“When in Rome, do as the Romans” –or so the expression goes. Korea is a foodie’s paradise if you like Korean cuisine. Western food is likely to be less delicious, more expensive, and, above all, less authentic than you remember it.
However, if you haven’t acquired a taste for Korean food yet, or simply crave something different for a change, you’ll be able to find it. Here are a few highlights:
Bakeries are pretty ubiquitous in Korea. Two of the largest chains are Paris Baguette and Tous Les Jours. From cakes to croissants to baguettes to pre-made sandwiches (usually decent quality), they offer a decent variety at a reasonable price.
Most cafes sell various baked goods too. These are generally a little bit more expensive (think Starbucks prices) and can range in quality from stale to incredible.
If you ever get a Proustian craving for a sublime madeline, or something specific, you might want to consider a pilgrimage to Sorae Maeul, Seoul’s French Neighborhood.
Toast in Korea refers to more than just bread. Usually it entails something closer to a grilled egg and cheese sandwhich. Most ‘toast’ venues specialize in ‘to go’ business, and cook it up in front of you in about 3 minutes while you wait. The generally allow you to customize your toast with extra toppings–from the conventional (ham, bacon, tomato) to the less conventional (shrimp, corn, bulgogi). Expect to pay about 2-3.000W, depending on how many toppings you want.
Ask the average Korean schoolboy what is favorite food is, and, more likely than not, his answer will be pizza. It might be hard to locate the illusive Chicago deep-dish or Sicilian thin-crust, but you’ll have no trouble finding an edible slice of pizza. In addition to most conventional toppings, don’t be surprised to find chunks of sweet potato or bits of canned corn on your pie.
At the more famous chains (Mr. Pizza, Dominos, etc), expect to pay at least 15.000W per pie. For those on a budget, we recommend Pizza School, where you can get a decent sized pizza for upwards of 5.000W.