Seoul’s Famous Food Streets
The only way to really get to the heart of traditional Korean cuisine in Seoul is to take it to the streets. Never mind the fancy five-star facades. The best eateries anywhere are almost always the ones frequented by the locals themselves, far beyond the tourist traps.
Here are five of my favourite:
1. Kalguksu Street
There are dozens of open-style kalguksu bars along this alleyway. Traditionally a Korean noodle dish, kalguksu consists of handmade, knife-cut wheat flour noodles served in a variety of broths with seasonal ingredients. Tasty stuff.
Getting there: Subway Line 4 to Hoehyeon Station. The alley is directly in front of exit 5.
2. Gwangjang Market
Referred as meokjagolmok, the sprawling market eatery in Gwangjang Market is the largest of its kind in Seoul.
Be sure to try nokdu bindaetteok, or bean pancake, and tteokbokki. For the more adventurous, sundae (blood sausage) is an option.
Getting there: Take subway Line 1 to Jogno 5-ga Station and hop out exit 8.
3. Boiled Pig’s Feet Alley
Jokbal is a Korean pork dish made from boiling pig’s leg in water. The dish is best served with soju, Korea’s potato-distilled vodka. The area’s a hugely popular after-hours haunt for local office workers. Somunan Jokbal has been in business for thirty years.
Getting there: Take subway Line 5 to Gondeok Station and get out exit 4.
4. Galchi Jorim Street
Located in Namdaemun, one of Asia’s largest markets, this is a great place to enjoy galchi jorim (steamed hairtail fish soup).
Getting there: Subway Line 4 to Hoehyeon Station. Turn right at exit 4. It’s the fourth street down on the left.
5. BBQ Alley
Beef here is cheaper and far better than what the more commercial restaurants are carrying.
Getting there: Subway Line 5 to Majang Station. From exit 2 walk straight to the bridge (10mins) and turn left. The alley is around 500m down from there.