So you’re coming to Korea, or you’re already here and you’re not sure what’s halal and what’s not. What can you eat and what can’t you eat? I’ll be frank, I felt a little disheartened when I first moved here. There are traces of meat or animal fat in things you wouldn’t expect there to be!

Now that I’ve been in Korea for 7 months and I know my way around, I can finally enjoy the convenience of… well… convenience stores! 😅

[P.S For 10 yummy street food in Seoul, find them all here!

Credit: Giphy

The main convenience stores you’ll find dotted around South Korea will be CU, 7 Eleven and GS 25. There are definitely more, but I’ll stick to the ones that are easy to find.

Plan your Seoul trip with HHWT!

Find the best halal local food, exciting attractions, nearby prayer spaces and more on the HHWT website!


Disclaimer: Most of the snacks are not halal-certified, but their ingredients have been personally verified by our Muslim Korean writer. Do consume them at your own discretion!

1. Samgak Kimbap

This small triangular wonder is a super tasty and filling Muslim-friendly snack. “Samgak” translates to three sides (or you know, a triangle!) They’re rice balls with various fillings packaged in a way that the seaweed on the outside stays crispy.

Credit: Giphy

The tuna mayonnaise flavor is a safe bet and you can find it in most convenience stores, but the kimchi and tuna flavours are a hit and miss. If you can’t read Korean, you’re going to want to be a little careful – the blue packs with fish are usually fine, but the purple and pink ones have some sort of meat added to them.

Just to be sure, here’s the label you’re looking for:

An Emart24 opened up opposite my apartment and look at these beauties! What is Emart24 you ask? Emart is a large supermarket group and they’ve recently started opening 24-hour convenience stores just like CU, GS25 and 7 Eleven. And if you happen to find one, you’ll see that they have a larger variety to offer.

Here’s a few other samgak kimbap options you can consider the next time you pop by a Korean convenience store!

[P.S If you’re planning to cook your own meals, stock up on halal groceries at these 9 food marts!] 

Tuna Mayonnaise, standard

Tuna mayonnaise with some veggies, pickled radish, and as if by some miracle, NO HAM!

Tuna Mayonnaise with vegetables

Don’t underestimate this triangular snack: it may look small, but just a few of these will be enough to fill your tummy on the go!

Spicy wasabi tuna

Note: A reader shared with us that the safest place to buy the Tuna flavour is at 7-11, as most of the Tuna kimbap in the other convenient stores contains beef. Do consume this snack at your own discretion.

#HHWT Tip: Buy the kimbap after 8.30pm (at 7-11) to enjoy exclusive offers!

2. Banana milk

Oh yes! This stuff is addictive. I remember having it during my first week in Korea, and my friends and I were immediately hooked! There’s something different about drinking it through the tiny Korean straws, or maybe it’s just me 😅

There are lots of types of banana milk but this particular type by Binggrae are the ones you NEED to try!

Credit: @aisyah_vip on Instagram

Although my friend already confirmed the halal status for me beforehand, I did a little research and discovered that Binggrae has received Halal certification, so chug away to your heart’s content ☺

Credit: Korea Curated on Facebook 

3. Melon ice cream

This one goes hand in hand with the banana milk; you absolutely have to try this! I ended up buying a bigger pack from Home Plus and stocking it in my freezer 😋 There are also a bunch of ice lollies that are suitable for vegetarians! 

If all else fails, convenience stores usually have a small selection of ready-to-eat boiled eggs. You also have a range of bottled and canned juices and coffees to keep you going ☕️

Just peel and go! It’s an easy little protein pick me up 🐣

4. Crispy seaweed snacks

Koreans are crazy about it, and my students love eating it with rice at school and asking the lunch ladies for more. I’ve been told that it’s also good for your hair which is definitely a plus!

Credit: Derek David Chua‎ on Facebook 

What’s more, the plain salted ones are vegan-friendly! Since most of the halal snacks in Korea are sweet, it’s a nice change and relatively healthy compared to the other greasier snacks on offer.

