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For anyone who has ever visited Seoul, Hongdae is a college neighborhood anchored by Hongik University on the western end of Seoul. Known for its never ending number of clubs, restaurants and bars, Hongdae is an eclectic area in which the cheap eats are well… cheap. But more importantly, they could rival almost anything around the world. As such, here are the the top 10 most exotic street foods you have to eat in Hongdae.
1. Sugar Bar Rainbow Cotton Candy (슈가바 ‘레인보우 솜사탕’)
I for one, cannot get enough of processed colored sugars. Now, put this together in a form that is bigger than three football helmets, then you’ll practically guaranteed to separate me from my money. Pink, yellow and blue are just some of the hues you can choose from. At a price of 5,000 Won, you won’t be breaking the bank.
2. Fried Chicken Bites with Cheese (치즈닭강정)
Dalgangjeong are essentially small fried chicken bites coated with sweet and spicy sauce. Just by itself, you have a winner. When you throw cheese on it, its like you just ordered the Super Bowl package. Why is this even legal, I don’t know. But I do know that for 9500 Won, you can get yourself a large serving of this bad boy.
3. Filled Churro (필링츄러스)
If churros are already so damn tasty, then hollowing them and filling it with cream must make them… heavenly? Crunchy churros with cinnamon sugar sweetness on the outside, paired with your choice of chocolate, peanut, cream cheese or milk. Like with most things, the Koreans have taken something Americanized and made it their own. For 2,700 Won, you can judge whether my statement was correct.
4. Fried Squid and Fruity/Sour Slush (통오징어 튀김 & 슬러시)
Why these two things are categorized together is beyond me. Just like why I can’t explain the reason peanut butter and ketchup goes oh-so-well on eggs, they just do. Fried squid is just another term for calamari. The fruity slush in a phallic container is bound to quench those summer thirsts. So I guess, getting something salty/fried and balancing that out with something cold/sweet is actually a pretty darn good idea. For 6,000 Won(squid) and 4,000 Won(slush), its summer time fun that everyone can afford.
BTW, just kidding on the peanut butter and ketchup comment. Thats just gross. Unless of course, you like it. Then its spectacular.
5. Hawaiian Shaved Ice – Over the Rainbow (하와이스노위 ‘오버더레인보우’)
Don’t know if I would get this in Seoul. But if you are hankering for some Hawaiian shaved ice when you are in Seoul, for 4,000 Won, you can get yourself a taste of the islands.
6. Iron Ice Cream (철판아이스크림)
A more appropriate name should be “iron board ice cream.” The way that this stuff is made is pure magic, in fact, there’s more magic going on here than a David Copperfield show in Las Vegas. If you don’t believe me, then check out this Youtube video to see how the magic happens. Essentially, a dense liquid is poured onto a sub-freezing slab of iron. Fruit is chopped up and mixed into the liquid and the concoction slowly freezes. Once it does, its peeled off and rolled into the form that you see above. Pretty nifty. I’m sure the girls at the club are going to go wild over this. 3000 – 4000 Won.
7. DDAMONG Grapefruit Juice (DDAMONG 자몽주스)
With a name like grapefruit juice, whats the big deal? That is where you are wrong. These guys hollow out a grapefruit while also grinding down the insides of it into delicious, pulpy, juice. Insert a straw, pay the 4,500 Won price tag and you got yourself a vitamin drink on the go.
8. King Kong Waffles – Waffle Drugs (마약 와플)
Guess the guys behind the waffles really want you to think their waffles are like crack. With the toppings on these bad boys, who can blame them. Each of the waffles are topped with ice cream, blueberries, whipped cream and a dash of strawberry syrup for good measures. Thats just for starters. If you check out this photo, you’ll realize the Korean’s waffle game is beyond anything we have back in the United States. Its as if the Koreans looked at our maple syrup, laughed at it, then threw a bunch of Kpop-infused magic dust and out popped these waffles. For 2,500 Won, you best you sweet ass you’ll be getting more than one.
9. Croquettes Containing the Sun (태양을 담은 고로케, 햄버케)
Forget the obviously-not-made-for-Google-Translate name, all you need to know is that this thing has beef and cheese in it. In fact, the cheese is basked into the crust so there’s no part of this thing that you won’t like and your doctor won’t hate. For 2,000 Won, you can be sure you are getting more than one of these.
10. Bagel Gelato Sandwich (젤라또베이글)
Shit, why hasn’t anyone ever thought of this before?? The guys over at insight recommend getting one of these ice cream + bagel sandwiches alongside an Americano. Personally, I would rather get a cup of cappuccino or a low-fat, skinny, mocha latte with extra foam on top. Because, you know, I need to watch my figure.
But, imagine the softness of the bagel and the tender loving care of the ice cream just blending together in harmonious matrimony. Compared to ice cream+cookie sandwiches, the bagel sandwiches are probably going to be less sweet. Something my doctor must be grateful for. For 7000 Won, all of your dreams are about to come true.