Thursday, 10 March 2016

What to eat in Seoul (Part 1 - Myeong Dong)

I will continue with some sightseeing tips in Seoul.

First part.. what to eat in Seoul? And I shall call this Part 1 as there are lots.
I will try to divide this into the areas...

I can say, first time I ever visited Seoul, back in 2001, I didn't eat a single Korean dish.
To me it looked scary. Now, all I can eat is Korean when I go there.

Anyway, first up is Myeong Dong district.
And of course there are a lot more places, but these are some of my recommendations.

How to get there:
Metro/Subway: Line 2 Euljiro-1-ga (을지로입구역Euljiro Ip-gu) or
Line 4 Myeong Dong (명동역)

1. 명동교자 1호점 (Myeong Dong Gyoza)

Address: 33-4 Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu  
Or 25-4 Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu

There are a few around Seoul, but the ones in Myeongdong are the real/first ones. There are two on the same street, number 25 or 33.
It's always crowded, it sorta looks like a big old school canteen and it's quite noisy inside. but the food is awesome! They do not serve any drinks but water. You can go downstairs or upstairs, different lines but same food. The shop opened up in 1966, so it has history.

They serve a noodle soup and mandu (gyoza/dumplings).There's also a spicy mixed noodle dish (비빔국수bibimguksu) and a bean noodle soup (콩칼국수 kongkalguksu). I have tried them all but my fave is their signature dishes.

For me when going with a friend, we'd order one noodle dish and one gyoza. It's enough food for two. But if you are super hungry order one noodle each. You can always order more once seated.
Their kimchi is different, compare to what we all are used to. I call it fresh kimchi, to me this is a non-fermented one and therefore really spicy. It might surprise a few. And if you can't handle too spicy be careful. It's for free and they keepon re-filling. So if you don't want more, just show the hand and say kindly no.

2. 먹쉬돈나 (Meok swi don na)

Address: 59-25 Myeongdong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul

This is a quite funny name, it's called 먹쉬돈나 (Meok swi don na) it stands for 먹고 (eat), 쉬고 (rest), 돈내고 (pay), 나가 (leave).
Their main dish is Ddeokbokki, spicy rice cakes, then you can add what you like.
It's a fun concept. and the food is good. This is also very popular among tourists.
They have menu in different languages and affordable. The great thing is that you can add what you like into the dish. ^^

3. 봉추찜닭 (鳳雛찜닭 Bong Chu Jjim Dalk)

Address: 2-3F, Myeong Dong 1-ga 37-1, Jung-gu, Seoul

This is a typical dish in Korea, loved by many - Koreans and foreigners.
This dish and restaurant can be found in many areas around Seoul, In Myeong dong area my fave was the one on the 6th floor in Noon Square shopping complex. As it's usually less crowded. However when I was back in April/May 2016 they had closed. Now it can be found in one of the less crowded areas in MyeongDong. But also around in Seoul. This Jjim dalk place is the best of the jjim dalk brands in my opinion!
The portion comes in three different sizes - small, medium and large (with or without bones). You can order rice with it if you want. They only serve this dish. Or well, you can also order their special "fried rice". You can ask them to make it less strong if you want. They also sell various alcohol which goes nice with this dish.

This is a spicy chicken with various veggies, and noodles. A great dish to share.

4.왕비집 (王妃家) 명동본점 (Wang bi jib, original resturant)

26 Myeongdong 8ga-gil, Jung-gu
I was introduced to this place a few years ago from a friend.
She asked what I wanted to eat and I said Kalbi, my fave kind of Korean BBQ. It's not a typical traditional Korean place, but I like the food here. There are many tourists here too, so they have the menu in many languages. This place serves both beef and pork, you might find the beef a bit pricey but worth every penny. I prefer beef over pork. And they also have "cheaper" alternatives, look at the "Meals" instead of only grill. The pics above is from the Meals selection. We had lunch so it was more convenient to have the meal at the time, I'd suggest BBQ for dinner.
If you look on the website, see link below, go to 메뉴소개, all is in Korean and English.

5. 롯대백화점 명동 푸드코트
(Lotte Department Store Food Court)

Address: 81 Namdaemun-ro, Jung-gu

If you do not know what to eat, or you want different things, then I suggest you to go down to the basement floor in Lotte Department store. There you have the food court with various foods. It has changed over the years, it has a big variety of foods. It's quite noisy but then again it's a food court.

6. 길거리 음식 (Street food)

photo cred @ owner

Anywhere in Seoul you can find foods, and places like Myeong Dong they have a lot of street foods.
It's anything and everything! I tried to find some photos but I look insane in most of them, I'd probably scare the lot of you. Here you can go from stall to stall and buy whatever you fancy.
But don't buy too much, there are a lot to eat and it will fill you up!
Just copy the Korean symbols at the top and you will see some amazing photos!
Everything from salty to sweet, they are there morning to night!

7. 커피빈 앤드 티 리프 (Coffee bean and Tea Leaf)

Address: 27 Myeongdong 8-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
My fave cafe chain in Korea is Coffee bean, it has been my fave since my very first visit.
In Myeong Dong there are several, but my fave is the one located here, it's very big and I can always find a table. I like that it's on a smaller street.
I love to just sit here and relax!!

map of the location

There are a lot more.
These are the ones I can think of right now.
TBA (Last update March 10, 2016)

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