Sindang-dong Tteokbokki Town 新堂洞炒年糕城 신당동 떡볶이타운

This alley is crowded with restaurants serving tteokbokki 떡볶이.  We went to Maboknim Halmeoni Tteokbokki 마복림 할머니 떡볶이, which claims to be the earliest one to open their store here in 1953.

Unlike the ones sold on the streets, these tteokbokki is a main meal and comes with eggs, ramen, veggie, fish cakes.

Sindang Station 新堂驛 신당역  (206/635) Exit 8. Or it is a 20-min walk from the shopping area in Dongdaemun 東大門 동대문.


Bukchon 北村 북촌

An area with a lot of traditional houses, hanok 한옥 韓屋. Be prepared to walk a bit uphill.

It’s nice to take a tea break at the traditional tea houses in Bukchon. We went to 차마시는 뜰 (literally, Garden for drinking tea). It is a traditional korean house with a small garden. All the tables have either the view of the small garden or a nice view of city and the mountains since it’s located up on the hill.

There is one stone table with a small pond in the tea house and we were so lucky to be seated there!

Apart from tea, they also serve steamed rice cake, which has a light flavour.

It’s a 5min walk from Anguk Station 安國驛 안국역 (328) when you begins to see some hanok. Since Bukchon is so close to Insadong and the palaces, and right next to Sam-cheong-dong 三淸洞 삼청동, you could spend a full day in this area!

For an integrated map of what to do in the surrounding area, please go here.

Insadong 仁寺洞 인사동

You can find a lot of traditional handcrafts and snacks, artistic designs, and tea houses in this area.

More modern arts and crafts can be found in a newer mall, ssamziegil 쌈지길.

You can also find the only Starbucks in the world that does not have an English sign.

There are more pricy tea houses along the mean street, and some more cozy ones in the alleys. You can get a nice view of the buzzing street from tea houses on the second floor.

Omija Cha (Five Flavor Tea) 오미자차 is always my favourite because it is like a juice, some may think it tastes like cough syrup though…

There is a famous trolley that sells ho-tteok 호떡, a filled pancake. The filling is like a syrup with a cinnamon flavor. The filling can be very hot if it is right out of the fryer so be careful!

You could get here by getting off at Anguk Station 安國驛 안국역 (328) or Jongno 3-ga Station 鍾路3街驛 종로3가역 (130). But if you’re going to the second palace: Changdeokgung 昌德宮 창덕궁 (which I would recommend over Gyeongbokgung 景福宮 경복궁, purely from a tourist’s perspective, since Changdeokgung has a bigger garden), you should get off at Anguk Station.

For an integrated map of what to do in the surrounding area, please go here.

Kwangjang Market 廣藏市場 광장시장

A local market with food stalls.

Everything is freshly made right in front of you.

Bi-bim-bap 비빔밥: rice mixed with vegetable, man-du 만두:dumplings, kuk-su 국수: noodles with soup are nice for breakfast.

And 순대 (sun-dae): pig’s blood sausage, for those dare to try!

There are also stores that sell traditional clothing, bedding and handcraft.

It’s less than 10 min walk from Acacia Hotel. It’s right by Cheonggyecheon 淸溪川.

For an integrated map of Dungdaemun, please go here.

Noryangjin Market 鷺梁津水產市場 노량진수산시장

Get off at Noryangjin Station 鷺梁津驛 노량진역, and you will see a footbridge connected to the station exit. Walk towards these tall buildings and the market is right at the other side of the footbridge.

Quite a view when you enter the market.

This whole dish of fresh oyster was 10000won! Although quite skinny but the taste was quite good.

There are some restaurants located in the market. You could buy seafood from the stores, find a restaurant, pay a few thousand won to have them cleaned (for sashimi) and cooked.

Mae-un-tang 매운탕

A very typical dish. Fish cooked in spicy soup. You can buy your own fish, or the restaurant will just serve whatever fish they have.

Steamed crab

If you want to have your seafood steamed, then say 찜 “JJim”!

The market opens from 3am to 9pm. The stores are open throughout the day.

Eat in 明洞 Myeongdong 명동

Bongchu Jjimdak 鳳雛安東雞 봉추찜닭

Chicken cooked with potato, carrot, potato noodle. Served in 3 difference portions: half chicken, whole chicken, 1.5 chicken. Remember to ask for little spicy (which already was very spicy)!!! Rice needs to be ordered separately.

Myeongdong Gyoja 明洞餃子 명동교자

Love the kimchi and dumplings there!

Bulgogi Brothers 불고기브라더스

Korean BBQ Beef

We had the Korean beef 한우 Bulgogi Lover’s set (for 2 persons) 49800won.

The set came with spicy cold noodle 비빔냉면 and hot stone bibimbap 돌솥 비빔밥.

Paris Baguette 파리바게트

My favorite place for breakfast!

Yoogane Dalk-kal-bi 유가네닭갈비  辣炒雞排

If you cannot make it to Chuncheon 春川 춘천 to have Dalk-kal-bi 辣炒雞排, you could try it at this chain store in Seoul. But of course 春川 has the best Dalk-kal-bi.

Marinated chicken, cabbage, sweet potato, scallions, onions and rice cake are stir-fried on a hot plate. Adding rice (and cheese, if you love cheese) towards the end is a must!

Bon Congee 본죽

A good break from spicy food. They have all kinds of congee: abalone, cheese & veggie!

떡삼돌김치삼겹 (Grilled Pork Belly)

Grill  the pork, ddok (sliced rice cake), mushroom, onion, and kimchi. Then wrap the pork and kimchi with fresh lettuce or ddok. YUM!

The pork is ordered per person, around 8000won per person. Lettuce, onion, kimchi and ddok (sliced rice cake) come with the pork. If you run out of those to go with the pork, you can always ask the waiter to give you more (for free!)

For an integrated map of Myeongdong, please go here.