Banchan (Korean side dishes)

Seoul Travel Guides / November 01, 2016
Banchan (Korean side dishes) Image credit: Jean-François Chénier/Flickr

A Korean meal always ends up looking like a feast because of all those side dishes served in tiny, little plates, or what the locals call “banchan”.

These banchan come in a wide range of assortment such as vegetable, egg, fish, and seafood. They are served in plenty of different ways, too – raw, fermented, braised, fried, etc. Kimchi, the most popular Korean dish, is also the most common banchan.

What’s great about eating in Seoul restaurants is that you can never predict the kinds of banchan that would be serving. It’s almost always a different set in each restaurant every day.

Oh, and you know what’s even better? Banchan refills are usually free, so you can fill up to your appetite’s content.

Here are the best places to have banchan in Seoul.

  • SIGOL BAPSANG | Yongsan-gu
    For banchan that takes the center stage 24 hours a day
    What to order: Banchan, Bulgogi, Gyeran Jjim
    Price range: 8,000 to 13,000 won ($7.04 to $11.44)
    When: 24 hours, daily
    Where: 738-17 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
  • HANSIK OLBAAN | Seocho-gu
    For a huge buffet spread that showcases the best of Korean cuisine
    What to enjoy: Banchan, Barbecued pork belly, Bibimbap, Bing-su
    Price range: 21,000 won ($18.49)
    When: 11:00 – 21:00 daily
    Where: Famille Station, Banpo-dong 118-5, Seocho-gu, Seoul
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