Wednesday, August 30, 2017

10-min Hacks to Gimbap Heaven, the Most Affordable Food Place in Korea (+Complete Menu)

Know Your Gimbap Heaven Better, 
Make the Best out of Experience in Korea

Do you have a friend who orders chamchi Gimbap every time he visits Gimbap Heaven(or is that you) because that’s the only menu he can order? For newbies in Daegu, Gimbap Heaven is a Gimbap place that sells a variety of menu, usually over 50 selections! Sometimes, it is called Gimbap Nara or Naduri Gimbap. Usually, you will be able to recognize these places by their bright orange signs. Food there is not only affordable but also served very quickly. Whether it is a residential area or a busy district, there will always be this type of Gimbap place!
It is a very convenient option for many people who love bunsik and don’t cook every meal. However, expats usually can’t take a full advantage of these shops since this type of stores don’t offer English menu. So, here are a Daegu’s guide to what to order and a few essential tips at Gimbap Heaven!



-Pork Cutlet
-Fried Rice
-Rice & Bibimbap
-Soup & Stew
-Other Noodles
-Seasonal Menu
2. Insider's Tips
-In-house vs. Take-out
-What you can ask more for free
3. Essential Expressions
4 Useful Expressions
Please note that all are available for take-out! :)

· Gimbap 1,500KRW basic gimbap
· Kimchi Gimbap 3,000KRW basic + chopped kimchi
· Cheese Gimbap 3,000KRW basic + cheddar-like cheese
· Chamchi(tuna) Gimbap 3,000KRW basic + canned tuna + mayo
· Soigogi(beef) Gimbap 3,000KRW basic + slightly seasoned grounded beef

[Pork Cutlet]
· Don-ggas 5,000KRW basic pork cutlet
· Cheese-don-ggas 6,000KRW basic + mozzarella cheese between meats
· Goguma-don-ggas 6000KRW basic + mashed sweet potato
· Chicken-ggas 6,000KRW chicken cutlet*

[Fried Rice]
· Kimchi Bokkeumbap: Kimchi fried rice
· Saewoo Bbkkeumbap: Shrimpt fried rice
· 오무라이스 5,000KRW fried rice partly wrapped with thin layer of fried eggs + ketchup on top

[Rice / Bibimbab]
· Ojing-uh(Squid) Dub-bab 5,000KRW: rice with stir-fried squid/vegetable toppings
· Bulgogi Dub-bab 5,000KRW: rice with bulgogi toppings
· Jeyuk(pork) Dub-bab 5,000KRW: rice with stir-fried pork toppings
· Bibimbab 5,000KRW
· Dolsot Bibimbab 5,500KRW: bibimbab served in a hot stone

· Jjin-mandoo 3,000KRW: Steamed dumplings
· Ggun-mandoo 3,500KRW: Fried dumplings
· Mul-mandoo 3,500KRW: Dumplings cooked in boiling water. Usually tiny dumplings. Nab-jjak-· mandoo: flat dumplings. Daegu’s original!
· Bibim-mandoo(w/ fried dumplings 5,000KRW: mandoo eaten with sweet and spicy salad
· Bibim-mandoo(w/ flat dumpling) 4,500KRW
· Mandoo-gook 4,500KRW: Dumpling soup
· Dduk- Mandoo-gook 4,500KRW: Dumpling soup + thinly sliced rice cake
· Dduk-gook 4,000KRW: thinly sliced rice cake soup

[Soup & Stew]
· Kimchi-jjigae 5,000KRW: kimchi stew
· Chamchi-jjigae 5,000KRW: a lot like kimchi-jjigae but with tuna
· Doenjang-jjigae 5,000KRW: Soybean paste stew
· Soondubu-jjigae 5,000KRW: Soft Tofu stew
· Yukgaejang 6,000KRW: Spicy soup with shredded beef and vegetables. Popular hangover soup.
· Galbitang 6,000KRW: Short rib soup. Semi-transparent in look. Popular in winter.
*Note: Each soup or stew is served with a bowl of rice

