Regions and cities explored: Seoul, South Korea
Length: 6 days
Date: August 23 to 28, 2023
Availability: Limited to 12 guests
Korea is well known for K-pop (think BTS, Black Pink) and dramas (Squid Games), however, Korea also has a diverse food scene to rival any international city around the world.
Korean BBQ, Kimchi, hearty soups, and cold noodles. The culinary delights of Korea are never-ending.
With Anica Kim and The Hungry Tourist’s Korea tour, participants will be able to enjoy the very best of what Seoul has to offer. From street food in the market to Michelin 3 Star fine dining, Seoul is truly a culinary destination to be discovered.
The tour includes hard-to-book restaurants and specially curated experiences for all foodies. Join Anica to experience the very best of Korean food in the busy metropolitan of Seoul, Korea.
Anica (@kimanica) is an avid traveler and foodie. Having grown up in New York to Korean parents, she developed a love for different cuisines at a young age. Having lived in New York, Kyoto, London, Doha, Shanghai, and Seoul, Anica’s love for different cultures has continued to grow as she travels the world in search of delicious food.
Anica is extremely enthusiastic when it comes to sharing Korean food and is always making arrangements for international chefs and foodies visiting Korea.
She has traveled to all continents in search of culinary experiences and expanded her network internationally. She has contributed to Travel+Leisure and Silkroad (Cathay Dragon’s inflight magazine).
In her free time, she loves to write, roam art galleries and visit neighborhood cafes.
Joo Ok in Seoul, South Korea, embodies Chef Shin Chang-ho’s philosophy of serving dishes as exquisite as precious gems. Each dish is plated to the perfection of Chef’s high standards.
The restaurant’s combines unique ways to create modern twists on recognized Korean food. Several different flavored house-made vinegars are offered as an aperitif before the meal to open up palates, and the restaurant’s celebrated perilla oil is pressed from perilla seed harvested from the chef’s family farm in Jinju.
Joo Ok is located inside The Plaza hotel, offering stunning views of Deoksugung palace. At Joo Ok diners are offered a taste of the present and the past from views of palaces and modern skyscrapers to tastes of both traditional and modern Korean food, making it a must-visit restaurant in the city.
Fried chicken and beer is a popular combination and a beloved staple for Koreans of all ages. Also known as “chimaek” (‘Chi’ from Chicken and ‘Maek’ from the Korean for beer ‘Maekju’) has been made popular by being featured in Korean dramas and TV shows.
There are restaurants dedicated to different types of fried chicken flavored with soy sauce, garlic, cheese, garlic and much more. Hyodo Chicken was developed by Chef Mingoo Kang of Mingles and Chef Chang Ho Shin of Joo Ok, offering fried chicken and beer with Korean ingredients and flavors.
Although very casual, enjoying fried beer with and ice cold beer is a great authentic and casual dining experience.
A tour of Gwangjang Market in Seoul is a feast for the senses, especially when it comes to sampling the local cuisine.
We’ll indulge in delicious traditional Korean dishes like noodles and dumplings, similar to those featured on Netflix. Raw octopus and yukhoe, a Korean beef tartare, are also popular and must-try items.
The market offers a lively and colorful atmosphere, with bustling stalls selling everything from clothing to handicrafts. A Gwangjang Market tour provides an excellent opportunity to explore the diverse food culture of Seoul and taste some of the city’s most iconic dishes.
A visit to the National Museum in Seoul, South Korea is a must for history buffs and culture enthusiasts. The museum boasts an impressive collection of artifacts, art, and sculptures, highlighting the country’s rich history and cultural heritage.
Visitors can explore ancient relics from the Three Kingdoms period, intricate Buddhist art, and contemporary Korean art. The museum offers informative displays and interactive exhibits that provide an engaging learning experience for all ages.
Overall, the National Museum is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a deeper understanding of South Korea’s fascinating history and culture.
Mosu is a renowned dining destination that has been awarded three Michelin stars and the best restaurant in Korea by Asia 50 Best Restaurants 2023.
Chef Anh Sung, first opened in San Francisco, a little more than a year after its opening Chef decided to move back to Korea and opened Mosu in Itaewon, Seoul.
The restaurant is known for its innovative and sophisticated cuisine, which fuses traditional Korean flavors with modern culinary techniques.
Taking inspiration from everyday dishes, Chef Sung refines ingredients to create dishes that are not only visually stunning, but also highlight the natural flavors and textures of local Korean ingredients.
The dining experience at Mosu is characterized by impeccable service and an elegant atmosphere, making it an unforgettable gastronomic journey for foodies and fine-dining enthusiasts alike.
A visit to Woojeong for a bowl of their famous beef soup is a must-have experience. The restaurant name comes from Woo (Cow) and Jeong (Proper/fitting), to “properly showcase different ways to enjoy the entire cow.”
