Cash strapped from all your shopping in Seoul? We feel you. Ranked the 8th most expensive city to live in by the CNN, a vacation to Seoul may seem like it’s out to rob but thanks to KKday’s budget food travel guide to Seoul, you can now afford to eat like a king without breaking the bank. Here are 7 best eateries in Seoul that serves delicious food at dirt-cheap prices.
1. Tonkatsu at Cochon Tonkatsu (~$3.60)
Where on Earth can you find Tonkatsu for merely 3,000 won (~$3.60 SGD)? Despite its shockingly cheap price, Cochon Tonkatsu does not loosen its reins on the quality of their food. Crisp yet tender, the incredible pork cutlet is served with rice and miso soup. The crisp outer layer is achieved using homemade batter, and the Tonkatsu is deep-fried to golden perfection. Situated in the university district, Cochon Tonkatsu is immensely popular amongst students, so do pop by early to avoid the lunch crowd!
3,000 won (~$3.60 SGD)
2 Myeongmul 1-gil, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea
2. Mapo Mandu (~$3.60)
Galbi Mandu, otherwise known as Korean dumplings, is a popular street snack in South Korea. A simple recipe of minced meat and vegetables wrapped in dumpling skin, Galbi Mandu is easy to make yet hard to master. Mapo Mandu serves 10 mouth-watering ones for only 3,000 won (~$3.60 SGD). Yep, you’ve heard us right. You could order 20 dumplings from Mapo Mandu and still have your bill under $10.
3,000 won (~$3.60 SGD)
393-1, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
3. Pomato (~$3.60 – $9)
Pomato is the Korean version of McDonalds, only better. Usually situated near Seoul’s subway stations, Pomato offers a variety of authentic Korean dishes mostly ranging from 3,000 to 5,000 won (~$3.60 to $6 SGD). The best part? Pomato is available 24/7.
Gone are the days where ramyeon (Korean for instant noodle) was the only answer to midnight cravings. Despite its dirt cheap prices, Pomato promises to bring all patrons only the tastiest meals with the best ingredients. Next time you’re hungry and broke in Seoul, you know where to go!
Ranges mostly from 3,000 to 7,500 won (~$3.60 to $9 SGD)
- Seocho-dong 1307-22, Seocho-gu, Seoul
- Sindaebang 2(i)-dong 347-13, Dongjak-gu, Seoul
- Jeonnong-dong 295-30, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul
- Yeoksam-dong 826-27, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
4. Hansot Dosirak (~$3 – $12)
Hansot Dosirak is probably every money pincher’s go-to in Seoul. Offering an array of delicious Korean food in black bento boxes starting from as cheap as 2,500 won (~ $3 SGD), it upsets us that Hansot Dosirak is not available in Singapore.
Even with those ridiculously low prices, Hansot Dosirak is generous with their servings with meat chunks coming in sizeable potions. Even if you’re still feeling hungry after a bento box, you can order another and still stay under budget.
2,500 won to 10, 000 won (~$3 to $12 SGD)
3-33 Haengdang-dong, Seongdong-gu, Seoul, South Korea
5. Seoho Gimbap
Popular amongst Koreans, gimbap is a roll of seasoned rice and ingredients wrapped with seaweed. Resembling maki sushi, gimbap reached its peak of popularity with Koreans when it was made affordable by Seoho Gimbap.
Pleasing to the eye, taste bud, and wallet, it’s no wonder that Seoho Gimbap is driving the crowds crazy with their rice rolls. You know what they say, Korea and gimbap comes in a package; there cannot be one without the other. Pop by Seoho Gimbap when you’re in Seoul for a taste of authentic gimbap.
From 3,600 won (~$4.30 SGD)
141-1, Bangbaejungang-ro Seocho-gu Seoul 137-830
6. Banchan, Sigol Bapsang (~$9.60)
An important component of the Korean food culture, Banchan refers to a series of small side dishes that are usually served with a bowl of rice at an eatery. For just 8,000 won (~$9.60 SGD), you can indulge in a feast of 28 different Korean side dishes served with rice and Jjigae (spicy stew) at Sigol Bapsang.
Get bang for your buck at Sigol Bapsang as the side dishes are subjected to unlimited refill as well. That’s like a buffet, but cheaper and available 24/7.
8,000 won (~$9.60 SGD)
738-17 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
7. Myeongdong Kyoja (~$9.60 – $12)
Any trip to Myeongdong and this would be the popularly recommended place to visit for a bowl of good Kalguksu noodles and Kyoja dumplings. Similar to handmade noodles we would be familiar with, theirs was on the softer side and easy to slurp up on. The winner for me was the tasty broth with minced meat. On the whole, it was quite a simple dish but very enjoyable especially in the cold winter weather. The other dish commonly seen on every table would be their Kyoga dumplings. Thinly wrapped skin with generous fillings of minced meat and a little vegetable, great even for those who do not like vegetable. The place only had these 2-3 items on its menu but yet it had a consistent flow of crowd, popular amongst both locals and tourists. #burpple #foodgasm #foodpics #foodlover #foodstagram #foodstagram #foodie #instagramsg #instasg #whati8today #nomnomnom #stfoodtrending #burpproved #seoulkorea #myeongdong #koreaneats #koreanfood #noodles #dumpling #korea #seoul #kyoja
Ask any local for the best food in Seoul and they’d direct you to Myeongdong Kyoja. Though the priciest of the lot, Myeongdong Kyoja serves delicious Kalguksu and Mandu dumplings that’s worth every dollar spent.
A signature dish at Myeongdong Kyoja, Kalguksu — which translates to knife-cut noodles — are made from flour dough cut into thin slices using a knife. Myeongdong Kyoja‘s Kalguksu are of exceptional texture whilst the broth is savoury.
Myeongdong Kyoja’s side of steaming hot dumplings is also well-loved amongst locals and food critics since it began in 1964. Order a sidedish of their hot dumplings to finish off the best meal you’ll probably ever have in Seoul.
8,000 won to 10,000 won ($9.60 to $12 SGD)
Myeongdong 10-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul (Myeong-dong 2-ga)
For more travel guides about Seoul:
>> 20 Things You Must Do On Your First Trip To Seoul
>> 10 Must-Go Shopping Spots in Korea
>> 5 Must-Have Apps If You’re Travelling To South Korea