Walk into Gwangjang market and you’re immediately overloaded with the dazzling sights, sounds and smells of delicious, cooked-on-the-spot local delights.
From the hiss and crackle of fried pancakes to the methodical chopping of noodles and the splash of broth-in-bowls, the market is positively singing with the rhythm of mouth-watering dishes being whipped up by practiced old-hands – mostly ladies – and served deftly at make-shift tables attached to each stall.
Gwangjang Market was recently featured on the immensely popular Netflix series Street Food, with the star of the episode featuring Cho Yonsoon and her stall selling traditional kalguksu (knife-cut noodles) and Korean dumplings. Thanks to the Netflix fame the stall is now thronging with locals and tourists. Be prepared to queue for a bowl of kalguksu and a dish of mixed dumplings (kimchi and pork), but it’s well worth the wait.
Save space also for bindaetteok, a dense, crispy mung bean pancake – a savoury treat best paired a cold mug of beer – as well as mayak gimbap, a seaweed and rice snack served with a sweet and tangy hot mustard sauce that makes it absolutely addictive. Mayak gimbap literally means “drug gimbap”!
For adventurous eaters, you can sample some live octopus or soondae – stuffed pig intestines.
Other than food stalls, the sprawling Gwangjang Market is also home to many textiles and fabric stores, where yards of colourful fabrics are on display. You can even make a traditional Korean dress at this market, to bring home a truly authentic piece of the local culture.
Located just 6 minutes away, the distance to Gwangjang Market is less than 500m from the hotel, making it extremely convenient for you to plan a day out exploring this foodie heaven.