One of the best things about South Korea that makes traveler’s life way more easy and comfortable is that there are hundreds and thousands of Korean convenience stores! See the map below and look how many convenience stores there are just in Seoul! (Surprised?)Not only travelers and tourists can easily find them, but also get what they need at all times because they are 24/7 (well, almost all of them in the major cities). Don’t need to worry about going to grocery store or mart, or if your drinks run out in the middle of the night! Just run into these convenience stores nearby! ;)
1. Samgak (Triangular) Gimbap
Well, these ‘Samgak(Triangular) Gimbap’ are one of the best-selling products in Korean convenience stores. And you can enjoy them with variety of flavors from mayonnaise & tuna to spicy fried-pork! It’s a rice with different recipes inside and dried seaweed wrapping the whole things around. Here’s one you should try, ‘Jeonju Bibim Samgak-Gimbap.’ This is spicy (just a little) and sweet, and tastes like Bibimbap. ;)
Nowadays, there’s a fierce competition between the brands that sell ‘dosirak’, or lunch boxes, because people in Korea (especially in the city areas) are very busy for proper dining time, as well as the increase in the number of single diners.So, among the popular lunch boxes like ‘Baek Jong-won’s Dosirak’, ‘Shin Dong-yeob’s Dosirak’, ‘Hye-ri’s Dosirak’, here’s ‘Kim Hye-ja’s Dosirak’, which Koreans praise a lot because of its comparatively low price for the amount of side dishes and rice, and of course, the great taste!
So, if you want to save some travel expense on food, then these lunch boxes are absolutely for budget travelers!
3. Giant Tteokbokki (Spicy Rice Cake)
Don’t really know who actually started combining this ‘Giant Tteokbokki’ with a cheese string from the convenience store, but it kicked off a new trend. It’s a popular thing right now for Koreans to create different menus out of the recipes only from convenience stores.
4. Hot Bar
Hot bar..Sounds strange, right?! Well, think of it as a chocolate bar, except these ‘hot bars’ take various shapes, from rectangular to round (resembles a sausage), and they are made out of different ingredients like pork, chicken, seafood, etc. And they have a stick in them so that you can eat the bar comfortably!
Rip off just a little bit of its cover and warm the bar in a microwave (you can find it somewhere inside the convenience store) and enjoy it!
5. Popcorn Snacks
In South Korea, there are delicious popcorn snacks, 99% tastes and looks like real home-made popcorns! Plus, these popcorns are in various flavors, and like the pic above, ‘Butter-garlic Popcorn’ is the most best-selling snacks! Try every one of its flavors!
6. Soonbaek Uyoo (Pure White Milk) Steamed Buns
Usually steamed buns in convenience stores come in different recipes like vegetables, meat, pizza, or red bean. But, this one, like its name, has milk custard inside, which is very soft and creamy. Warm the bun in a microwave for 30 sec and it becomes a perfect snack during cold winter months. ;)
7. Petitzel’s Creme Chocolat Sweet Roll
‘Petitzel’ is a name of a brand and ‘Creme Chocolat Sweet Roll’ is one of their products. Quite recently released, it’s gaining popularity as a dessert. Along this sweet roll, another recommended product is ‘Creme Chocolat Pudding’, which tastes very creamy and sweet!
9. Grand Yogurt
Korean-style yogurt is quite different from the yogurts you’ve tried in other countries. It’s more like a sweet liquid. One of the ways Koreans like to enjoy this yogurt is to put it in the freezer and enjoy it as a frozen ice cream-like yogurt. Plus, these yogurt products used to be small in size but they got bigger! Buy ‘Grand Yogurt’ from convenience store and try it!
8. Olbareun Burrito
‘Olbareun’ in Korean literally means ‘proper’ or ‘right’, which implies that these burritos are just right alternative for a meal! There are 3 different kinds of flavors: Quatro Cheese, Spicy Chicken Breast, and Beef & Jalapenos. All of them are great, so choose according to your preference!
10. Ouidaehan (Great) Cheese Bulgogi Burger
‘Oeuidaehan’ is actually a brand name and their products have ‘Oeuidaehan’ in the name (so, it’s like a series). Among the Oeuidaehan’s products like hot dogs, pizza, and instant tteokbokki, the burgers are the most popular ones. Especially the Cheese Bulgogi Burger! Like its name, they taste great and they only costs 2,300 KRW.
So, if you are planning a trip or already traveling around South Korea, try Korean convenience store foods and snacks! You can save money on dining and save time. ;) If you want to find out more what’s more there to eat in South Korea, try browsing through Korea’s #1 travel guide, Trazy.com.