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Legendary After Dark: Korean Drinking Snacks

Legendary After Dark: Korean Drinking Snacks

Legendary After Dark: Korean Drinking Snacks

It’s that time of night again – you’ve had a long day, the work week is dragging on, and all you want is to sink into a cozy booth, order up a few cold ones, and indulge in some finger-licking good Korean drinking snacks. Well, my friend, you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to the world of Korean “anju” – the savory, booze-absorbing bites that are an essential part of the Korean drinking culture.

The Allure of Korean Anju

I’ll admit, I wasn’t always a connoisseur of Korean drinking food. In fact, my introduction to this delectable world came completely by accident. A few years back, I had been out late with some friends, bar-hopping our way through the bustling Korean district of Boston. After our third or fourth stop, we were starting to feel the effects of all those soju bombs. That’s when one of my buddies suggested we grab a quick bite before heading home.

“Trust me,” he said, “you’re going to love this stuff.”

Little did I know, those words would open the door to a lifelong love affair. As soon as the platter of Korean anju hit our table – the glistening, caramelized chicken wings, the crispy fried seafood pancakes, the addictive spicy rice cakes – I was hooked. The flavors were bold, the textures were varied, and the whole experience felt like the perfect complement to our evening of imbibing.

From that night on, I made it my mission to seek out the best Korean drinking snacks Boston had to offer. And let me tell you, this city does not disappoint. Whether you’re in the mood for classic dishes like kimchi pancakes or adventurous bites like stir-fried squid, there’s an anju for every palate and preference.

The Art of Korean Anju

But what exactly is anju, you ask? The term literally translates to “food eaten with alcohol” [1], and it encompasses a wide range of savory, shareable dishes that are designed to pair perfectly with soju, beer, or whatever your poison of choice might be. The beauty of anju lies in its diversity – you might find sweet, sticky Korean fried chicken, briny seafood pancakes, or even hearty stews, all united by their ability to soak up the booze and keep you fueled well into the night.

One of the hallmarks of anju is its focus on texture. Many of the dishes feature a delightful contrast between crispy exteriors and tender, juicy interiors. Take the beloved Korean fried chicken, for example. The secret to its addictive crunch lies in a two-step frying process that creates a shatteringly crisp skin while keeping the meat juicy and flavorful [2]. It’s a technique that’s been perfected over generations, and the results are nothing short of mouthwatering.

But anju isn’t just about crunch – it’s also about bold, unapologetic flavors. Many of the dishes are seasoned with a complex blend of spices, sauces, and aromatics that pack a serious punch. The spicy rice cakes, known as tteokbokki, are a prime example. These chewy, tubular rice cakes are simmered in a fiery gochujang (fermented chili paste) sauce, creating a flavor profile that’s simultaneously sweet, savory, and tongue-tinglingly hot [3]. It’s the kind of dish that keeps you coming back for more, even as your taste buds beg for mercy.

Exploring the Best of Boston’s Korean Anju

So, where can you find these legendary Korean drinking snacks in Boston? Well, my friend, let me be your guide. One of my personal favorites is Moju, a cozy eatery in the heart of Allston that specializes in anju-style dishes. Their kimchi pancakes, with their crisp exteriors and tangy, funky filling, are an absolute must-try. And don’t sleep on their bulgogi-style beef skewers – the tender, marinated meat is the perfect foil to a frosty pint of beer.

If you’re in the mood for something a little more adventurous, head over to Vit Goe in Cambridge. This place is known for its innovative takes on classic anju, like the “Spicy Squid Tentacle Fries” – crispy, golden-brown tentacles tossed in a gochujang-based sauce that will set your taste buds ablaze (in the best possible way).

And let’s not forget the OG of Korean drinking food in Boston, Eung Sil in Allston. This longstanding institution has been serving up the goods for decades, from piping hot kimchi stew to sizzling bulgogi platters. The atmosphere is no-frills, but the flavors are anything but – you’ll find yourself lingering long after the last drop of soju has been drained.

Soju, Snacks, and the Art of Letting Go

At the end of the day, partaking in Korean anju is about so much more than just satisfying your hunger. It’s about embracing the art of the social, communal dining experience – gathering with friends, sharing plates, and letting the worries of the day melt away as you indulge in the perfect pairing of booze and bite-sized bliss.

So the next time you find yourself in need of a late-night Korean food fix, don’t settle for a tired old bag of chips. Dive headfirst into the world of anju and let the flavors transport you to a place of pure indulgence and camaraderie. Trust me, your taste buds (and your soul) will thank you.


[1] Bon Appétit. “The Fourth Trimester.” [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 07-May-2023].

[2] Reddit. “Exhuma Korean Movie Questions.” [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 07-May-2023].

[3] Eater Houston. “36 Essential Late-Night Restaurants in Houston.” [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 07-May-2023].