Gwangjang Market

Thursday, 25 February 2016

If you're looking for a place to eat that's representative of Seoul, Gwangjang Market (광장시장) should be on the top of your list. It's known as the nation's first market and one of the most popular tourist destinations for food. Located in the Dongdaemun (동대문) district of central Seoul, popular dishes at the Eatery Alley (먹자골목) of the market include: drug kimbap (mayak kimbap 마약김밥), mungbean pancakes (bindaetteok 빈대떡), raw beef (yukhoe 육회), and pork trotter (jokbal 족발). They also have live octopus (nakji 낙지), which we wanted to try but didn't because it was too cold (sigh).

Hungry and cold after our tour at Changdeokgung Palace (창덕궁), we desperately wanted something hot and warming to the body so our first stop was a food stall called Go-ssi Ahjumma (고씨 아줌마), where we ordered: a bowl of fish cakes (omuk 어묵) each; and a serving of blood sausage (soondae 순대) and some drug kimbap to share. (The reason why the kimbap is so addictive is actually the sauce!) After that, we made a few more stops for noodles (kalguksu 칼국수), kimchi dumplings (kimchi mandu 김치만두), bindaetteok at the famous Soon Hee Ne (순희네) and some tteokbokki (떡볶이) at Ha Ni Ne Soondae Janchi Guksu (하니네 순대 잔치국수), where we took up 3 seating spaces even though we only ordered one serving of rice cakes (haha).

If it's your first time in Seoul, visiting Gwangjang Market is a must. However, I wouldn't suggest going to the stalls we went to, because honestly, any food stall will do. We just sat down randomly at any store that looked decent and most of them turned out to be really good. The Eatery Alley however, was much smaller than I had imagined but it was still an awesome food experience nonetheless and I would definitely be going back. With delicious local delicacies, warm seats (they've got some kind of heating on the benches for winter) and a lively atmosphere, it's a place where you can really enjoy the food culture of Korea.

Gwangjang Market (광장시장)
88 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
서울 종로구 창경궁로 88



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