One of the best things about traveling in South Korea is that there are hundreds and thousands of convenience stores with a variety of ready-to-eat foods! Not only can travelers easily find convenience stores, such as GS25, CU, emart24, 7Eleven, but also get what they need at all times because the stores are open 24/7 (well, almost all of them in the major cities).

For those who wonder what to buy, we’ve selected 10 best Korean convenience store foods beloved by Koreans and that you must try during your trip!


1. Samgak Gimbap (Triangular Rice Ball)

 

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인싸요정(@inssa_elf)님의 공유 게시물님,

Samgak Gimbap is a triangular-shaped gimbap that has rice and ingredients inside gim, the Korean name for edible seaweed. Koreans love to eat this when they want to have a simple meal. There are so many kinds with different fillings in it, such as tuna & mayo, ham & kimchi, garlic butter lobster, and so forth.

2. Dosirak (Lunch Box)

 

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비보(@micheli_jeonju)님의 공유 게시물님,

Nowadays, Korea sees a fierce competition in the ready-to-go Dosirak (lunch box) market because of the increasing number of single diners who want to finish their meals quickly. Among a number of popular lunch box brands, here is ‘Kim Hye-JA’s Dosirak’ which Koreans praise a lot for its comparatively low price for the quality it offers! There is also ‘Baek Jong-Won’s Dosirak’, which is trending these days in Korea.

3. Tteokbokki (Spicy Rice Cake)

 

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Yuna. J(@pinkbong1416)님의 공유 게시물님,

If you want to try out addictive spicy Korean food, Tteokbokki is a must-try food! You can easily get Tteokbokki in the convenience stores without having to visit restaurants. It’s cheaper but tastes as good as the ones in the restaurants. Joss Tteokbokki with Sundae (pig’s intestines) from the GS25 convenience store or Garak Tteokbokki from CU convenience store are highly recommended!

4. Hot Bar (Skewered Sausage / Fish Cake)

 

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맞팔🥰안다형(@andahyung)님의 공유 게시물님,

Hot bar. Sounds strange, right?! Well, think of it as a chocolate bar, except these ‘hot bars’ take various shapes, from rectangular to round ones like sausages. You’ll find hot bars made of different ingredients such as pork, chicken, seafood, etc,. Rip off just a little bit of its cover and warm the bar in a microwave and take a bite. Yummy!

5. Instant Cup Noodles

 

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praha(@suwanpraha)님의 공유 게시물님,

Convenience stores are a heaven of instant cup noodles! There are so many kinds of cup noodles you can choose, including worldwide popular Shin Ramyun. If you want to try more special cup noodles that are popular among Koreans, Fried Chicken Noodles (bur-dark-bogg-eum-myeon) and Jjapaghetti are strongly recommended!

 

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수여닝♥️(@suyeon.000)님의 공유 게시물님,

Fried Chicken Noodles are when known for its spiciness and many YouTubers used this for spiciness challenges. There are several more flavors rather than the original flavor, such as Carbonara, Jjajang (black bean sauce), Malatang (Chinese street food, originated in Sichuan), Cheese, Curry, and more.

 

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🇰🇷 소소한 집밥(@pear_real)님의 공유 게시물님,

Jjapaghetti is a Jjajang (black bean sauce) mixed with Korean ramyeon noodles. It became famous because of oscar-winning Korean movies, “Parasite”. In the movie, an actress Cho Yeo Jeong makes Jjapaguri, which is made by combining two highly popular instant noodle brands, which are Jjapaghetti and Neoguri Ramyeon. Why don’t you try making Jjapaguri with steak like in the movie?

6. K-Snacks

 

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( ayaka )(@srn_3)님의 공유 게시물님,

K-snacks are getting more popular these days, and you can find all kinds of trendiest chips, cookies, crackers at convenience stores in Korea. If you love chips, you should definitely taste Honey Butter Chip and Ggobuk Chip. Honey Butter Chip has the sweetness from the honey flavor but also has the salty flavor from the butter flavor. Ggobuk Chip‘s most popular flavor is Corn Flavor and there are 4 layers inside each chip that makes Ggobuk chip extra unique!

 

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지금이다!(@go_hy95)님의 공유 게시물님,

For chocolate lovers, Choco Heim is a snack you must taste! It is a crunch wafer stick filled with a creamy chocolate filling. It is two times more delicious when you try it frozen! There is White Heim as well, which has a sweet taste of hazelnut and vanilla.

7. Gamdongran (Boiled Egg)

 

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링린의 식단 기록장(@d_linglin)님의 공유 게시물님,

Gamdongran is a boiled egg and there are 2 boiled eggs in one pack that are not fully cooked when boiled. If you try Gamdongran it is moist and salty which is different from boiled eggs you eat at home. It is a perfect snack that will make you have a full stomach!

8. Binggrae’s Banana Flavored Milk

 

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@ruru_260님의 공유 게시물님,

Banana Flavored Milk (Banana Mat Milk) is a Korean milk beverage produced by Binggrae. It was introduced in 1974 and has been one of the most popular drinks among Koreans. There are a variety of flavors, such as strawberry, banana light, melon, coffee, and chocolate.

9. Hobbang (Steamed Bun Cake)

 

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김명준(@operockstar12)님의 공유 게시물님,

Hobbang (steamed bun cake) is a warm snack that is sold through Korea every winter. They are sold at convenience stores in winter and the original flavor is filled with smooth and sweetened red bean paste. There are other kinds of fillings as well, including pizza, pumpkin & cream cheese, spicy fried chicken & cheese, and many more!

10. Fruit Soju

 

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💜 有小楽 💜 Minimal Happy(@yusorak.log)님의 공유 게시물님,

Fruit Soju is a flavored form of soju, a representative alcoholic drink in Korea. One of the most popular fruit soju is Jamongisle, a grapefruit-flavored soju, released by Chamisle. There is also green grape-flavored soju. If you want to try Soju but feel like it’s too strong for you, try out fruit soju instead!


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You can also order the most popular K-snacks and instant coffee here.


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15 thoughts on “10 Must-Try Korean Convenience Store Foods

  1. the caramel milk, banana milk, pine bud drink… though I might be the only one who likes the pine bud drink, its an aquired taste and will always remind me of Jeju

    1. Hi Tanso!
      Some items are only available to buy at specific convenience stores while most of the noodles are available at other stores like supermarket too 🙂

  2. Hi!This was very cool and helpful!
    I’m interested in visiting to Korea, but I’m really scared of the spice.(I have a low tolerance to spicy food, and seafood). What instant noddles from the convenience store would you suggest? Or how can I tell? Also, are all street food Spicy or can you ask for no spice? Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Dana,
      The convenience store has numerous options for cup (instant) noodles on the display stand and you will be able to find non-spicy ones such as Jajang/Udong.
      Mostly, spicy food is red because it uses Gochujang which is red as a base sauce. Some stores might provide non-spicy food by using another base sauce life soy bean sauce but it depends.

      We hope this answer helps!

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