What comes to your mind when you think of Korean food? Kimchi, maybe? Or Bibimbap?

What definitely didn’t come to my mind, before visiting Korea, was choco pie. Jeonju, a Korean city famous for its stunning Hanok Village, is also well-known for its handmade choco pies.

If you’re still confused about it, don’t worry. Daniel and I spent hours investigating choco pies during our recent trip to Korea. In this article, we have all the information you need, including where to find the best choco pies in Jeonju and how to make them yourself.

Jeonju Choco Pie

What is Korean Choco Pie?

History of Choco Pies

Several choco pies on display in Jeonju

Depending on where you come from, you might have had choco pie before visiting Korea.

Choco Pies originated in the US at the beginning of the 20th century, but they didn’t make it to Korea until the 70s. The story goes that an employee of Tongyang Confectionery visited the US and fell in love with choco pies – so much that he created his own version after returning to South Korea.

If you’ve visited a Korean supermarket, or even a minimarket, you might have seen boxes of choco pies. They are a popular snack amongst all age groups.

A box of industrial Korean choco pie Ilona and Daniel found in a shop

The Jeonju Choco Pie was created shortly after Tongyang Confectionery released its product. Two bakeries, Jeonju Choco Pie Shop and PNB, both claim to have created the first handmade versions of the small cake.

Despite thorough research, it remains difficult to say who is telling the truth. Fact is that the handmade versions became so popular that these days, many cafes and bakeries sell them.

What are Jeonju Choco Pies made of?

Photo of a Korean choco pie in Jeonju, with a hand for scale

But what even are those choco pies?

Choco Pies consist of two layers of spongy chocolate cake with a creamy, marshmallow-like filling and jam on the inside. Choco pies you buy in a box are usually completely covered in chocolate.

The Jeonju Choco Pies, however, are dipped into chocolate only on the edges. This leads to a characteristic square pattern on the outside of the pie.

Photo of the filling of a Korean choco pie cut in two held by Ilona

The most traditional choco pies are made with chocolate cake, a creamy white filling and strawberry jam. If that’s not your favourite flavour combination, don’t worry. You can find lots of variations in the many bakeries around Jeonju.

Variations of the Jeonju Choco Pie

Blueberry choco pies, one of the many variations we saw

When visiting Jeonju, we saw more types of choco pie than we could possibly try. The most common ones are with white chocolate, white sponge cake or blueberry flavour. I also think the green Macha ones are interesting. They might not be as traditional as the chocolate, white cream and strawberry ones, but they taste very good.

Daniel and I did our best to eat as many choco pies as we could, and we can only advise you to do the same. They’re delicious!

Where to find the best Choco Pie in Jeonju

PNB Bakery in Jeonju, South Korea

If you search who started the choco pie craze in Jeonju, most people online will agree that it was PNB. This bakery opened in 1951 and claims that they were the first ones to make choco pies by hand.

However, when walking around town, Daniel and I saw a few more signs from bakeries claiming that theirs was “the original choco pie”. One is Jeonju Choco Pie, a place that specialises in choco pies only. You won’t find any other sweets or pastries here.

Front of the Jeonju choco pie shop

Since they only started in the 1970s, I think it’s unlikely that they opened before PNB. However, they are the perfect bakery to visit if you want to try unusual flavours. Try their red ginseng choco pie, for example, or their purple sweet potato one.

Finally, don’t miss the opportunity to make your own choco pies! It’s surprisingly easy, as you just need to pipe the filling on one half of sponge cake, press the other half on top and dip the corners in chocolate.

The Jeonju Choco Pie Experience Center gives classes in which you make your own and take away five self-made choco pies at the end.


We hope you now have a good idea of what the famous Jeonju Choco Pie is and why you should absolutely try one while visiting this beautiful city.

If you have the time, go and make your own! It’s a fun experience and you’ll have dessert for a few days!

If you’ve been to Jeonju or would like to go and try the choco pies yourself, leave us a comment below.

Also, why you’re here, check out the following articles which you will find useful for planning your trip:

Until your next adventure!

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