Gwangjang Market - A Place to Enjoy Korean Street Food in Seoul

Just like how street food is popular in South East Asia countries, South Korea has plenty of delicious street food to offer yet they are under the radar by many visitors. If you are visiting Seoul, the capital city of South Korea, try to make up some time to visit Gwangjang Market

Gwangjang market is a popular street food market in Seoul that often patronized by locals. As a matter of fact, it is one of the oldest and largest traditional market in South Korea. If you enjoy eating like us, then Gwangjang Market is the perfect destination for you!

Gwangjang Market
Gwangjang Market

Gwangjang Market

The food stalls in Gwangjang market is enormous. There are stalls located at both side and the center of walkway, forming a narrow passage just nice for 2-3 person to squeeze through. Diners will be seated directly in front of the stall.

When you walk around for a while, you may realise some of the stalls are selling similar assortment of food, ranging from Tteokbokki, Pajeon, Soondae, Gimbap, fresh seafood and etc.

Gwangjang Market

Gwangjang Market

Gwangjang market is more than a place that sells street food. There are different sections that sell fresh produce, dried items, clothes, kitchenware and take-home snacks. 

Almost all of the items are reasonably priced here. Therefore, probably you find some great deals here.

For those who fancy cashless transaction, opps! You may have to carry cash with you as no credit card is accepted here. We are unsure how the things has evolved over time but just bring some cash here. Typically 10,000 Korean Won should be suffice to cover a meal for one.

Gwangjang Market

Initially we had a conundrum on where to choose for dinner. After a while, we gave up and simply choose a stall to dine in. 

Partly it was due to the friendly Korean Anjumma that managed to coy us with her smile and simple Chinese - at least we understand what are we having.

Gimbap

Gwangjang Market

Gimbap is a Korean dish made from cooked rice and other ingredients rolled with dried sheets of nori seaweed.

Personally, we call in Korean sushi. After all, it looked like sushi to us except it has a carrot stick in the center.

Gwangjang Market

Gwangjang Market
Gimbap (3000 Korean Won)

The striking colorful gimbap is indeed alluring when we walk pass it. Stacking them into a pyramid has played a role in tempting us to try it.

Verdict? It was delicious and has a taste of natural sweetness and seasoned nicely by the sesame seeds on the nori seaweed roll. We kind of enjoyed having it.

The portion we had cost us 3000 Korean Won.

Soondae (Blood Sausage)


Gwangjang Market

Gwangjang Market

The name blood sausage sounded too exotic for us and we were reluctant to taste it. We thought it had something to do with pig or duck blood clot but this is not the case.

Named Soondae, it is a popular street food in the Korean peninsular that made by steaming cow or pig's intestines with various ingredients. During the process, salt is being rubbed onto the intestine as seasoning. 

It tasted more like a salted rice with a subtle taste. Overall it did not taste bad or funny as we had assumed. 

The portion above cost us 7000 Korean Won. 

Gelidium Amansii Noodles (Seaweed / Carrageenan Noodle)


Gwangjang Market

Gelidium Amansii Noodles is an interesting dish that caught our attention immediately upon seeing it. Who would use seaweed as a pure noodle right?

I recalled during my university time, my coursemate had to be creative with her new product development as her final year project. Therefore, she developed seaweed noodle and of course it tasted funny, and not delicious of course.

However this was not the case for the seaweed noodle we had in Gwangjang market.

Gwangjang Market

Gwangjang Market

The jelly (seaweed) was made into noodle shape from algae extracted. During serving, it is seasoned with vinegar, sesame seeds and a tad of chili, then served along cucumber slices, nori seaweed and ice to make it has a refreshing cold sensation.

It tasted delicious and we vowed to come back again for second bowl. The Koreans must be possessing some great culinary techniques that managed to turn this antioxidant and nutrients rich seaweed into such delicacy!

A bowl of Gelidium Amansii noodle cost us 5000 Korean Won.


Bindae-tteok (Mung Bean pancake)

Gwangjang Market

Gwangjang Market

When you walk around in Gwangjang Market, you will see a number of stalls selling pancake like snack - Bindae-tteok, or known as Mung Bean pancakes. These stalls are particularly prominent in the center of the market that has a "X" shape formation. 

Bindae-tteok is a simple snack made with mung bean batter with a filling made of bracken, pork, mung bean sprouts and napa cabbage kimchi. Upon frying, it has a crisp skin and mushy filling with extraordinary scent.

