Eating Alone In South Korea Is The Newest Trend

In South Korea, it’s more common to eat as groups of two or more than it is to eat alone, but a new trend is on the rise called ‘HONBAP’.

Honbap‘ is a combination of the Korean words for “alone” and “meal” and, as the word suggests, the trend involves the practice of eating alone. In Korean culture, it is seen as odd to eat alone and it is far more common to eat in groups or pairs. This new trend is, therefore, breaking with tradition and fits well with the fast-paced lifestyle of the young generation.

Check out the photos below for a taste of “Honbap”:

A Japanese-style restaurant by the name of Ichimen. / Source: Korea Joongang Daily

This restaurant features small cubicles for each seat so anyone eating alone doesn’t have to worry about other people watching as they slurp on their ramen noodles.

Restaurants that feature Western food in Korea tend to serve HONBAP eaters too!

T.G.I Fridays has a “Simple Meal” menu tailored specifically for Solo-Diners.
Pizza Hut also has their own special menu for Solo-Diners called “Lunch Pizza”.
Lotteria (run by Lotte Group) has reduced the number of small tables in their restaurant and replaced them with large tables and single chairs to suit those who will be eating alone.
Angel-In-Us Coffee, a coffee franchise (also run by Lotte Group), has started to cut their bakery items and the sizes of their sandwiches in half to cater to those eating alone. / Source: Korea Times

Although eating alone is considered somewhat taboo, the trend is becoming more and more pronounced around Korea.

Check out the video below about a girl who struggles to look for someone to eat with, but gives up and goes to a solo-serving restaurant called “On My Own“!