Unlike most towns in South Korea, Gyeongju isn't really known for any particular regional dish. The one thing invented in the city is its bread filled with sweet red beans, Hwangnam-bbang, named after the Hwangnam-dong area of Gyeongju where it originated. First made in 1939, the bread is available in many places in the downtown area. The Hwangnam Bbang bakery near Daereung-won does a brisk business. At night they have a huge staff making the hwangnam-bbang as fast as the people snatch them up, a bargain at only W500 each. Ready-made gift boxes of boli bbang (a chewier, less sweet bread made from rice flour and barley) can be purchased from Bonga Gyeongju Bbang (tel. 054/749-0456), which is open 8am to 10pm daily, and located on the corner down the street from Anapji Pond and Tumuli Park.
A traditional meal in Gyeongju is the ssambap (wrapped rice), where you'll get a table full of various banchan (side dishes) and greens (lettuce, perilla leaves, and steamed cabbage, among others) to wrap your rice in. You take a leaf in your hand, put a bit of rice in it, add a side dish and some dwenjang (fermented soybean paste), fold it up, and stuff the whole thing in your mouth. Most of the ssambap restaurants in town are clustered between the southeast corner of Tumuli Park and Wolseong Park, sometimes called "Ssambap Maeul" or "Ssambap Alley."
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