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A Foodie’s Guide To Busan: What To Eat And Where To Find It

If you’re a foodie looking for your next culinary adventure, Busan should be at the top of your list. This coastal city in South Korea is known for its fresh seafood, spicy flavors, and diverse cuisine. Whether you’re craving a hangover cure or a sweet treat to end your meal, Busan has something for everyone.

One of the must-try dishes in Busan is haejangguk, a spicy soup that’s famous for curing hangovers. You can find it at any local restaurant or street vendor, but the best place to go is Seomyeon Haejangguk Alley where there are several restaurants specializing in this dish. If seafood is more your style, Jagalchi Market is the place to be. As one of the largest fish markets in Korea, you’ll find an endless variety of fresh fish and shellfish that’s been caught just hours before it hits your plate. With so many delicious options to choose from, let’s dive into our foodie guide to Busan and discover what this city has to offer!

Haejangguk: Busan’s Famous Hangover Cure

Looking for the ultimate hangover cure in Busan? Look no further than Haejangguk, a delicious and hearty soup that’s sure to have you feeling better in no time! Known as “hangover soup,”haejangguk has been a popular dish in Busan for decades. Traditionally made with beef broth, vegetables, and coagulated ox blood, this soup is said to help revitalize the body after a night of heavy drinking.

How did haejangguk become such a popular hangover cure in Busan? Legend has it that during the Korean War, soldiers would gather ingredients from their rations to make a hearty soup that could cure their hangovers. Over time, this dish became more refined and eventually became known as haejangguk. Today, it’s considered one of Busan’s signature dishes and can be found at many restaurants throughout the city.

If you’re looking to try haejangguk in Busan, there are plenty of great options to choose from. One popular spot is Seomyeon Jokbal Haejangguk (서면족발해장국), which is known for its flavorful broth and generous portions of meat. Another great option is Gaya Milmyeon Haejangguk (가야밀면해장국), which serves up a unique version of the dish with cold noodles mixed into the hot soup.

But why stop at just trying haejangguk when there are so many other delicious foods to sample in Busan? Next up on your foodie adventure should be Jagalchi Market: a seafood lover’s paradise. With over 800 stalls selling everything from live squid to grilled octopus skewers, this bustling market is not to be missed.

Jagalchi Market: A Seafood Lover’s Paradise

At Jagalchi Market, you’ll be transported to a seafood lover’s dreamland with an endless selection of fresh catch. Located in Busan’s bustling port area, this market is one of the largest and most famous seafood markets in Korea. Here, you can explore the rich seafood culture of Busan and indulge in some of the best raw fish dishes that the city has to offer.

The market is divided into two sections: an indoor section where vendors sell live and dried seafood such as octopus, squid, shellfish, and seaweed; and an outdoor section where restaurants serve up freshly caught fish dishes. You can browse through the stalls and watch fishermen unload their daily catches from boats docked at the harbor.

One of the best places to try raw fish dishes is at one of the many restaurants located on the second floor overlooking the sea. Here, you can enjoy sashimi platters or hweh (Korean-style raw fish) with a side of rice and spicy gochujang sauce. The freshness of each bite will leave your taste buds tingling with delight.

As you make your way out of Jagalchi Market, take a stroll through Gukje Market – Busan’s oldest marketplace. From handmade pottery to fashion accessories, this market offers a variety of unique souvenirs for you to take home with you after your culinary adventure.

Gukje Market: Busan’s Oldest Marketplace

Step into the vibrant atmosphere of Gukje Market, where you can discover an array of traditional Korean crafts and unique souvenirs. Located in the heart of Busan, Gukje Market is one of the oldest and largest markets in Korea. It was established in 1940 after the Japanese colonial period ended, and it quickly became a hub for tradesmen from all over the country. Today, it continues to thrive as a center for commerce and culture.

The history and significance of Gukje Market are palpable as soon as you step inside. The narrow alleys are lined with vendors selling everything from handmade pottery to vintage clothing. The market’s layout is labyrinthine, which only adds to its charm. As you wander through the stalls, you’ll get a sense that this marketplace has been around for ages. You might even feel transported back in time.

