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[Gourmet Restaurant Series 2] Insadong: The Street Where Flavor Meets Art
Certainly, foreign visitors are attracted by Insadong’s traditional ceramics, books, and souvenir shops, but they also come here to eat at the best Asian- and Western-style gourmet restaurants. We recommend the following for your dining pleasure.
Min’s Club
Once the mansion of Ikdu Min, a descendant of Empress Myeongseong of the Joseon Dynasty, Min’s Club maintains its Korean grandeur. This classic home provides customers with the somewhat unexpected pleasure of fusion-style food: traditional Korean ingredients cooked Western style. No wonder half of Min’s Club customers are foreigners. Popular menu items include samgyeopsal jjim (steam pork slices), neobiani (roast beef slices) steak, and baked sea bass. At lunchtime, you can simply enjoy herb bibimbap (steamed rice with assorted vegetables). A meal in the elegant atmosphere of Min’s Club will be a memory to cherish.
TIP
Enhance your dining experience with a glass of wine.
Restaurant Information
  • Open: 12:00 pm ~ 11:00 pm daily
  • Closed: Chinese New Year’s holidays, Chuseok holidays
  • Telephone: 02-733-2966
  • Menu: Samgyeopsal jjim 28,000 won (Lunch) / 39,000 won (Dinner), Neobiani steak 30,000 won (Lunch) / 43,000 won (Dinner), Herb bibimbap (Lunch menu 12:00 pm ~ 2:30 pm) 19,000 won
    (Taxes not included)
  • How to Get There: From Exit 6 of Anguk Station (Subway Line No. 3), walk about 40 meters to Insadong-daero (between Crown Bakery and GS 25 Convenience Store). Proceed about 200 meters, and turn left at Dongyangdaye. Walk about 100 meters until you see a Korean walled mansion with a sign saying Min’s Club.
Gung
For more than 30 years, Gung has served Gaeseong style mandu (dumplings). The elderly proprietor, who fled south during the Korean War runs this restaurant with the help of her granddaughters. Characteristic of its delicate taste, Gaeseong mandu stuffing consists of pork and various vegetables such as Chinese cabbage and pumpkin. This restaurant’s mandu is so popular that by late in the day, they often run out. The typical menu includes mandu-jeongol (chowder) and mandu-guk (soup). The chowder is made of various ingredients including mandu, rice cakes, mushrooms, and meat, and serves two to three persons. For several persons, it's recommended to eat bossam (boiled meat slices wrapped in lettuce leaves or kimchi) and Korean style pancakes.
TIP On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, they make kimchi in front of the restaurant. Be sure to try a sample of fresh kimchi.
Restaurant Information
  • Open: 11:30 am ~ 9:30 pm daily
  • Closed: National holidays
  • Telephone: 02-733-9240
  • Menu: Mandu-jeongol (for 2 persons) 20,000 won, Bossam 25,000 won (for 2 persons), Mandu-guk 8,000 won
  • How to Get There: From Exit 6 of Anguk Station (Subway Line No. 3), walk about 40 meters to Insadong-daero (street between Crown Bakery and GS 25 Convenience Store). Proceed 200 meters, and turn left at Dongyangdaye. Walk about 50 meters until you reach a narrow alleyway on your left. Take the alleyway and you’ll see the restaurant on the other side of Kyung-In Museum of Fine Arts.
Cheoma Kkeut  Haneul Pungkyeong
In this 150 year-old traditional Korean home, you can enjoy royal court cuisine, using only fresh ingredients and natural spices. The restaurant’s most popular jeongsik (table d’hôte/regular meal) includes 15 dishes served as consecutive courses. They include boiled ribs, nine-food platter, bulgogi and broiled fish. The meal is remarkable in terms of its taste as well as presentation. Customers on a budget can also enjoy economical but tasty jeomsim-teukseon (Lunch special,11:30 am ~ 3:00 pm).
TIP
Since the restaurant is quite crowded during dinner time, reservations are recommended.
Restaurant Information

