If You Love Korean Food, You Need to Visit This South Korean City

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If You Love Korean Food, You Need to Visit This South Korean City

While Seoul is a mecca of both traditional food markets and contemporary culinary inventions, those for a real love for the nation's cooking will want to delve deeper into South Korea's food heritage. Jeonju is a few hour's drive south of the capital, to the west of the country. Renowned for its strong place in the country's gastronomy, it's known as the birthplace of some of Korea's classic dishes. Here's some activities any foodie should engage in when visiting this incredible culinary corner of Korea.

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If You Love Korean Food, You Need to Visit This South Korean City

Hanok Village Streetfood

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This beautiful traditional Korean village is the reason most tourists come to the city, albeit it's mostly Korean tourists rather than those from abroad. The area is home to one of the biggest collections of preserved traditional Korean-style houses in the country, much more impressive than the similar one you'll find in Seoul, but that's not all there is to it. In this little historic hamlet you'll find the streets lined with vendors selling all kinds of delicious eats along with quaint shops selling produce and edible gifts from the region.

Eat Your Way Around Nambu Market

Adjacent to Jeonju Hanok Village, you'll find the sprawling 200-year-old Nambu Market, which turns into a food lover's paradise on weekend nights. This traditional market opens during the day to sell a range of different products including locally-grown produce which Jeonju is particularly famous for along with some delicious variants of kimchi and fermented goods.

Eat Bibimbap in its Birthplace

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One of Korea's most famous dishes, bibimbap originated from no other than Jeonju, meaning the city is the best place you can try this delicious traditional dish. You'll find famous establishments all over the city but for some of the best of this dish head to either Gogung or Hanguk Jip.

Jeonju Hanjeongsik and Baekban

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Traditional home-style cooking baekban consists of a large number of banchan, small plates of Korean dishes, like a kind of local tapas platter. With Jeonju being famous for its local people's skill at Korean home cooking, trying a baekban in Jeonju full of the local ingredients and produce is a must. To take it a step further feast like a king with the local hanjeongsik meal, a multi-course set of local dishes, delicacies and banchan that was once served for royals and aristocrats in previous times.

Jeonju Makgeolli

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A kind of fermented rice wine, this popular Korean beverage is particularly famous around Jeonju, you'll find vessels full of the stuff all over the city. In fact there's seven different districts dedicated to drinking establishments for this drink. No visit to Jeonju is complete without drinking your way around at least one of these makgeolli towns.


If you're looking for the ultimate food experience in South Korea or just the perfect day or two to spend outside of Seoul, Jeonju never disappoints. At just over two hours drive from the capital and even shorter if you're taking the KTX bullet train, the city is easily reachable from anywhere in the country. It's recommended to stay there overnight in one of the traditional Korean houses for a true taste of old Korea.