The word “woojeong” is also the pronunciation of the Korean word for friendship. Beef is used in various ways to create warm and welcoming flavors. Enjoy the hearty and flavorful stew that features beef tongue, offal and vegetables such as shitake mushrooms and spring onion, cooked in a savory broth. Woojeong also offers a spicy soup for diners who can handle the heat! Food is served ‘family style’ everyone is welcome to dig in and savor traditional Korean dishes with friends and family!
7th Door is a one Michelin star restaurant in Seoul that offers a unique and unforgettable dining experience. Chef Dan Kim’s modern Korean preparations embody the culinary direction he wishes to pursue. The menu showcases his skillful use of fermentation and aging, which are essential attributes of Korean gastronomy. Diners can enjoy different ingredients and condiments that were prepared before the restaurant even opened its doors.
Chef Kim’s attention to detail and expertise in preparing ingredients is evident in every dish. The 7th Door symbolizes a gastronomic entrance to “the seven tastes of food,” which includes the five basic tastes, the taste of fermentation and aging, and the chef’s culinary sensibility.
The restaurant’s intimate atmosphere and exceptional service make for a truly special dining experience that is sure to impress any food enthusiast.
At Doo-uh Mari a charcoal-grilled saltwater eel lunch is a must-try dish. The eel is grilled to perfection over charcoal, resulting in a crispy and smoky exterior and a tender and flavorful interior.
The eel is served with a side of rice and a variety of banchan (side dishes), such as pickled vegetables and kimchi. The raw eel can be wrapped in seaweed and perilla and the eel stew is a spicy and hearty broth made with the bones of the eel. The restaurant’s cozy and traditional atmosphere adds to the overall dining experience, making it a popular spot among locals.
Mingles, the elegant Korean restaurant in Seoul’s Cheongdam-dong district, boasts two Michelin stars thanks to Chef Mingoo Kang’s seasonally-driven and innovative cuisine.
Kang’s dishes showcase his deep respect for Korean culinary traditions while incorporating inspiration from his experiences overseas. The tasting menu includes signature main courses enhanced by traditional Korean fermented sauces and vinegars.
Mingles offers both wine and traditional Korean alcohol pairings to enjoy along with the perfectly prepared dishes.
A late-night in Seoul is not complete without a hearty bowl of spicy offal soup and a glass of Soju.
This traditional Korean dish features pork intestine, beef or pork tripe, beef brisket, and Udon noodles cooked in a spicy broth. Diners can enjoy the savory flavors of this comforting dish as they sip on the popular rice-based spirit Soju.
This combination makes for an unforgettable dining experience that truly embodies the vibrant culinary culture of South Korea.
For a traditional taste of Seoul, nothing quite beats the classic combination of Chicken Jinseng soup, ‘Samgaetang’.
The signature Chicken Jinseng soup is a nutritious blend of chicken, ginseng root, dates, and mung beans cooked in an intense broth. Smaller chickens are stuffed with glutinous rice and served as a whole.
Samgaetang is a dish known to be nutritious and to help fight the heat. Korean’s have a saying to fight heat with heat so this hot soup is enjoyed by many during the hot summer season. Enjoy this delicious pairing for an unforgettable lunch experience that will leave you wanting more.
A dinner of pork belly BBQ at Gold Pig in Seoul, is a unique and delicious culinary experience. Gold Pig is known for its high-quality meat which comes from Jeju Island, south of the Korean peninsula.
Pork belly is grilled to perfection and is enjoyed with different sauces made from Korean condiments. Diners can enjoy ‘ssam’ which is meat wrapped in different vegetables and sauces. Meat is accompanied by various side dishes, including pickled vegetables and rice, to complement the rich taste of the meat.
Gold Pig’s famed Kimchi stew (kimchi jiggae) is also a must to try after the grilled meat. The lively atmosphere and attentive service make for a memorable dining experience that is sure to satisfy any BBQ lover’s cravings.
Enjoying cocktails at Alice or Le Chamber bars in Seoul, South Korea is a delightful experience that will tantalize the senses. Both bars offer a sophisticated and elegant atmosphere, perfect for unwinding after a long day.
The mixologists at these bars are skilled at creating unique and innovative cocktails, using fresh and high-quality ingredients. The menu features a wide range of classic and modern cocktails, as well as seasonal and limited-time specials.
Guests can enjoy their drinks in a cozy and intimate setting, often accompanied by live music or other entertainment. Overall, a visit to Alice or Le Chamber bars is a must-do for anyone seeking an unforgettable and refined drinking experience in Seoul.
Hanwoo Extravaganza send-off brunch at Born and Bred
Born and Bred is a restaurant, butcher shop, and meat supplier, all rolled into one. Founded by Sang-won Jung, it is located in the Majang Meat Market and offers three different dining concepts: a casual eatery, private dining BBQ and a multi-course beef experience in its Speakeasy.