Credit: Jaime Mass Nutritionals LLC on Facebook

Note: A few readers have mentioned that other flavors of the snack might contain rice wine or beef flavoring, hence we recommend sticking to the plain salted ones!

5. Chips/crisps

Chips are a practical must-have snack no matter what part of the world you’re in, and Korea’s definitely no exception to the rule ☺ My Korean friend helped me read the packaging and we managed to find these two that don’t have any traces of meat!

This particular brand is called 아 그칩.  The two flavours here are cheese volcano (right) and ranch (left)! They’re a little sweet and are super light, so you could probably eat a bag on your own 😋

#HHWT Tip: When you check the ingredients, the quickest way to check if it has meat is to check the allergens. You’ll be surprised to find that some cheese-flavoured chips will have beef or some type of meat in them (don’t worry, there are still a handful that are Muslim friendly!)

[P.S While shopping for snacks, check out these 8 best shopping hotspots with Muslim-friendly food nearby!]

Look for the word 고기. If you see it, steer clear!

Credit: 미니스톱 (Ministop Korea) on Facebook

6. Pepero

A classic all-time favourite snack among Koreans and foreigners alike, Pepero is a lovely snack to keep in your bag. There’s even a special day dedicated to giving Pepero to your loved ones on November 11th because when written numerically it’s 11/11 (four Peperos all lined up, yum!) 💕

Credit: YumKorea on Facebook

The ones I know that have been halal-certified are the Almond and Peanut flavours. There are also flavours which are free for Muslim consumption but haven’t been certified by the KMF (Korean Muslim Federation):

Nude Pepero

Nude Green Tea Pepero

Vanilla Black Cookie Pepero

Coconut Chocolate Pepero

White Cookie Pepero.

7. Dried fruits and veggies

This one’s going to be a hit and miss. I first found out about these from my co-teacher. You can find chestnuts, sweet potato, dried strawberries, pears, and the list goes on. Sweet potatoes are usually the easiest to find in most stores. Here’s what they look like:

You can also find dried fruit at Olive Young’s little food section, so remember to stock up on those the next time you drop by Olive Young for your cosmetics needs!

If you’re not a fan of dried fruits, you can find readily-packaged fruits in most Korean convenience stores. Ahh, the luxury! It’s still somewhat cheap considering you’re buying a ready-packed fruit at a convenience store!

8. Dr. You cereal bar

You can find this at almost all of the convenience stores. They’re usually by the cashier or around the front of the store. A yummy grab-and-go snack indeed ☺

It’s chewy and super nutty so it makes for a nice mid morning pick me up.

You can have the original flavor (pictured above) or the light bar (honey and oat.) I prefer the original but my friend opts for the light version. Besides, no one ever said you can’t just get both if you can’t decide ☺

9. Yakgwa cookies

A lot of cookies in Korea unfortunately have animal shortening or the shortening isn’t specified, making it questionable. These cookies are definitely more traditional than the colourful alternatives and they have a lot less ingredients! “In Korean, “yak” is pharmacy, and since these little cookies are traditionally sweetened with honey, they were given the name “yakwa”.

This snack is usually eaten during special occasions, perhaps because they’re quite dense. It’s not that popular among the younger generation but you’ll definitely come across it if you live or work in Korea. The taste is simple and buttery and they’re small and incredibly compact! Think deep fried dough, but tastier than what it sounds 😅 Have them with a nice cup of tea (or coffee, if that’s more your thing!).

Some of our readers have alerted us to yagkwa cookies being made with rice wine or other alcoholic substances. As we are unable to determine whether this applies to all yakgwa cookie brands, we advise you to not consume these cookies for now ☹️

10. Instant drinks (ice or hot)

If you’re in Korea between May and September, chances are you’ll need to cool down and grab a cold drink. Every convenience store I’ve been into has a little freezer with cups of ice. Nearby, you’ll find large sachets of coffee, chocolate drinks, ice teas and “ades” (think lemonade) 🍹

[P.S For more sweet treats, check out these 12 cafes that are so, Seoul cool!] 

