Things You Must Know About Korean Restaurants!

Updated on Aug 29, 2023 · By Tom

Korea is a country rich of delicious meals such as tteokbeokki, bibimbap, and my personal favourite dakgalbi! And with great food comes great restaurants, many of which have specificities that will surprise you if you are not used to the Korean lifestyle.

You want to know if you can make sound while eating, serve yourself your favorite alcohol or how to use chopsticks? Make sure to read our post about the Korean eating etiquette.

1. Ring My Bell!

In most resaurants you will see a red button, do not hesitate to press it! The sound it makes will let the waiter know you are ready to order or that you need something.

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I often see foreigners calling the waiters instead of using the bell because they are shy or because of culture difference. But trust me, this it the most convenient way to call them as some restaurants can get really noisy. Especially crowded Korean barbecues where grilled meat and customers sing together around soju and beer!


2. Discover The Magic Drawer

"OMG they forgot our cutlery!!"

Don't panic, if your spoon and chopsticks are nowhere to be seen, chances are that you will need to open the magic drawer on the side of your table. Just search under the side of the table and pull, a drawer will slide and it will contain everything you need (usually cutlery and napkins). And don't be surprised, in Korea we usually cut meat with big scissors, it is actually easier than with a knife as it cuts right through with no effort.

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You will find these drawers in most of the restaurants serving Korean food and even some foreign ones. This is convenient for the client and it also saves a lot of time to the waiters.


3. Become A Chef With Your Own Grill

If you are interested in Korea or even just in good food, chances are that you already heard of Korean barbecue. The concept is simple: a hole is made in each table to fit a grill, a range hood hovers over it to suck in the steam and customers can cook meat as they like it. This concept has different variants where the grill is replaced with a boiling pot or a big wok. In japanese restaurants your can even find a different type of grill for yakisoba and okonomiyaki for example.

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Note that Korean love garlic and use it in many dishes, you can even grill and eat full garlic cloves with some salad, meat and sauce, it's delicious!


4. Save Your Clothes With The Apron!

Most of the stew-based restaurant will invite you to wear an apron, and while I found it funny and useless at first I must admit that I was wrong! So if you want to save yourself a few trips to the washing machine you should seriously consider wearing them too when you have the chance.


Eating noodles with chopsticks can be difficult when you are not used to it, so between the splash when they fall down and the chaotic behavior when you eat them chances are that you will destroy your favourite shirt in the process. Hence why the apron is always an option, not to mention that you will get the best style of the table and the confidence to ask your crush out.


You can now enter any Korean restaurant with the head high and pretending you are a local to impress your Korean friends!

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