While teaching English in Korea, you will notice every weekend roads are packed with cars full of people traveling to camp, see family or just get away from the city. Because there are so many places you can travel to by car, rest areas are well-equipped, like America, with more than just bathrooms and vending machines.
First of all, rest areas in Korea are clean. Even with hundreds of people using them throughout the day, all the ones I have stopped by have never made me feel like I should wait to use the bathroom until I reach my destination. Also, because there are so many stalls, I've never had to wait in line.
The BEST thing about rest areas is the food. Aside from the typical Korean food they serve, rest areas are especially known for their potatoes, manjoo, and walnut cakes.
I believe these potatoes are first boiled until soft, then grilled with some butter and simple seasoning. I have tasted ones with sugar on top (as gross as it sounds, it was actually delicious), as well as salty ones.
They are served in a disposable bowl with some toothpicks to eat them with. These potatoes are not only super filling, but it's just one of those delicacies that you can really enjoy on a trip. I don't think these would taste the same if I ate them at home.
I like to think of manjoos as a Korean version of a twinkie. It has a cakey outside with a custard filling. These are very cheap, as a bag of 15 manjoos will only cost you 3000WON.
These are best when eaten warm. Be careful though, the filling might burn your mouth if it's too hot. It happens to me all the time.
There's a specific time of the year when giving walnut cake (more like cookies) are appropriate. However, these seemed to be enjoyed by Koreans all year round, especially on road trips.
These pastry specialties are shaped and even look like real walnuts. The difference is that it's softer and filled with walnut paste.
So if you ever go on road trips when teaching English in South Korea, make sure you stop by a rest area and try these delicacies!