So you don’t feel like buying groceries or cooking, you want to eat somewhat healthy without breaking the bank, and you’re damn hungry. Shit out of luck, am I right?
Well, not if you live in Korea. Virtually every corner of this country, whether in the city or in the middle of a rice paddy offers up the wonderful Kimbap restaurant. Known by their various names like 김밥 나라 (Kimbap Country) and 김밥 세상 (Kimbap World), these restaurants offer incredible affordable, super fast meals for eat-in or take-out. And the best part is, the menu is extensive. It offers all the Korean basics, like kimbap (duh), an assortment of ramyeon, sundubu, kimchi jigae, bibimbap, manduguk, and loads more.
It’s probably not as healthy as whipping up a home meal, but its fast and cheap and better than other options that can say the same (I’m looking at you Lotteria). This is my go-to when I’m about to go away for the weekend, and don’t want to buy groceries for one night’s meal or end up with leftovers.
It’s also became a staple of my day over summer vacation (ahem–school summer vacation where I still had to turn up to work even though I had no classes) when the cafeteria was closed and we only had one hour to get lunch.
And I’m always game for some manduguk (dumpling soup) and a roll of fresh kimbap. Why buy that crap at the convenience store when you can have it made fresh in one minute for the same price! AND at any time of the day, as many of these restaurants are also 24 hours!
All in all, if you are in Korea and you haven’t tried a kimbap restaurant, I 100% recommend it. It won’t be a life-changing experience of flavour and aroma, but you’ll get a satisfying meal under $5, whipped up in no time, and with loads of options!