The basement is where the specialty beef course can be found. Diners are offered various cuts of the very best Hanwoo, served in different wawys. The stylish and modern restaurant is the brainchild of Sang, whose obsession with top-quality Korean beef started young, thanks to his beef purveyor father, hence the name of the restaurant “Born & Bred” indicating that Sang grew up in the very place the restaurant is located.
Born and Bred is known for serving the best cuts of Hanwoo, a Korean breed of cow. The restaurant offers a unique and unforgettable dining experience, with generous portions of top-quality beef and an engaging and personable chef.
Josun Palace – A proud member of the Josun Hotel & Resort portfolio, Josun Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Seoul Gangnam is a world-class luxury hotel that has been a refined presence in Seoul, South Korea for over 100 years.
From unequaled event venues to chic hotel rooms and suites with city views, our timeless hotel combines a century of hospitality with modernistic sentiments to offer guests a singular, storied experience in South Korea’s capital.
For over a century, Josun has pioneered some of the first and finest hospitality services in Teheran-ro, Gangnam and continues this legacy with its beautiful hotel design and distinctive offerings such as a heated indoor pool and fitness center.
Check-in: Wednesday, August 23, 2023
Check-out: Monday, August 28, 2023
First meal: Dinner on Wednesday, August 23, 2023
Last meal: lunch on Monday, August 28, 2023
Full timetable of meals and activities will be emailed to participants ahead of the tour.
A Note on Set Menus
The menus offered during the tour are selected by The Hungry Tourist with the help of our local partners. We believe they represent the best culinary fare that Seoul has to offer. Guests may order outside of these menus at their own expense.
Price includes all food, beverages, taxes, service charges, and 5 nights of accommodation.
Price does not include airfare, transportation in Seoul, or any travel or medical insurance.
Extra nights before or after the tour can be booked in advance at a special rate.
A non-refundable deposit of US $1,500 per person will be charged upon reservation.
The balance must be paid no later than 60 days prior to the first day of the tour.
Payments are preferred by bank transfer. Payments with Credit Cards will incur a 4% supplement.
Cancellation Policy and Penalties
If cancellation is received up to 30 days before the first day of the tour, the deposit will be forfeited.
If cancellation is received up to 10 days before the first day of the tour, a penalty fee of 50% of the remaining balance will be charged. If a cancellation notice is received within 10 days of the first day of the tour or the guest is a no-show, the entirety of the remaining balance will be charged.
Where do I start…
Our amazing group, the food, the city, the one and only Dudi..and his partner in crime, Tomoko, our special local Tokyo guest – this is the ONLY way to explore Tokyo… with food-driven friends and a personable, energetic, and organized tour guide. Dudi has Tokyo locked down with the best restaurants and hidden gems (not known to the public) the city has to offer! I was ready to see what Japan had to offer and I trust Dudi to lead the way. You start the trip with individuals from around the world and by the end, you are a close group of friends not wanting to leave Japan.
I’m fortunate to make friends living in every corner of the globe whom we were able to share our experiences with and an opportunity to enhance our palates in a humbling way. Dudi and Tomoko – Thank you for your dedication to what you do and for organizing everything flawlessly. We cannot wait to see you again on our next food endeavor!
Margarita and Kevin
#1: The people.
I have had the pleasure of getting to know a wonderful group of like-minded people with one purpose for this trip, which is exploring the finest of Tokyo and raising the bar for their pallets.
#2: the learning curve.
Before coming to this trip I thought of myself as a pretty knowledgeable person when it came to food, turns out I was wrong. This humbling experience gave me access to well-seasoned chefs that broaden your palettes with exquisite knowledge, there is always more to learn!
#3: I saved the best for last, David, AKA “Dudi”
The man, the myth, the legend. This man has dedicated himself to exploring, experiencing, and last but not least TASTE. He will go above and beyond to make sure your trip is unforgettable and other than his mastery and connections at getting you seats at places you wouldn’t dream of going to, he’s a pretty cool guy to hang around with.
If you haven’t done this yet with him, you are missing out
If you like the idea of treating your senses to the best the world has to offer follow your instincts and allow David and the team to take you there. They will skillfully lead you to unforgettable experiences you just hope to have the time to fully appreciate, there is so much to take in.
From the get-go David introduced us to local chefs that excel at what they do like only the Japanese know-how. The intimacy and attention to detail is second to none. The aesthetic experience is guaranteed. You will come across true masters in their field who will do nothing short of reshaping your world into a more beautiful place forever.
Just as enjoyable is getting to know the rest of the Hungry Tourist, all of which you would gladly meet again.
If you care for memories you don’t wish to forget, welcome David into your life, you will be very happy you made the time for it.