The Story Behind Korean Baekban and Restaurent Recommendations

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So, if you are a Korean food lover, or beginner of Korean food, you may or may not have heard about Korean Baekban.

What is Baekban (백반)?

Photo from NamuWiki

Baekban, in the meaning of its Chinese characters, is literally ‘white rice.’ In more practical terms, Baekban usually refers to the ‘Korean meal served with rice, soup and various side dishes’. Some people call it a ‘home-style meal’ or sometimes ‘comfort food.’

1.Baekban is Considered as the Most Cost Effective and Healthy

Photo by Ilyo New

Baekban refers to Korean food with rice, soup and several side dishes. If there’s a menu called ‘Baekban’, the restaurants usually change the main dish and side dishes each day. For instance, if there’s a menu called ‘Bulgogi Baekban,’ that means a menu with Bulgogi as a main dish, and rice and several side dishes will be served together. If there’s a menu called ‘Raw Crabs Marinated in Soy Sauce Baekban,’ that means a menu with raw crab marinated in soy sauce as a main dish, and rich and different side dishes will be served together. Since people can have a little bit of everything from Korean food with a reasonable price, house-style concept, Koreans think is healthy and cost-effective.

2. Driver’s Restaurants – The Mecca of Korean Baekban

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A Driver’s Restaurant is a restaurant that serves various drivers – from taxi drivers to bus drivers – as their main customers. Of course, they are open to non-drivers, too. These restaurants are known to serve decent meals at a reasonably cheap price. Most of the menus are simple so they can be served quickly due to the nature of the drivers’ jobs. They have menus of rice soup, bibimbap, pork cutlet, and mostly Baekban. There’s an old saying that “If you are new in town or tired of searching for good restaurants, look for the driver’s restaurants.”

3. There’s a Popular TV Show Called ‘Huh Young Man’s Baekban Food Trip’

Huh Young-man is a South Korean cartoonist and is best known for the works of ‘Superboar’, ‘Gaksital’, ‘Sikgaek’ and ‘Tajja’. ‘Sikgaek’ is a cartoon about Korean food. When he wrote this cartoon, he travelled all over the country to taste everything that is well known for its incredible taste. He said he started the cartoon thinking, ‘why there is no single cartoon about Korean food?’ He started the TV show called ‘Huh Young Man’s Baekban Food Trip’ starting from May 2019, and is currently broadcast at 8PM on every Friday. You can also watch this on Netflix.

Here Are 2 Baekban Restaurent Recommendations from UoH

Sigol Bapsang Apgujeong Branch (시골밥상)

Photos by UoH

There are more than 20 side dishes for the Baekban meal! Soybean paste stew is also served. Side dish refills are also available. How about a glass of makgeolli? The interior is full of old-fashioned Korean decorations. Highly recommend this place if you want to try Korean-style home-cooked food.

????68, Nonhyeon-ro 175-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea
???? Everyday 10:30 AM – 10:00 PM

Yangji Sikdang (양지식당)

Photos by taetaepapa’s Naver

There is only one menu at this place. Side dishes change all the time. It comes with 6 basic side dishes and a soup. Every Friday, meat dishes such as pork stir-fry or pork bulgogi are served. It is close to Exit 1 of Dongdaemun Station.

????4, Yulgok-ro 29-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, Korea
????Monday – Saturday 10:30AAM – 2:30 PM / Closed on Sunday, Holidays

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