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What are Korean meal times?


Korean cuisine is known for its bold flavors and unique combination of spices, herbs, and vegetables. Korean meals are not just about the food, but also about the social experience that comes with it. In this article, we will explore the different meal times in Korea and the significance of each.


In Korea, breakfast is often a simple meal consisting of rice, soup, and a few side dishes. The soup varies from region to region but can be made with seaweed, tofu, or vegetables. The side dishes are called banchan and can include kimchi, pickled vegetables, or fish.


Lunch is usually the main meal of the day in Korea. It is typically eaten between 12 pm-1 pm and consists of rice, soup, meat or fish, and several side dishes. Lunch is often eaten quickly as it is a busy time for workers and students.


Dinner in Korea is usually eaten between 6 pm-8 pm. It is similar to lunch in terms of the variety of dishes served but is often a more relaxed and leisurely meal. Dinner can include grilled meat, stews, or noodle dishes.


Koreans love their snacks and have a wide variety to choose from. Popular snacks include street food like tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes), hotteok (sweet pancakes), and kimbap (rice rolls). Snacks are typically eaten in between meals or as a quick bite on the go.

Coffee Break

In recent years, coffee culture has become popular in Korea. Many Koreans enjoy taking a break in the afternoon to enjoy a cup of coffee with friends or coworkers. Coffee shops can be found on every corner in major cities like Seoul.

Midnight Snack

Koreans also enjoy a late-night snack called yasik. Yasik is typically eaten between 10 pm and 12 am and can include anything from ramen noodles to fried chicken. It is a popular way to unwind after a long day.

Family Meals

Family meals are an important part of Korean culture. It is common for families to gather around the table and share a meal together. This is seen as a time to connect with one another and share stories from the day.

Formal Meals

Formal meals in Korea are often served on special occasions like weddings or business meetings. These meals are more elaborate and can consist of up to 12 courses. They are often accompanied by traditional Korean alcohol like soju or makgeolli.

Delivery Services

In Korea, it is common to order food delivery for convenience. Delivery services are available for everything from pizza to Korean barbecue. Many restaurants offer delivery through apps like Baedal Minjok or Yogiyo.

Vegetarian and Vegan Meals

Vegetarianism and veganism are becoming more popular in Korea, especially among younger generations. Many restaurants now offer vegetarian and vegan options, making it easier for those with dietary restrictions to enjoy Korean cuisine.


Korean meal times are an important aspect of Korean culture. From simple breakfasts to elaborate formal meals, Korean cuisine offers a wide variety of dishes that reflect the country’s rich history and traditions. Whether you’re a foodie or just looking to try something new, exploring Korean meal times is a great way to experience the culture firsthand.

How often do Koreans eat a day?

In Korean culture, there is no differentiation between meals such as breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so it is common to consume rice three times daily. Along with rice, individuals may also receive a serving of soup, and communal hot pots, called jjigae or jungol, are placed in the center of the table for sharing among everyone.

What time do Koreans have breakfast?

There isn’t a strict time for breakfast in Korea. Many people choose to eat between 8 AM and noon, often after having a hot drink like coffee or tea.

What is a typical Korean meal setting?

In Korean households, it is customary to have a meal consisting of rice, soup, and three to four side dishes. A typical table setting for each person includes a bowl of steamed rice, a soup bowl, and a set of chopsticks and a spoon arranged from left to right. Korean meals are typically served all at once, rather than in separate courses.

How long is lunch in Korea?

The school day begins at 08:30 with lessons lasting 45 minutes each, separated by 10-minute breaks. Lunch is served at 12:30 and is one hour long. Middle and high school students typically have seven classes per day.

What are 3 eating habits in Korea?

The K-diet consists of cooked rice and various side dishes, called banchan, served in a single meal called babsang. Kimchi is always included with meals. The main components of this diet include consuming a high amount of vegetables, a moderate to high amount of legumes and fish, and a low amount of red meat.

What is a normal Korean lunch?

Basic Korean meals include bibimbap or rice bowls with kimchi, one-dish meals like kimchi fried rice or curry rice with optional soup, and a side of kimchi or pickled radish. Light meals, called bunsik, include tteokbokki, kimbap, twigim, jumeokbap, and omurice, which are also popular with kids. These are simple and delicious combinations.

Street Food Markets

Street food markets are a popular attraction in Korea, especially in major cities like Seoul and Busan. These markets offer a wide variety of Korean snacks and dishes, from grilled meat skewers to sweet and savory pancakes. Visitors can stroll through the market, trying different foods and taking in the lively atmosphere.

Traditional Tea Time

In addition to coffee culture, Korea also has a rich tradition of tea drinking. Traditional tea time is typically in the afternoon and involves enjoying a cup of tea with small snacks like rice cakes or dried fruits. Korean teas are known for their health benefits and unique flavors, such as citron tea or roasted barley tea.

Cultural Significance

Korean meal times have a deeper cultural significance beyond just the food itself. They reflect the importance of social connections, family values, and hospitality in Korean society. Sharing a meal with others is seen as an opportunity to build relationships and show respect for one another.

Fusion Cuisine

Korean cuisine has also influenced the development of fusion cuisine around the world. Korean ingredients and flavors have been incorporated into dishes from other cultures, creating new and exciting flavor combinations. Examples include Korean tacos or Korean fried chicken burgers.

Seasonal Foods

Korean cuisine also reflects the changing seasons and the availability of fresh ingredients. In the summer, Koreans enjoy dishes like naengmyeon (cold buckwheat noodles) or samgyetang (chicken soup with ginseng). In the fall, pumpkin porridge or sweet potato dishes are popular.


Overall, Korean meal times offer a glimpse into the rich culinary traditions and cultural values of Korea. From simple breakfasts to elaborate formal meals, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re a food lover or just looking to experience a new culture, Korean cuisine is sure to leave a lasting impression.

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