Gwangjang Market is a traditional market in the heart of Seoul. This is one of my favourite places to try the local food together with a bowl of Korean rice wine.
The environment is really nice, with stalls full of delicious Korean food and friendly old women cooking. In Korea, women on their forties and fifties are known as ajumma (아줌마).
My favourite time is to come on dinner time. You can eat outside in the benches of the stalls or inside like a normal restaurant. I personally like eating outside if the weather is nice and warm.
What to eat and drink at Gwangjang Market?
Jeon is known as the Korean pancake. You can find different varieties depending on the main ingredient that is made of. The most common flavours are pork (고기전), fish, vegetarian, seafood and kimchi. My favourite is the seafood jeon.
Bindaetteok is another variety of Korean pancake, the difference with jeon is that is thicker. It is mainly made with soy beans and you should eat it together with the onion they serve.
Yukhoe is raw beef, which is served with a row egg and sliced pear. This curious dish for western palates is actually really nice and all the flavours match together really well. If you want to bring this dish to the next level you can also find it together with life octopus (see video below).
Hotteok it is also a pancake, but this time a sweet pancake. It is a bit crunch in the outside and soft inside. It has honey and it will be quite close to the idea western people have of a pancake.
Korean rice wine. Be careful with Makgeolli because it’s sweet and easy to drink. I warned you, so don’t blame on the comments later ;).
It’s similar to the back pudding that Spanish and Irish eat. It is made with pig blood and might not be for everyone. However, if you like the Irish or Spanish black pudding like me you will love it.
Mayak Gimbap (마약김밥)
Gimbap is the Korean seaweed roll filled with anything you want. Mayak Gimbap is the smaller version of Gimbap and in this market is quite popular. Basically, all of them include a variety of veggies and egg and you can choose the main ingredient; such as tuna, pork, beef or shrimp.
Tteokbokki is a simple dish that consist of pieces of rice cake floating in a spicy and sweet red sauce. The rice cake has a very chewy texture and it is usually served with pieces of fish cake. There could be some boiled eggs floating around, if you want one you have to order it.
The restaurants are open from 8:30 to 23:00
How to get there
Jongno 5-ga station exit 7
Find the best accommodation offers in Seoul.