[Seoul] While Dongdaemun Market has been popular with tourists for Korean local street food and cheap fashion buys, but you can also take about a kilometre walk down to Gwangjang Market – one of the oldest traditional markets in Seoul.
Gwangjang Market is established way back in 1905, considered one of Korea’s largest traditional markets.
If you have craving for authentic Korean street food, then look no further.
When I stepped into the very entrance and walked for a few metres, you could see that it contains lanes after lanes of stalls selling Bindaetteok (mung bean pancakes), Jeon (fried pancakes), Bibimbap (mixed rice), Hotteok (pancakes with brown sugar filling), Tteokbokki (stir fried rice cakes), Yukhoe (raw steak tartare), Sashimi, best eaten with some Makgeolli (rice liquor).
The other parts of the market also sell clothing, silk items, bedding goods, hanbok, kitchenware, supposedly at wholesale retail prices.
While there are parts of the market that are sparsely occupied, near the centre is the Jeon Alley where most of the crowd and action are.
The alley runs longitudinally, split into two lanes, containing no less than 10 stalls selling similar thing – Jeon (can be done as Jijim or Jijimgae).
Some stalls were so popular that there were at least 10 people in line, braving the smell of grease to get a Korean pancake deep fried in oil. Each cost about 4,000 – 5,000 Won.
Ajummas were making and cooking the mung bean pancakes in clock-work style as they mixed the flour with ingredients such as mung bean, vegetables such as leeks and green onions, and seafood or meat.
So warning, it can get VERY crowded that you may not have space to walk freely.
Live octopus, if you are up to it too.
Gwangjang Market 광장시장
88, Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul 서울특별시 종로구 창경궁로 88 (예지동)
Google Maps 廣藏市場 광장시장
General stores: 8:30am – 6:00pm
Restaurants: 8:30am -11:00pm
Clothing stores: 9pm – 10am next day
www.kwangjangmarket.co.kr (Korean only)
Directions for subway: Jongno 5-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 8.
Euljiro 4-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 2 & 5), Exit 4