Updated: Feb 4
If you are staying at Hotel Foret Premier Nampo, you picked a great location because you are surrounded by many fabulous places to eat that are as short as a 5 minute walk!
As always, I love using Hotels.com to rack up free nights. If you are staying at the Hotel Foret Premier in Nampodong then you are in the perfect location. Not only is the hotel very cheap to stay at (I paid less than $60 per night), it's also not a dump hotel. I would consider this between a 3 and 4 star luxury hotel. It's very clean, easy to get to and most importantly surrounded by plenty of restaurants and markets. Each of the places I recommend below are very close to the hotel. I made it easy for you to locate these places. All you have to do is click on the name of the place which is hyperlinked to the exact location on Google Maps.
This Jeju Island inspired restaurant is tiny is size, but huge in flavor especially if you are in the mood for abalone and sea urchin. My wife and I were walking around Nampodong early one morning and we noticed a bunch of people crammed into this small space. We decided to try their specialty which is abalone porridge. We also saw a small sign on the wall advertising their sea urchin bibimbap and ordered that to share too. Both dishes are a sea-foodies dream come true! The value you get for fresh abalone and sea urchin is worth every single South Korean won you pay for, which isn't much by the way. The sea urchin bibimbap was less than $13.
If you are in the mood for chicken and soup, then you are at the right place to eat. Koreans call this samgyetang, which is a young chicken stuffed with ginseng, garlic, jujube and rice. As the restaurant name states, the specialty is this hearty chicken soup. Ordering one for yourself is the perfect choice. There's really no need to share because you'll end up ordering your own anyway. You'll also get a shot of ginseng wine, make sure you drink it. Here's to your health!
Seolleongtang is another very popular Korean soup. The cloudy broth is made using ox bones which are simmered for several hours. The soup can be flavored to your tastes by adding sea salt, black pepper and kimchi, which is served as a side dish. I recommend ordering the ox-tail seolleongtang at this restaurant. You'll get a few thinly sliced pieces of ox-tail, which are very tasty and served in a cast iron bowl or flat pot. We came here to eat a couple times for breakfast and it hit the spot each time.
The biggest seafood market in Korea is Jagalchi. Starting outside of the large warehouse is an expansive outdoor market, where middle aged women sell a variety of seafood like cutlass fish and octopus. When you step inside the warehouse, you'll see two floors. The bottom floor is where you will find live seafood which you can buy from the numerous vendors. Once you pick your seafood, you can ask any vendor which you bought from to call upstairs so that one of the restaurants will send an employee downstairs to escort you up where they will cook your seafood. It's a very cool experience. All you pay for is the table and cooking fee which is fairly minimal. Find a place to sit upstairs and order some soju and beer while you wait for your fresh seafood to arrive ready to eat.
5. Gukje Market
The Gukje Market is a only a short walk away from Hotel Foret Premier Nampo. This large market sells everything from sinks, clothes and of course food. You'll be able to find very cheap street food like steamed corn, fried fish, Korean pancakes and fruits. There are many vendors, so take your time and get lost while trying the different foods. You'll definitely find something that you'd eat here.
Have you ever had Korean cold noodles before? This special dish originated from North Korea and made it's way down to Busan. This low-key restaurant doesn't look fancy, but that doesn't matter due to their delicious milmyeon. There's two main types and both come cold: one is served in a icey broth, while the other other (which I prefer) is served without the broth. Expect to pay under $5 for either. Add some vinegar and mustard, cut and enjoy. Another cool thing about this place this the bone broth tea they serve you. This place was so satisfying to eat especially on hot, muggy days that it's worth coming to eat multiple times too.
Right behind the hotel is Nampodong Street where you'll find all sorts of restaurants and pop-up food stalls called pojangmacha. You will find hotteok, gimbap, sundae and other legendary Korean street foods. There's a bunch of side streets in this area too. There is a small side street called, BIFF Gwangjang-ro where you'll find a bunch restaurants that have aquariums full of various kinds of shrimp. You'll know what I'm talking about because as you walk by you'll have guys standing in front trying to lure you in. After looking at the delicious giant shrimps they had on display we ended up walking into one called, "Ikaya". You won't see the name of the restaurant in English, I had to get a Korean friend to translate the name of the restaurant for me. Anyways, go there if you want to eat some raw Southern Rough Shrimp or Japanese Spiny Lobster.
I hope you enjoyed this short list of great places to eat near Hotel Foret Premier Nampo in Busan. Trust me, you'll love going to eat at these places. The food in Busan is so good