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[Gourmet Restaurants Series 4] Jongno, a Street of Traditional Restaurants

 

Just like the street itself, gourmet restaurants in Jongno boast a long history, and many of them have been run by the same families for many generations. The traditional cuisine consists of haejangguk (broth known to relieve a hangover), seolleongtang (beef broth), bindaetteok (mung-bean pancake), and kalguksu (soup with hand-cut noodles), to name a few. These tasty, yet rather inexpensive menu items are popular favorites. Recently, a growing number of restaurants have opened, targeting the younger generation. The following is an introduction to the gourmet district, where the traditional and the modern coexist.

▒ Imun Seolnongtang

Opened in 1907, Imun Seolnongtang has been serving its hearty seolleongtang for nearly a hundred years.
Even its name has a long history: the word imun comes from Imun-gol, the obsolete name of the restaurant’s location, and seolnongtang, an old variation of the word seolleongtang. During Japanese colonial rule, the restaurant’s regular customers included Gijeong Son, the marathon gold-medalist at the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
To make the rich seolleongtang broth, beef meat and bones are simmered for more than 15 hours. Try putting rice and minced green onion in your seolleongtang for a warm and tasty experience. Kkakttugi (diced radish kimchi), provided as a side dish, is also delicious.
TIP Kkakttugi and kimchi are available self-service. Pay for your meal in advance.

Restaurant Information
◆ Open: 8:00 am ~ 9:30 pm daily
◆ Closed: Chinese New Year holidays and Chuseok holidays
◆ Telephone: (02) 733-6526
◆ Menu: Seolleongtang 6,000 won, Seolleongtang double 6,500 won, Doganitang (beef rump broth) 10,000 won
◆ How to Get There: From Exit 3 of Jonggak Station (Subway Line No. 1), proceed to the left of Jongno Tower about 40 meters, until you reach 7 ELEVEN and HOLLYS COFFEE. Turn left and continue walking until you reach a two-story, Korean-style restaurant.

▒ Hanilgwan

Opened in 1939, Hanilgwan has indeed witnessed the history of modern Korea. Former Korean presidents Syngman Rhee and Jeonghi Park were customers. This eating house counts senior citizens as well as youngsters among its loyal clientele.
Hanilgwan serves tasty cuisine, including bulgogi, galbitang (beef rib broth), and naengmyeon (cold noodle soup). High-quality beef ribs are simmered for more than 10 hours to make a rich galbitang broth and tender meat. Also added to the broth are ingredients such as ginko, chestnut, jujube, garlic, ginseng, and radish. Naengmyeon, chewy noodles in tasty cold soup, is especially popular in summer.
TIP Try the Lunch Special (11:30 am ~ 3:00 pm) for inexpensive Korean-style table d’hôte, which includes slices of roast beef, fried small octopus, and samgyeopssal wainjjim (pork brushed with wine sauce and roasted).

Restaurant Information
◆ Open: 11:30 am ~ 10:00 pm daily
◆ Closed: Chinese New Year holidays and Chuseok holidays
◆ Telephone: (02) 732-3735
◆ Menu: Naengmyeon 9,000 won, Galbitang 13,000 won, Samgyeopsal wainjjim 13,000 won
◆ How to Get There: From Exit 2 of Apgujeong Station (Subway Line No. 3), go straight and turn right at the second corner. Go straight again, pass the intersection and it is on your right.

▒ Top Cloud

Located on the 33rd floor of Jongno Tower, this glass-walled restaurant provides a beautiful night view of Seoul, as well as tasty cuisine.
Top Cloud offers three types of service: grill, buffet (for lunch and dinner), and café. Operated by Hotel Shilla, the grill provides elegant food and wine and service. Reservations are required for the grill and the buffet. Top Cloud also provides live music performances from 7:30 pm to 11:20 pm (no performance on Mondays).
TIP Reserve a table by the window to enjoy the night view.
Restaurant Information
◆ Open:
12 pm-2:30 pm: Lunch Course
6:00 pm-10:00 pm: Dinner Course
8:30 pm-1:00 am: Bar
2:00 pm-5:30 am: café (daily)
◆ Closed: All year round open
◆ Telephone: (02) 2230-3000
◆ Menu:
Lunch buffet 33,000 won(12:00pm~2:00pm), Dinner buffet 41,000 won(6:00pm~8:30pm), Roast salmon 38,000 won, Beef steak 49,000-55,000 won (without tax)
◆ How to Get There: As you come out of Exit 3 at Jonggak Station (Subway Line No. 1), you can see Jongno Tower. Top Cloud is on the 33rd floor.

