South Korean convenience stores are literally packed with gems. There's a variety of choices with snacks and beverages that you should not be missing out on. We're gonna be introducing some of the must-try korean snacks and korean beverages in a Korean Convenience store. The most common convenience store brands in South Korea are CU, GS 25, 7-eleven, Ministop, etc.
Of course you will be stopping by at convenience stores a lot when travelling, for something to drink or eat, so I guarantee you that this post will help you heaps. Get ready to jump into korean convenience store snacks.
South Koreans LOVE drinking, whether it's alcoholic, nutritious or thirst-quenching. As a result, Korean convenience stores offer you the widest range of drinks, some of which taste nothing like you've ever had before. Let's find out some of the best-selling drinks in Korean Convenience store.
First off, let's talk about how good this banana milk is. Manufactured since 1974 by Bingre, which means smile in English, Bananamat Wooyu (바나나맛 우유, translated "banana flavored milk" in English) is one of the best selling flavored milks in South Korea. Look at the cutest plastic bottles, how can anyone resist that?
Due to the insane amount of love it gets, Bingre started manufacturing the milk in different flavors ; strawberry, melon and light (low-calorie).
Price : 1,300 KRW
Shikye is a traditional Korean beverage that has been consumed since the 12th century (estimated). The making takes lots of effort and time which people in the modern days cannot afford, so instead of making the beverage at home like the traditional way, they just easily grab a canned shikye on the go. Shikye is made of rice grains, malt and sugar. When it's fermented it becomes alcoholic but shikye is boiled with sugar and malt which, so, as a result, creates the sweet taste of the beverage.
The rice grains in it might be a little weird if it's your first time trying it (some people describe it like chewing wet piece of paper), but seriously the beverage has been the most loved beverage to general public throughout the South Korean history. The most popular canned shikye brands in Korean Convenience store include Janchitjip (잔칫집) and Birak (비락).
Price : 900 KRW (Birak Shikye 238ml can)
Bongbong! (My personal favorite) The beverage tastes sweet and a bit sourish and has chewy, real grapes in it. (How clever!) Bongbong is not carbonated but the slight acidity of the beverage is good enough to quench your thirst.
Manufactured from 1981, Bongbong has some loyal enthusiasts who are in love with the uniqueness of the drink.
Price: 700 KRW
Launched in 1999, Achim Hetsal (meaning "morning sunshine" in English) has been one of the most commonly seen beverages in South Korea. The beverage is made of domestic grains only, including 35% of rice as well as germinated brown rice and black rice. The taste is very smooth, milky and sweet. Unfortunately, not every Korean is in love with Achim Hetsal, but to those who do, it's regarded as the most addictive, yummy beverage ever.
It's world's first rice beverage so, love it or hate it, you should try it out.
Price : 1,200 KRW (180ml glass bottle)
OK, now let's move on to the snacks. As a Korean myself, I seriously think that Koreans are just beyond geniuses when creating new flavors with such creative ideas. You can hardly find a sour vinegar flavored chips in Korean convenient store, (actually you can't, cause there's none as far as I know) but experiment, just try out some new stuff, you'll fall in love instantly.
Pusho Pusho (뿌셔뿌셔, meaning "smash smash" or "break break" in English) has been Korean kids' favorite snack since 1999. The snack looks exactly like an instant noodle, in fact, the whole packaging as well as the contents do. Pusho Pusho has these noodles with a seasoning packet in it. Do not boil it though, it tastes nasty that way. The most common way to eat it is to break the noodles first and then sprinkle the seasoning all in the bag and then shake it so that the seasoning spreads evenly.
There are various flavors available ; bulgogi, tteokbokki, barbeque, chilli-cheese and honey-butter. There used to be many more flavors such as pizza, sweet corn, strawberry, chocolate, melon, chajang, potato and corn.
Price : 730 KRW
Banana Kick is a corn snack with a sweet banana flavor to it. Looks and tastes crunchy at first, but instantly melts when put in the mouth. The snack has stood firm as one of the national snacks since 1978. The snack has been doing some experiments on the flavor, creating chocolate, green tea and strawberry banana kicks. However, the original is still the most dominantly selling one among all the flavors which I cannot help agreeing with.
Price : 1,400 KRW
Pokachip is hands down the best selling potato chips in South Korea. The chips are super thin and crispy, with just the right amount of flavor. The most commonly available flavors are the original (salt) and onion but there's sweet-cheese and seaweed flavor as well (which is rarely available in most convenience stores).
Based on some reviews of the snack, the chips go really well with beers, so give it a go that way.
Price : 1,500 KRW
The original name of the snack is Jollypong but pronounced more like Choripong in Korean. Jollypong is a compound word of Jolly, meaning happy and Pong is a Korean word to describe a sound like "Pop" or "Bam". Choripong is puffed wheat with caramel coated on top and therefore has a very sweet, healthy grain-ish taste to it. Since each piece of Choripong is so small, there's this paper spoon in it which you can fold and use when scooping up the snack.
The snack was launched in 1972 and I bet there's zero Korean that has never had it before. It's claimed that Choripong tastes a lot like Golden Crisp cereals which actually makes sense in a way, because lots of people love to have it with milk.
Price : 1,500 KRW
As you can tell by the packaging, Ojingeojip (literally meaning "squid house" in English) has butter-grilled squid flavor. The snack was first launched in 1992 and has been earning much love from Koreans til today. The taste, I'm not sure how to describe it, but it does taste like squid, I don't know about the butter though.
Anyhow, Ojingeojip is super addictive and pretty cheap for the amount, too. You'll be packing bunch of these when you're flying back home, for sure.
Price : 1,400 KRW