Gwangjang Market: Seoul’s quirky foodie paradise

The Gwangjang Market,Seoul, Korea one of the oldest and largest traditional outdoor marketplaces in Seoul, does indeed provide a memorable scene that would be unforgettable to foreigners: People sitting in air-tight comfort on the endless rows of food stalls in the middle of the marketplace and joyfully devouring the hundreds of options they have in food and drinks.

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The market has a special place in the hearts of Koreans too, who can’t stop coming to this friendly and playfully chaotic place that doubles as a heaven for food lovers.

So Today visit with my best friend and enjoy Korea Food(Korean-style raw beef, Korean Pancake, Korean rice wine)

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Overview of the market
The market is always bustling with people and the crowd.

The long lines of people buying bindaetteok,’’ or fried Korean pancakes, andmayak’’ (drug) gimbab, or small seaweed rolls nicknamed for their addictiveness, was comparable to the giant parking lot that has become of Korean highways.

While the market has always been popular, the recent airing of a television documentary that highlighted the daily realities of the merchants here has further elevated its status as a leisure destination.

“It was fun to recognize the shop owners who I’ve seen on television. It made the visit more interesting,” said Yoo So-yeon, a visitor in her 20s.

On television, the market was described as warm, lively and, to borrow an expression Koreans frequently use, “human-like.’’ When visiting in person, the market is even more of an upbeat experience.

Here, the energy and optimism of the hard-working shop owners seem contagious. Whether it’s the gathering of friends, families or total strangers squeezed side by side in their favorite food stall, the overall atmosphere of the market always seem high-spirited. It’s where people can arrive alone but never be alone, sharing their happiness, worries and dilemmas over light-hearted rounds of soju.

Food galore
The market offers a broad range of items for shoppers, from clothing to household tools and machinery, but it’s always the food that stands out most.

The dozens of food stalls packing the central road of the market cook most of their food on the spot and visitors will find the sizzling sounds and delicious smells stamped in their memories for some time.

Some of the popular delights are bindaetteok, mayak gimbab, kimchi mandu, or steamed dumplings with meat and kimchi. More familiar Korean street food like tteokbokki (rice cakes in red-pepper sauce), soondae (Korean version of blood sausages), kalguksu (flat-noodles), jokbal (pork hocks) and hoe (raw fish) are also available.

The most popular food seems to be bindaetteok and the versions they sell here is famous for its crunchiness and rich flavor of mung beans, kimchi and bean sprouts that are all mixed in with the batter. This heart-stopping pancake pairs perfectly with makgeolli, or Korean rice wine.

I love your writing style and thank you for taking me on tour of the market – such a distance for me, but perhaps one day I’ll get there 🙂 The pictures and descriptions made me feel I was drinking in the smells and tasting every delicacy!

I’m not a foodie so almost skipped this post. But it intrigued me. I’ve lived in Tokyo and my job took me to Indonesia, Pakistan, Manila and Bangkok many times. Sorry, never to Korea. I’m not brave and never ate in the local places. But you’ve described something I want to come eat: “The most popular food seems to be bindaetteok and the versions they sell here is famous for its crunchiness and rich flavor of mung beans, kimchi and bean sprouts that are all mixed in with the batter.”

I think I’m hungry! What a special, vibrant market. The sights, colors, tastes, aromas, conversations! Thank you for the follow. I’m happy to “meet” you!

I’m half Korean, but I’ve never been to Korea. I feel like I’m visiting there through your blog! That You Tube video! Yikes! Did I see worms??? 😱​ That’s amazing!!!

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