#HHWT Tip: You’ve got to try Chilsung Cider! I know what you’re thinking: CIDER?! Worry not my friends, this is just a type of Korean sprite☺

[P.S Complete your Seoul trip with these top 4 Muslim-friendly eateries!] 

Plan your Seoul trip with HHWT!

Find the best halal local food, exciting attractions, nearby prayer spaces and more on the HHWT website!


I hope this list will help you find some halal snacks to enjoy while you’re exploring Korea! Next time you find yourself feeling hungry, head to a convenience store and look out for these little treats. Since most of them are open till late and easily available everywhere, you won’t find yourself with nothing to eat!

Happy snacking!


  • Avatar
    Asalaamalaikum! This is very helpful thank you so much. I wanted to know if osulloc tea & tavalon teas are halal or not. I was recently gifted a set by my friend & I dont want to try those until I am sure if it is safe to consume.  Can you please confirm it for me. Thank you
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      Hi there! Thank you for reaching out to us.😊 Most coffees in cafes don't contain alcohol. However, some of the cakes such as Tiramisu might contain alcohol as they are traditionally made with rum. Do check with the store assistant on the ingredients if you're unsure! Hope it helps!
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      Hi Reem! Thank you for your comment.😊 We're really glad that you found our content helpful. Unfortunately, we do not currently know the halal status of Banana Kick. Perhaps you could look through the ingredients list for suspicious ingredients and dine at your own discretion!😊
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      Hi Hami! Thank you for your comment. Unfortunately, we're currently unaware of any halal bubble tea shop in Korea. Really sorry about it.😞
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    Hello, I'd like to ask if the sunnuts almond is halal. My family has been eating the honey butter almond and I grew kind of suspicious if I should continue eating it or not.Do you have any alternatives for flavoured almonds or nuts in korea?
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      Hi Siti! Thank you for reaching out to us. Unfortunately, we're not sure if the Sunnuts almonds are halal or not. Really sorry about it.😞
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    HiI found the yakgwa cake interesting & it's really delicious.. I search to see the recipe after that.. but it seems that they would put soju in it. It is a bit concern for me
    • Avatar
      Hi there! Thank you for reaching out to us.😊 While some brands do use Soju in their Yakgwa cake, not all brands include Soju in their recipe. That being said, as we're currently unable to get in touch with our correspondent in South Korea to determine which ones are alcohol-free, we'd advise you to not consume them at the moment. Hope if helps!😊
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      Hi Jatt! Thank you for reaching out to us. Unfortunately, we're not exactly sure of the halal status of the OKF banana latte.😞Perhaps you could look through the ingredient list for any suspicious ingredients and drink at your own discretion.
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    Thank you for sharing this it really helps as Im currently studying in Cheonan and its really hard to find foog here. Convenience store food is the only thing that I could depend on. 
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    Thank you so much!! You just saved my life!! Too bad I still didn't find an article about halal street food in korea yet.. I'd like to try their street food too.. 
    • Avatar
      Hi Emelyn! We hope you've had a good trip to Korea and we're really glad that you found our article useful!☺️ We actually have an article on Muslim-friendly street food in Seoul over here - Hopefully, it will be useful for you if you're planning for another trip to Korea in the future! ☺️
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    thank you so much for this , we really need to know halal food when we travel abroad especially that some people think that only porc and wine are not halal, while beef flavors as well 
    • Avatar
      Hi Meriem! Thank you so much for your comment! We're really glad that you found our content helpful.😊 Will you be heading to Korea anytime soon?☺️
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    Hello! Just searching on google about halal snacks in Korea and I came across your article. Very cute and packed with information. I can't thank you enough for this. I have been wondering about snacks in Korea since obviously living by only meals is not fun. Thank you once again, I hope you can write more similar to this things to help people who want to eat halal food!
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