When I left the United States for South Korea, I thought I had an idea about what life here would be like, but boy was I wrong. For starters, I have tried many new foods that I never knew existed including street chicken, cheese corndogs, and waffle tacos. My favorite street chicken vendor is Red Cups which is right next to Hanyang University’s campus in Seoul. Here, you can get a full meal with chicken, tater tots, and rice cake for only 3,000 won or about $2.64. Another cheap street food option is the cheese corndogs, which are an incredible combination of savory and sweet that I never knew I needed in my life. The hotdog is surrounded by melted cheese and fried in a breading that tastes like funnel cake. What makes the cheese corndogs even more delicious is that they are rolled in sugar and then topped with ketchup. Although this combination may seem a bit odd, it is perfect for when you want something that is both savory and sweet.
However, when I am only craving something sweet, especially late at night, a waffle taco always hits the spot. My favorite waffle taco shop is a walk-up counter called Ttingttong Waffle conveniently located outside of Wangsimni Station, making it the perfect place to stop on the walk back to Hanyang University’s campus. There are over 20 waffle taco combinations and I am slowly working my way down the list. You cannot go wrong with any of the combinations, but my personal favorite is the chocolate waffle filled with cream and topped with Nutella drizzle and mini chocolate chips.
In addition to trying new foods, I have also tried quite a few cafes. Most of them are what you would imagine a normal cafe to be like, filled with busy students and friends chatting over a cup of coffee. However, there are also quite a few unique cafes such as fishing and meerkat cafes. KKUN Fishing Cafe is located in Hongdae and provides a thrilling experience to its customers. You pay by the half-hour and spend your time fishing from a massive indoor pond. Upon catching a fish, you weigh it and receive points based on the size of the fish, and at the end, you get to redeem your points for a small prize. I am not big on fishing, but this was one of the most entertaining activities I have done with my friends and I cannot wait to go back.
Meerkat Friends is also located in Hongdae and is essentially a mini petting zoo with meerkats, wallabies, cats, and raccoons. At this cafe, I got to interact with these animals in a way I never imagined was possible. My friends and I were able to interact with the wallabies and raccoons by feeding and petting them. We then went and sat in the meerkat enclosure which was chaos. Meerkats were running around everywhere and at one point I had five in my lap trying to dig through the blanket. Overall, I am so glad that my friends and I tried these cafes because we would not be able to do this anywhere else in the world. I still cannot believe that I have only been out of quarantine for 16 days and I look forward to my future adventures in South Korea!