The Best Budget Restaurants in Busanairport_transferbarbathtubbusiness_facilitieschild_activitieschildcareconnecting_roomcribsfree_wifigymhot_tubinternetkitchennon_smokingpetpoolresturantski_in_outski_shuttleski_storagesmoking_areaspastar

The Best Budget Restaurants in Busan

Feast for cheap on dishes such as pork barbecue
Feast for cheap on dishes such as pork barbecue | © lazy fri13th / Flickr
Traveling on a budget doesn’t have to mean instant noodles every night. In South Korea’s second city, there are a whole host of cheap restaurants delicious enough to please even the most discerning foodie. Here’s our guide to the best budget restaurants in Busan.

Choryang Milmyeon

Restaurant, Korean, $$$
Bibim milmyeon and side dishes | © Jude Lee / Flickr
Sample Busan specialty dish milmyeon at this cheap and cheerful restaurant. Long, thin wheat noodles are served either dry with spicy gochujang sauce (bibim milmyeon) or in a chicken or beef broth (mul milmyeon). Either way, they’re served cold, and are a surprisingly perfect counterpoint to Busan’s hot summer weather. Choryang Milmyeon is right opposite Busan Station, and although it’s often busy, table rotation is fast so you won’t have to wait long for a seat. A bowl of noodles will set you back 4,000 won (US$3.70/£2.80).
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Leegane Tteokbokki

Restaurant, Korean, $$$
Spicy tteokbokki, one of South Korea's most popular dishes | © Republic of Korea / Flickr
A short walk from Nampo Station, Leegane Tteokbokki is one of Busan’s most famous tteokbokki vendors. Although it’s more of a street stall than a restaurant, it’s well worth the visit, especially on a budget — a generous portion of spicy tteokbokki will set you back a mere 3,000 won (US$2.80/£2.10). The outlet also serves a variety of tempura, corn dogs and fish cakes.
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Wonjo Halmae Gukbab

Restaurant, Korean, $$$
Traditional gukbap might not be beautiful, but it's very tasty | © hirotomo t / Flickr
A delightfully ramshackle gukbap joint, Wonjo Halmae Gukbab is located on Haeundae’s Beef Gukbap Alley, a street chock-full of Busan’s specialty bone soup. Wonjo Halmae has nearly 50 years of history — some say that every true Busanite has sampled its delicious broth. It’s cheap, exceptionally tasty, and open 24 hours to sate your late-night cravings.
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Restaurant, Korean, $$$
Grilled mackerel served with side dishes, South Korea | © Jude Lee / Flickr
Try the Korean delicacy godeungeo gui, or grilled mackerel (at a pocket-friendly price!) at Gosami. The restaurant is well-known amongst locals, and only a few minutes’ walk from Haeundae metro station. As well as mackerel, the rest of the menu includes stir-fried squid, traditional Korean soup dishes, and, of course, every meal comes with a number of side dishes to enjoy.
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Daegil Gochu Bulgogi

Restaurant, Korean, $$$
Spicy pork bulgogi, a Korean delicacy | © Chloe Lim / Flickr
It is a truth universally known that where there are universities, there are wallet-friendly restaurants. Near the Pusan National University campus, Daegil Gochu Bulgogi is one of these, designed to sate the large appetite of broke students, which it does exceedingly well. The restaurant has a meat-filled menu (bulgogi is one of Korea’s most popular beef dishes) and portions are hearty, well-seasoned and tasty.
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Restaurant, Korean, $$$
A tray of mandu ready to be cooked | © AntheaAtlas / Flickr
This famous dumpling house is located at the entrance to Chinatown, just outside Busan Station. There’s almost always a queue outside, enticed by the promise of fat, juice-filled meat dumplings. The mandu (thick steamed dumplings) are a must-try, but also on the menu are crunchy fried dumplings, shrimp buns and the popular soybean soup.
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Hwajeon Guksu

Restaurant, Korean, $$$
Dolsot (stone pot) bibimbap is a must-try South Korean food | © Chris Pople / Flickr
An ultra-cheap noodle house in the bustling downtown area of Seomyeon, Hwajeon Guksu is famous for its generous portions and good taste. As well as a variety of cold and hot noodle dishes, it also serves the Korean staple food bibimbap, and the Busan favourite gukbap. It’s open all week, but note that it closes on the first and third Sundays of each month.
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Galmaegi Meokjjang

Restaurant, Korean, $$$
Korean barbecue; small strips of tender pork belly are grilled at your table | © Mr. kototo / Flickr
In the heart of Haeundae (less than five minutes’ walk from the metro station), Galmaegi Meokjjang serves up super-cheap Korean barbecue. In the centre of your table is an open grill, where you can cook the tender pork meat to your specifications. The circular grill is lined by a ring of cheese on one side and scrambled egg on the other. Prices start at 3,900 won (US$3.60/£2.70) per serving. Galmaegi Meokjjang has a sister restaurant of the same name in Seomyeon.
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These recommendations were updated on June 4, 2018 to keep your travel plans fresh.