Gwangjang Market

Korean in Dongdaemun & Eastern Seoul

Image by Seongjoon Cho Getty Images

This sprawling fabric market is now best known as Seoul’s busiest meokjagolmok (food alley), thanks to the 200 or so food stalls, kimchi and fresh-seafood vendors that have set up shop amid the silk, satin and linen wholesalers. It's a hive of delicious sights and smells. Foodies flock here for the golden fried nokdu bindaetteok (mung-bean pancake; ₩4000 to ₩5000) – paired beautifully with makgeolli (milky rice wine).

Most diners squeeze on to benches at one of the many vendors threading through the centre of the alleyways, where you can munch on mandu (Korean dumplings), jokbal (braised pig's trotters), bibimbap and boribap (mixed rice and barley topped with a selection of veggies). Gwangjang Market is also a popular place to try sannakji, raw octopus tentacles that wriggle and writhe on the plate (₩15,000).


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