  • Open: 11:30 am ~ 10:00 pm daily
  • Closed: Open every day of the year
  • Telephone: 02-732-3002
  • Menu: Jeongsik (Regular meals) 15,000 - 50,000 won, Jeomsim-teukseon (Lunch special) 15,000 - 35,000 won
    (Taxes not included)
  • How to Get There: From Exit 6 of Anguk Station (Subway Line No. 3), walk about 40 meters to Insadong-daero (between Crown Bakery and GS 25 Convenience Store). Proceed about 80 meters, and turn left at Insadong-3-gil. Walk until you reach a T-intersection. The restaurant will be on your right hand side.
Dimibang
The Korean term dimibang refers to the room where kings of the Joseon Dynasty enjoyed their meals. Indeed, the restaurant treats its customers like royalty, and is especially renowned for its traditional herbal foods used in Chinese medicine. The typical menu includes hamcho-bibimbap (steamed rice with assorted vegetables) and hamcho- juk (hot porridge). An herb that grows near the tidelands and salt flats, hamcho has a slightly salty, bitter flavor. Rich in fiber and minerals, it is nutritious and prevents constipation. Hamcho is also made into a sauce, which the restaurant uses instead of soy sauce. You can also enjoy various other herbal meals. The restaurant is a favorite of well-being fans and vegetarians.
TIP
Try a glass of healthful herbal wine.
Restaurant Information
  • Open: 12:00 pm ~ 9:00 pm daily
  • Closed: Sundays
  • Telephone: +82-2-720-2417 (Korean language)
  • Menu: Yakcho-jeongsik (herbal meals) W20,000, hamcho-bibimbap W6,000, hamcho-juk W6,000
  • How to Get There: From Exit 6 of Anguk Station (Subway Line No. 3), walk about 40 meters to Insadong-daero (between Crown Bakery and GS 25 Convenience Store). Proceed about 80 meters, and turn left at Insadong-3-gil. Keep walking until you reach a T-intersection. Turn left and walk a short distance. The restaurant is located on the other side of Jirisan restaurant.
Volga
With its ivy-festooned red door and window frames, Volga looks as if it were right out of a fairy tale. The interior is also unique, with masks, frames, and other tiny curios covering the walls; items that were collected by the bistro’s owner during trips to various countries. The romantic atmosphere may account for the fact that there are lots of female customers. Opened in 1991, Volga, named after the Russian river, serves 3 kinds of spaghettis and doria, as well as various beverages and wines. A popular menu item is seafood vongole sauce spaghetti and Italian spaghetti. A great place to relax with soothing food, wine, and music.
TIP
Enjoy an evening of good food and drink, plus enchanting atmosphere.
Restaurant Information
  • Open: 11:00 am ~ 12:00 am daily
  • Closed: Open every day of the year
  • Telephone: 02-739-3652
  • Menu: Seafood doria W8,000, spaghetti alle vongole W8,000, coffee W4,000, tea W4,000
  • How to Get There: From Exit 6 of Anguk Station (Subway Line No. 3), walk about 40 meters to Insadong-daero (between Crown Bakery and GS 25 Convenience Store). Procced about 140 meters, and turn left at Insadong-4-gil. Walk about 50 meters until you see an ivy covered building.
Jirisan
Jirisan specializes in Korean traditional jeongsik (table d’hôte/regular meals), consisting of some 15 side dishes (kimchi, medley of noodles/vegetables/sliced beef, cucumber kimchi, roasted fish, and various cooked herbs and green vegetables), as well as miso soup and bean soup. The taste of this abundant cuisine attracts not only Koreans but also plenty of hungry foreign visitors. The restaurant is also popular for its traditional Korean style architecture and decor.
TIP
Perfect spot to sit is near the window to enjoy the sunlight as you eat.
Restaurant Information
  • Open: 12:00 pm ~ 10:00 pm daily
  • Closed: National Holidays
  • Telephone: +82-2-723-4696 (Korean language)
  • Menu: Jeongsik 13,000 won, Dolsot-bap (steamed rice in a stone pot) 10,000 won, Yeongyang-bap (steamed rice with healthy ingredients) 10,000 won
  • How to Get There: From Exit 6 of Anguk Station (Subway Line No. 3), walk about 40 meters to Insadong-daero (street between Crown Bakery and GS 25 Convenience Store). Proceed about 80 meters, and turn left at Insadong-3-gil. Walk until you reach a T-intersection. Turn left and walk a short distance. The restaurant is opposite to Dimibang restaurant.
Sanchon
Sanchon serves vegetarian cuisine in a unique Buddhist-temple atmosphere with lotus-style lighting and other temple-like decor. The restaurant owner, a former monk, opened the restaurant to introduce temple food to the general public. The menu features jeongsik (table d’hôte/regular meal) consisting of over 20 side dishes, including miso soup, perilla seed soup, boiled tofu, vegetable fritters, and various cooked herbs and vegetables. While monks would eat humble meals of steamed rice and only five side dishes, Sanchon serves an abundant amount, similiar to the head monk’s table at a special feast. Following the Buddhist tradition, none of the food has a sharp spiciness that is characteristic of Korea. Besides the excellent cuisine, Sanchon features a 45-minute performance of various traditional dances at 8 pm every night. The program changes every two months.
TIP
1 To appreciate the full flavor and texture of various vegetables, try tasting them separately, rather than mixing them with steamed rice.
2 In principle, Buddhist cuisine does not use the traditional osinchae (five spicy vegetables including garlic and scallions). Sanchon adds them, however, to please the palates of ordinary customers. If you do not want these spices in your food, make a one-day prior request for a custom-made meal.
Restaurant Information

  • Open: 12:00 am ~ 10:00 pm daily
  • Closed: Chinese New Year’s holidays, Chuseok holidays
  • Telephone: +82-2-735-0312 (Korean language)
  • Menu: Jeongsik (lunch W22,000, dinner W39,600)
  • How to Get There: From Exit 6 of Anguk Station (Subway Line No. 3), walk about 40 meters to Insadong-daero (between Crown Bakery and GS 25 Convenience Store). Proceed about 300 meters, and turn left at Atelier Seoul. Sanchon is located at the end of the street.
[Dessert Info] Areumdaun Cha Bangmulgwan (Beautiful Tea Museum)
In addition to gourmet restaurants, traditional tea houses are a popular destination in Insadong. Among them, we recommend Areumdaun Cha Bangmulgwan, where you can taste more than 100 types of tea, including Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and Taiwanese. The shop also serves as a museum and gallery. Enjoy a leisurely cup of tea as you appreciate the art that is on display.
  • Open: 10:30 am ~ 10:30 pm daily
  • Closed: Chinese New Year’s holidays, Chuseok holidays
  • Telephone: 02-735-6678 (Korean language)
  • Menu: Green tea 9,000 won, Chrysanthemum tea 7,000 won, Green tea bingsu 14,000 won
  • How to Get There: From Exit 6 of Anguk Station (Subway Line No. 3), walk about 40 meters to Insadong-daero (between Crown Bakery and GS 25 Convenience Store). Proceed about 400 meters, and turn right at the Golden Jewelry Store.
Map of Insadong
* Above information may be subject to change after October 2009.
Date 10/01/2009



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