Busan (부산) is the second most populated city in Korea. You might recognize Busan from Black Panther’s car chase scene that featured Jagalchi Market (자갈치시장), one of the most famous fish markets in Korea and the gorgeous Gwangandaegyo Bridge (광안대교). Besides officially being a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Busan is also known for its beautiful beach scenes and vibrant nightlife, but most importantly, their food.
Busan has a wonderful and massive culture for food. It is home to not only the largest fish market in the country but, also home to plenty of unique and delicious local foods.
With Busan being a huge port city, you know the seafood scene is going to be amazing. Jagalchi market has some of the greatest seafood that Busan can offer you. People from all over the country come to experience the hustle and bustle of the market while also diving into some great food such as Jangeo-gui (장어구이, Grilled Sea Eel) or some of the freshest and tastiest Eomok (어묵, fishcakes) you can find in Korea. If you’re feeling adventurous, you should have a go at some sanakji (산낙지, raw octopus) served fresh and still wiggling.
If you’re looking for a small snack or just a small taste of what Busan can offer you, try some haemul pajeon (해물파전, seafood and green onion pancakes) or more specifically Dongnae pajeon (동래파전) in Busan. Made with eggs, glutinous four, green onions, scallions, and an assortment of different fillings of choice, the famous Busan pajeon is usually served with a side of gochujang (고추장, chili paste). This dish was known to be presented at the king’s table so, what better way to experience Busan cuisine than like royalty?
Hot or cold, Busan is there for you
If seafood isn’t much of your scene, you don’t need to worry. Busan is also famous for its noodles, Milmyeon (밀면), to be exact. This dish is best eaten during the summer as it is served cold. The wheat noodles are chewy and soaked in cold broth matched with thin slices of beef, cucumbers, some gochujang (고추장, chili paste), and half a boiled egg. It’s simple, refreshing, and delicious.
However, if you are visiting Busan during the wintertime or just want to try something that will soothe your soul, you definitely need to try the traditional dweji gukbap (돼지국밥, Pork and Rice soup). It’s made from pork bones for the broth and served almost like a porridge. It comes with scallions, pork, rice, and a dollop of gochujang to add a bit of heat. Perfect for a cold or rainy day to make you feel all warm and cozy inside.
Don’t forget about dessert
After a good hearty meal and exploring some of the more savory parts of Busan’s cuisine, it’s time for some dessert. You can hit up a local cafe and indulge in some great coffee and bingsu (빙수, shaved ice), or you can really do it local by hitting up some street food. Busan has its own version of the hotteok (호떡, sweet pancakes with brown sugar filling) called ssiat hotteok (씨앗호떡), which in addition to the brown sugar filling, there are a bunch of seeds as well. It’s the perfect end to a local foodie experience in Busan.
Whether you’re a foodie or just looking to visit, Busan has so much to offer in its beautiful scenery to its delicious cuisine. Without a doubt, you will find yourself full, happy, and falling in love with the city in no time.