But Gukje Market isn’t just about shopping; it’s also a cultural experience that showcases Busan’s rich heritage. You’ll hear merchants haggling with customers in rapid-fire Korean dialects, smell sizzling street food wafting through the air, and see locals going about their daily routines amidst the hustle and bustle. This is definitely not your average tourist destination; rather, it’s an authentic slice of South Korean life.

As you make your way through Gukje Market’s maze-like alleys, don’t forget to stop for some milmyeon: a refreshing noodle dish that will give you energy for hours of exploring ahead! Made with thin wheat noodles served cold in beef broth or spicy sauce with meat toppings such as sliced boiled beef or pork belly along with vegetables like cucumber or radish sprouts mixed together before eating giving guests an unforgettable culinary experience.

Milmyeon: A Refreshing Noodle Dish

Looking for a refreshing dish to beat the heat during your Busan trip? Milmyeon might just be the answer. These cold noodles are perfect for hot summers, with its chewy texture and savory broth. If you’re looking to try this local favorite, head over to any of the city’s milmyeon specialty restaurants like Samjin Amook or Haeundae Milmyeon.

Cold Noodles for Hot Summers

Craving something refreshing to beat the heat? You should definitely try the cold noodles in Busan! Here are four reasons why you should give them a try:

  1. Chilled noodle alternatives: If you’re tired of the usual bibim naengmyeon (spicy noodles) or mul naengmyeon (cold noodles in broth), Busan offers unique variations like hwae naengmyeon (cold noodles with raw fish) and kongguksu (chilled soy milk noodle soup).
  2. Perfect for hot summers: With temperatures soaring during summer, cold noodles provide a much-needed respite from the heat. The chewy texture of the noodles combined with icy-cold broth is sure to cool you down.
  3. Best beverages to pair with cold noodles: To complement your meal, try pairing it with some traditional Korean drinks like sikhye (sweet rice punch) or dongdongju (unfiltered rice wine). These drinks not only enhance the flavors but also help balance out the spiciness of some dishes.
  4. Healthy option: Cold noodles are low in calories and high in nutrients, making them an ideal choice for health-conscious foodies.

Now that you know why you should try cold noodles, let’s move on to where you can find them in Busan. But first, let’s talk about another popular noodle dish – milmyeon!

Where to Try Milmyeon in Busan

Now that you’ve cooled off with some refreshing cold noodles, it’s time to warm up your taste buds with a classic Busan dish – milmyeon. This chewy and spicy noodle soup is made with wheat flour noodles and served in a tangy broth. If you’re looking for the best milmyeon places in Busan, look no further than the neighborhood of Oncheonjang.

Oncheonjang is home to several famous milmyeon restaurants, including Ssangdungi Milmyeon and Wonjo Halmae Milmyeon. Both are known for their unique takes on the dish, but one thing they have in common is their dedication to using fresh ingredients and making everything from scratch. And if you want to try making milmyeon at home, there are plenty of shops in Oncheonjang that sell homemade noodles and broth mixes. Just be warned – it’s not an easy dish to master!

But before we dive into the world of homemade milmyeon, let’s talk about another popular street food in Busan – ssiat hotteok. This sweet and savory treat is made with glutinous rice flour dough stuffed with a mixture of brown sugar, cinnamon, sesame seeds, and peanuts. It’s then flattened into a pancake shape and cooked on a griddle until crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside.

Ssiat Hotteok: A Sweet and Savory Treat

Are you ready for a sweet and savory treat that will leave your taste buds wanting more? Look no further than Ssiat Hotteok, a popular street food snack in Busan. These delectable pancakes are filled with a variety of nuts and seeds, giving each bite a satisfying crunch. Trust us, once you try Ssiat Hotteok, you’ll be hooked!