▒ Sinssi Hwaro

While samgyeopssal (roast pork) is usually served with soju (Korean liquor), Sinssi Hwaro is unique as it serves wine with this specialty.
The elegant, western-style wood and brick interior bathed in warm light creates a cozy, yet upscale atmosphere.
The brazier-roasted pork is not greasy, and you can order the pork you prefer – a particular cut or a variety. During lunchtime, the restaurant also serves noodle soup and kimchi broth. Popular among both youngsters and office workers, Sinssi Hwaro is perfect for a dinner appointment or a date.
TIP Try the “Wine Package” to enjoy good wine with your meal.
Restaurant Information
◆ Open: 11:30 am ~ 2:00 pm & 5:00 pm ~ 11:30 pm (Mon.-Fri.), 11:30 am ~ 10:30 (Sat.), 12:30 pm ~ 10:30 pm (Sun.)
◆ Closed: Open every day of the year
◆ Telephone: (02) 825-8592
◆ Menu: modeum-gui (assorted pork cuts) course-D W32,000, deungsim (roast sirloin) W28,000, samgyeopssal W8,000
◆ How to Get There: As you come out of Exit 1 at Jonggak Station (Subway Line No. 1), you can see GS 25. Proceed about 100 meters, until you reach a T-intersection (a pharmacy with a red-cross sign will be on your right). Turn right and walk about 70 meters until you reach Cheongjinok with a blue sign. Proceed to the left of Chengjinok about 40 meters, and you’ll see Sinssi Hwaro to your left.

▒ Yeolchajip

For 20 years, Yeolchajip has specialized in tasty bindaetteok, a Korean pancake made of ground mung-beans, pork, and vegetables.
Another famous menu item is guljeon, a pancake of fresh oysters and eggs. Jogaetang (shellfish soup) is an excellent accompaniment to these pancakes.
You can dine on the first floor (traditional-style floor seating) or the second floor (relatively modern style seating).
TIP Try bindaetteok with makkeolli (creamy white rice wine) or soju.
Restaurant Information
◆ Open: 9:00 am ~ 11:00 pm, 1:00 pm ~ 11:00 pm (weekends)
◆ Closed: Chinese New Year holidays and Chuseok holidays
◆ Telephone: (02) 734-2849
◆ Menu: Bindaetteok 10,000 won, Guljeon 10,000 won, Jogaetang 10,000 won
◆ How to Get There: As you come out of Exit 1 at Jonggak Station (Subway Line No. 1), you can see GS 25. Keep walking past GS 25 about 300 meters, until you reach a T- intersection where you’ll see a KODAK store. Turn right between KODAK and BURGER KING, and walk until you see the restaurant sign.

▒ Cheongjinok

Jongno is home to a number of famous haejangguk restaurants, and Cheongjinok is considered the forerunner among them.
Opened in 1937, the restaurant has been run by three generations of the same family. Beef bones are simmered for more than 24 hours to make a rich broth, and soybean paste is added to neutralize the meaty odor.
Ingredients added to the broth include various vegetables, clotted beef blood, beef intestines, and rice. Always crowded, Cheongjinok is open 24 hours a day.
TIP If you want haejangguk without beef intestines, just tell the server beforehand, “Changja ppae-juseyo” (No intestines, please).
Restaurant Information
◆ Open: 24 hours
◆ Closed: All year round open
◆ Telephone: (02) 735-1690
◆ Menu: Haejangguk 6,000 won, Bindaetteok 10,000 won, Makkeolli 3,000 won
◆ How to Get There: As you come out of Exit 1 at Jonggak Station (Subway Line No. 1), you’ll see GS 25. Proceed past GS 25 about 100 meters, until you reach a T- intersection, where you’ll see a pharmacy with a red-cross sign on your right. Turn right and walk about 70 meters until you reach a restaurant with a blue sign (on your right).

▒ Chanyang Kalguksu

A popular attraction since the early 1970’s, this rather shabby and hard-to-spot restaurant has attracted many customers with its single menu item, haemul-kalguksu (seafood and hand-cut noodle soup) for only W3,000.
For that price, you’ll get a huge serving of soup that tastes superb. The rich soup and chewy noodles are prepared by the owner who has 30 year’s experience.
You can enjoy the noodle soup either inside or at an outdoor table.
TIP Put your shells into the small bowl that comes with the noodle soup. Get your drinking water at the self-service dispenser.
Restaurant Information
◆ Open: 10:00 am ~ 21:00 pm daily
◆ Closed: Sundays, Chinese New Year holidays and Chuseok holidays
◆ Telephone: (02) 743-1384
◆ Menu: Haemul-kalguksu 4,000 won
◆ How to Get There: As you come out of Exit 6 at Jongno-3 (sam)-ga Station (Subway Line No. 1, 3, or 5), proceed about 50 meters, until you reach a T-intersection. Turn right and walk until you see the restaurant sign.
▒ Map of Jongno
* Above information may be subject to change after October 2009.
Date 10/04/2009



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