Travel: Asiana Airlines + Incheon Airport
I boarded this airline during my trip to Korea in the summer of 2019, and they were great with accommodating my multiple food allergies! Although we did pack lots of safe meals and snacks, I was still able to eat some things on board. They gave me pork cutlet, a baked potato, veggies, fresh fruits, snacks, and drinks. The staff even provided boiled water for me to make the instant noodle soup meal I packed!! Would definitely travel with this airline again. Incheon Airport had lots of places to buy snacks, meals, and drinks! I was able to pick up some juice and candy from my favorite Korean brands for snacks during my flight back home! It was great seeing how many options were available.
This was one of the first places I ate out at during my trip to Korea! It’s in a great location with lots of restaurants and shops. The sushi chefs here were accommodating to my food allergies. They made me a separate salmon roll to enjoy a meal free of cross contamination. The restaurant is buffet style, but chefs are present behind counters if you need to ask any questions. Super delicious and amazingly fresh fish here!
Dinner: 401 Restaurant
This is a super popular and busy Korean BBQ restaurant! The chain was created by Haha and Kim Jong-Kook, two cast members from Korea’s most well-known reality tv show: Running Man. The staff were able to separately provide me with plain and unseasoned pork belly to grill with some veggies on the side. They also gave me my own basket of lettuce wraps. Once the meat was cooked, I then used seasoning and sauces that were safe for me. It was overall a super fun environment and experience! The walls are covered with signatures of famous Korean celebrities who ate at the restaurant, so I had lots of fun spotting my favorites!
Breakfast: CU Convenience Store
This convenience store is found all around Korea, and was great to grab a quick snack!! They have lots of packaged meals like Korean kimbap rolls, sandwiches, hotdogs, chicken, ramen, and so much more! They also have an abundance of Korean snacks, drinks, and candy. I usually go for safe items like banana milk and some fruit or yogurt! Definitely recommend going here for some quick food stops because their selection is so big!
The main street is so much fun to explore, and is the perfect place to buy traditional goods and authentic souvenirs! It is filled with lots of cozy restaurants and is known for its traditional tea houses! There are so many hidden gems to explore here, and it is such a fun place for tourists to visit!
Restaurant: Insadong Geujip
The staff were super helpful at this Korean fusion restaurant!! It is located in the famous neighborhood of Insa-dong, and is housed in a Korean traditional house! They are known for their Geujip on Rice. I got a rice bowl with avocados, corn, red onions, and various chopped greens. It was a refreshing and healthy meal, and I would love to try some more items off of their menu if I were to go again!
Treat: Tiger Sugar
Bubble tea is one of my favorite sweet drinks, so I was super excited to find this popular shop in Korea! The store was very busy, but our order was definitely worth the wait! I got their famous brown sugar milk tea, and checked with staff to make sure that the drink was made with gluten-free pearls. The drink base is made with brown sugar, milk, and tapioca pearls. This drink had an amazing caramel flavor and was also so so pretty!
Lunch: Crown BBQ House
I loved eating Korean BBQ during my trip, and this was probably my favorite place! We were able to grill the meat right in front of us, and asked for an unseasoned cut for me. They also provided me with wraps and side dishes that were allergy safe. Once the meat was cooked, I was able to use my own dish of smoked salt to sprinkle on top! It was a delicious meal out with my family!
Treat: Sulbing Dessert Cafe
I was so excited that I got to try Korean bingsu, a popular shaved iced dessert, in this cafe! They had an extensive menu with all different flavors. My family ordered the honeydew melon shaved ice, and the staff made me a classic shaved ice dessert to prevent any contamination of allergens. Mine was made with shaved ice, a sweet red bean paste, and some sweet heavy sweet cream to pour on top! It was absolutely delicious, and I’m glad the staff were able to provide for me here!
Hotel: Swiss Grand Hotel
We only stayed at this hotel for one night after visiting my aunts, uncles, and cousins in Seoul! The room was really nice, and as the hotel was set on a hill, so was the view!! There is even an indoor pool to enjoy during your stay. Although we didn’t have the opportunity to eat here, there are two restaurants, and a convenience store in the lobby. As this hotel is located in the capital, there are so many eateries within a walking distance as well.
Venue: Ansan jarak-gil
This was the location for an early morning hike my family went on! It was so beautiful and very comfortable to walk in, due to the wood deck paved trail. It was super peaceful, and had a beautiful view at the top! It was definitely a challenging trek, but so worth it!
This restaurant was located inside of a department store, and was perfect to grab a bite before a day of shopping! They are known for their brunch menu. I ended up getting a simple chopped salad and a steak cut with mushrooms and onions. They were able to simplify my dish to avoid allergens, and were also cautious with cross contamination. I also had a berry sparkling ade that perfectly topped off my dish!
Venue: Gyeongbokgung Palace
This palace is definitely a must see when visiting Korea! It is the largest palace, and was home to kings starting from 1395! I loved seeing how all the architecture was preserved and it really felt like I was going back in time. You can even rent a Korean traditional hanbok to walk around in! The tour guides here are so great, and there are signs in multiple languages all around. There are several restaurants around the palace to enjoy. We ate before our visit, but we did pick up a packaged peach ice pop on our way out!
Myeongdong is a great shopping area known for its variety of Korean eateries and street food! It is one of Korea’s most popular neighborhoods. Night life is really fun here, and is very comparable to NYC’s Times Square.
Treat: Stylenanda 3CE PINKPOOLCAFE
The Pink Pool Cafe is located on the 5th floor of the Stylenanda Pink Hotel (a popular makeup and clothing shop with a different theme on each floor)! I ordered their signature cotton candy strawberry slush, which comes with a perfect cloud of cotton candy on the drink! I checked the ingredients of the drink with the staff, and they confirmed it was safe for me. The sixth floor also has an outdoor pillow and lounge area to enjoy. I loved the cafe, with its pink/blue pool theme. The atmosphere with the tiles, umbrellas, and pool lounge-like chairs made the experience so much more fun!
Venue: Korean Folk Village
The Minsok traditional village is such a fun place to visit! It is even a popular filming location for kdramas. In its 245 acres, there are lots of activities, along with great cultural sightseeing opportunities. This huge village features ancient architecture, live performances, an amusement park, and restaurants and cafes. It is lots of fun wearing a traditional Korean hanbok and touring this village! We packed our own lunch, but we did stop by one of the stores for some safe ice cream and snacks!