Korean food-themed streets, where delicious stories unfold
Korea has a wide assortment of food and every province boasts its own specialty that lures in large crowds to enjoy the regional cuisine. Visitors can not only enjoy delicious Korean food from the food-themed streets found nationwide but also have a deeper understanding of the local culture and culinary traditions. Read on to find the list of food-themed streets that offer Korea's best locally-crafted cuisine!
Sindang-dong Tteokbokki Town was built in the late 1970s. From middle-aged people who are reminiscent of the good old days when tteok-bokki (stir-fried rice cake) was a main staple to young people today who simply enjoy this street food, Sindang-dong Tteokbokki Town is always bustling with visitors. The sauce used differs by store and thus every tteokbokki restaurant has its own unique flavor to offer. Some restaurant uses a mixture of gochu-jang (red chili paste) and chun-jang (fermented soybean sauce boiled to color caramel). Moreover, basic ingredients such as eggs, ramyeon, dumplings, and fish cake are sold together in a set menu but customers can also customize the dish by adding or removing any topping of their choice.
Chodang Village first became associated with sundubu (soft tofu) at the end of the 1970s. The villagers began to deliver sundubu to the market to sell as a way to endure the harsh poverty of the time. Today, their businesses continue to prosper and they no longer sell food to make ends meet but for the pure joy and pride of seeing their family-run businesses, passed down from mother to daughter, succeed. Chodang sundubu is the pure form of soft tofu that is served in a large bowl without any condiments. It is up to one's preference to add the soy sauce or not. For a soft and original taste, try eating the sundubu without any condiments.
- 【 Photo: Chuncheon Myeongdong Dakgalbi Street 】
- 【 Photo: Dak-galbi 】
About one hundred meters away from the Central Rotary in front of Chuncheon City Hall is Chuncheon's famous Myeongdong Dak-galbi (spicy stir-fried chicken) Street. The street was formed in the late 1950s. In the early days, the chicken was grilled on a gridiron over a charcoal fire. However, the current form of dak-galbi where chicken is stir-fried with vegetables emerged in the 1980s.The appearance of this dish on television made Chuncheon dak-galbi famous across the country.
- 【 Photo: Restaurant at the Buckwheat Food Street 】
- 【 Photo: Mak-guksu 】
Every fall, the area of Pyeongchang, Gangwon-do blooms with the white blossoms of buckwheat. From looking at the abundant white flowers to enjoying the food made with buckwheat, one can enjoy this plant to the fullest. The culinary hero buckwheat, called memil in Korean, is used in a variety of different dishes including memil-guksu (buckwheat noodles), memil-muk (buckwheat jelly) and memil-buchim (buckwheat pancake). All of these dishes can be found at the Buckwheat Food Street located in Hyo-seok Culture Village.
Namwon Chueo-tang Street
Namwon is not only famous for the tale of Chunhyang (Chunhyangjeon - Korean love story similar to Romeo and Juliet) but also as the home of chueo-tang (loach soup). The Chueo-tang Street in Cheongeo-dong is lined with loach soup restaurants. Loach is a health food best enjoyed in the fall. Namwon Chueo-tang is famous in Korea because of its favorable environment for the growth of loach, with Jirisan Mountain and a tributary of Seomjingang River flowing along to the lower streams of Namwon. For the best taste when eating the soup, eat the solid ingredients of the soup first and then have the broth with some rice, instead of putting all of the rice in the soup at the beginning. The soup also goes well with well-fermented kkakdugi (diced radish kimchi) and baechu-kimchi (kimchi).
- 【 Photo: Street of Anjirang Gopchang Town 】
- 【 Photo: Gopchang 】
Anjirang Gopchang Town in Daegu boasts an impressive 40-year history, which began when one gopchang (beef/pork tripe) restaurant after another opened on one side of the market. Today, gopchang restaurants naturally fill up both sides of a 500-meter long alley. By either using traditional Korean medicinal herbs to give the dish more flavors and fragrance, or by inventing a special sauce, it takes great effort for the restaurants in Anjirang Gopchang Town to come up with something special in order to differentiate their eatery from all the others. Additionally, the use of various heating power such as grilling over briquet fire, charcoal or natural gas is the secret to the creating different tastes.