While waiting to secure 2 seats on the bench, we witnessed batch by batch of fresh Bindae-tteok are being made by chef, an indication of its popularity among locals and tourists. 

Gwangjang Market

After managing to get a seat and placed an order, the mung bean pancakes were served swiftly to our table along with a saucer that has vinegar & onion sauce.

The Bindae-tteok has a crispy skin with a mushy filling that offers extraordinary scent. Enjoy it along with the sauce for an enhanced taste. 

If it was not of our full stomach, we would have more pieces of Bindae-tteok! 

Bibimbap


Gwangjang Market

The mixture of rice topped with namul (edible grasses), gochujang, soy sauce or doenjang is a staple of Korean. This dish is better known as bibimbap. 

Our stomach has reached beyond capacity when we were walking around to see how the Koreans enjoy their Bibimbap in Gwangjang Market. Suddenly, another friendly ajumma approached us and tried to coy us to try her Bibimbap (the ajumma definitely holds a degree of selling!).

We declined initially, citing we were too full to have anything despite we were eager to try a hawker style Bibimbap. The ajumma was quick enough to ask 2 of us share a bowl.

Gwangjang Market

After placing our order, the ajumma can be seen putting a bowl of bibimbap skillfully by picking a tad of every ingredients in front of the stall into the bowl. 

Mix every component of the bibimbap to create a bowl of refreshing taste rice. Actually, it was the experience of having bibimbap in Gwangjang market rather than the taste that matters most to us.

Fresh Seafood


Gwangjang Market
Gwangjang Market

Yes, you can have fresh seafood in Gwangjang Market, including the infamous "live octopus"!

Check out for a range of stalls that offer all these seafood delicacies. Have it along with a bottle of Soju makes a great day for the Koreans! 

Banchan


Gwangjang Market

Gwangjang Market

Gwangjang Market

Gwangjang Market

Gwangjang Market

Gwangjang Market

Apart from getting readily available food, there are dozens of stalls selling Banchan - the small side dishes served along main dish in Korean cuisine.

The Banchan is being displayed using stainless steel containers / bowls. This is first times in our visit to Korea seeing such an enormous quantity of Banchan!

Many Koreans drop by and take away the banchan in smaller quantity, presumably to have it along during meal time.

Some stalls owners can be seen actively preparing kimchi in their style. 

We did not purchase any of those but if you are a fan of kimchi, why not purchase some back?

Gwangjang Market

At one of the corner of Gwanjang Market, we spotted this seemingly interesting snack and bought it for trial. Turned out the taste was not that impressive as we thought. 

Direction to Gwangjang Market


Gwangjang Market is easily accessible via vast network of Seoul Metro transport system. You can either get down from these two stations:

  • Jongno 5(o)-ga Station (subway line 1) exit 7, roughly 15m away 
  • Euljiro 4(sa)-ga Station (subway lines 2, 5) exit 4, roughly 150m away

Conclusion at Gwangjang Market


Gwangjang Market

Overall, it was a nice experience at Gwangjang Market. We left the market with a overfull stomach and most importantly, a satisfied gastronomy experiences.

Furthermore, this place fits all range of tourists - from backpackers, flashpackers to high-end tourists. Backpackers can get some real budget deal for lunch or dinner here, while high-end tourists perhaps can indulge in the seafood or experience the daily life of Koreans.

It is commendable the hygiene is properly maintained by the market. Walking here is so easy as you would not be stepping into pool of water.

Gwangjang Market

Gwangjang Market

Gwangjang Market is definitely a heaven of foodie. If you come to Seoul, please list this as one of your destination!

Do share with us your experiences here!

Operation hours: 8.30am - 6pm

Cheonggyecheon Stream


Cheonggyecheon Stream

Not far from Gwangjang Market is part of Cheonggyecheon Stream, a massive urban renewal projet that turned a stream into a modern public recreation area. 

Spanning across 10.9km long in downtown Seoul, Cheonggyecheon Stream is one of the picturesque destination in Seoul. 

Cheonggyecheon Stream

Cheonggyecheon Stream

Cheonggyecheon Stream

Cheonggyecheon Stream

Many South Koreans can be seen jogging or strolling around the designated pedestrian pathway. On top of that, the stream water is translucent in colour and I can see the fishes swimming. One would have thought stream is filthy and packed with rubbishes but that is not the case of Cheonggyecheon Stream.

When the dusk set in, the place is lit with aplenty of lights and you will feel safe walking here.

Cheonggyecheon Stream

Cheonggyecheon Stream

Well, check out this place if you happen to go to Gwangjang Market! 


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