If you go to Seoul, Gwangjang Market is a must go!
According to KTO, Gwangjang Market was the first traditional market opened in Korea. It has a wide variety of authentic Korean food lined up throughout the alleys. And they sell a broad range of other products as well.
Gwangjang Market opens at 9am, and is closed on Sunday. The vendors do need some time to set up, (ie. don’t expect all of them to be ready to serve right at 9am). Well, I’m usually an early bird when I travel, so I headed in around 9:30am lol.
There’s barely any customers yet. Most of the vendors are very friendly and will try to lure you in.
This was our first stall. I ordered some boneless chicken feet and spicy rice cake.
The boneless chicken feet was a mix of chicken feet, chicken skin and pork skin? If you like chewy and gelatinous texture, then this is the dish for you! Tons of collagen. It was cooked in this red, spicy and sweet sauce. I ate most of the chicken feet dish, it got a bit heavy in the end, might’ve been better if it was shared. The rice cakes were very chewy and the sauce was on par.
Each vendor will usually hang up their price board. I think most of the dishes are around the same price, like all the spicy rice cake (tteokbokki) were 3,000 won. But there were some slight differences in the cost of other dishes. I had come to realize that when I looked at the menu of our second stall. Some dishes were cheaper than our first by 1,000 to 3,000 won. Darn it!?
This was the price sheet for the second stall we visited.
I ordered sundae and boribap. Sundae is Korean blood suasage with sticky rice filling. Boribap is bimbimbap but with rice and barley. The sundae was good, a lot bigger than I remembered. It does have a slight distinct taste of blood, so if you’re weak stomached, don’t force yourself. It is usually served with some seasoned salt on the side for an added flavour. I should’ve ordered rice cake at the same stall, because I love dipping them into the sweet and spicy sauce.
The boribap was awesome too! So many different vegetables and topped with sesame oil and Korean red pepper paste, it was delicious! And very cheap!
Different parts of the alleys are usually dedicated to different dishes, like bimbimbap vendors would all be in one alley, mung bean pancake vendors would all cluster in one spot and so forth. I really wish I was gifted with a bigger stomach, because I could literally spend the whole day here!
88, Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu (subway station Jongno 5-ga Station or Euljiro 4-ga Station)
Spicy rice cake (tteokbokki) – 3,000 won
Boneless chicken feet – 10,000 won
Sundae (Korean blood sausage) – 6,000 won
Boribap – 5,000 won