Filled with a Variety of Nuts and Seeds

You’ll love the variety of nuts and seeds that can be found in Busan’s local cuisine. Whether you’re a health nut or just looking for something tasty to snack on, these ingredients will add flavor and texture to any dish. Here are some must-try options:

  • Pine nuts: These tiny nuts are packed with nutritional benefits, including antioxidants and healthy fats. In Busan, they’re often used in traditional dishes like japchae (stir-fried glass noodles) or as a topping for bibimbap (mixed rice bowl).
  • Sesame seeds: Another ingredient that’s both delicious and good for you, sesame seeds can be found in everything from kimchi to kimbap (seaweed-wrapped rice rolls). They’re high in protein, fiber, and minerals like calcium.
  • Chestnuts: If you have a sweet tooth, try some roasted chestnuts from one of Busan’s street vendors. They’re a popular snack during the fall months and pair well with other flavors like cinnamon or honey.

These nuts and seeds can also be used in recipes at home – try making your own trail mix with different varieties of nuts or sprinkle sesame seeds over roasted vegetables for extra crunch. Next up, we’ll explore another popular street food snack that you won’t want to miss!

Indulging in the popular street food snack of Busan is a must for anyone seeking to experience the local culture and flavors on a deeper level. Street food culture in Busan is vibrant and diverse, with an array of local delicacies that are sure to tantalize your taste buds. From savory to sweet, there’s something for everyone.

One popular street food snack you cannot miss is called hotteok. This traditional Korean pancake is stuffed with a sweet filling made from brown sugar, cinnamon, and chopped peanuts. The doughy exterior is crispy on the outside but soft and chewy inside, creating a perfect balance of textures. Hotteok can be found throughout Busan at food stalls or even on the go from vendors carrying them in baskets on their shoulders. Don’t hesitate to try one – you won’t regret it!

Now that you’ve had a taste of Busan’s street food scene, let’s move on to another classic dish: bibimbap.

Bibimbap: A Classic Korean Dish

If you’re looking for a classic Korean dish that’s as delicious as it is colorful, then Bibimbap should definitely be on your must-try list. This mixed rice bowl with vegetables and meat is the perfect balance of flavors and textures, making it a favorite among locals and visitors alike. And if you want to know where to find the best Bibimbap in Busan, we’ve got you covered!

Mixed Rice Bowl with Vegetables and Meat

Don’t miss out on the mixed rice bowl with fresh vegetables and savory meat at this popular Busan restaurant. This dish is a must-try when visiting Busan, as it offers a delicious blend of different textures and flavors that will leave you wanting more. Here are four reasons why you should order the mixed rice bowl:

  1. The vegetables are always fresh and crisp, adding a healthy touch to the dish.
  2. The meat is cooked to perfection, making it tender and flavorful.
  3. The combination of different sauces creates an explosion of flavors in your mouth.
  4. You can customize your bowl by choosing from various toppings such as kimchi, fried egg or tofu.

If you’re vegetarian, don’t worry! There are plenty of options for mixed rice bowls in Busan that cater to your dietary needs. From mushroom-based bowls to bean sprout bowls, there’s something for everyone.

Now that you’ve tried one of Busan’s classic dishes, let’s move on to where you can find the best bibimbap in Busan without missing out on any culinary delights along the way.

Where to Find the Best Bibimbap in Busan

You’ll be transported to a world of bold flavors and vibrant colors as you explore the streets of this bustling city in search of the ultimate bibimbap experience. Bibimbap, which literally translates to “mixed rice,”is one of Busan’s most popular dishes for good reason. This Korean dish features a variety of vegetables, meat, and eggs served over a bed of rice and topped with spicy gochujang sauce. But where can you find the best places for bibimbap in Busan? Look no further than these must-try locations:

RestaurantLocationMust-Try Variation
Gogung SamgyetangHaeundae-guJeonbok-bibimbap (bibimbap with abalone)
Bongcheon-dong Bibimbap AlleyNam-guTraditional-style bibimbap
Doongji SikdangSeo-guDolsot-bibimbab (bibimbap served in a hot stone pot)
Halmae Nakji Bibim ManduJung-guNakji-bibim-mandu (bibimbap-stuffed squid)

Each restaurant offers their own unique twist on this beloved dish, but one thing is for sure: your taste buds will thank you after sampling some of the best bibimbap that Busan has to offer.

If you’re still hungry for more after trying out some delicious bibimbaps, then it’s time to move on to another hearty dish: pork soup. This savory broth filled with tender chunks of meat is perfect for meat lovers looking for something warm and comforting on a chilly day.

