If you are a foodie and haven’t been to the Lotte Department Store Food Court or other Korean department store food court or market yet, you are missing out! The market and food court are located at the basement of all the major department stores in Korea. People have differing opinions on which one is the best, but personally I believe they are all so good that it is hard to single one out. The one at the Lotte in Myeongdong is among my favorites. Here is the Tripadvisor Page.
Setup Usually the area will be set up with a food court segmented by cuisine type. Almost every possible type of Korean and some Chinese and Japanese options will be available. Each stand has their own numbered menu, but there is only one checkout for all the different stalls. After you checkout, you will be given your number in the queue and wait for it to appear on a digital screen. This is akin to the Duty Free pickup at Incheon Airport, but a lot less hectic.
Desserts Next to the food court is the grocery store and dessert/bakery/ice cream/ macaron section. All of these vendors encompass several thousand square feet! The grocery store is usually extremely organized and very clean. The organic section is also becoming larger and more popular. You can find a wide range of price points within one category of food such as soy sauce or sesame oil depending on the brand and whether it is organic or not. The only thing I would steer clear of is the fruit, which can cost an arm and a leg at these type of department stores. Lotte is the only department store to have a Softree organic soft serve with real honeycomb (read my in depth review of this brand here) and Fauchon bakery.
Hot Off the Belt Krispy Kreme! One reason I particularly love the Myeongdong Lotte Food Court and Market is that you can cross through the first floor of the department store, where the makeup is traditionally housed, and go to Krispy Kreme. The conveyer belt is usually running in the morning and shuts down in the late afternoon. I know this because I usually go everyday in the morning when they open <don’t judge> much to the dismay of the people around me who are tired of going to Krispy Kreme with me. Sometimes I go alone. If you really love something, don’t let others stop you from eating it. If you love onions, garlic, stinky kimchee, chung guk jang, warm kimbap with lots of sesame oil <cue kakao fart emoticon>, etc then you understand how I feel. Nothing beats a hot, fresh glazed Krispy Kreme in the realm of donut eating. I’d rather eat this than a cronut any day! Their ice coffee is also one of my favorites and much better than the other Korean Coffee Chains’. (On a side note there is an Angel in Us Coffee in the upstairs food court at Lotte with a special Dutch Cold Brew which is worth making the trek up for).
When I am lucky enough to stay in the Myeongdong area for a few hours, this is what I eat over an extended period of time…I recommend a visit to the Lotte Department Store Food Court before or after a trip to the gym. If you don’t feel like working out after trying all the delicious food, you can go to the nearby movie theater, Charlotte, which is excellent or for the best foot massage ever across the street in Myeongdong at Dr Fish.
- Fauchon Bakery– blueberry cream cheese bread
- Softtree- vanilla softserve with a honeycomb piece
- Ddeok/Tteok stand – Duteop tteok 두텁떡
- Food Court– nengmyeon
- To Finish… Krispy Kreme- hot off the belt fresh glazed donut