found in the West. This is a great adventure that all travelers should take advantage of.

With that said, some Western stomachs are wussies when it comes to Korean food, even though it's not even that spicy. In this case, I have found peppermint tea and bread is a nice solution. Also, taking a break from authentic fare and hitting up the Burker King can actually settle the stomach. Weird, I know.

Western Food

Western food is becoming increasingly more common in Korea. Burger King, The Coffee Bean and Starbucks all have strong footholds in Korea. While these companies may try to customize their product to Korea (see the BK Bulgogi Burger), if you are homesick, some Western food just might be the cure.


For general liquids, bottled water and sports drinks are available everywhere. I didn't drink the tap water, but I did drink stream water while hiking and it was delicious. As a disclaimer, I'm not sure of the actual health risks involved in this, but I grew up in the woods, so we tend to tune out a lot of health warnings.

For adults, alcoholic beverages and social drinking has a very definite place in Korean culture. If you are offered a drink, it is very rude to reject it.