Pyeonghwa Market Chicken Alley
The Pyeonghwa Market Chicken Alley has a history of over 40 years and is a must-visit place for both locals and visitors to Daegu. Here, you can taste chicken cooked in a variety of ways. The inexpensive menu price that is offered in the Pyeonghwa Market Chicken Alley began in the 1970s, when fried chicken was sold to laborers as a relatively cheap side-dish to alcohol. The inexpensive yet generous servings are one of the reasons for its popularity. As a special street devoted to chicken gastronomy, the Pyeonghwa Market Chicken Alley is the host venue for the Daegu Chicken and Beer Festival held every summer since 2013.
- Price : Chicken Gizzard 7,000-14,000 won / Chicken 14,000-15,000 won
- Nearby Tourist Attractions : ddd
Millak-dong Raw Fish Town
- 【 Photo: Hoe restaurants at night 】
- 【 Photo: Hoe 】
Visitors to Millak-dong Raw Fish Town can enjoy fresh raw fish at inexpensive prices. Originally founded as a typical traditional market, the area has slowly transformed into a raw fish town and the restaurants located here are famous for the magnificent night views of Busan Gwangandaegyo Bridge seen out the windows. The process of purchasing food here is a bit different from general restaurants. First, shoppers browse the raw fish center on the first floor to pick out and buy the seafood they would like to eat. After purchasing the fish, proceed to one of the restaurants located upstairs of the same building. The staff at the restaurant will then slice the fish that you picked and serve it with sauce and some side dishes for a small charge. As most of the restaurants do not accept credit cards, you are advised to prepare cash before visiting.
Damyang Juksun (Bamboo Shoot) Food Village
Damyang in Jeollanam-do is home to the largest number of bamboo trees in Korea. A variety of bamboo shoot cuisines such as steamed rice in a bamboo stem are available at the Damyang Bamboo Shoot Food Village, situated near Juknokwon (Bamboo Garden). The village is made up of a street of restaurants selling a variety of juksun (bamboo shoot) dishes and daetong-bap (steamed rice in a bamboo stem). The bamboo shoots of Damyang have tight tissue and high amino-acid content, resulting in good texture and flavor. The juksun-hoe (fresh, thinly sliced bamboo shoots parboiled) is eaten dipped in a vinegary red chili sauce, but fresh bamboo shoots can also be eaten seasoned with red chili sauce and mixed with freshwater snail or squid.
Hampyeong Cheonji Hanu Bibimbap Street
The nation's first hanu special industrial district, Hampyeong hanu (Korean beef) is particularly known for its tender texture. Cheonji Hanu Bibimbap Street is located in downtown Hampyeong, with restaurants offering yukhoe (beef tartare) and yukhoe-bibimbap. Yukhoe is made with julienned fresh raw beef seasoned in soy sauce, sugar, and pepper. The tenderness of the beef mildly infused with Eastern medicinal herbs is a true delicacy. Yukhoe-bibimbap is rice topped with yukhoe, bean sprouts, spinach, and other vegetables. It is mixed with a sauce of gochu-jang (red chili paste), sesame seed oil, and garlic. The dish is especially tasty when accompanied with the chewiness and nuttiness of the beef tartare.