Pork Soup: A Hearty Broth for Meat Lovers

Indulge in a steaming bowl of pork soup, packed with tender meat and veggies, for a satisfying meal that will warm your soul. This hearty broth is a popular dish in Busan, perfect for meat lovers looking for an alternative to the usual Korean BBQ fare. The rich flavors of the pork mix perfectly with the vegetables and spices used in the soup, creating a mouth-watering combination that will leave you feeling full and content.

While some may be hesitant to try pork soup due to its high fat content, it’s worth noting that there are vegetarian options available as well. These alternatives often use tofu or mushrooms instead of meat, while still retaining all the delicious flavors of traditional pork soup. Whether you’re looking for something indulgent or healthy, there’s a version of this dish that’s sure to satisfy.

So where can you find the best pork soup in Busan? Head over to any local restaurant or street vendor serving up Korean cuisine and chances are they’ll have it on their menu. However, if you want to experience something truly special, make your way over to Seomyeon Pork Soup Alley where dozens of vendors specialize in this beloved dish. Each has their own unique twist on how it’s prepared – from using different cuts of meat to adding extra spices – so be sure to try them all!

If you’re looking for something to wash down your hearty bowl of pork soup with, why not give makgeolli a try? This traditional Korean rice wine pairs perfectly with savory dishes like this one and is light enough not to overpower the complex flavors in each spoonful. So go ahead and indulge – after all, when it comes to foodie heaven like Busan, there’s always room for more!

Makgeolli: Traditional Korean Rice Wine

If you’re looking for a traditional Korean drink to enjoy in Busan, look no further than makgeolli. This rice wine has a slightly sweet and milky flavor that’s unlike anything else you’ve tasted before. Head to one of the many makgeolli bars in the city to experience it for yourself, and don’t forget to pair it with some delicious Korean snacks for the ultimate culinary adventure.

Slightly Sweet and Milky Flavor

Get ready to experience a creamy and slightly sweet flavor explosion in your mouth when you try the milky fishcake soup at Haeundae Market. This Korean delicacy is made by simmering fishcakes, radish, and green onion in a broth that’s been infused with milk. The milk not only adds richness to the dish but also helps balance out the spiciness of the red pepper flakes.

If you love all things milky, Busan has plenty of other dishes to satisfy your cravings. Milky drinks like banana milk or strawberry milk can be found at most convenience stores, while desserts with milk like bingsu (shaved ice dessert) and egg tarts can be enjoyed at various cafes around town. And if you’re lucky, you might even come across other Busan dishes that incorporate a milky flavor for a unique twist on traditional Korean cuisine.

Now that your taste buds are primed for more delicious flavors, let’s explore where to enjoy makgeolli in Busan.

Where to Enjoy Makgeolli in Busan

Ready to experience the unique and refreshing taste of makgeolli? Here are some spots in Busan where you can enjoy this traditional Korean rice wine. Makgeolli is typically enjoyed at small, cozy bars known as makgeolli houses or “makgeolli bangs”in Korea. In Busan, there are several popular breweries that produce some of the best makgeolli in the country.

One great spot to try out some delicious varieties of makgeolli is the Gupo Market Makgeolli Alley. This alley is filled with a variety of makgeolli houses that offer different types and flavors of this tasty drink. You can pair your drinks with some of Busan’s famous dishes like ssiat hotteok (a type of pancake stuffed with seeds), gimbap (rice rolled in seaweed), or pajeon (a savory pancake made with green onions). Another popular spot for enjoying makgeolli is the Yeongdo Makgeolli Village which also has a range of traditional food to accompany your drink.

As you finish up your savory meal, it’s time to indulge in something sweet! But before we delve into dessert options, let’s take a look at another traditional Korean drink – soju.

Desserts: Sweet Treats to End Your Meal

Are you ready to satisfy your sweet tooth? Busan has a plethora of traditional Korean desserts that are sure to please. From hotteok, a pancake filled with cinnamon and brown sugar, to bingsu, shaved ice topped with various fruits and syrups, you can indulge in the local flavors. But if you’re looking for something more trendy, check out the numerous dessert cafes popping up around the city offering unique creations like matcha affogatos and honeycomb ice cream.

