When you travel to Korea and visit the popular tourist destination Gwangjang Market, you simply cannot miss these 5 foods that we’ll recommend to you.
Seoul's bustling and historic Gwangjang Market has been attracting tourists with its wide variety of delicious foods for years. It is also the first-ever permanent market in Korea. It opened in 1905 and since then, it has been one of the most famous tourist and local stops.
Yes, Gwangjang Market has long been a favorite of many, even before it was made famous by celebrities and the Netflix show.
Anyone looking for an authentic and flavorful Korean street food experience should go to Gwangjang Market. There are other things offered there in addition to the food items.
Here are our top five food recommendations that you should try if this is your first time visiting Gwangjang Market:
1) Kalguksu (Knife-cut noodles)
We are recommending the most obvious but for sure, you will not regret trying. Yes, it’s the one featured on Netflix’s Street Food: Asia. How can you not go to Gwangjang Market without visiting the pink cheerful ahjumma cooking in front of you?
You must try the knife-cut noodles from the stall Gohyang Kalguksu. The stall is not hard to find because it’s usually the most crowded one.
What taste to expect on Kalguksu? It is clean, light, and flavorful. It is best to pair it with the mandu (dumpling) that they are also offering.
2) Mayak Kimbap (Mini addictive Korean rice rolls)
This time, another famous person recommended this Korean food and it’s none other than Gordon Ramsay. The world-renowned chef showed his love for Mayak kimbap among other Korean street foods when he visited Gwangjang Market back in 2017.
Mayak in Korean means drug but that doesn’t necessarily translate that the food has drugs on it. They just called it a “drug” because these mini kimbaps are addicting to eat. The mini Korean rice only usually consists of only three ingredients with no meat on it but it's still savory that you’ll be wanting not just one roll.
In Gwangjang Market, you should try Mayak Kimbap at the Wonjo Jamae Mayak Kimbap stall. You can easily find the spot because the stall has a photo of Gordon Ramsay trying their food.
3) Yukhoe (Seasoned raw beef)
If you’re the adventurous type, why not try the seasoned raw beef called Yukhoe? Inside Gwangjang Market, there is a small shop that has been recognized by the Michelin Guide. It is called the Buchon Yukhoe and has been established since 1965. It usually gets crowded so make sure to go there early.
4) Bindaetteok (Mung Bean Pancake)
When you enter the food alley of Gwangjang Market, you will see a lot of this pancake being deep-fried. It is a savory pancake made from vegetables, ground mung beans, batter, and sometimes, meat. It is best paired with makgeolli (Korean rice wine).
You can buy the 5,000 KRW street food in any stall because they all taste good. But if you want a specific location, you should check out the Park Bindaetteok store in Gwangjang Market which has a lot of seats inside.
5) Kkwabaegi (Korean twisted doughnuts)
After all the savory meals, it’s time for dessert. The best thing to try is none other than the famous kkwabaegi (Korean twisted doughnuts), Tourists and locals line up for this simple, crispy, and sweet twisted doughnuts.
The stall is easy to find as it is near the Jongno 5-ga station. You’ll surely find people lining up and that’s when you know it’s the right stall.
To reach Gwangjang Market and savor its delectable offerings, you can opt for a convenient subway ride. Simply hop on the Seoul Metro Line 1 or Line 2 and get off at Jongro 5-ga Station.