· Ddeok-bokki 3,500KRW: Spicy rice cakes and fish cakes. Korean’s popular snack.
· Ra-bokki 4,000KRW: basic + ramen noodle
· Special ddeok-bokki 5,000KRW: basic + noodles + dumplings + boiled egg
· Cheese ddeok-bokki 5,000KRW: basic + mozzarella cheese

· Ramyeon 3,000KRW: usually they use shin-ramyeon brand
· Dduk-ramyeon 3,500KRW: basic + sliced rice cakes
· Mandoo-ramyeon 3,500KRW: basic + dumplings
· Cheese-ramyeon 3,500KRW: basic + cheddar-like cheese
· Jjambbong-ramyeon 4,500KRW: basic + little bit of seafood

[Other Noodles]
· Udon 3,500KRW: Soybean sauce-based soup with thick noodles.
· Janchi guksu 4,000KRW: Warm noodle soup with soft noddles and chopped kimchi.
· Bibimguksu 4,500KRW: Soft noodles mixed with spicy sauce and vegetables.
· Jjolmyeon 4,500KRW: A lot like the above but with chewy noodles.    
· Kalguksu 4,000KRW: Knife Cut noodle soup.

[Seasonal Menu]
· Mul-naengmyeon 5,000KRW: Cold noodle soup. Available in Summer.
· Bibim-naemgmyeon 5.500KRW: Cold, spicy mixed noodle. Available in Summer.
· Kong-guksu 5,000KRW: Soy milk noodle soup

 2. Insider's Tips
-"물은 셀프입니다 Water is self-served"
In order to get their competitive prices, they need to hire a fewer worker. The fact that you need to serve your own water helps them to do that.  

-In-house vs. Take-out
When you eat at a restaurant, meals are served with little bit of danmuji(yellow pickled radish) and kimchi. Jang-guk(soy sauce based soup) comes with your food unless you order stew, soup or noodle. Note that this jang-guk does not have any thing in it except the flavor. 

-What you can ask more for free
Especially, when you get a take-out, you can ask for danmuji and Jang-guk

-Types of Gimbap place by Price
Most of times, ingredients used in a restaurant is directly linked with price of a food. For that reason, People who love all the same menu but are more health-conscious go to little higher priced stores like Gobongmin Gimbap and Gobong Gimbap. As you can see from the image below, they differentiates themselves from Gimbap Heaven with exterior. Usually, they incorporate muted colors with unique calligraphy. Prices are usually 500-1,000won higher than Gimbap Heaven.  

 3. Essential Expressions

Learning another language takes time. A great first step would be to learn expressions that you can use in everyday life. Following 4 expressions will savage you not only at a gimbap place but also at any other restaurant!

-Call a server 
Sa-jang-nim means boss. Whether a server is male or female, actual owner of the place or not, this phrase is a safe way to go! 

-How to order food
"(drop a name of food) juseyo 주세요"

-How to order a take-out
"(drop a name of food) pojang-hei-juseyo 포장해주세요"

-Ask to level down spiciness
"dul-mab-gei hei-jeseoyo 덜맵게 해주세요

I hope this helps! How about adding "trying all Gimbab Heaven menu" in your 2017 bucket list? X) If you eat out everyday, this would be a piece of cake! 
You can favorite this page just in case you can't remember how to pronounce a menu or expression. If you find this useful, feel free to share this post with your friends living in Korea! XOXO 

Menu can slightly vary from store to store. 
Dol-sot bibimbap is unavailable for take-out for an obvious reason ;)
They can be not the most healthful choice of meal. 
Food may not look as nice as above. :)


  1. Great post it is, very helpful for those who are planning trip to Korea. Whole menu seems to be very delicious.

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  3. Very helpful post for travellers. Nice work.