A Definitive Ranking of the Most Popular Korean Convenience Store Items

Whenever I visit a new place, I'm always curious to know what the snacks are like. Snacks are one of those things you don't immediately think about during your vacation, but they say so much about a country's culture.

I traveled to South Korea this month, and like a true foodie, one of my favorite parts of the trip has been taste-testing the most popular snacks. Prior to my visit, I saw so many viral videos of people taking trips to the convenience store, so I already had an extensive list of items to try when I stepped into Seoul.

Below, I've ranked all the convenience store items I've tried so far.

8. Pocari Sweat

Pocari Sweat is considered an "ion" drink like Gatorade, but for some reason, I didn't put that together when I first tasted it. I was expecting regular water, and the sweet flavor of Pocari Sweat caught me off-guard.

However, after I realized what it was, it wasn't bad. It has a potent fruity taste, and since I had been walking for hours, it was very refreshing. But if I needed another electrolyte-replenishing drink in Korea, I would opt for a Powerade instead.


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7. Choco Mushroom Boy

I believe I've had an equivalent of Choco Mushroom Boy in the United States, and I can't remember enjoying it, so my expectations were low with these cookies. But after tasting it, I was quite impressed. These cookies were a lot sweeter, and my issue with the ones I tried in America was that they were too bland.


6. Chocolate Binch Biscuits

Between Choco Mushroom Boy and Binch Biscuits, I would choose the Binch Biscuits. Binch Biscuits were softer, and the chocolate was richer—but I think this is because Choco Mushroom Boy is targeted towards a younger audience. Either way, they're both great!


5. Binggrae Banana Milk

Again, Binggrae Banana Milk is something I've tried in America because it has such rave reviews. For a long time, I was turned off from the idea of banana-flavored milk. I don't enjoy bananas, and those two flavors didn't make sense to me, but wow. It's really good.

Banana Milk reminds me of when your cereal soaks in the milk and gives it the most delectable flavor. The banana isn't too overpowering. Even if you're like me and dislike bananas, you should give it a chance.


4. Doritos Late Night Galbi Chicken Chips

First off, Doritos taste different in Korea. The chip itself is thicker, and it is less salty. I'm not a huge fan of their cheese flavor, but I came across these galbi chicken Doritos, and my whole life has been changed.

Being in Korea has opened my eyes to how salty food is in the United States. Because these chips weren't very salty, I was really able to taste all the flavor of the chicken. The extra crunch also is really pleasant.


3. Sweet Corn Turtle Chips

Turtle Chips are huge in South Korea and for good reasons. These chips are, again, Korea having a preference for sweet food, but it's savory kind of sweet.

The sweet corn flavor reminds me if someone sprinkled sugar on a Bugle—it's almost like a churro. These chips have a really soft texture that makes it difficult to put down the bag.

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2. Ade Drinks

Everywhere I've gone, I've seen an ade drink, which is like a fruit juice or lemonade. In cafes, restaurants and convenience stores. Most of the time, if you order an ade from a cafe, it'll be colorful and have plants or fruit slices in them. 

But, it's a lot cheaper to get them from a convenience store. Thankfully, the quality doesn't diminish, and I feel like the convenience store ades are bursting with flavor compared to the specialty ones. My dream would be for these to be sold in the United States!


1. Honey Butter Chips

To be transparent, I've eaten Honey Butter Chips in America because I just had to try them as soon as possible. So when I picked these up at the convenience store, I pretty much already knew what I was getting into.

I wouldn't say I have a sweet tooth, but the salty, buttery taste is surprisingly one of the best things I've ever tried. These chips are very light, so it's very easy to eat the entire bag. If you come across these in Korea or anywhere else you might be in the world, grab them immediately!


Looking for more food recommendations? Read HERE for our favorite Asian-American-owned brands to taste during this AAPI Heritage Month.