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Any recommendations for where to eat or even meta-recommendations about where to find out what to eat?

I will be in Seoul and also in Jeju in the south.


Of course I will try live octopus, silkworm larvae, cow intestines which haven't been cleaned, barbecue dog etc. etc. but more interested in delicious food than overcoming my gag reflex. My knowledge of Korean food is pretty limited to kimchi galbi etc.

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hong kong will probably only disappoint if you hit up the cosmopolitan high end. if you're into cantonese food, i don't think it's possible for it to disappoint.

Soley sleeping in Seoul ... 4 at the Four Seasons ... 3 at the Shilla   And now that I'm armed with the KakaoMap* app, which is the way to go, I believe, I'm sorta scratching my head a bit about why t

We were in Korea 5 yrs ago. Seoul, Busan and Jeju. One of our favorite countries. I won't even try to offer recs on Seoul as you'll find much more recent info than I can provide.


But I imagine Jeju island hasn't changed so much. Where are you staying and for how long? How will you be getting around? You’ll be with a group, couple, alone?


Jeju holds a special place in our hearts. Remote, beautiful with its volcanic formations, black sand beaches, incredibly friendly locals and great food. It’s also called Honeymoon Island as it is a popular destination for mainland knot tiers. Try not to laugh at the custom made, bright, matching t-shirts couples proudly sport.


We stayed near the harbor in Seogwapi, a small town on the southern coast with a mix of locals and tourists (but not overrun). We were on quite a tight budget (as we roamed Asia for 6 months) and stayed in a dive hostel, the JeJu Hiking Inn. I wouldn’t want or expect you to stay there. The location, however, is ideal. Close to local buses, town, beaches, attractions. There are several "higher end" hotels in the area.


Check out a park called Cheongyang. It has an amphitheater (we caught a children’s recital by accident) and a serious waterfall which they light at night. Very pretty.


Near the docks, a strip of seafood restaurants and shops. Good vibe and lively area but geared to the tourists which isn't a bad thing since the tourists are predominantly Korean. Try the Abalone porridge they're famous for. Unfortunately there wasn't much actual abalone in our bowl but the briny flavors were there. I'm sure it had to do with our limited budget.


There was a place in town (sorry, no names on these places but worth hunting for) not far from the post office I believe and near a leather-deer skin outfitter a la Davy Crockett. (They’re really into this garb, no idea why) Very traditional, sparsley decorated, lots of wood with tatami tables against walls, regular tables in the middle. Seats maybe 70. No menu, you sit and it just starts coming. Lots of fish, pork, duck and endless banchan. Seek “very traditional-authentic”.


Jeju is also known for black pig which has a slightly gamier flavor. You’ll see bbq restaurants specializing in it. We didn’t get to try it because it was pricey but I certainly would now.


A few of our favorite meals came from a local supermarket (the only big one they had at the time) where prepared foods like stuffed squid, blood sausage rolls, scallion pancakes and kimchi, were excellent. The hostel had a rooftop with a plastic table and chairs. There wasn’t a better place to be. I would look to eat like this again.


A main attraction in the north the Mungung caves or lava tubes. (They claim the longest in the world). If you’re into long humid, dark and cold caves go. Didn’t do much for us. The beaches, accessible by the local bus, where our preferred destination.


Another attraction (I was forced to endure) was the Teddy Bear museum. It’s bizarre. I’ll just say it’s worth it just to observe how the Koreans react (go crazy) for these stuffed animals set behind glass in various scenarios.


If we could do it again we'd of traded more time for Jeju over Seoul but thats just us.


I’ll try to think of more. You’re so lucky.

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It has been many years since I was last in Korea (and even then, it was only a few days), but I can offer zenkimchi.com as an excellent resource for dining in Seoul.


You can also try contacting Peter Green via eG. His wife is originally from Korea (but grew up in Canada), and they spend quite a bit of time there. He likes to eat. A lot. You might find some of his Korean travelogues on eG.

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Lucky you. I could have gone this year (A has a conference) but MiniB starts daycare that week. I was last there in 2004 and found just about all the food to be really good, even in completely random hole-in-the-wall places. There is some sort of court cuisine but we were with grad students (I was still a grad student(!)) and stuck with simple stuff.


Korean cuisine provides by far my two favorite summer dishes in any category: bibim-naeng-myun, which is cold potato starch noodles in a very spicy sauce, and mool naeng myun, which is potato starch noodles in a cold beef broth seasoned with a little vinegar, usually served with some mustard, a piece of boiled beef, a hard boiled egg and some crunchy asian pear slices. I really think this latter dish belongs in the pantheon of outstanding world dishes like peking duck or...I don't know...it's just really wonderful on a hot summer day. As for the spicy one, try to learn the word for spicy in Korean (I can't remember now) because the restaurant people will try to warn you off it.

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Seoul is a food mad city. This is a good thing. I was there partially during Chuseok so that was annoying due to things being closed (I do this a lot)...but they are really really into food (Sneakeater should move there...so many restaurants serve very late). If you're in Itawaeon or Gangnam, then American bbq (especially Texas) and Tex-Mex are definitely trends but I actually wouldn't spend more than a night in Itawaeon (even though it's all gentrified now)....or even Gangnam.


I ate at a lot of random Korean places at all hours so I can't really provide recommendations...nothing was bad.


The flagship Lotte Department Store food floor in Myeongdomnmng is just nuts...kind of like Harrod's or Selfridge's but even better (except for the random Panda Express in the middle of it all).


I did a kaiseki at what is supposed to be the best Japanese in Seoul: Murasaki. Very good ingredients, lovely presentations, polite but perfunctory service. I think I'm just not cut out for this sort of food. Maybe just because we can get (mostly) those ingredients now as consumers....it's a lot of money for attractive presentations. I'm probably just being a total Philistine here.


Ramen places in Korea are very good.


the few folks trying to do serious cocktails in Seoul swear that makgeolli will be the next big thing. I'm skeptical but what you read online about it always being sweet isn't true. It's actually more like moonshine in Korea...lots of homebrewed variants, also now pretty commercialized (like moonshine).

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Not worth a detour, but worth a stop.


eta: but it's also really pretty interesting to look at how, with fairly similar recent origins, Korea went so much further InBev+Heinz+Kraft than Japan, probably because they started a bit later.

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