Being a port town, it goes to figure that Yeosu is well known for its hwae. There is even a Hwae Town, where dozens of seafood restaurants line the streets, some of then starting as early as 5am.
Other than hwae, there are a plethora of seafood specialties in the region. You can indulge in everything from oysters to spicy eel and a variety of grilled fish. A concentration of good restaurants can be found in the Jung-ang-no area. For spicy octopus, try Myeongshin Nakji, 441 Gyeo-dong, Yeosu-si (tel. 061/662-7056), which has spicy sautéed octopus for W8,000 or (for the adventurous eater), live octopus for W15,000, from 10am to 10pm daily. For overall fresh seafood, there are Baekcheon Shikdang (tel. 061/662-3717), Ihak Shikdang (tel. 061/662-1661), and Geumcheon Shikdang (tel. 061/662-4883).
Suncheon is also well known for its seafood. There are good Korean restaurants concentrated in the Jung-ang-dong (old downtown) area and some traditional restaurants in between newer American fast-food joints in Yeonhyang-dong (the new downtown) area. For just plain good Korean food, try Seonamsa Saejogye Sikdang (tel. 061/751-9121). Seomjingang Garden (tel. 061/782-3712) serves delicious local seafood.
If you happen to be in the area in mid- to late October, don't miss my favorite food festival in South Korea, the Namdo Food Festival (tel. 061/286-5240; www.namdofood.or.kr), held at the Naganeupseong Folk Village, featuring regional foods from 22 cities across the area.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.