Gwangjang Market is a must-visit for any foodies traveling to Seoul.
Here’s a list of what we ate at Gwangjang market during our visit in September.
What to eat in Gwangjang Market
Gwangjang Market is one of the largest and oldest traditional markets in South Korea.
Located just a 2-minute walk from the Jongno 5-ga subway station, Gwangjang market houses more than 5,000 vendors that sell everything from fresh produce such as vegetables, seafood, meat, to clothing and kitchenware.
The market became more popular recently when it was featured on Netflix’s Street Food Asia series in 2019.
During our trip, we tried some of the vendors featured on the Netflix series and more.
1. Gohyang Kalguksu
If you’ve watched Netflix’s Street Food Asia, you’ll instantly recognize Gohyang Kalgusku as the stall was featured prominently on the show.
Run by the ever-smiley Cho Yonsoon, the stall only offers nine items on the menu – the most popular being the Kalguksu (knife-cut noodles).
We enjoyed the bowl of Kalguksu (KRW6,000 or USD4). As the noodles are handmade fresh daily (you can watch her in action as you dig into the bowl) – it has a nice chewy and al-dente texture.
The soup is clear tasting and slightly starch after the noodles have spent some time in the bowl. The sweetness of the broth is further enhanced by seaweed, pieces of gourd, and a dash of white pepper.
While not the best Kalguksu we’ve eaten during this trip – it was a homely and comforting bowl. It tasted similar to the best pan mee soup we’ve eaten in the Klang Valley.
We definitely enjoyed the Mandu (KRW6,000 for six dumplings) more. What sets her dumplings apart is the addition of tofu, which adds an extra dimension to the fillings.
We enjoyed both the regular pork-chives and kimchi dumplings, but the latter definitely stood out for its unique umami. The complimentary kimchi was quite delicious too.
Tip: we arrived just before 11am and managed to secure a seat after a 5-minute wait. By the time we were done eating, there was already a long queue at the stall.
Check out the reel below:
2. Soy-sauce marinated raw crab at Hong Lim
The Soy-Sauce Marinated Crabs (or Gangjang-Gejang) 간장게장 at Hong Lim was our favorite meal at Gwangjang Market.
Opened in 1952 during the Korean War, Hong Lim specializes in banchan (side dishes) such as preserved fish roe, marinated lotus root, and radish kimchi.
However, their most famous dish as to be the Soy-Sauce Marinated Crabs (KRW20,000).
Accentuated by the soy sauce, the meat was one of the sweetest we’ve eaten. The roe was creamy and buttery and goes well with the warm rice served in the shell.
Hong Lim was also featured on the Netflix show.
Read our full post here.
3. Bindaetteok – mung bean pancake
Gwangjang Market is particularly famous for the mung bean pancakes known as Bindaetteok 빈대떡.
Apart from the regular mung bean fillings, there are also variations which include seafood and minced meat.
There were plenty of stalls selling these savoury pancakes at the centre of the market.
We just opted for a random stall and ordered a pancake with minced meat filling for takeaway.
Unfortunately, the pancake was cold when we ate it. While we found the pancake to be a bit greasy, they were really generous with the amount of minced meat filling. The skin was crispy with a nice soft centre – similar to hash brown.
Overall, not something we’ll order again at Gwangjang market.
This was our second favourite treat at Gwangjang Market, after the marinated crab!
Hotteok is a sweet rice flour pancake usually stuffed with brown sugar, sunflower seeds and nuts.
This particular stall at Gwangjang is located at one of the main entrances into the market and nearby the popular Twisted Korean Doughnut stall (you’ll see a long queue for it).
We really enjoyed the hotteok as it was made fresh, with a nice warm chewy skin that reminded us of donuts, and a gooey filling thanks to the melted brown sugar.
We definitely prefer the original hotteok to the one with red bean filling.
Gimbap is rice and pickled veggies all rolled into seaweed and sliced into bite-sized pieces.
There are plenty of stalls selling gimbap at the market, just pick one that looks the best (or has the most patrons) – and you can’t go wrong. We had ours for takeaway to be enjoyed at the Olympic Park for a picnic with the beautiful autumn flower blooms.
What else to eat at Gwangjang Market
We did not have enough time (and tummy space) to try everything at the market – but other popular street food include Tteokbokki (rice rolls), Soondae (blood sausage), and Steak Tartare.
If you are a food lover, we definitely recommend checking out this market for street food.
Address: 88 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Hours: 9am-11pm Daily
How to get there: Take Exit 8 or 9 from Jongno 5-gu Subway Station
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More recommendations in Seoul
This post is part of our Seoul trip series. Check out our archive here: