Breakfast food in Seoul that’ll wake you right up

These breakfast outlets in Seoul are the real MVPs. Source: Shutterstock.

ASK ANY TRAVELER who has been to South Korea what’s the most popular South Korean cuisine is and likely, they’ll say kimchi (fermented vegetables).

Gogi-gui (barbecue), samgyetang (ginseng chicken), banchan (side dishes), gimbap (Korean-style sushi), jjajangmyeon (noodles in black bean sauce), and tteokbokki (rice cake) probably sits very high on the list too.

But not all are ideal to fill your tummy with for breakfast, and there’s only so much rice you can eat.

Luckily for you, aside from the country’s iconic dishes, South Korea also has a handful of locally-owned outlets that specifically sell breakfast food.

Who needs McDonald’s breakfast when you can have one of the following?

Isaac Toast

Step aside, McDonald’s breakfast McMuffin. You’ve got nothing on Isaac Toast.

Arguably the most popular grab-and-go value for money breakfast food in South Korea, Isaac Toast started out as a humble standalone shop. In under a decade, it became a phenomenon, opening more than 700 outlets around the world.

The chain can even be found in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, and Malaysia.

Everything that the chain has to offer is good to the last bite, from the simple ham and cheese to the more complicated but equally mouthwatering tteokgalbi toast, which is Korean-styled juicy grilled short rib patty sandwiched between a generous amount of sliced cabbage for a refreshing crunch and warm bread.

Isaac Toast is pretty easy to spot too, as there’ll always be a long, snaking line of people waiting to get their hands on the distinctively Korean breakfast.

Address: 105, Toegye-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul 04536, South Korea.

Opening hours: 7am to 8:30pm, Mondays to Saturdays.

Bagel MTL

Hankering for a yummy bagel with the best spreads and toppings? Make your way over to Bagel MTL.

Located in the young and trendy Hongdae suburb in Seoul, South Korea, it’s probably the closest one will get to Montreal-style bagels without having to make the trek to Canada.

Co-owned by Dan Kim, a Canadian-born Korean, the restaurant boasts bagels that are baked in-house over wood-fire with ingredients sourced straight from Canada.

Bagel MTL’s bagels contain no-salt, so it’s flavored only by the spread and/or topping of your choice. Among the many colorful variants on its menu, the highly recommended ones are the “B.E.A” (bacon, egg, and arugula), “Shrimp & Avocado,” and “Chicken & Salsa.”

Bagel MTL also does different specials throughout the month to keep things interesting so you may just chance upon a delectable surprise.

Address: 223-21 Yeonnam-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul.

Opening hours: 10am to 9pm, closed on Tuesdays.

Egg Drop

It’s listed as a burger place on Facebook but don’t let that fool you, for burgers is not its specialty.

Hailed as the latest must-try breakfast spot in the South Korean city, Egg Drop bears some similarity to Isaac Toast, offering take-out American-styled toasts.

However, unlike Isaac Toast, Egg Drop serves their sandwiches with two slices of thick, buttered brioche (an egg- and butter-rich bread) toasts.

Choose from the “Bacon Double Cheese” if fluffy scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, and smoked bacon are what you desire, or “Terikyaki BBQ” if you want a sandwich with a little Asian twist, topped with a runny egg yolk.

For a healthier option, go for the “Avo Holic” (fresh avocado, fresh cream, and scrambled egg) or dial it down even further with the “Egg Cobb Salad”.

Address: 108, Mapo Acro Tower, 1st floor, Mapo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, South Korea.

Opening hours: 11am to 11pm, daily.