The Best Korean Street Food Restaurants: A K-drama Guide!

The Best Korean Street Food Restaurants: A K-drama Guide!

Nothing brings out the hunger pangs quite like watching a k-drama. Whether it’s tteokbokki (떡볶이) or japchae (잡채), we wish were eating them like the characters onscreen! Don't worry. Here are the best Korean street food restaurants from k-dramas that you can visit in real life.

What Are Pojangmachas?

Pojangmachas (포장마차), pochas for short, are some of the most recognizable restaurants in k-dramas. They usually appear as small, covered tent-style eateries with tables and chairs inside. Some pochas have moved inside buildings, but most of them are the outside spaces you know and love. 

A pojangmacha or covered tent at night

Image Credits: haniel francesca via Flickr

Pochas offer a variety of delicious and affordable street snacks, like kimbap (김밥) and eomuk (어묵), which pair well with soju. In k-dramas, you can often spot characters enjoying a meal at these pochas while discussing their plans, sharing secrets, or even making confessions.

A man and a woman sitting with drinks in a food tent

 Image Credits: MBC via Kocowa+ Blog

If you’re looking for an authentic Korean street food experience, there are many popular pojangmachas that you can visit around Korea. 

A young girl at a food stall selling tteokbokki

Image Credits: Courtesy of Pinpoint Korea

Euljiro is a famous area of Seoul where you can visit a pocha after a long day's work. "Squid Game" fans may remember the scene where Gi-hun takes his daughter out for her birthday. 

A man pouring a guy more soju in a food tent

Image Credits: tvN via Ahjumammshies

There's also a pocha scene in "Reply 1988." The show was filmed in Busan, where you can find Seomyeon and Nampodong Pojangmacha Streets. There are plenty of seafood and fish dishes available, since Busan is located by the sea.

Two men eating outside in an alley at night

Image Credits: Courtesy of Korean Dramaland

We can't forget this place in Mapo-gu, Seoul. Yasik Pocha appears in several shows, including "Why Her" and "Taxi Driver." It's a good spot for skate and banquet noodles (janchi-guksu, 잔치국수).

What Are Some Restaurants That Serve Korean Street Food?

Korean street food is not only available in pojangmachas. In k-dramas, you can also spot characters enjoying a variety of delicious dishes at casual restaurants that serve street food favorites such as dakgalbi (닭갈비), naengmyeon (냉면), and kimchi-jjigae (김치찌개)

A boy and a girl in a tteokbokki restaurant

Image Credits: tvN courtesy of Korean Dramaland

In "True Beauty," Lim Joo-kyung and Han Seo-jun visit the Ikseon Branch of Namdo Bunsik. At this restaurant, you can eat siraegi (radish) tteokbokki like they do or try soondae (순대) if you're adventurous. There are other locations, including Seochon, Bukchon, and Geumcheon.

 People at a stir-fried chicken restaurant

Image Credits: MBC via Korean Dramaland

"Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo" has several mouthwatering settings. While Jageun Maeul (home to Bok Chicken) and Super Star Oden Noodles are now closed, you can still visit Hongik Sutbul Galbi and have some Korean barbecue.  A woman looking up at a store at night

Image Credits: Le Dung for Tuoi Tre News courtesy of Metro.Style

"Itaewon Class" has a few iconic restaurants. However, we'll mention just one: Undukjib, which appeared as Park Sae-ro-yi's restaurant Danbam. It served tripe (gopchang, 곱창) and was especially popular with k-drama fans. It is apparently closed for renovations, with plans to reopen under a new name.

 Cold noodles with beef

Image Credits: Courtesy of Visit

Finally, we'll give you two locations from the classic "Reply 1988." First, there is Hyehwa Kalguksu in Jongno-gu, Seoul, which serves knife-cut noodle soup (kalgusku, 칼국수), a popular Korean summer dish. The restaurant's specialty is Andong guksi, a noodle soup made with beef.

 Three girls eating at a table together

Image Credits: tvN via Korean Dramaland

The other place we'd like to mention is Yalgaki Tteokbokki (Brazil Tteokbokki in the show). Located in the city of Seosan, you have to visit if you're a fan of "Reply 1988," tteokbokki, or both.

Some Street Food Markets from Your Favorite K-dramas!

We'll finish this list with traditional street markets where you can get clothing, souvenirs, household items, and of course food. Outside of pojangmachas, you can find street food at the markets' many stalls and alleys. Here are some of them that appear in popular k-dramas.

Two people eating egg bread

Image Credits: tvN via Korean Dramaland

First, there is Myeongdong Shopping Street, the site of one of Seoul's biggest night markets. In "Because This Is My First Life," Seo Do-hyun and Han Song-yi buy egg bread or gyeranppang (계란빵). Other popular street foods here include tteokbokki, tornado potato (hweori gamja, 회오리 감자), and hotteok (호떡).

Seafood pojangmacha on film

Image Credits: Jessica Eldredge via Flickr

Then there is Chungmu-dong Daybreak Market, shown in "The King: Eternal Monarch." It's one of many street markets located in Busan, where you'll find freshly caught fish and seafood. You can also eat its famous eomuk and its version of hotteok stuffed with seeds and nuts.

People eating at Gwangjang Market

Image Credits: Image via The Seoul Guide

Last but not least, we have Gwangjang Market, one of the biggest and oldest markets in Seoul that has appeared in k-dramas like "Descendants of the Sun." Located in Jongno, which is also home to a pocha street, you'll find many kinds of delicious Korean street food, like bindaetteok (빈대떡), tteokbokki, and soondae (순대).

People eating at night in Gwangjang Market

Image Credits: Mathias Verdon via Flickr

There are many other markets you need to visit. Don't skip them if you want to experience pochas or Korean street food!

Seoulbox: Bringing the Pocha Experience to You!

Are you craving k-drama-style street food but don’t have the time to visit a pojangmacha? Don’t worry, Seoulbox has you covered.

With Seoulbox, you can get Korean snacks delivered right to your door. Our newest box, Pocha: A Street Restaurant, features treats and goodies inspired by your favorite Korean street food, like Hot Chicken Stir-fried Rice Snack and Nagasaki Jjamppong Ramen.

March Seoulbox

Image Credits: Image via Seoulbox

 All of the snacks are hand-picked by our Seoulteam, who also put together the beautiful Seoulzine that will tell you more about pochas, soju, and Korean street food. You'll be able to learn about this unique aspect of Korean culture in the comfort of your own home.

A woman holding a magazine

Image Credits: Image via Seoulbox

Would you like to order your own box? It's quite simple:

Go to the Seoulbox website. From there, choose "Shop All" or the "Shop" dropdown menu. You can also scroll down the homepage or, if you're unsure of what to get, click "Take the Quiz" for recommendations.

Seoulbox box categories

Image Credits: Image via Seoulbox

Select the type of box you'd like. Besides Seoulbox Signature, we offer a vegetarian Seoulbox (Seoulbox V) and a Korean lifestyle box (Seoulbox Life). You can get a one-time box or boxes on a monthly, 3-month, quarterly, 6-month, or 12-month frequency.

More Seoulbox boxes

Image Credits: Image via Seoulbox

Pay in checkout. Give the box at least a week to arrive. Now, you have something delicious to eat while bingeing the newest k-dramas!

Opened March Seoulbox

Image Credits: Image via Seoulbox

The next time you finish a mouth-watering k-drama, why not try out these awesome street food restaurants for yourself? Whether you’re looking for tteokbokki or galbi, they're sure to leave you satisfied!

Bon appétit! (masitge deuseyo, 맛있게 드세요)

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