Needless to say, street food plays a large role in shaping your experience while you are visiting another country. Myeongdong, the heart of tourism and fashion in Seoul, is also known for its various kinds of street food. Korean street food stands out from others since they are sold in the so-called “tent” restaurants called pojangmacha(포장마차).
Usually abbreviated as pocha, pojangmacha literally means tent-covered wagon. Those tent restaurants on wheels offer sets of food from staples such as tteokbokki, fishcakes and bungeoppangs, to seafood pancakes, live octopus and much more.
There are two types of pocha – snack pocha and drink pocha. The first one is where you “stop by” and the second is where you “hang out.” When you feel like a snack, you stop by a pocha to snack off on tteokbokki and fishcakes; during the night after work when you feel like drinking, you hang out and drink at a pocha, which will typically include the evil green bottles and some food to accompany. What is special about pocha and its culture for Koreans can be seen in three aspects – friendship, finding love, and overcoming breakups.
Pocha is a rendezvous for close friends where you can find snacks and meals at cheap prices but large in portion. All Koreans have this memory from childhood, dropping by a pocha and sharing snacks with best friends after school. In Reply 1997 (응답하라 1997), two characters, Yoon-jae and Joon-hee who are classmates, visit a pocha after school and engage in a deep conversation.
We recommend: Hansin Pocha (한신포차)
Hansin pocha is one of the chain restaurants run by the star chef Baek Jong-won. With its reasonable price and tasty menus, Hansin pocha makes a good choice to visit with friends. There are many locations around town, with the most popular one at Hongdae.
推薦：Hansin Pocha (한신포차)
地址 Address: 13, Daehak-ro 12-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul (종로구 대학로12길 13 청민빌딩)
開放時間 Open Hours: 18:00 ~ 9:00 (全年無休open all year around)
聯絡電話 Contact: +82-2-744-7710
If the concept of “hunting” is new to you, listen carefully. In Korea, “hunting” refers to the act of hunting for guys/girls, with the implication of a potential love interest. Since sharing tables is a rare practice in Korea, some pochas adopted the concept of hunting to their business by having their guests “hunt” for other tables that they might want to sit together with, with the rest being up to them.
We recommend: Samgeori Pocha (삼거리포차)
Samgeori pocha is a popular pocha located in Hongdae , along with Gangnam and Apgujeong that is famous for the so-called “hunting” concept. It is owned and run by the president of YG Entertainment, so if you are lucky, you might see Korean celebrities. They also receive music recommendations strictly on Kpop that were released before 2010. It has a rule that you must pay first if you wish to join another table. Young Koreans and many foreigners commonly visit.
推薦：Samgeori Pocha (삼거리포차)
跟江南和狎鷗亭對「Hunting」概念的流行程度一樣， 弘大最出名的Pocha就是Samgeori pocha，是由YG Entertainment的主席所創立的，所以如果你幸運的話，絕對有機會遇到藝人，而且他們在選歌方面亦有一定的要求。另外有一個規矩是若然你要轉枱的話，那你就要先付款，很多韓國的年輕人和外國人都會到訪。
地址 Address: 70, Wausan-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul (서울 마포구 와우산로 70 군봉빌딩)
開放時間 Open Hours: Weekdays平日 18:30 ~ 6:30, weekends週末 18:30 ~ 7:00
聯絡電話 Contact: +82 – 2 -3144 – 6748
One of the most commonly used cliché in Korean TV dramas is when the character visits a pocha alone to drink excessive amounts of alcohol when he/she is going under great emotional distress, especially after breaking up with someone. For example, at a tvN drama “Let’s Eat (식사를 합시다2),” the male character visits a pocha all alone and drinks soju, drinking his sorrows away from single-sided love. In case you want some privacy, we recommend you to visit a local pocha in less crowded districts.