Paul was born and raised in small-town America. Upon graduating from university, he took to the world of a 9-5 corporate job.
After realizing that cubicle life wasn't meant for him, he set his sights to the sky.
Paul worked as a flight attendant for a small airline, and had a great time traveling around the USA. After a few years, his case of wanderlust became even stronger. That's when he found himself living in Seoul, South Korea.
Paul has been living in Korea since 2009, and currently teaches at a small college. In his free time, he enjoys trying foods from around the world, drinking wine, caring for animals, and of course, traveling!
Latest posts by Paul J. Henderson (see all)
- 10 Unique Fast Foods Items Only Found in South Korea - October 10, 2017
One of the great things about traveling to a foreign country is trying out all the local food. In South Korea – you’ll find yourself snacking on plenty of fresh seafood, fermented vegetables, and a variety of spicy meats.
However, the time might come when you’d want something a bit more familiar. Luckily, South Korea is home to plenty of fast food joints from the States. While you will be able to find many of the same products – you’ll also be able to find some things that exist only in Korea.
Since fast food is relatively new to this country, restaurants find themselves needing to cater to the local palette. Therefore, you might be surprised at some of these creations. Let’s take a look at some of the unique fast foods items that can be found in South Korea.
1. McDonald’s: Chocolate French Fries
While you might shutter at the thought of putting both white and dark chocolate on the legendary French fries of McDonald’s, you might be surprised to hear that the combination is quite tasty. The sweetness combines with the saltiness of the fries to create a unique taste. While this isn’t something I would like to eat often, it does make for a nice treat every once in a while.
2. Burger King: New Orleans Style Chicken Sandwich
How would you describe the taste of New Orleans? While I think about gumbo, jambalaya, and crawfish, Burger King in Korea has a bit of a different idea. This breaded chicken sandwich packs a spice punch. Served on a bun with lettuce, dill pickles, and a ton of mayo, it’s my choice of sandwich at BK. While it might not remind me of NOLA, it is still a good chicken sandwich.
3. Mexicana Chicken: Cheetos Fried Chicken
To say that Koreans are crazy about fried chicken is an understatement. It’s a dish that is often served at bars to accompany beer. It can also be delivered 24 hours a day, straight to your home. This popular franchise recently created a ‘Cheetos Fried Chicken’. While I haven’t had the opportunity to try it out yet, it’s reported to be fried chicken, topped with Cheetos dust. This chain has managed to take two of my favorite foods and combine it into one dish. I can’t wait to get my (soon to be orange) fingers on it!
4. Pizza Hut: Hamburger and Fries Pizza
Plenty of American pizza chains exist in South Korea, including Poppa Johns, Domino’s, and Pizza Hut. However, don’t be surprised at some of the interesting topping choices. Corn, potatoes, baked mayo, and shrimp are commonly found on pizza. However, one of my favorite is the burger and fries pizza. The crust of the pizza includes a miniature burger patty, while French fries are baked on top. Unique? Yes. Tasty? Absolutely.
5. McDonald’s: Waffle Fries
Perhaps the only place one gets to choose between regular and waffle fries at a McDonald’s is in Korea. While I prefer the classic cut fries, the waffle fries are worth tasting at least once. They are thinly cut, and taste more like a potato chip. You can also add the chocolate topping, if you choose so!
6. KFC: Beer
KFC in South Korea differs from its American counterpart in many ways. I shed a small tear when I realized there’s no mashed potatoes and gravy in Korean KFC. I was surprised that the menu exists mostly of sandwiches, rather than buckets of chicken. However, I was pleasantly shocked to see that one can order draft beer at KFC! If you think beer and chicken is a crazy combo, you’d be wrong! Koreans even have a special word for it: ‘chimake’. This is a combination of the words ‘CHIcken’ and ‘MAKEju’ (Korean for beer). Head over to KFC for a ‘chimake party’!
7. Dunkin’ Donuts: New York Pie
While you may know it as a CRONUT, Dunkin’ Donuts in Korea has taken their spin on this once-trendy pastry. Other than New York, Korea was the only other place to secure a cronut at one time. They were baked twice a day, and people waited in line to get their hands on one. Now they’re not as popular as before, but they’re still tasty. If you find yourself in Korea, and wonder what a cronut tastes like – then head over to DD!
8. McDonald’s: Corn and Shrimp Burger
Sometimes you might want something without a ton of red meat. Introducing: McDonald’s Corn and Shrimp Burger. This sandwich consists of two fried patties: one filled with minced shrimp, and one with creamed corn. It’s then combined with a slightly spicy sauce and lettuce. Personally, I love shrimp and corn, so this is something I tend to order when going to McDonald’s.
9. Corn Latte
What do you get when you take steamed milk and dump canned corn in? The corn latte! I don’t have much to say about this, as it’s not something I’m brave enough to try! Visitors to South Korea should be aware that occasionally corn can end up in some surprising things. This drink, however, might take the cake! It’s reviews sound promising, so don’t be afraid to check it out!
10. McDonald’s: Hershey’s Chocolate Pie
This fried pastry is the Korean cousin to the American apple pie from McDonald’s. With a crunchy chocolate shell and gooey chocolate goodness inside, this pie reminds me of a molten lava cake. Pro-tip: add it to a vanilla sundae, and you have an amazing dessert! Also, it’s a cool item to show off on Instagram!
When traveling to South Korea, don’t be afraid to try the local food! While you might not be too familiar with Korean food, you will be surprised at just how good it is. However, if the time comes where you crave something more ‘American’, you’ll have plenty of options. While of course, you can order a Big Mac or a Whopper – why not try something totally different?
So which South Korean fast food item would you love to try?