Jeollanam-do is widely known as the region with the best food in Korea. In particular, Suncheonman Bay is where cockle and blue-spotted mud hoppers are caught. The popular dishes in Suncheon are hanjeongsik, a full-course meal with an array of savory side dishes, and tteokgalbi made with goat meat.
The Suncheon municipal government created the Ssamok-ssamok restaurant brand and offers this certification to restaurants offering local food made of eco-friendly produce. Ssamok-ssamok is a local dialect meaning slowly, as the brand embodies the spirit of slow food.
One of the leading restaurants registered under the Ssamok-ssamok brand is Haeparang, which is a fusion Hanjeongsik restaurant.
There are many goat farms in Suncheon, and the area is famous for tteokgalbi made of goat meat. This dish is made with a mixture of goat meat and chopped vegetables seasoned with sugar and soy sauce. The mixture is shaped into a patty and grilled. There are many tteokgalbi restaurants in the downtown area and along the road to Seonamsa Temple. As the popularity of goat meat tteokgalbi rose, many restaurants started specializing in pork tteokgalbi and Hanu beef tteokgalbi.
Jjangttungeotang (jeong-tun-geo-tang) is a fish stew made of blue-spotted mud hoppers caught in Suncheonman Bay. The fish is boiled with soybean paste and various vegetables. The dish is great for regaining energy in the summer. The stew can be made in a variety of ways. Some restaurants boil the fish for a long time and then mash it, while others boil the fish whole with spices and condiments. There are many jjangttungeotang restaurants near the Suncheonman Bay Ecological Park and in the downtown area.