The ABCs of Korean Convenience Store Shopping – What Food & Snacks To Buy When in Seoul

Yes, Seoul is definitely a big hub for spicy noodles, minimalist cafes and quirky restaurants full of dishes that are to-die-for. However, these yummy plates might not be the most cost-effective – plus if cafes are popular, you might need … Continue reading →
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Yes, Seoul is definitely a big hub for spicy noodles, minimalist cafes and quirky restaurants full of dishes that are to-die-for. However, these yummy plates might not be the most cost-effective – plus if cafes are popular, you might need to wait in line for a really long time before you even get a whiff of your food.

Not to fear – South Korea has an abundance of convenience stores that will satisfy your food cravings. Tteokbokki? Check. Ramen? Yup. Fun, quirky ice creams and snacks? Definitely. Check out this guide to see to get on your next convenience store raid in South Korea!

gamdongran baked eggs

Photo Credit: Instagram


BAKED EGGS


Probably the most versatile item on this list, Baked Eggs are a must-get on your convenience store raids in Korea. They are a great light breakfast in the morning or can go with any home-cooked meals such as ramen or kimchi fried rice.

What we love is how they’re like wobblier ramen eggs with that nice ooey-gooey yolk that’s super satisfying to eat.

bongbong korea grape

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BONG BONG


You may recognize this iconic white grape drink by its cute name and packaging. Well-loved for its sweet and refreshing flavour with crunchy aloe bits, Bong Bong is super kid-friendly and an all-round delicious drink.

However, did you know they have an ice cream version? Like a frozen can of Bong Bong, this icy treat is perfect for the summer!

bungeo bbang carp bun korea

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BUNGEO BBANG – CARP/FISH BUN


This fish-shaped bread is an iconic street food in South Korea but you can also get these carp buns in any nearby convenience stores! These fun little morsels can be filled with all sorts of yummy fillings – think ice cream, red bean and chocolate!

chocopie korea

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CHOCOPIE


One of South Korea’s favourite chocolate snacks has to be Chocopie. This chocolate covered whoopie-pie dessert is traditionally filled with fluffy marshmallow. However, you may be able to chance upon some fun flavours they have such as banana or strawberry jam.

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CUP COFFEE


We don’t really know how Korean convenience store coffees are so good, but we aren’t complaining. They have all sorts of brews from Machiattos to Mochas and Nitro Cold Brews. They’re a great way to start your morning or a quick pick-me-up in the afternoon.

ramen cup korea

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CUP RAMEN


This item needs no introduction as it appears everywhere – be it in Korean dramas or variety shows. Our favourites are the Samyang Spicy Chicken Noodles Carbo Version, Shin Ramen Black and the classic Shin Ramen. People buy cartons of these back home and it isn’t hard to understand why the moment you taste its addictive soup and chewy noodles!

dosirak korea

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DOSIRAK – KOREAN BENTO BOXES


Feeling famished? Pick up one of these Korean Bento Boxes known as “Dosirak”. They’ll contain a bunch of traditional Korean side dishes (banchan), some meat, and rice or noodles. The possibilities are endless with this box.

A big plus is that they’re super affordable, so if your wallet’s feeling a bit lighter than you’d like, head to your nearest mart and grab one of these microwaveable bentos!

korean almonds

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FLAVOURED ALMONDS


This is a familiar snack for many Korean snack lovers. What some don’t know is that the honey-butter almonds they know and love come in a myriad of different flavours as well. There’s Yogurt, Wasabi, Spicy Chicken, Cookies & Cream and even Tiramisu – there’s flavour for everyone.

hot bar

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HOT BAR – SKEWERED MEATS


Hot Bars are simply different kinds of meat or pastes on a skewer that you can pop into a convenience store microwave to enjoy in a matter of seconds. These meats can range from cocktail sausages to crab sticks and spicy beef. They’re great on their own but they also pair really well with instant ramen!

instant bulgobi

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INSTANT BULGOGI


Korea is really good with their range of instant food so keep an eye out for their Instant Bulgogi. They come in pork, chicken and beef and usually come with a medley of veggies as well! It makes for a great meal if you pair it with some rice and soup!

instant tteokbooki

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INSTANT TTEOKBOKKI


If you can’t seem to find a place with affordable tteokbokki, you can always turn to the convenience stores that sell some you can microwave. They’re still quite delicious and tastes just like the real thing! They even have one that comes with cheese.

jolly pong buckwheat chips

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JOLLY PONG BUCKWHEAT CRISPS


If you’re looking for an alternative and more unconventional snack, Jolly Pong might be something you’d like! They’re buckwheat crisps and have a nice earthy smoky taste. They’re also extra crunchy, making them super satisfying to eat.

melona

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MELONA ICE CREAM


Despite its name, Melona doesn’t just have melon-flavoured popsicles. They come in a variety of vibrant fruit flavours such as peach, banana, strawberry and coconut. These summery fruit popsicles are popular all-year-round and are a must-get when in Seoul!

samgak kimbap

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SAMGAK KIMBAP


“Samgak” means triangle so these are essentially triangle-shaped Korean rice rolls. These little packs are perfect for a quick meal on-the-go. It’s fun to scan the shelves to see what flavours of kimbap they have – luncheon meat, pork floss, spicy chicken and even cheese!

sunbaek uyu milk bun

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SUNBAEK UYU MILK BUN


This famous snow-white bun is highly-raved about for its fluffy texture and super delicious and milky filling, hence the name Milk Bun. Pro Tip: If you put these in the fridge before eating, it’s like eating a bun filled with vanilla ice-cream!

samyang dumpling

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SAMYANG SPICY CHICKEN GYOZA


You’ve heard of the ultra spicy noodle challenge, now try the dumpling spin-off! Don’t be fooled by its tame exterior for each dumpling skin hides a fiery spice that will leave you either running far away or craving for more! It also comes in the Carbo version (less spicy and cheesier).

watermelon bar ice cream

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WATERMELON “SUBAK” BAR


Cutely shaped and coloured to look like a slice of watermelon, the “Subak Bar” is the most perfect summer ice cream to hold around. You’ll see students hold this rather instagrammable bar of ice cream outside convenience stores, snapping pictures of themselves with this icy treat!

yogurt jelly

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YOGURT JELLY/GUMMIES


Yogurt snacks are the Korean equivalent to the love for all things melon-flavoured in Japan. Try these addictive Yogurt Jellies that taste similar to Yakult or Vitagen in a chewy gummy! They’re strangely delicious and before you know it, you’ll be finishing your packet.

yogurt mochi

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YOGURT MOCHI


To conclude our list, you have to try this Yogurt Mochi. These sweet puffs are super-bouncy and chewy mochi filled with a yogurt-flavoured cream inside. They’re super satisfying to chew and pull apart to eat, with a sweet milky flavour!

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