New Year's Eve in Seoul or Taipei- Will anything be open at this time of year?
I'm exploring the idea of traveling to Seoul or Taipei at the end of the year for 3-4 days of pure chowhounding. I'm looking to arrive around Dec. 30th and leave on or about January 2nd. Question: Are restaurants and street food places usually open around this time in these cities? Is there a lively "eat out" culture this time of year including New Year's Eve and New Year's Day? I'll be traveling from Tokyo which is, more or less, dead during this time of year.
Taipei should be pretty lively around that time. It's Chinese New Year when a lot of stuff shuts down and people go home, regular New Year is pretty similar to how it is in the West. In other words, drinking, partying, and overpriced cover charges at all the pretentious clubs/bars/lounges. =) I don't think it really affects the food scene much except that some of the finer restaurants might have special pricier menus. But to be honest, the food scene in Taipei is all about cheap eats and food stalls rather than expensive restaurants.
So to answer your questions with regards to Taipei:
Yes, restaurants, night markets, and roadside stands should be open for New Year's.
And there's a lively "eat out" culture every day of the year in Taiwan except Chinese New Year when you eat at home with the family, though I can't think of any specific traditions with regards to New Year's or New Year's Eve.