A lunchtime trip to Gwangjang market
I had the day off today, and with the nice weather I thought I would take a wander up to Gwangjang Market (광장시장), near Jongro 5-ga. Gwangjang Market is a multi-purpose market, with lots of textile shops in particular for anyone who’s looking for fabrics, but mention it to any Seoulite and they will instantly think of food. So I took my camera with me to take some snaps and look for a cheap lunch with all the locals (and quite a lot of Chinese tourists, for some reason). The interior of the food market is a riot of shops and stalls selling seafood, bindaeddok (mung bean pancakes), pajeon, jokbal, sundae, raw beef bibimbap, and some wicked kalguksu (noodle soup). Takeout chicken feet for only $5 a cup. Steal.
This poor old guy had seen better days. But I was here to eat, and there are more sit-down stalls here than you could eat at in a lifetime. First up, kalguksu (칼국수), the knife-cut noodles soft against the rich broth. Yum, and only 5,000 won. So much food. I had some meat bindaeddok (고기빈대떡). For just 4,000 won I was stuffed. Brilliant value, and the ajosshis sitting next to me were so delighted at my speaking Korean, however poorly, that they insisted on giving me some magkeolli. After that I spent a little while translating for some Chinese tourists who couldn’t communicate with the ajumma. Gwangjang Market is at exit 7 of Jongro 5-ga, though I took the No. 143 bus from HBC which drops you literally at the entrance in about 15 minutes. Open until quite late, I believe. Go there! If your Korean is slim to non-existent, some English is spoken, or just point and eat. Nothing better.