Jeonju is the city for foodies. Located in the southwest of Korea, the fertile land produces some of the best vegetables and livestock in the country. It is also near the coasts so fresh seafood is prominently featured in the cuisine.
What I think makes this region’s cuisine so different is the people. I find that people from North Jeolla Province appreciate the slower and more artistic aspects of life. The region is famous for its produce, its school, and its artists. It doesn’t have a lot of heavy industries like other parts of Korea, so the area is very clean. The climate is warmer so fruits, livestock, and vegetables thrive there. Because of this vibrant lifestyle, the people are creative and generous with their food. In recent times, Jeonju has become a major tourism destination for Koreans and foreigners.
It’s centrally located hanok (Korean traditional house) village is a spectacle and features many of the area’s famous restaurants, artisan shops, and architecture. In my recent visits I have found the hanok village expanding and it looks like many Seoul citizens are moving there in search of a different lifestyle. For those looking to travel to the region, here is a list of must try foods.
The Famous Foods in Jeonju: Jeonju Bibimbap
A visit to Jeonju must include a meal with Jeonju bibimbap. However, it is difficult to decide which one to visit since every place claims to be the best and original. Jeonju bibimbap is characterized by its colorful array of different ingredients such as vegetables like bean sprouts, zucchini, carrots, bracken, spinach; nuts and seeds like chestnuts, sesame seeds and gingko nuts; and proteins such as beef and egg yolk. The sauce used to flavor the dish is very important as well. Beef is typically cooked with the red chili paste. It is a cornucopia of the freshest and best quality ingredients that is typically served in Korean brassware called yugi. But what makes the dish special is the array of banchan (side dishes) that come with the meal that range from different types of kimchi, fermented fish, blanched vegetables, and more. It is a meal that was prepared for aristocrats and members of royalty.
My favorite places:
Seongmidang Tel: +82-63-273-0029
#31-2, Jungang-dong 3-ga, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si
Kajok Hoegwan Tel: +82-63-284-0982
#80, Jungang-dong 3-ga, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si
Jungang Hoegwan Tel: +82-63-285-4288
#78-1, Jungang-dong 3-ga, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si
Jeonju Royal Court Cuisine
In Jeonju, fresh ingredients and skilled methods of preparation make a full royal court meal a celebration. Spread out on a large table before the guests, dishes from the land and sea are intricately arranged like a map boasting the fertility of the province. You’ll get savory pancakes, crispy grilled fish, fresh sashimi, robust soups, pickled kimchi, fresh vegetables, and more. Dishes like sinseollo (a multi-ingredient soup cooked in a special pot) and hongeo bossam (fermented skate with kimchi and pork belly) are unique and special. Some places will have special dishes like slowly braised beef ribs in a savory soy sauce, braised fish, and soy marinated crab. A meal of this type is a culinary experience one must experience in Korea and I think the chefs in Jeonju do it the best.
My favorite places:
Gung Tel: +82- 63-227-0844
#72-7, Pungnam-dong 3-ga, Wan- san-gu, Jeonju-si
Yangbanga Tel: +82-63-282-0054
#30-2, Choimyeonghui-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si
Manchan Tel: +82- 63-225-3333
#284-12, Sukgogae-ro, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si
PNB Bakery: Amazing Chocolate Pies
In Jeonju, you have to try the chocolate pies and cookies from PNB Bakery. The cream filled chocolate pies are heavenly and people line up around the block to get them.
PNB Bakery Tel: +82- 63-285-6666
Gyeongwon-dong 1-ga, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si
Famous Noodles that People Come For
What looks like a little unassuming restaurant front is a famous noodle place that has large rooms for seating in the back and a full parking lot. It has also recently expanded. Locals and tourists are obsessed with the restaurant’s silky noodles in an egg-drop broth topped with wild sesame seeds. Their dumplings are outstanding as well.
Veteran Kalguksu Tel: +82-63-285-9898
Gyeonggicheon-gil 135, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si
The Hangover Cure: Bean Sprout and Rice Soup
After a night of makgeolli (Koren rice wine) and food, Jeonju people believe that a bowl of bean sprout and rice soup is the perfect cure. They say the place with the best broth and freshest bean sprouts is Sambaekjip. Here the flavorful broth with soothing rice is a great way to start the day.
Sambaekjip #22, Eonjugaeksa2-gil, Wansan-gu, Jeonju-si
Park Sung Eun firstname.lastname@example.org
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