Traditional Korean Desserts

Indulge in the sweet and unique flavors of traditional Korean desserts, with options like hotteok and bingsu readily available throughout Busan. Korean dessert culture is deeply rooted in history, with many recipes passed down through generations. Hotteok, a famous street food snack, is a fried dough pastry filled with cinnamon, sugar and nuts. Bingsu, on the other hand, is a shaved ice dessert topped with fruit, condensed milk and red bean paste.

While fusion desserts are becoming popular in Busan’s trendy cafes, traditional Korean desserts should not be missed. Try out jeonbokjuk (abalone porridge), which may sound strange but is actually a creamy dessert made with abalone rice porridge and sweetened beans. For those who love chewy textures, try tteok (rice cake) which comes in different shapes and flavors such as green tea or black sesame. With so many options to choose from, you’ll definitely find something that suits your taste buds!

Speaking of trendy dessert cafes in Busan…

Trendy Dessert Cafes in Busan

You’ll want to check out the trendy dessert cafes in Busan for a sweet and stylish experience. These cafes offer unique flavors and Insta-worthy presentations that are sure to make your taste buds dance with joy. If you’re looking to indulge in Busan’s dessert scene beyond the usual suspects, then these cafes are definitely worth visiting.

To help you navigate through the sea of choices, here’s a guide to some of the best trendy dessert cafes in Busan. Check out the table below for more information on each cafe’s specialty desserts, location, and operating hours. From shaved ice topped with fresh fruit to indulgent cakes and pastries, there’s something for every sweet tooth at these cafes. So go ahead, treat yourself to a delicious adventure!

Cafe NameSpecialty DessertsLocationOperating Hours
Sweet SeedlessBingsu (Korean shaved ice) with fresh fruit toppingsHaeundae-gu, Jung-dong 1-12 2FMon-Sun: 11am-10pm
Cake Gallery SeoulDesigner cakes and pastriesSuyeong-gu, Namcheon-dong 1407-4 1FMon-Sun: 11am-9pm
Milkcow CafeOrganic soft serve ice cream with various toppingsSeo-gu, Bujeon-dong 36-5 1FMon-Sun:12pm-11pm
Mujigae Eclair Cafe & Barista Lab.Eclairs (pastry filled with cream)Jung-gu Gwangbok-ro77beon-gil38,Centum City Mall L3 Lotte Department Store Wing C(부산광역시 중구 광복로77번길38 센텀시티몰 L3 롯데백화점 C관)Mon-Sun:10am-10pm
AtoZ CafeWaffles and toasts with various toppingsHaeundae-gu, U-dong 1407-14 2FMon-Sun:11am-11pm

Congratulations, foodie! You’ve just completed a culinary tour of Busan’s most delicious and iconic dishes. From the famous hangover cure haejangguk to the refreshing noodle dish milmyeon, you’ve explored a range of flavors that truly capture the essence of Korean cuisine.

As you leave Busan, your taste buds will be forever grateful for the seafood feast at Jagalchi Market, and the rich pork soup that warmed your soul. And let’s not forget about the sweet treats that ended each meal on a high note.

Overall, Busan is an exciting destination for foodies looking to indulge in authentic Korean cuisine. Whether you’re a seafood lover or meat enthusiast, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city. So pack your bags and get ready to embark on an unforgettable culinary adventure in Busan!

James Yeong
James Yeong

Once a quaint dweller of the English countryside, James is now a vibrant voice narrating his adventures in the bustling heart of South Korea. Since relocating to Seoul in 2019, James has immersed himself in the dynamic tapestry of Korean culture, from the serene temples tucked away in mountainous terrains to the neon-lit streets of modern cities.

This blog has become a haven for those seeking an outsider's yet intimate perspective on South Korea, often shedding light on hidden gems and local favourites rather than just the typical tourist hotspots. With a keen eye for detail and a writing style dripping with wit and warmth, James has managed to amass a devoted readership from all corners of the globe.

Whether you're planning a trip to the Seoul, the surrounding cities or just vicariously traveling from the comfort of your couch, Jame's tales of exploration and discovery are sure to ignite a passion for the Land of the Morning Calm.

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