One of the best things about teaching in Korea is Korean take-out! Upon arrival to your new environment in South Korea you will be amazed by the variety of new dining choices available. There is little you could be hungry for that you cannot find, and some of these options may be so foreign and exotic to you that you are likely to be a bit overwhelmed. Ordering food in Korea is therefore something you’ll want to learn how to learn how to do soon after you land.
With such a busy schedule teaching in Korea, and with your mind occupied adapting to your new home, the best choice for many meal-times may be fast-food. Fortunately for you, South Korea’s fast food choices are as vast and eclectic as the people they serve. Ordering food in Korea, whether from the counter or home, is a simple, quick and affordable experience.
When thinking fast-food, the first restaurant likely to cross your mind will be McDonald’s. Just like back home, McDonald’s are to be found in almost any city in Korea and have menus with the staples you are used to like the Big Mac and fries, along with other choices, like the Shanghai Spicy Chicken Burger, that may be new to you.
Arguably the most popular fast food chain in South Korea, Lotteria, serves western style cuisine with a Koreanized touch. You can order a familiar burger like you are used to, or you can try the Bulgogi Burger. Made with thin strips of grilled sirloin, the Bulgogi is a customer favorite at Lotteria. You can order fries for a side or, if you are feeling daring, try the squid rings!
Many fast food chains in the cities of South Korea offer delivery services. This service, free, and available from many restaurants around the clock, utilizes drivers on small motorcycles who zip throughout the city to deliver the food to your door usually within twenty minutes of the order being placed. Whether you order a single serving or, as a treat to the students you are teaching in Korea, are feeding the class, this service is at no extra cost. Do not feel like you have to offer the driver a tip, gratuities are not obligatory or expected in South Korea. If you use delivery services often, this difference from western culture can be a major money-saver in the long run.
Do you hate eating out of a bag or, worse yet, have you ever poked a hole in the flimsy Styrofoam containers that most fast food is served in, only to dribble sauce down the front of your shirt. Fear not! Many food delivery services in South Korea serve their food on actual china. Upon delivery, pay the driver, go inside and eat your meal. When your dining is complete simply give a return call to the restaurant and they will send a driver back, free of charge, to pick up the used china. No dirty dishes to clean and no sauce-stained shirts!
Just like America, where fast-food is a comfort and a convenience, there are options available on nearly every city street for ordering food in Korea. Whether you are hungry for a Whopper or a Kimchi Burger, you will find it in South Korea or, if you use the many convenient delivery services, it will find you.
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