A trip wouldn’t be complete without getting a taste of the local cuisine and buying souvenirs. Jeju takes it a step further by offering exclusive items found only on the island! From new twists on popular foods using local produce to merchandise featuring characters of Jeju, you’ll want to buy them all!
Koreans’ love of fried chicken is high, with new flavors seeming to come out every week. For totally Jeju style chicken, you have to visit Jejusluv Dak for their Daenggyul Chicken, a fun play-on-words sounding like “thank you” but meaning “sweet tangerines.” This Jeju-exclusive features crispy fried chicken coated in a sweet and tangy tangerine flavored sauce. As tasty as the chicken is, leave room for dessert! When visiting Jeju, you have to try ice cream topped with hallabong or peanuts, two local produce items Jeju is famous for. If you’re on the go, order the Jeju Hallabong Black Tea Blended from any Starbucks in Jeju.
While waiting for your hallabong tea order at Starbucks, browse through the merchandise. Starbucks in Jeju offer a range of unique products only available here. The most popular item is the Jeju statue key chain, featuring a dolhareubang (grandfather stone statue) dressed as a Starbucks barista with a hallabong accessory. The Jeju hydrangea ecobag is available in summer, when hydrangeas burst into bloom across the island. Other items include the Jeju tour mug, Jeju sea glass, Jeju magnet set, and the Jeju hydrangea bearista key chain.
Hallasan Soju, only available in Jeju, is a must-have for people who like to try local alcohols. It also comes in a miniature size bottle, roughly 1/4 the size of a normal bottle. The small size makes it easy to try, or give as gifts to friends and family. The soju is made using water collected in volcanic rocks for a clear taste. Both full-sized bottles and the miniatures can be found at convenience stores throughout Jeju Island, with miniatures sold in sets of six bottles.
Kakao Friends have also traveled to Jeju! Pick up some of the “Friends in Jeju” edition products to celebrate with them. The Kakao Friends flagship shops in Seoul are popular among tourists, but they tend to offer the same products at all three locations. For unique Kakao Friends products, you’ll have to visit the Jeju flagship store or one of its branches at the JDC Duty Free or The Shilla Duty Free shops in Jeju International Airport. Here, you can find the Kakao friends dressed up as Jeju icons, like tangerines, dolhareubang, and haenyeo (female divers). Popular items like the tangerine Ryan, haenyeo Ryan, and dolhareubang Ryan often sell out, so it’s recommended to reserve these items online in advance.
Other popular must-have Jeju products include gift sets using Jeju tangerines. Everything from chocolates to chips and tarts is available. The products are available at traditional markets in downtown Jeju and gift shops at the airport, for easy last-minute purchases.
Local snacks are a necessary part of all trips. Some places like Cheonan and Gyeongju have snack foods that are famous throughout the country. For other places like Jeju, rather than a specific snack, there are foods famous among locals, with many people heading to these locations for a local food trip!
In addition to the already well-known foods like tangerines and Jeju black pork, Jeju locals will line up outside some bakeries for their one-of-a-kind breads. At Audrant Bakery near Hamdeok Beach, the garlic baguette, called manong baguette in the Jeju dialect, is often sold out in the early afternoon. The chewy bread gets coated in a garlic sauce made from locally produced garlic for a full flavor. The baguettes are about 1.5 times the size of a regular baguette, putting them somewhere between a snack and a meal.
The next Jeju exclusive breads to try are mugwort bread and barley bread. Just one bite is enough to have you reaching for more. While Gyeongju is currently famous for barley bread, Jeju has long been famous for barley bread. The buns were traditionally served during ancestral memorial rites and during parties. These days, they are popular at any time among locals, and have even featured in Korean TV programs about cooking and travel, such as “Wednesday Food Talk,” and “Battle Trip.”
* This column was last updated in August 2020, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here. We advise you to check details before visiting.