1. Cochon Tonkatsu
Where on Earth can you find tonkatsu for just 3,000 won (less than $3 USD) ? Despite its shockingly cheap price, Cochon Tonkatsu does not loosen its reins on the quality of their food. Crisp yet tender, the incredible pork cutlet is served with rice and miso soup.
The crisp outer layer is achieved using homemade batter, and the tonkatsu is deep-fried to golden perfection. Situated in the university district, Cochon Tonkatsu is immensely popular amongst students, so do pop by early to avoid the lunch crowd!
2 Myeongmul 1-gil, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea
2. Mapo Mandu
Galbi Mandu, otherwise known as Korean dumplings, is a popular street snack in South Korea. A simple recipe of minced meat and vegetables wrapped in dumpling skin, Galbi Mandu is easy to make yet hard to master. Mapo Mandu serves 10 mouth-watering ones for only 3,000 won (less than $3 USD)!
393-1, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
|A Pomato Outlet in Seoul, South Korea (Seoul Town)|
Pomato is the Korean version of McDonalds, only better. Usually situated near Seoul’s subway stations, Pomato offers a variety of authentic Korean dishes mostly ranging from 3,000 to 5,500 won (approx. $3 to $5 USD). The best part? Pomato is open 24/7.
Gone are the days where ramyeon (Korean for instant noodle) was the only answer to midnight cravings. Despite its dirt cheap prices, Pomato promises to bring all patrons only the tastiest meals with the best ingredients. Next time you’re hungry and broke in Seoul, you know where to go!
Ranges mostly from 3,000 to 7,500 won
- Seocho-dong 1307-22, Seocho-gu, Seoul
- Sindaebang 2(i)-dong 347-13, Dongjak-gu, Seoul
- Jeonnong-dong 295-30, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul
- Yeoksam-dong 826-27, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
4. Hansot Dosirak
Hansot Dosirak is probably every money pincher’s go-to in Seoul. Offering an array of delicious Korean food in black bento boxes starting from as cheap as 2,500 won ($2 USD).
Even with those ridiculously low prices, Hansot Dosirak is generous with their servings with meat chunks coming in sizable potions. Even if you’re still feeling hungry after a bento box, you can order another and still stay under budget.
2,500 won to 10, 000 won
3-33 Haengdang-dong, Seongdong-gu, Seoul, South Korea
5. Seoho Gimbap
Popular amongst Koreans, gimbap is a roll of seasoned rice and ingredients wrapped with seaweed. Resembling maki sushi, gimbap reached its peak of popularity with Koreans when it was made affordable by Seoho Gimbap.
Pleasing to the eye, taste bud, and wallet, it’s no wonder that Seoho Gimbap is driving the crowds crazy with their rice rolls. You know what they say, Korea and gimbap comes in a package; there cannot be one without the other. Pop by Seoho Gimbap when you’re in Seoul for a taste of authentic gimbap.
From 3,600 won
141-1, Bangbaejungang-ro Seocho-gu Seoul 137-830
6. Banchan, Sigol Bapsang
An important component of the Korean food culture, Banchan refers to a series of small side dishes that are usually served with a bowl of rice at an eatery. For just 8,000 won ($7 USD), you can indulge in a feast of 28 different Korean side dishes served with rice and Jjigae (spicy stew) at Sigol Bapsang.
Get bang for your buck at Sigol Bapsang as the side dishes are subjected to unlimited refill as well. That’s like a buffet, but cheaper and available 24/7.
738-17 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea
7. Myeongdong Kyoja
Ask any local for the best food in Seoul and they’d direct you to Myeongdong Kyoja. Though the priciest of the lot, Myeongdong Kyoja serves delicious Kalguksu and Mandu dumplings that’s worth every won spent.
A signature dish at Myeongdong Kyoja, Kalguksu — which translates to knife-cut noodles — are made from flour dough cut into thin slices using a knife. Myeongdong Kyoja‘s Kalguksu are of exceptional texture whilst the broth is savory.
Myeongdong Kyoja’s side of steaming hot dumplings is also well-loved amongst locals and food critics since it began in 1964. Order a side dish of their hot dumplings to finish off the best meal you’ll probably ever have in Seoul.
8,000 won to 10,000 won
Myeongdong 10-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul (Myeong-dong 2-ga)
For more travel guides about Seoul:
>> 20 Things You Must Do On Your First Trip To Seoul
>> 10 Must-Go Shopping Spots in Korea
>> 5 Must-Have Apps If You’re Travelling To South Korea