>  Asia   >  Korea   >  What to Eat in Seoul | 4 Super Fresh Foods to Try during Spring
buddhist temple food, what to eat in seoul

Figuring out what to eat in Seoul could justifiably take over your entire trip to Korea if you let it. You wouldn’t be the first. After all, there’s delicious food to be found in every nook and cranny of this tiny little country.

Always a good thing, since eating ALL THE FOOD is one of the most incredible parts of traveling, wouldn’t you say?

what to eat in seoul, seoul food guide

If you plan what to eat in Seoul by season, you’ll get the freshest, most nutritious food.

In this Seoul food guide, you’ll discover exactly what to eat during the spring months of March, April and May. You’ll also find recommendations for every budget to help you find the absolute best places to try all these amazing Korean foods.

*Psst… this post may contain affiliate links. Read our disclosure.

Why Choose What to Eat in Seoul by Season?

When I first moved to Seoul from Canada, I went to a grocery store looking for cilantro. Because you know, in Canada, despite the 6 month winters and sub-zero temps, you can get pretty much anything you want, at any time of the year.

My main emotion in Korean grocery stores is usually confusion… but I get by.

After perusing the totally confusing vegetable section for awhile and failing, I finally worked up the nerve to ask for some in my horrible Korean. And the response when I asked?


changdeokgung palace in autumn

Autumn in Korea certainly is pretty. And it has cilantro. © Lee Jung-kyu, Korea Tourism Organization

And that’s when I learned that food and grocery in Korea is incredibly seasonal. Simply put, there are some things you just CAN’T get at certain times of the year. Not necessarily a bad thing if you ask me. Because it means that by choosing what to eat in Seoul by season, you’re guaranteed to get the best, tastiest, and most nutritious food possible.

Planning a trip to Korea?

Connect with other travellers | Ask and get answers to all your travel questions | Learn about all the best things to do in Korea | Join our Korea Travel Planning + Guide Facebook Group now.

What to eat in Seoul during Spring

Ahh spring in Seoul! That means warmer temperatures, blossoming flowers, and new life. This Seoul food guide will help you figure out the best things to eat in Korea during the months of March, April, and May.

what to eat in seoul | buddhist temple food

Wondering what to eat in Seoul during spring? Veggies are a good bet!

Spring Namul | 나물

Namul refers to a variety of edible grasses or leaves, that are commonly served as banchan or side dishes in Korean cuisine. In spring time, namul are super fresh, packed with vitamins and incredibly tasty. Look out for mugwort, gondre, fernbrake, and wild chives, when deciding what to eat in Seoul, during spring.

what to eat in seoul | namul in spring

Nom nom namul.

Seoul Food Guide | Places to Eat Spring Namul in Seoul

Wondering where to eat Buddhist Temple food in Seoul? Sanchon is the place to go for fresh namul and an incredible atmosphere. You’ll be treated to a unique menu of Korean dishes that are carefully prepared using in-season vegetables and time-honoured techniques.

If you’d like to enjoy a free traditional folk performance, time your reservation for between 7:30 and 8PM. Performances run from 8 – 8:40. Find more details here.

what to eat in seoul | namul at sanchon insadong

You can try all kinds of fresh spring namul at Sanchon in Insadong.

Check out Bon Bibimbap (본비빔밥) if Sanchon is a bit out of your budget. You’ll find affordable and flavourful mixed rice bowls loaded with the fresh veggies of the season. You’ll easily find this restaurant chain all over Seoul.

MICHELIN STAR MUGUNGHWA  |  Seoul has its fair share of Michelin Star restaurants now, but Mugunghwa is one of the constants. Indulge in modern Korean cuisine served on the 38th floor of the Lotte Hotel, with incredible views of Seoul’s dynamic cityscape below. Check menus here.

Sweet, sweet strawberries | 딸기

If you’re wondering what fruit to eat in Seoul during spring, look no further than the beautiful strawberry. Korean strawberries are incredibly sweet, smell amazing, and they’re even an excellent source of vitamin C. You literally won’t be able to resist eating them.

In Korea, this lovely red (false) fruit is grown in greenhouses from December to June, but they’re at their flavour peak from February to April.

what to eat in spring | strawberry greenhouse in korea

Strawberries are most delicious in spring.

Seoul Food Guide | Places to Eat Strawberries in Korea

During peak season, you’ll see strawberries every which way you turn. Head into any grocery store, look out for blue pick up trucks, or sellers on the street, to pick up a box.

