Seoul is one of the great foodie destinations of Asia. Whether you’re looking for scrumptious street food snacks or the finest Michelin-starred cuisine, the South Korean capital ticks all the boxes for an unforgettable eating experience. While it’s possible for visitors to explore the gastronomic delights of the city on their own, booking one of the food tours in Seoul provides you with a more immersive introduction to the local fare and takes you off-the-beaten-path to discover dishes you have never heard of.
This is where Korea Food Tours comes into play – experts in Seoul food tours who were featured on the TV show “Parts Unknown” with Anthony Bourdain. Their team of passionate guides can take you on a journey through the vibrant streets of Seoul, and to buzzing local restaurants, where every bite tells a story. What makes this company stand out is their unwavering commitment to authentic and educational experiences. The guides share fascinating tales about the culinary traditions of Korea, allowing you to learn deeply while you gorge on delicious foods.
Best Food Tours in Seoul
The Ultimate Korean BBQ Night Out
The Ultimate Korean BBQ Night Out with Korea Food Tours is a meat-filled adventure that enables participants to explore the rich flavors and cultural significance of Korean BBQ in Seoul – in particular the Mapo district which is known for its grilled pork, aged kimchi and buzzing vibes. The tour begins with a warm welcome from a guide at Korea Food Tours at the meeting point in Gongdeok Station. The guide provides an introduction to the activities that will be enjoyed on the three hour tour and takes the group to a Korean BBQ joint in Mapo to immerse in a raucous atmosphere.
Before starting the BBQ, guests are given an overview of the different cuts of meat, marinades and cooking methods. The guide also outlines the variety of banchan side dishes that will accompany the meal. These include pickled vegetables, kimchi and dipping sauces that enhance the flavors of the grilled meats. But of course, the highlight is the meat itself – succulent pork belly (samgyeopsal) among other cuts. Guests will be able to grill their own meats at the table – a hands-on experience that allows them to engage with the cooking process and appreciate the art of Korean BBQ.
As the night progresses, two more hidden gems of Seoul will be visited: the Jeon (Korean Pancake) Market and a traditional bar. Not only does the Jeon Market offer the chance to savor mouthwatering Korean pancakes but it’s also a great place to take photos for your social media. The bar, on the other hand, is all about relaxing with a drink in hand and conversing with other travelers. Throughout the Ultimate Korean BBQ Night Out guests have the opportunity to connect with fellow food enthusiasts and make new friends.
The convivial feeling of the tour fosters a sense of camaraderie as everyone bonds over their shared love of Korean BBQ. The guide helps to create this friendly atmosphere, alongside sharing anecdotes and tips about Korean BBQ – from the importance of communal dining to the proper way to wrap meat in lettuce leaves. By the end of the tour, people will leave with satisfied taste buds and a newfound appreciation for Korean culture.
The Authentic Chicken and Beer Experience
The Authentic Chicken and Beer Experience is a finger-licking escapade that showcases the popular combination of fried chicken and refreshing beer – a beloved cultural phenomenon that is nothing short of an obsession in Korea. With Joe McPherson as your guide, owner of Korea Food Tours, you will be led on a flavorful adventure through the streets of Seoul and stopping by the best establishments for this iconic pairing.
Joe will meet you at Mangwon Station to start the three hour tour. He gives a quick rundown of the significance of chicken in Korea, explaining how it has become an integral part of the country’s food culture. Guests will learn about the various styles and flavors of chicken throughout – including the classic crispy version, and the tangy and spicy varieties. The first stop is touring a market where you can try old-style fried chicken. It was at traditional markets like these that Korean fried chicken had its origins.
The second stop takes place at a country-style BBQ chicken restaurant. Places like this burst onto the scene in the mid 00s, and the establishment you will be visiting feels like an old Joseon-era country inn. Travelers will be wrapping their lips around smoked chicken, adorned with sweet and spicy sauces, and served on a sizzling platter. The third and final stop is a secret spot that Joe only reveals to guests who book this tour. It’s here where you can taste the chicken of the future – arguably the best in all of Seoul.
Just imagine boneless, tender meat drenched in a delicious Korean sauce served on a sizzling platter with rice cakes and sweet potatoes – which is then drizzled in cheese. Without doubt, this is the favorite part of the tour for most participants. The ambiance of the restaurant is also a highlight – the owner displays WWII memorabilia, pours drinks into canteen cups, and plays 80s new wave music, 60s psychedelic and 90s lounge-tronica. Of course, beer will be served at each of the stops and is included in the price.
Personalized Private Food Tours of Seoul
A great alternative to the above two options is to book Private Food Tours of Seoul. Creating your own personalized experience gives you the freedom and flexibility to pick and choose the activities that resonate with you the most. For a three hour tour, there is the possibility of selecting one location with three different experiences and for a six hour tour you can choose two locations with three corresponding experiences at each destination.
For example, you could opt for the Noryangjin Fisheries Market and select some fresh seafood to be cooked for you at a restaurant. Another option is the Bukchon Hanok Village where you can order dumplings, grilled fish, or dine at a chicken and beer establishment. The experts at Korea Food Tours have put together some ready-to-go itineraries that you can buy straight from the shelf (so to speak), or you can request your own locations and experiences. Having the ability to tailor-make your tour means everyone in your group has their preferences taken into consideration.
Final Thoughts on Seoul Food Tours
Booking food tours in Seoul with Korea Food Tours is a fantastic way for travelers to fully immerse themselves in the dynamic culinary scene of this bustling city. With their professional guides, carefully curated itineraries and emphasis on cultural exploration – Korea Food Tours offers a wonderful experience that combines delicious food, rich history and local insights. From Korean BBQ to fried chicken – travelers are spoiled for choice.
One of the reasons to book with Korea Food Tours is the fact that their guides have a deep knowledge of the best eateries, street food stalls and hidden gems. They take travelers on unique journeys, introducing them to traditional and modern dishes, explaining the ingredients and cooking techniques, and providing valuable recommendations. Moreover, these tours offer a chance to explore the cultural significance of Korean cuisine.
In addition to the gastronomic delights, these food tours provide a unique way to connect with the local community. The guides are passionate about their city and its cuisine, and they act as ambassadors, bridging the gap between travelers and the culture. They facilitate interactions with world-class chefs, specialist food vendors and other friendly locals – creating opportunities for genuine cultural exchange and memorable encounters.
All in all, booking food tours takes the stress out of navigating Seoul’s vast gastronomic landscape. With so many possibilities, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. Korea Food Tours takes care of all the logistics, ensuring guests can focus on the food. The itineraries are intricately designed to showcase a diverse range of flavors, from traditional staples to contemporary innovations, guaranteeing that tourists get a well-rounded taste of Seoul’s cuisine. So, what are you waiting for? Book a tour today!