5 Korean Food That Will Warm Your Insides During Winter

5 Korean Food That Will Warm Your Insides During Winter

Beat the winter in Korea with these food items and treats! If you’re down for some authentic street food, check out this experience.

The Rundown

  • In Korea for the winter? Check out these must-try food that will get your body warmed up!

  • Among the recommended Korean food for the winter season include jjigae, hotteok, and tteokbokki.

  • You can easily find these Korean food in places like Myeongdong and Dongdaemun.

  • If you’re looking to go to Nami Island to experience your own winter sonata, you can consider getting a bus and admission ticket combo here.

Also read: Discover Seoul Pass: Your Key to the Top Attractions in Korea

Korean Food for the Winter

Gyeongbokgung during winter.

Gyeongbokgung during winter.

While the thought of experiencing winter in Korea brings to mind dreamy things like snow-laden streets and a crowd in their fashionable layers, the reality of the season may prove to be harsh. The temperature in South Korea usually drops to the negative scale in January, which travelers from tropical countries may find to be quite of an adjustment. Certainly, bundling up helps, but when you get started with your Seoul itinerary, you’d eventually feel some numbing sensation in different parts of your body and you’d probably end up saying (or singing), “the cold bothers me in every way”.

But fret not; there are many ways you can beat the cold. This includes wearing your thermal wear (first of many layers), hitting the warm Korean baths in a jjimjilbang, and staying in a heated space. But when the cold unbearably gets to your insides, head on over to a nearby street cart, restaurant, or market and try the following Korean food that will help you keep warm in the winter:

1. Jjigae

Jjigae is essentially Korean stew that’s served boiling hot. It commonly has meat, vegetables, or seafood, which means flavors will burst inside your mouth. There are many variants of jjigae in Korea that you can try. The most popular ones include sundubu jjigae (spicy tofu soup), altang jjigae (pollock roe, which is a type of cod), ge jjigae (crab), and kimchi jjigae. If you’re feeling cold and hungry in the evening, order a hearty bowl of Korean stew, which is usually good for 2-3 people.

2. Odaeng

When you’re shopping in Myeongdong or strolling Gang River Park and are in need of a quick fill, look around and search for a food cart that sells Korean fish cakes or odaeng (also referred to as eomuk). Odaeng is a processed seafood snack that’s made out of fish, vegetables, and starch. This always pairs well with a cup of warm salty soup, which is usually given by food vendors for free!

3. Hoppang

Nothing but a tiny bun to keep you warm during winter. If you’re familiar with dou sha bao in China or siopao in the Philippines, you’ll immediately fall in love with hoppang in Korea. Hoppang is a steamed ball of flour or rice that’s filled with either red beans, vegetables, meat, or curry. It’s always served hot, so if you’re looking for an instant snack to warm your insides, you can grab one in the market.

4. Hotteok

You’ve probably heard of hotteok or Korean pancakes before as they’re very culturally popular. But if you haven’t yet, hotteok is a ready-to-go snack that’s actually perfect for any season. These are pancakes made from mixing honey, peanuts, cinnamon, and/or brown sugar. It also comes filled with chives and other vegetables. Before getting started with your day of touring, you can head on over to a food market to look for these warm delights. Once tried, you will definitely never have enough.

5. Tteokbokki

Tteokbokki are Korean rice cakes, which are loved by many for its distinct flavor and texture. It’s perfect to snack on during the winter as they are usually hot and spicy. You can get them in food carts or restaurant chains. Restaurants usually add odaeng to their tteokbokki serving, which means you can hit two birds with one stone.


  • Aside from trying these food items, you can also buy a hot cup of coffee or hot milk tea, which will instantly regulate your body temperature.

  • Juk or porridge is also a great Korean dish for the winter! Check out where you can get juk in our guide: 16 Satisfying Things to Do in Seoul

Any more Korean food for the winter?

If you’ve any other Korean food suggestions that are perfect for the winter, do let us know in the comments section below.

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