Cafes and restaurants all over Seoul will incorporate strawberries into their shakes, juices and desserts, so be on the lookout for any specials when deciding what to eat in Korea during spring.

what to eat in korea, strawberry bingsu sulbing

Strawberry bingsu will definitely be on the menu come spring. Photo by vscript/@Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

A Seoul food guide without bingsu, wouldn’t be a food guide, and Subling is the most ubiquitous bingsu chain to be found in Korea. You can find one in almost every neighbourhood, in every city, for good reason. It’s delicious!

They have a rotating menu of seasonal shaved milk ice desserts, and you can be sure that a 딸기 bingsu will find a place on its menu, come spring.

what to eat in seoul in spring | strawberry farm

Picking strawberries in a greenhouse is a great spring activity in Korea

STRAWBERRY PICKING  | Heading to a greenhouse to pick strawberries right off the vine, is an awesome spring activity, perfect for families. Here are some options:

If you’re a total strawberry addict, buffets are the place to eat in Seoul. High-end hotels and lounges around the country offer buffets with strawberry focused desserts, waffles and drinks.

You can check out Strawberry Avenue at the Intercontinental Seoul Coex (until April 2nd, 2023), or Strawberry World at Lotte Hotel (until May 8th, 2023).

Limited Edition Spring Tours in Korea

Spring in Korea is positively alive with colour and wonderful things to do. Here are the spring tours to take advantage of for the months of March, April, and May. Like cherry blossom season, the dates for most of these tours is incredibly limited. Most run for just a few weeks!

gwangyang maehwa village

Bamboo trees and plum blossoms in Gwangyang during spring in korea

Spring Tours from Seoul

Spring Tours from Busan

jinhae cherry blossom festival

Jinhae is the most visited cherry blossom festival in Korea for a reason ⓒ Live Studio, Korea Tourism Organization

Jjukkumi | 쭈꾸미

Jjukkumi are webfoot octopus that are plumpest and tastiest from March to May. It has 2-5 times more taurine than squid or octopus, which helps to lower cholesterol levels. Always a good thing. If you’re tired, put jjukkumi on your list of what to eat in Seoul, because it also helps to reduce fatigue.

what to eat in seoul | jjukkumi on the grill

Jjukkumi are freshest in spring

Whether you have it stir-fried, grilled, or in a shabu shabu, you’ll sure to love it’s chewy texture and delicious flavour.

CHADOLBAKHIN JJUKKUMI IN JONGNO  |  Get your fill of delicious jjukkumi in Jongno. Choose from stir-fried, grilled, or hot pot style. Check info here.

Seoul Food Guide | Where to eat Jjukkumi in Seoul

Take the subway to Jegi-dong on Line 1 and search for Yongdu-dong Jjukkumi Street. Look out for the street with the large gold jjukkumi statue at the entrance. Any restaurant on the strip will do the trick, but if you want the originator – try it at Ho Nam Sikdang.

Chungmuro Jjukkumi Bulgogi (충무로 쭈꾸미 불고기) is a humble 식당 that’s been successfully grilling jjukkumi and other seafood for over 40 years. Last year, it made the Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand list, so expect super tender jjukkumi that packs a sweet and smoky flavour punch. Find more info here.

Jjajangmyeon on Black Day

If you’re single, be sure to eat some jjajangmyeong on April 14th, to celebrate “Black Day.” This holiday is for singles to wear black clothes, gather and commiserate about their lack of intimate relationships, while eating black food – the most popular being jjajangmyeon.


Drown your sorrows with other singles over jjajangmyeon on Black Day.

Seoul Food Guide | Where to Eat Jjajangmyeon

Jjajangmyeon holds the crown for one of the most ordered delivery items, but you can also eat this in Chinese-Korean restaurants all over the country. You’ll find them EVERYWHERE, so just keep your eyes open on any food street, or in any mall food court.

binhaewon, seoul food guide, what to eat in korea

Try jjajangmyung at Binhaewon in Gunsan

If you’re looking for something a little special, head to totally off the beaten path Gunsan in Jeollabuk-do, and try it at Binhaewon. This is an official registered historic site, famous for its mul jjajang, and ethnic Han Chinese architecture.

Did this article help you? Writers (and moms especially) need caffeine!

Help support my small business with a cup of coffee.

Know what to eat in Seoul during spring now? What’s top of your list?

post a comment