Gwangjang Market: Food Alley

광장시장 – Gwangjang Market

Of all the attractions found in capital of the Republic of Korea, maybe none supply more of an authentic cultural experience than the city’s many street markets. Bustling Gwangjang Market is one of the best known, though maybe not to foreigners. Gwangjang Market was established in 1905, and is Korea’s oldest remaining daily market. It is near Dongdaemun Market in Seoul. There are a large number of foods to try, so wear your eating (and drinking) pants.

Food stalls at Gwangjang Market

Food stalls at Gwangjang Market

Korean’s flock to the market all year long to take a seat at the benches lining the food stalls and sample the various offerings. It’s even pleasant in the heat of the summer and cold of the winter due to the glass roof built over the market in 2005 to guard the stalls from the elements. Despite the occasional enhancements to the facilities, the market maintains an environment that has principally gone unchanged over the past century.

Among the featured delicacies, you will find mayak kimbap, soondae, pigs’ feet, bibimbap, and much more. Of course bottles of makgeolli or soju are available to wash it all down.

Korean pancakes and Makolli at Gwangjang Market

Korean pancakes and Makolli at Gwangjang Market

Gwangjang Market also offers its own variation of another widespread Korean delicacy, bibimbap, a basic dish that mixes rice with pepper paste and various vegetables. Customers can choose the vegetables they prefer to fill their metal bowls, the vendors don’t seem to be stingy with refills of rice and pepper paste either.

It can be a tight squeeze during busy hours and one may not find a seat during peak hours so it’s best to go during slack times.

The gate at Gwangjang Market

The gate at Gwangjang Market

The food stall area is open seven days per week, from around 11:00 AM to around 11:00 PM. On the subway go to Jongno-5-ga Station (종로5가역) Line 1 – Station #129, Exit 8.

Visit Korea site: Gwangjang Market (English)

Official Website (Korean)

Cyber Station – Interactive Seoul Subway Map (English)

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