Home Asia Gwangjang Market Street Food Guide | Seoul, South Korea

Gwangjang Market Street Food Guide | Seoul, South Korea

by Chasing a Plate
Bindae-tteok at Gwangjang Market, Seoul, South Korea

If you want to eat traditional Korean street food, Gwangjang Market in Seoul has got to be on your itinerary. This bustling market has a wide variety of stalls selling popular street food from mungbean pancakes and dumplings to tteokbokki and bibimbap. All of the stalls feature counter style seating where you can watch all the action take place. It’s frenetic, fun and most importantly a delicious experience…

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First, watch our YouTube video of Gwangjang Market street food…

1. Bindae-tteok

This mung bean pancake is very popular at Gwangjang Market and you’ll see a number of vendors shallow frying these golden pancakes. Scoops of ground mung bean mixed with vegetables is ladled into pans of hot oil and fried until crispy. Dip your pieces of bindae-tteok into the vinegar and soy sauce mixture that accompanies it and top it with some crunchy white onion. The perfect snack!

2. Gimbap

The vendors at Gwangjang Market are well known for selling ‘Mayak Gimbap’ which translates to ‘narcotic rice rolls’. It’s not a literal translation, these seaweed rice rolls don’t actually contain narcotics but they’re so named because they’re super addictive!
Pickled vegetables like carrot and burdock root together with perilla leaves are rolled together with rice and dried seaweed. They’re then brushed with sesame oil and then sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds. The sesame oil gives the gimbap a nutty aroma and the pickled vegetables are tangy and crunchy. Enjoy the gimbap with a swipe of the watery wasabi sauce that accompanies them.
Gimbap at Gwangjang Market, Seoul, South Korea

Gimbap at Gwangjang Market, Seoul, South Korea

3. Bibimbap

Bibimbap is a must eat at Gwangjang Market. Giant bowls of fresh vegetables and kimchi line the benches of the bibimbap vendors. Bibimbap is mixed rice so rice, sometimes barley and a load of fresh and pickled vegetables is mixed together before eaten.  A dollop of gochujang (red chilli pepper paste) adds a mellow fiery kick to the bowl.
You can choose between a cold bibimbap or one served in a dolsot or hot stone bowl. If eating dolsot bibimbap leave a bit of rice on the bottom of the bowl to let it crisp up from the heat of the dolsot. Delicious!
Bibimbap stall at Gwangjang Market, Seoul, South Korea

Bibimbap stall at Gwangjang Market, Seoul, South Korea

4. Yukhoe at Buchon Yukhoe in Raw Beef Alley

Located near the street food vendors is Raw Beef Alley another must visit when at Gwangjang Market. Buchon Yukhoe is a good choice- it’s Michelin recommended (Bib Gourmand 2018 Seoul) and the beef is brought in fresh each morning for service (watch the video and check the description for more detail).
The steak tartare served with matchstick pears, sprouts, raw egg yolk, sesame oil and sannakji (raw baby octopus) is not only tasty but a vision- the bright red of the beef contrasts beautifully with the white of the octopus and the green of the sprouts. The beef is fresh, tender and complemented by the sweet pears and aromatic sesame oil.
Yukhoe at Bukchon Yukhoe, Gwangjang Market, Seoul, South Korea

Yukhoe at Bukchon Yukhoe, Gwangjang Market, Seoul, South Korea

Gwangjang Market
88 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Open daily 9:00am to 11:00pm
Closest metro station: Jongno 5-ga or Euljiro 4-ga

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We hope this South Korea food guide has helped you eat and explore like a traveller, not a tourist! 

Spending more time in South Korea? Check out our Namdaemun Market Street Food Guide’

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Gwangjang Market Street Food Guide 

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