No vacation is ever complete without eating local food, ever. The sister and I are certified foodies and we are totally gaga over Korean food. Imagine our delight when we finally stepped on to the land of Kimchis and Bibimbaps. 🙂 They said vacation calories don’t count, they better not be as Seoul is an absolute food haven. From scrumptious side dishes to mouth-watering-lip-smacking stews and noodles, men, you can never go wrong with Korean food.
This article is consists of the favored eats that we’ve consumed while vacationing in Seoul. Though, there’s a lot more food emblazoned in our memories than in our memory cards because we sisters are the type who eats first before doing everything else. LOL. We still manage to take a decent amount of photos for your eyes to feast on. Get some candies ready as this post will induce drool and hunger. Without further ado, readers, behold…
Myeongdong Gyoza (명동교자)
This ladies and gentlemen, is the best of the best! It’s soo good we went back several times; they say this restaurant has been in business for about 40 years and running.
Directions: Myeongdong Station (Seoul Subway Line 4), Exit 8.Upon exiting the station, turn left onto Myeongdong 10-gil Road. Go straight about 150m.
There were just four items on the menu, namely: Kalguksu (handmade chopped noodles) soup – KRW 8,000, Bibimguksu (spicy noodles) – KRW 8,000, the oh-so-popular Mandu (dumplings) – KRW 10,000 and Kongguksu (noodles in cold soybean soup) that is only available during summer.Il mio preferito, korean handmade noodle dish aka Kalguksu. Al dente noodles served in a hot chicken broth with dumplings, minced meat and vegetables. Together with the yummiest kimchi I’ve ever tasted, this truly is a winner.These are not your average dumplings. These are arguably the tastiest, flabbiest and juiciest dumplings in the history of dumplings. Haha! These are filled with an assortment of pork, chives and vegetable. It’s soo good until now I can taste it on the tip of my tongue. LOL.Bibimguksu aka spicy noodles mixed with blend of freshly made sesame oil and spicy pepper paste, topped with cucumber is definitely not for the weak. The taste is quite strong for my liking, but still worth the try.
Tosokchon Samgyetang(토속촌 삼계탕)
After feeding our souls with everything nature and culture in Gyeongbokgung Palace, we went to hunt down the best ginseng chicken soup in town as per the reviews. This place is completely jam-packed! But worry not about the long wait as the restaurant can accommodate a lot of people.
Directions: Gyeongbokgung Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 2. Go straight about 170m and turn left onto Jahamun-ro 5-gil Road.
The famous ginseng chicken soup aka Samgyetang – it’s a whole chicken stuffed with glutinous rice, ginseng and other healthy ingredients like jujube, garlic and ginkgo nut. This is the cure-all-comfort-food of Koreans who are keen on traditional medicine.It’s the sauce that makes this Pajeon aka onion pancakes.In Korea, you can’t just sit in your table and yell “waituh, bill phuleazzee”. Once you’ve ordered, you will be given an order slip, a number, or a receipt – see exhibit A – this has to be paid in the counter on your way out. (that was moi after almost eating all that pajeon on my own)
Myth Jokbal (미쓰족발)
Jokbal or braised pork knuckles, one of the must try food in Seoul. We’ve found this restaurant while walking along Hongdae Street. It’s the long queue outside that made us want to try this place, more customer means yummy food eh? Getting in line is the Best. Decision. Ever.
Directions: Hongik University Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), Exit 9.
This Jokbal is so juicy and savory, it goes well with the accompanying salad that is so fresh I can eat it as a meal alone. Thanks to the Koreans and their love for meat in any forms and sizes. Dabong!
Gwangjang Market (광장시장)
This place is an absolute treasure, I would’ve written a separate piece that it deserves if I had taken lots of photos. (note to self: prioritize Gwangjang next time!aja!) You don’t want to miss eating your way through Gwangjang Market. I’ve first known of this place because of Running Man – our favorite Korean variety show. The moment when Lee Kwang Soo stuffed his face with tiny kimbabs I told my sister we have to go there. Gwangjang Market is known to be the oldest running market in all of South Korea, the greater area of the market is dedicated to food, like a street food junction, kind of like a food warehouse. It has an amazing atmosphere; you’ll find both tourists and locals enjoying the same mouthwatering food.
Directions: Jongno 5-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 8 OR Euljiro 4-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 2 & 5), Exit 4.
You will be overwhelmed by the amount of food that is being made in this market. We were, absolutely, we’ve eaten too much we disregarded taking photos. Most endorsed food: Mayak Kimbab (tiny kimbab that is soo addicting we took home 2 packs), Dakbal (spicy boneless chicken feet), Soondae (blood sausage), Tteokbokki (spicy rice cakes – the vendors will even feed you! HA!), Bindaetteok (mung bean pancake – greasy and sweet), Japchae (Korean version of pancit) and many more. Anything and everything is worth eating. A gastronomic paradise. Here are the meager photos we’ve managed to take before we ate our way to destruction . LOL .
두대문 집 (rough translation: two main house) Korean Cuisine Restaurant
This is the first restaurant we’ve tried when we arrived in Seoul. It is located in Insadong near the Tourist Trap Ssamziegil. There are lots of restaurants in this area; we opted for this one because of the rustic feels of the exterior. Oh and the delish jiggae. *drool
Directions: Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6. Go 100m straight, then turn left before Ssamziegil.
Here’s ze sister getting ready to annihilate all of whats in the table.
Han Gane Bulgogi, Insadong
This restaurant holds a special place in my heart. There’s this time that the sister and I came out of our cave way too early, all restaurants opens around 11AM, but they let us in around 30 mins before the opening time. Hallelujah for our growling stomachs. We’ve ordered Bulgogi, it was served to us with warmth and compassion, and it was like we were eating at home. The banchans keeps on flowing and men, we’ve eaten too much I heard my pants complaining. LOL.
Directions: Anguk Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 6. Just below Miss Lee’s café.
This is a photo grab from the web *credits to the rightful owner – we weren’t able to take any photos outside. That’s their sign – the white one.Our sumptuous feast.
One diverse character of South Korea that we appreciate very much is the countless scattered clean restrooms. Even in the farthest Island of Nami, the restrooms are everywhere. Our take on why is this? The distinct color of most Korean food is red and the most preferred taste? Spicy. So now go figure. *wink
All photos were taken by me and my sister Feb using our iPhone 7 and Canon EOS 1000D.