Gwangjang Market, one of the oldest and most vibrant traditional markets in Seoul, South Korea, offers a unique glimpse into the city’s rich culture and culinary delights.  Established in 1905, this bustling market has become a must-visit destination for both locals and tourists, showcasing a wide array of traditional Korean foods, textiles, and handmade goods.  Without further ado, let’s explore what makes Gwangjang Market Seoul a culinary and cultural gem in the heart of the city.

A Culinary Adventure

Bindaetteok (Mung Bean Pancakes)

Bindaetteok (Mung Bean Pancakes)

One of the most iconic dishes at Gwangjang Market is bindaetteok.  Essentially, crispy and savory mung bean pancakes.  Made from ground mung beans mixed with vegetables and meat, these pancakes are fried to golden perfection.  Of course, they are a popular snack and a must-try for anyone visiting the market.

Mayak Gimbap (Addictive Rice Rolls)

Mayak Gimbap (Addictive Rice Rolls)

Mayak gimbap, often referred to as “addictive rice rolls,” are small, bite-sized rolls filled with rice, vegetables.  What’s more, sometimes a hint of wasabi.  Wrapped in seaweed and served with a sweet and tangy mustard sauce, these rice rolls are incredibly flavorful and hard to resist.

Tteokbokki (Spicy Rice Cakes) – Gwangjang Market

Tteokbokki (Spicy Rice Cakes) - Gwangjang Market Seoul

Tteokbokki, a beloved Korean street food, is also a highlight at Gwangjang Market.  These chewy rice cakes are cooked in a spicy and slightly sweet gochujang (Korean red chili paste) sauce.  Additionally, they’re often served with fish cakes and boiled eggs.  Consequently, the dish offers a perfect balance of heat and flavor.

Sundae (Korean Blood Sausage)

Sundae (Korean Blood Sausage)

Sundae, a type of Korean blood sausage, is another traditional delicacy you can find at Gwangjang Market.  In fact, it’s made from pig’s intestines stuffed with a mixture of blood, rice and vegetables.  Additionally, sundae is usually served with a side of salt and a dipping sauce.

Jokbal (Braised Pig’s Trotters)

Jokbal (Braised Pig’s Trotters) - Gwangjang Market Seoul

Jokbal, or braised pig’s trotters, is a rich and flavorful dish popular in Korean cuisine.  The trotters are slow-cooked in a mixture of soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and other spices until tender and infused with a savory aroma.  Furthermore, jokbal is typically served with a side of fresh vegetables and dipping sauces.

Cultural Experiences at Gwangjang Market Seoul

Hanbok Shops

Hanbok Shops at Gwangjang Market Seoul

Beyond its culinary offerings, Gwangjang Market is also known for its hanbok shops.  Hanbok is traditional Korean clothing, often worn during special occasions and holidays.  As a matter of fact, here you can find a wide range of hanbok.  From everyday wear to elaborate designs for weddings and celebrations.

Discover the hidden gems of Seoul.

Textiles and Fabrics

Textiles and Fabrics

Gwangjang Market is a treasure trove for textiles and fabrics.  With numerous stalls selling high-quality silks, cottons, and linens.  It’s a paradise for anyone interested in Korean traditional crafts and fashion.  In addition, you can even find vendors who offer custom tailoring services on-site.

Handmade Goods and Souvenirs

Handmade Goods and Souvenirs

The market is also a great place to shop for handmade goods and souvenirs.  From traditional Korean crafts and pottery to contemporary jewelry and accessories, Gwangjang Market has something for everyone.  In fact, these unique items make perfect gifts and mementos of your trip to Seoul.  Lastly, read about souvenirs from Turkey.

Tips for Visiting Gwangjang Market Seoul

Go Hungry

With so many delicious foods to try, it’s best to visit Gwangjang Market on an empty stomach.  This way, you can sample a variety of dishes without feeling too full.

Bring Cash

Bring Cash

While many vendors now accept credit cards, cash is still the preferred method of payment at the market.  Make sure to bring enough Korean won to cover your purchases.

Visit Early

Gwangjang Market can get quite crowded, especially during weekends and holidays.  To avoid the crowds and enjoy a more relaxed experience, try to visit early in the morning.

Explore Beyond Food

Explore Beyond Food at Gwangjang Market Seoul

While the food is a major draw, don’t forget to explore the market’s other offerings.  Including textiles, hanbok, and handmade goods.  There’s so much to see and discover beyond the food stalls.  Lastly, why not try some Gangnam Style!?

Enjoy Gwangjang Market Seoul

Gwangjang Market Seoul is more than just a place to eat,  Moreover, it’s a vibrant cultural hub that offers a taste of the city’s rich history and traditions.  From mouthwatering street food to beautiful hanbok and textiles, the market has something for everyone.  Whether you’re a food enthusiast, a culture seeker, or a curious traveler, a visit to Gwangjang Market is an unforgettable experience that captures the essence of Seoul.

Visiting Seoul? Don’t miss the Seoul World Cup Stadium Tour.