Out of all possible food combinations, there’s something magical about dipping chicken covered in flour and various spices. Then slowly being dipped into boiling oil. Turning it into a golden crispy, mouth watering meal. I will admit, when I first moved to South Korea, I knew I was gonna miss the southern style goodness. But I knew I would be alright once I moved into my first home in Jinju. Everywhere I went, my eyes gazed at the variety of chicken and beer restaurants. No matter where you go in Korea, there is always a chicken restaurant. Fried chicken joints are by far the most popular with oven baked not far behind.
Majority of these restaurants are franchises or your local mom and pop shops. The beauty of living in Korea is that you have options when it comes to the golden bird. As I write this post I have to ask myself something…How is it that I’ve been here for three years and back in June I just found out Daegu has a Chicken and Beer Festival?! I need to get out more…….
I know there the old stereotype about black people and fried chicken. Honestly that title will have to go to South Korea. It’s very common for Koreans to go out some chicken and beer after work with their coworkers and boss(es). As a form of building bonds with people they locals work with. Or you’ll see delivery mopeds zipping along the street or the sidewalk delivering the goods to a home or place of business. Almost every weekend, I order some of the fried goods via the popular food delivery app, Yogiyo. Alongside nail shops and cafes, it’s quite a challenge to not eventually run into a chicken joint. It’s a cheap, delicious way to have fun with friends. Or just enjoy an evening with a greasy delicious box of chicken and some Netflix.
But what about the festival, I hear you asking as you read this blog. All I can say is, if you plan to travel to Korea anytime in the summer, make sure you try to add this festival as part of your travel itinerary. The Chimac festival was an awesome 5 day event to try various chicken franchises and wash it down with some cool refreshing beer. It all takes place in Daegu, Korea’s 4th largest city. It’s easy to get there via the subway. But be prepared to sweat as Daegu gets very hot during the summer. It becomes very humid after it rains, which makes being outside so miserable. I was like this guy
The beer part I’m not sure of as I don’t drinker. I’m one of the few foreigners, teacher or not, who doesn’t spend all their money on alcohol. My focus was on the food. The park had many venues to eat, but also live concerts with well known artists in the K-pop and K-hip hop. I even saw the US Army band playing Maroon 5’s Harder to Breathe.There were your traditional fried chicken as well as sauce based fried chicken. Korea for sure, has some of the best sauce fried chicken in the world! And I’ll fight you on that!
The event was held at Duryu Park, which is across the street from E-World Daegu. Both locations can be walked from the Duryu subway stop on the Green Line. The park tends to have other festivals and other events such as the Daegu Lantern Festival. Its free to enter but you obviously will pay for food at the stalls. As mentioned before, there food venues from different franchises and live music to go with the food. Some stalls were great while others were more on the meh side. Unfortunately I ate some dry ass chicken at a few stalls. Being a foodie lover, I can be a bit judgmental on certain foods.
Now if you’re a drinker, you will have a great time chugging down some cold ones with friends, while chowing down on fried chicken. Cass, one of Korea’s most popular beer had a huge stall serving a very large cup of beer that you would see at sporting events. Originally I had planned on attending the festival on Saturday July 20, but it was cancelled due to the 2019 Typhoon Danas was happening around that time. So me and my homeboy went the following day and it was packed! There were more people than I anticipated. It was obvious the people who couldn’t attend the Saturday event, went came out the next day.
All I can say is, if you ever have a chance to travel to Korea, try some of the best fried chicken out there. Make a plan to hit up the next Chimac Festival in the future. Enjoy some crispy chicken dipped in red sauce while chugging some cold beer. And hopefully it doesn’t occur during the monsoon season.