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Is it expensive to eat in Korea?


Korean cuisine has become increasingly popular around the world, but many people still wonder if it’s expensive to eat in Korea. This article will explore the cost of dining out in Korea, including factors such as restaurant types, location, and food options.

Types of Restaurants in Korea

Korea offers a wide range of dining options, from traditional street food stalls to upscale restaurants. The cost of eating out can vary greatly depending on the type of restaurant you choose. Street food is generally the cheapest option, while high-end restaurants can be quite expensive.

Location and Costs

The cost of dining out can also vary depending on where you are in Korea. Major cities like Seoul and Busan tend to be more expensive than smaller towns or rural areas. In addition, restaurants located in tourist areas or popular neighborhoods may charge higher prices than those located in less popular areas.

Food Options and Prices

Korean cuisine is known for its variety of flavors and ingredients. Popular dishes include kimchi, bibimbap, and Korean BBQ. While some dishes may be more expensive than others, overall Korean food is considered affordable compared to other international cuisines.

Cafes and Coffee Shops

Korea is also known for its thriving cafe culture. Coffee shops and cafes can range from inexpensive chains to trendy independent spots with high prices. The cost of coffee and snacks can vary greatly depending on the location and type of cafe.

Alcohol and Drinking Culture

Drinking is a big part of Korean culture, and many Koreans enjoy socializing over drinks with friends and colleagues. While alcohol itself is relatively cheap in Korea, drinking in bars or clubs can add up quickly due to cover charges and high drink prices.

Tipping Culture

Tipping is not common in Korea, and many restaurants do not accept tips. Instead, most Koreans simply pay the bill and leave. This can be a relief for travelers who are used to tipping in other countries.

Convenience Stores and Fast Food

Convenience stores and fast food chains like McDonald’s and KFC are also popular options in Korea. Prices at these establishments are generally affordable, but may be slightly higher than in other countries.

Meal Deals and Discounts

Many Korean restaurants offer meal deals or discounts during certain times of the day or week. For example, some restaurants may offer a set menu at a reduced price during lunchtime. It’s always worth checking for deals and discounts to save money when dining out.

Vegetarian and Vegan Options

Vegetarian and vegan options are becoming more widely available in Korea, but they may be slightly more expensive than meat-based dishes. However, some restaurants offer set menus that cater specifically to vegetarians or vegans at a reasonable price.

Cultural Experiences

Eating out in Korea can also be a cultural experience. Traditional Korean restaurants often feature floor seating and traditional tableware, offering a unique dining experience that is worth the extra cost.


Overall, the cost of eating out in Korea can vary greatly depending on factors such as restaurant type, location, and food options. While some restaurants may be expensive, overall Korean cuisine is considered affordable compared to other international cuisines. With a little research and planning, it’s possible to enjoy delicious Korean food without breaking the bank.

How much money do you need for food in Korea?

The average cost of food per day in South Korea is approximately ₩29,500 (equivalent to US$24). The cost of food varies depending on the type of food and the location. For example, street food can cost between ₩1000 and ₩5000 (approximately US$0.82 to US$4.00) per day, while a mid-range barbequed pork meal can cost approximately ₩40,000 (around US$33).

Is it cheap to eat out in South Korea?

While Korean cuisine may not be as well-known globally as some other types of food, there are plenty of exciting new dishes to explore once you visit South Korea. Additionally, prices for food in Korea are remarkably affordable, while the quality and taste are exceptional, making traveling in the region a great value.

Is Korea expensive for American tourists?

For a 7-day trip to South Korea, the cost can vary depending on the number of people traveling. A solo traveler can expect to pay around $1,452, while a couple would pay $2,504, and a family of 4 would only pay $1,084. When it comes to accommodations, South Korea hotels range from $45 to $202 per night with an average of $67. Most vacation rentals are priced between $110 and $440 per night for the entire home.

How much money should I bring to Korea for 2 weeks?

The budget for a solo traveler spending 10 days in South Korea varies based on their travel style. However, a mid-range budget would be around $65USD per day. If budget is a concern, staying in cheap hostels, participating in free activities in Seoul, and eating local cuisine can bring the cost down to about $40USD per day. This information is as of February 9, 2023.

Is South Korea tourist friendly?

What is this? Yes, South Korea is very safe to visit. In fact, many people who come are impressed by the clean streets, friendly atmosphere, and low crime rate. Crime rates, especially against foreigners, are low.Mar 1, 2023

Do you tip in South Korea?

In South Korea, it is not customary to give tips to waiters, cab drivers, and hotel staff. In fact, it may even be seen as disrespectful unlike in many Western countries.

It’s important to note that some restaurants in Korea have a minimum order requirement, especially during peak hours or busy periods. This means that you may need to order a certain amount of food or drinks to be able to dine at the restaurant. It’s always a good idea to check with the restaurant beforehand to avoid any surprises.

Another thing to keep in mind is that some restaurants in Korea may charge for side dishes or additional condiments. These charges are usually nominal, but they can add up if you’re not careful. It’s best to ask about any additional charges before ordering to avoid any unexpected fees.

If you’re on a tight budget, there are many affordable dining options in Korea. Street food stalls and food markets offer a great selection of delicious meals at a fraction of the cost of sit-down restaurants. You can also find affordable Korean-style fast food chains like Lotteria and Kimbap Nara that offer tasty snacks and meals at low prices.

Finally, it’s worth mentioning that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on the dining scene in Korea. Many restaurants have implemented safety measures such as temperature checks, social distancing, and contactless payment options. Some restaurants may also have reduced seating capacity or limited hours. It’s important to check with the restaurant beforehand and follow any safety guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable dining experience.

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