Table Etiquette in Korea

With our unique blend of Korean fried chicken and draft beer, Han’s Chimeak is bringing the joys of eating Korean food to Boise and the surrounding region. Even though the contrasts between American and Korean eating habits are not surprising, have you ever wondered what it would be like to eat American meals at the house of a Korean friend or in a Korean restaurant in the heart of Seol? Continue reading to learn the fundamentals of proper dining etiquette!

Never Eat Without a Pair Of Chopsticks

There are socially acceptable table manners that one may practice, even if they are already being consumed. Chopsticks are required for every meal consumed in Korean culture. It is critical to keep this in mind while eating in Korean culture. Chopsticks should never be directed toward another person and should always be held in the right hand. Chopsticks should always be held in the right hand, which is also the hand that should be trusted with them. When they are not in use, place them on a plate or bowl, and when they are, store them. Moving food from one person’s chopsticks to another is considered very impolite; therefore, it is considered usual for each individual to have their own pair of chopsticks to use while eating. The last and most critical condition is that you should never, ever lick your chopsticks. It is really impolite to treat another person in this manner.

Never Leave Chopsticks Unattended

It is critical to note that inserting your chopsticks into your meal is not traditional Korean eating etiquette; as a consequence, you should be mindful of this fact at all times. Rest your chopsticks on the side of your dish or plate when not in use to keep them from disappearing. In Korean culture, putting someone on a dish of rice while they are still alive is equivalent to committing suicide. It is also considered courteous to look away from older people when eating, abstain from conversing while eating and finish all of the food on the table before getting up to go. Also, you should accept any extra food or drinks that are provided and then demonstrate your gratitude by providing something else in return. This is considered a reciprocal act. This communicates your appreciation and respect for their compassion.

Never Pour Your Own Drink

While eating with Korean friends or acquaintances, it is essential to remember the right etiquette associated with Korean dining. You must remember that you are not permitted to pour your own beverages since this is one of the most important regulations to follow. Instead, another visitor at the table—usually the oldest of those present—will be given the privilege of pouring drinks for the other visitors. By doing this act, the host shows his or her table guests respect and gratitude for their hospitality. It also provides an opportunity to demonstrate welcoming behavior by keeping an eye out for people in the community. It is important to remember that while eating with Koreans, you should not pour your own drink. This is considered the standard in Korean cuisine. Instead, delegate responsibility!

Also, it is considered very important in Korean culture to express gratitude to the provider for something by expressing “Thank you” after getting it from someone else. This not only shows your generosity and gratitude for others, but it also expresses your appreciation for the work they have put in. When someone fills your glass, you should always thank them. This demonstrates your excellent manners and regards for the individual who replenished your glass.

Strive to Finish the Whole Meal

While eating with Koreans, it is crucial to remember that leaving food on a plate after completing it is considered wasteful. This is considered typical in Korea. If possible, try to finish everything on your plate; if not, make sure nothing goes to waste. It’s possible that in certain situations, such as when you’re full, or there’s a lot of food left over after a large meal, leaving little pieces of food behind is okay and will not be considered as rude.

It is regarded exceedingly impolite to begin eating before everyone else at the table has been offered anything to eat. Koreans often do not carry dishes around the table, instead placing the food in the middle and allowing each guest to assist themselves. Every diner is expected to use chopsticks at some point throughout their dinner, so practicing with them beforehand might be beneficial.

Consider How Loudly You Speak While Eating

It is vital to remember that while dining according to Korean norms, you should be mindful of how loud you are—both when eating and drinking. This is because chatting loudly while eating or drinking in front of others is considered rude. Slurping and belching are considered unpleasant and unsettling activities in a variety of social circumstances. Also, avoid taking the food right off the serving plate or bowl while withdrawing your share from the dishes. Instead, use the chopsticks or spoon supplied to extract your piece. To show your gratitude to your host, respectfully refuse any more portions that are offered, particularly if you are already full from the first. You should wait until everyone else has done eating before you begin eating. This is the last and most important piece of advice.

Treat Others With Respect

While visiting Korea, it is important to follow proper manners and dining customs. Visitors are expected to be kind and respectful of their hosts at all times. Rather than being the exception, this is the norm. After the dinner is made, it is customary for the visitor to thank the host for his or her hospitality before departing. Also, while pouring beverages for others, always use two hands, with one hand on top of the other right below your elbow. Do this as a sign of respect for the individual for whom you are pouring.


Learning about a new culture is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will not be repeated. It’s considerably more pleasurable if you can learn how to do it while nibbling on something. Although the fact that Han’s Chimaek will not need you to utilize your newly gained manners, you may still wow your friends, family, and colleagues with this amazing knowledge to make your supper even more pleasurable! Go to Han’s Chimaek the next time you want to try something new to eat or just unwind after a hard day at work. You will not be disappointed. Get some of our Korean fried chicken and a delicious draft beer of your choice while you’re there. We have a wide selection. Visit to learn more about our restaurant and to evaluate all of your alternatives!

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