Food and Drinks · Places

Lunch at Gwangjang Market

Seoul, South Korea —

Gwangjang market (광장시장) is known as the first traditional market in Korea and popular among locals and tourists. It offers Korean snacks and street food one could think of, such as soondae, tteokbokki, odeng, mandu, jokbal, etc. on its ground floor and various choices of fabrics and linens which are situated on the second floor.

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Soondae (순대 / intestine) and Jokbal (족발 / steamed pigs’ feet)
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Mandu (만두 / Kimchi and Pork Dumplings)

One Friday, Danny and I had lunch at Gwangjang market. We had kalguksu (칼국수), which literally means “knife noodles”. This noodle is handmade out of eggs and wheat flour, cut with a knife and pour unto a boiling water with broth.

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Kalguksu (칼국수 / Knife Noodles)

We also had the market’s specialty food which is mayak kimbap. 마약 (mayak) means narcotic drugs. What actually makes it addictive is its slightly spicy sauce. I’ve heard it’s mustard, though. Some call it 꼬마 김밥 (ggoma kimbap). It’s actually a mini rice roll with julienned carrots and yellow picked radish inside, brushed with sesame oil and sprinkled with sesame seeds.

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Mayak Kimbap (마약 김밥)

Lastly, we had a cup of sugar cane juice. But, we didn’t like it. We couldn’t even describe the taste, it wasn’t sweet at all.

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Our total expense for that lunch date was ₩19,000. It wasn’t really cheap, though.

  1. 칼국수 | Kalguksu  — ₩ 7,000 x 2 = ₩ 14,000
  2. 마약 김밥 | Mayak Kimbap  — ₩ 2,000
  3. 사탕수수 쥬스 | Sugar Cane Juice  — ₩ 3,000

Our visit to Gwangjang market was a good experience. We could go shopping all day in a traditional way and eat as much as Korean food as we want. But, not really!


Address:  88 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Operating Hours:

  • General Stores: Mondays to Saturdays 08:30-18:00
  • Restaurants: Daily 08:30-23:00

Directions [Subway]:

  • Jongno 5-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 1), Exit 8.
  • Euljiro 4-ga Station (Seoul Subway Line 2 & 5), Exit 4.

Website [Korean]:


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