Ordering with no fear
One of the great things about living in Korea is the ease, speed and convenience of things around you. The transportation is quick, efficient and simple to navigate. Learning Hangul, the Korean alphabet is said to take about 2 hours to learn if one sits and studies it diligently. So even down to core cultural traits like language, there is an emphasis on ease. And that extends to ordering things here in Korea, whether it be clothes, electronics or most importantly, FOOD. But for many, mostly expats, English teachers and study abroad students, ordering food can be anything but convenient, easy and simple. It can be downright scary! But have no fear, here is your way to enjoy the convenience of getting that fried chicken from the restaurant halfway downtown to your apartment door faster than you can say ppali ppali (빨리 빨리/quickly, quickly)!
A Handy Glossary
Now, it is important to note that some of these apps are all in Korean, so knowing some Korean and reading Hangul will be very helpful. But for those who aren’t proficient in these areas, have no fear, once you create an account, put in your address and email you will be set to order just fine. Here are some important terms in Korean and what they mean so that you can order seamlessly. For foreigners and expats in Korea, to find your Korean address, look on the back of your Alien Registration Card (ARC) card. Your address will be listed on there. It will all be in Hangul however. And while it is certainly more than fine to ask a Korean friend, coworker, boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, etc for help on any of this, the purpose of this guide is to hopefully assist you in being a bit more independent with your ordering. Because there will be some days you may not have that buddy or partner who is fluent in Korean by your side to help you out.
- 카드결제/Pay by card
- 만나서 카드결제/Pay with card on delivery
- 만나서 현금결제/Pay with cash on delivery
- 호/Room number
Also note that addresses as shown on your ARC will be in the order of province, district, neighborhood, apartment building and room number!
The Korean Apps!
The next thing to take a look at would be what apps that are out there. Korea has a wide variety of apps and more being developed every day. Here are a few choice apps for ordering that are popular with both Koreans and foreigners alike. Feel free to try more than one to zero in on which one is perfect for you.
This app is all in Korean but it is a great and multifaceted delivery service app to use. Yogiyo also offers one of the widest selections of restaurants to order from and is one of the most popular delivery apps amongst Koreans. What’s cool about Yogiyo is you can use it almost anywhere. Seoul is a great city, but there’s more to the peninsula than Seoul, and for many first time English teachers in particular, you may not be living in Seoul but a province outside of Seoul!
This app is sort of the opposite of that last statement! By which I mean, it is a Seoul-centric app. The other benefits of Shuttle includes the fact that the website, app and all the staff at Shuttle can speak English. The downside to Shuttle is that it is, as mentioned above, available mainly only in Seoul, though locations have opened in Pyeongtaek and Busan as well! Shuttle offers a great deal of international food like Indian food and Halal food to choose from.
While Baedal Minjok is another great app because of the wide array of things on offer to order, it is only available as an app. This is in contrast to some of the other names on here which can also be accessed on the computer, too. It is a bit more streamlined than Yogiyo, though but it is the payment method includes requiring a facebook of Naver login ID that can trip some users up and be a bit more confusing than Yogiyo.
Another delivery app, albeit one that is available only in Korean. The benefit of the Korean apps includes a wider area to choose from and a wider array of restaurants, too. Like Yogiyo and Baedal Minjok, this app may take some time to figure out if your Korean skills are still more in the beginner area.
Similar to the Uber taxi service (which will be hard to find in Korea) Uber Eats features drivers picking up your orders and dropping them at your house. Sounds convenient, right? The benefits of Uber Eats includes some of the filter options available for things like vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free meals. One can also order from café chains too for those days you would love an iced Americano from Holly’s or Tom & Tom’s but would love to stay nice and comfy in your apartment even more.
Order and eat, drink and be merry!
Language barriers can be a tough one to circumvent at times, but that is no reason you can’t enjoy Korea’s convenient, fast and efficient delivery options and get to savor some delicious, hot, spicy, vivacious and marvelously delectable Korean food too! And perhaps the quest to order food will also encourage you to learn the Korean language, too. Ones experience really changes for the better and truly comes alive when your Korean skills and understanding increases. Really! And for those who have only just begun to learn Hangeul, once you put in the time, the effort, the possibly wrong translations and the prayers to every deity imaginable that your order went through and then it does! You will feel one of the greatest feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment, and the fried chicken or jjajangmyeon you just ordered hot and ready to eat will be the perfect reward for your intrepid endeavors. So, don’t feel as though pizza is out of reach while you live in Korea. Let one of these apps make your stay much more pleasurable!
- Dewey, Laura, and Loraine Scott. “Ordering Takeout in Seoul.” Teach English in Korea – Korvia Consulting, 19 Apr. 2018, www.korvia.com/ordering-takeout-seoul/.
- “Food Delivery In Seoul: How To Order Delivery In Korea.” Be Marie Korea, 4 Dec. 2019, bemariekorea.com/food-delivery-in-seoul-how-to-order-delivery-in-korea/.
- Kim, Albert. “Top 5 Korean Delivery Apps and How To Use Them: 10 Magazine.” 10 Magazine Korea, 26 Sept. 2019, 10mag.com/top-5-korean-food-delivery-apps-and-how-to-use-them/.