The Authentic Korean Chicken & Beer Experience
Start Location: Mangwon Station, exit 2
You Must Do This In Korea
Chicken and beer is an obsession in Korea. It is one of the best ways to enjoy an evening with friends and new acquaintances. It’s also a great way to take a plunge into Korean night culture.
This tour is not your typical “chimac” tour. We don’t just drop you off in a park with a bucket of chicken. Explore unique, classic, and new takes on this Korean institution.
First Stop: Market Tour with Old-style Fried Chicken
Korean fried chicken had its origins at traditional markets. What passes as Korean fried chicken outside Korea is American style with some sauce.
Classic “hof-style” chicken that came about between 1970 and 1990 brined the birds in garlic and ginger, coated them sparingly with spices, and twice fried them. This resulted in aromatic chicken with shattering crispy skin and juicy meat.
We’ll explore Mangwon Traditional Market before ducking into a classic locale to journey back in time.
Second Stop: Country-style Barbecued Chicken
We’ll continue our time travel with a type of chicken stop that was popular in the mid ’00s. The interior feels like an old Joseon-era country inn.
The specialty is smoked chicken with sweet and spicy sauce served on a sizzling platter.
I’ve had guests love this chicken so much, they just stayed there for the rest of the evening.
Third Stop: Surreal Chicken of the Future
This is my secret place.
The chicken here is boneless dark meat in a very Korean sauce served on a sizzling platter with pillowy rice cakes and sweet potatoes–smothered in cheese. Ninety percent of guests have said this was the best chicken of the tour–and possibly of their lives!
It’s the atmosphere that makes it. The owner displays his collection of authentic WWII memorabilia, while we drink out of canteen cups and listen to a playlist of ’80s new wave, ’60s psychedelic, and ’90s lounge-tronica.
So, to break it down
- Market Tour
- Old School Fried Chicken
- Country-style Barbecued Chicken
- Funky Saucy Chicken & Cheese in WWII Pub
- BEER IS INCLUDED
Wear comfortable shoes and bring an ample appetite. There is a good bit of walking involved. The ticket price includes all food. It also includes alcoholic beverages (within reason). Non-alcoholic option is available.
Discounts for 2 or more guests
Meeting Point: Mangwon Station, exit 2
Length of tour: approx. 3 hours
Type: Walking, eating
Food types for special diet consideration: chicken, some spicy foods but can be toned down, Halal friendly if you don’t include the beer
Suggested items: Comfortable walking shoes, umbrella (depends), camera
Owner and Guide
Joe started Korea’s first food blog, ZenKimchi, in 2004. Since being interviewed for New York Times’ debut article on Korean fried chicken, Joe has been consulting for media outlets regarding Korean cuisine. Though he rarely appears on camera, he’s usually behind-the-scenes on Korean episodes of “Parts Unknown with Anthony Bourdain”, “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern”, “Food Paradise International”, “The Kimchi Chronicles,” and many more. He’s also consulted for publications, such as Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Washington Post, Bon Appetit, Le Monde, The Los Angeles Times–well, you get the idea.