Nowadays, Jeju travel is a popular activity for many people who want to learn about the special foods, attractions, etc. in Jeju island. To put things into perspective, entire Jeju is divided into 5 regions – North, South, East, West and Central. The resort like places are aggregated in the South, if you are looking for nice scenery head West and your first stop will be the airport which is located North. Halasan is in the centre and Udo is in the East.
While many websites recommend the type of food to eat, they do not provide information on which restaurant to go to. Jeju is famed for its seafood so a trip to the market is a must.
You will find Dong Mun Market (Dong Mun Shi Jang) not too far from the airport. If you are there, be sure to look out for 올레수산 (pronounced as Olleh Su San). The restaurant is clean (looking at the chef’s outfit, they seem to have learned their skills from Japan), prices are reasonable (also clearly stated) and they can communicate in Chinese. Be sure to try out the sashimi and sashimi mixed rice (회덮밥 pronounced as Huei-Top-Bap) which costs around KRW7,000. They have a base charge of around KRW3,000 for the side dishes and sauces.
Jeju is also famous for their black pork. The better known ones can be found online (for example 늘봄). I have tried this dish at three different restaurants. My favourite is 솥뚜껑 (pronounced as Sot-ddu-kkong). It is located in the south (near the resort area in Jungmun). One set (550g) good for 2-3 people includes a good mix of parts (neck meat, leg and belly) and it costs KRW40,000. Rice (KRW1,000) has to be ordered separately and remember to try their Kimchi soup (kimchi jjigae) which costs KRW6,000.
Update: There is a change of owner for the black pork restaurant recommended above, the quality has deteriorated. You are better off trying 늘봄 (Neul Bom). There is another restaurant gathering popularity due to its appearance in Korea’s culinary programme. It is too crowded for my liking.
Next special thing that can only be found in Jeju is this snack called Omegi Tteok (오메기떡). I will recommend buying it at Hareubang Tteok Bang (하르방떡방). This snack is made of rice (special herb thus the interior appears green) covered with red bean.
Jeju is also known for its green tea. Don’t forget to drop by Osulloc, near the west. The place is crowded with tourists and if you are thinking of trying out their green tea roll (only available here), be sure to drop by early to avoid disappointment (you can easily get it at the Myeong Dong branch too). It is really hard to get a seat in there. The green tea ice cream (can get in Seoul as well) is fabulous too.
Walk over to innisfree at Osulloc and you will find another cafeteria there. Try their orange shaved ice (Jeju is known for their oranges) and sausage hotdog (black pork sausage which is Jeju’s specialty).
Another must try is abalone. The abalone there are so much cheaper than anywhere else. The first recommended restaurant is located near the airport, you can park infront of the restaurant. The name of the restaurant is 용두암바당회국수 (Yong Du Am Ba Dang Hwi Kuk Su). You should order their 전복회국수 (pronounced as Jon Bok Hwi Kuk Su which is abalone noodle, top centre dish in photo below, 15,000 won), 전복게우밥 (pronounced as Jon Bok Gye Wu Bab, abalone rice, if you order abalone noodle, a small portion of this comes with it, right dish in the photo below, 15,000 won) and 한치물회 (pronounced as Han Chi Mul Hwi which is sashimi cold broth, top left of the photo below, 10,000 won). After your meal, you can take a walk along the seaside.
The next abalone restaurant is called 착한전복 (pronounced as chak-an jeon bok) near Jungmun. They have English menu so foreigners need not worry. They serve set meal and the average price is 50,000 won per person. If you are going for ala carte, abalone porridge costs 13,000 won and the abalone costs 7,000 per abalone. Abalone pancake is costs 15,000 for a small portion (as per picture below). Google for Saekdaldong, 2481-10 for the location.
The next must try is hair tail fish/cutlass fish known as 갈치 in Korean. You can’t find this anywhere else in Korea. This restaurant 춘심이네 (Chun Shim E Ne) is visited by casts of Superman Returns (triplets and sarang). You can order the set menu (grilled cutlass fish) which comes with sashimi and side dishes. This costs 65,000 won for a party of 2 but is totally worth it. There is a big car park lot near the restaurant. Be sure to arrive early as there are usually long queue. You can google for the location of this restaurant by typing Changcheon-ri, 160-4.
Next up, cheap and nice place to get 짜장면 (Jjajangmyeon, black bean paste noodle, 4,000 won), 짬뽕 (Jjamppong, seafood noodle, 8,000 won) and 탕수육 (tangsuyeok, sweet and sour pork, 12,000 won). The restaurant name is 홍성방 (Hong Sung Bang). There are two types of Jjamppong, one is 빨간 짬뽕 (red soup base which is spicy) and 하얀 짬뽕 (white soup base which is mild spicy).
Expect long queue here as well. You can google for Hamo-Ri 938-4 on google map in case you are driving. Hard to find a parking lot there though.
If you are looking for food in Udo, do stop by 하하호호카페 (hahahoho cafe) for their special black pork burger with peanut sauce selling for 10,000 won. The name of the burger is called 우도땅콩버거 (pronounced as udo ddang kong burger). Ddang kong means peanut in Korean. As per the menu board, the portion is good for 1.5 person.