Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Food for the Seoul

I love Korean food! The downside to traveling solo in South Korea is that I could not try dishes that have huge servings (good for 2-3 persons).  I was definitely happy that this time my sister was with me. We'd wander around sightseeing, walk until our feet feel like they're about to fall off, then stuff ourselves to make up for the calories we burned.

Samcheongdong Sujebi
삼청동 수제비
101-1 Samcheong-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Daily 11AM to 9PM

Sujebi is hand-pulled dough in anchovy broth (8000 won per person). We got to Samcheongdong Sujebi just as it opened and the restaurant quickly filled with locals—a sign that this place (and its speciality: sujebi) is a must-try!


Manjok Oh Hyang Jokbal
만족 오향족발

134-7 Seosomun-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul
Weekdays 1130AM to 1015PM
Weekends 12NN to 945PM

The first time I tried jokbal, or pig's trotters, was when my friend brought me to Manjok Oh Hyang Jokbal in 2016. For my 2018 trip, my sister joined me during the second half of the trip, and I made sure to bring my her to Manjok Oh Hyang Jokbal even though I knew we could not finish all the food—one order is good for 3 persons. The restaurant is always busy and I was lucky to find a voucher for it in Klook. The voucher required to indicate the date and time of visit and we therefore did not have to queue for a table as long as we showed up on time. We ordered the jokbal and bossam (boiled pork) set. It came with soup and many banchan (side dishes). We could barely walk after this lunch. We were stuffed!

Jokbal and Bossam Set

Jogyesa Kitchen
조계사 승소

45 Gyeonji-dong, 45-20 Ujeongguk-ro, Seoul
Daily 11AM to 230PM, 4PM to 730PM

If you're looking for vegetarian food, try Jogyesa Kitchen. Jogyesa Kitchen serves temple food and temple food is vegetarian! At just 4000 won per order, food here is pretty cheap! There are limited choices though: only 4 to 5 dishes. My sister ordered the banquet noodles and I ordered the noodles with vegetables and red pepper sauce. My noodles were way too spicy for me and I had to swap with my sister who had a higher tolerance for spicy food!

To eat here, you must first buy a meal ticket at Jogyesa Temple's souvenir shop. Then show the meal ticket at Jogyesa Kitchen and choose from the menu.

Banquet noodles (left) and noodles with vegetables and red pepper sauce (right)

Tosokchon Samgyetang
토속촌 삼계탕

5, Jahamun-ro 5-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
10AM to 10PM

We saw a long line outside Tosokchon Samgyetang while we were exploring Seochon and decided we'd have lunch there the following day. We made sure to arrive as soon as it opened and, sure enough, as soon as we were seated, the restaurant filled up fast. Tosokchon Samgyetang is known for its ginseng chicken soup or samgyetang. One order costs 16,000 won. The samgyetang is one whole chicken! The order of samgyetang came with radish kimchi, cabbage kimchi, and insamju (ginseng liquor). It was so good, we left not a drop of soup in the bowl!

Tosokchon Samgyetang



52 Jong-ro 17-gil, Nakwon-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Daily 3PM to 2AM

There's a Korean fried chicken restaurant in Cebu that my family loves, but we have never tried it in its home country. My sister suggested we look for a restaurant that serves chicken and beer for early dinner. We tried Lickin, a restaurant we found near where we were staying.

Lickin had fried chicken in different flavors: regular, spicy, garlic, green onion, teriyaki. It took us some time to decide but ended up ordering just the regular fried chicken. Fried chicken in Korea is usually eaten with beer, and not as a meal. But because we are Filipinos, we ordered rice with our chicken. Pretty big meal for two people.

Fried chicken for 16,000 won

Tong-in Market

18 Jahamun-ro 15-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
Tuesday to Sunday 11AM to 4PM

We ate at Tong-in Market for the novelty of purchasing food using yeopjeong (old brass coins). Inside Tong-in Market, near the stairs that leads to the second floor (where the eating area is), we had our 5000 won exchanged to yeopjeong. Along with the yeopjeong, we were handed a lunchbox to put all our food purchases in. The yeopjeong can be used to buy food from any of the Dosirak stalls—you will know it is a Dosirak because of the sign "도시락 cafe" and the price will be displayed with a picture of a yeopjeong. We had fun choosing what to buy with our yeopjeong. After spending all of it, we proceeded to the second floor to enjoy our lunch of random Korean food!

Inside Tong-in Market

Notice the signs


Trying out as many things as we can

Gwangjang Market

88 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
For food, 11AM to 10PM

If you're one who easily gets confused when there are too many choices then Gwangjang Market will be a big headache for you—there are too many food stalls to choose from!!! How did we decide where to eat? We just picked a stall that had things we wanted to eat, like mayak gimbap (small seaweed-wrapped rice rolls stuffed with carrots, pickled radish, and spinach), japchae (stir-fried glass noodles), and dumplings.

Mayak gimbap, japchae, and dumplings

Ikseong-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul

My sister and I wandered around the alleyways of Ikseondong and found a busy area full of locals and decided to eat like the locals do. There were so many restaurants that we settled with a restaurant that offered one we were familiar with: samgyupsal (grilled pork belly). I wish we had discovered this area early in our trip, then we could have had a foodtrip here!

Busy night

Samgyupsal = happy meal!

A treasure map of good food:

This article is now available as a mobile app. Go to GPSmyCity to download the app for GPS-assisted travel directions to the attractions featured in this article.

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