A trip to Busan wouldn’t be complete without sampling dwaeji gukbap, a tasty, hearty soup that is, for the most part, unknown outside South Korea. The dish’s recipe is labor intensive. Its milky broth is made by boiling pork bone for hours; pork shank, soy sauce, miso, and sesame oil are then added to enhance the flavors. Hunt down this delicious dish at some of our favorite spots.
If you’re trying dwaeji gukbap for the first time, head straight to Twin Pork Soup in Daeyeon-dong, grab a seat and get ready for a treat. The joint’s simple yet savory soup attracts diners of all ages and is arguably the most popular pork soup restaurant in the entire city. What makes this place special is its soup’s clean taste. Servers can speak basic English, and are more than willing to make your culinary experience a memorable one.
With more than four decades of history, it’s safe to say that just about everyone in Busan has savored a bowl of their famous soup. To what does it owe its staying power? Its friendly atmosphere, affordable prices and exceptional taste are probably all good guesses. The fact that it’s open 24 hours is only an added bonus.
For the past thirty years, Jinju Dwaeji Gukbap has perfected the rich taste of its famous pork and rice soup. For a twist on the original, opt for the sundae gukbap (blood sausage and rice soup), or treat yourself to a hearty plate of suyuk (boiled meat slices).
Thanks to its exceptionally tasty soup, Yeongjin Dwaeji Gukbap is not only a local favorite, but it has also been featured on countless television programs. The owner (who is almost always in the kitchen) serves up the classic with a side of saeujeot (salted fermented shrimp) and chopped leek so diners can adjust the taste to their liking.
Located in Toseong-dong near the popular tourist attraction Gukje Market, Sinchang Gukbap is a popular spot with those looking for a true taste of Busan. Here, diners can gorge on tasty, tender meat, as there’s no shortage of it in the soup. Compared to other versions of the dish, the broth is especially dense, as it uses pig bones and pork meat as the base.
Seomyeon Market’s Dwaeji Gukbap Alley hasn’t changed much since the days of the Korean War, which makes it all the more charming. Perhaps one of its most popular restaurants is Songjeong Three Generation Gukbap. By adding chives to their signature soup, and using salted shrimp and kimchi to flavor their meat, their gukbap is truly magnificent. Open 24 hours, the restaurant really comes to life during lunch and dinner hours, when hungry Busanites pack the place.
Don’t let the long line at this local hangout put you off; the wait is well worth it. A stone’s throw from Busan station, this venue has been pumping out tasty, filling gukbap for years. Each bowl is seasoned to perfection and rarely needs any additional spices or sauces. Furthermore, fast service and an English menu make ordering hassle free.
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