Yeongam Dokcheon Octopus Street
Dokcheon Octopus Street is made up of a group of restaurants selling various version of dishes using fresh octopus, caught from Yeongsan River Estuary, including horong-nakji (octopus stick), gallak-tang (beef rib and octopus soup) and much more. Besides gallak-tang, a variety of octopus-made dishes such as yeonpo-tang (octopus soup), nakji-bokkeum (stir-fried octopus), nakji-muchim (spicy octopus salad), san-nakji (sliced raw octopus) and nakji-gui (grilled octopus) are also available on Dokcheon Octopus Street. Before any buildings were constructed on the estuary bank along Yeongsangang River, octopus from Dokcheon mudflat was rated as the top in the nation. Although the mudflat is no longer available today, the fame remains for Dokcheon Octopus Street.
Gwangyang Bulgogi Street
Gwangyang Bulgogi is a traditional food of the region. Thin slices of beef are marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, pear juice and other ingredients before being placed on a gridiron to be grilled over a charcoal fire. The copper gridiron has great thermal conductivity, allowing the meat to cook quickly without burning or sticking to the metal. One thing that makes the bulgogi of Gwangyang different from other regions is that the meat is not marinated beforehand; customers place the slices of beef in the marinade right before placing it on the grill. This allows the meat to keep its tender texture.
- Price : Gwangyang Bulgogi 15,000-22,000 won (Price varies by origin of beef)
- Nearby Tourist Attractions : Baegunsan Donggok Valley
- 【 Photo: Street-view of Yeongdeok Crab Village 】
- 【 Photo: Snow crab 】
Yeongdeok Crab Village is a typical fishing village blessed with the natural beauty of the mountains and the East Sea, located on the east coast of Gyeongsangbuk-do. Snow crab restaurants line the streets around Gangguhang Port, which has remained the center of the Yeongdeok snow crab scene since King Taejo of Goryeo Dynasty, and is now one of the top tourist destinations in the East Coast. During the season of snow crabs between November and May, the area bustles with local and international tourists visiting for a fresh snow crab meal.
- Price : 60,000-150,000 won per person (Price varies by type of crab)
- Nearby Tourist Attractions : Yeongdeok Sunrise Park
Pohang Gwamegi and Mul-hoe Street
- 【 Photo: Mul-hoe 】
- 【 Photo: Gwamegi 】
There are dozens of restaurants in the vicinity of Guryongpo Port in the south of Pohang. On the menu are hoe (fresh raw fish), octopus, abalone, gwamegi (dried saury), and mul-hoe (sliced raw fish and vegetables mixed in a cold, spicy broth). Among the variety of seafoods, the representative dishes of Pohang are gwamegi and mul-hoe. Mul-hoe is made of fish with a less strong “fishy” taste like halibut and rockfish. It is popular for its refreshing broth and the fresh raw fish. The taste largely depends on the seasoning that goes in the broth. Gwamegi is a winter delicacy, so most restaurants do not use the word “gwamegi” for their restaurant name, but instead choose the words for fresh raw fish or snow crab. When gwamegi is in season, the dish can be found in almost all of the restaurants in the area.
- Price : Mul-hoe 12,000-15,000 won per person
- Nearby Tourist Attractions : Homigot Lighthouse
Masan has a plethora of seafoods to choose from, being located next to the ocean, but agu-jjim (steamed monkfish) is the most representative, with its spicy yet pure taste. Agu-jjim became connected with the area of Odong-dong in Masan long ago when a grandmother who sold jangeo-guk (eel stew) also began to sell monkfish mixed with gochu-jang, doenjang, garlic, and other ingredients as a side-dish to alcohol. The current version of agu-jjim, served with bean sprouts, Japanese parsley and other vegetables, came around in the mid-1960s.
Gwangju Namhansanseong Baeksuk Street
Baeksuk Street is a place located in Namhansanseong Provincial Park where restaurants specializing in dak-baeksuk (whole chicken soup) are gathered. Dak-baeksuk is a traditional Korean health food. A whole chicken is stuffed with ginseng, jujube, garlic, medicinal herbs and glutinous rice and left to boil for an extensive amount of time. Thanks in a large part to the beautiful scenic views of nature in Namhangseong Provincial Park, many people enjoy having this healthy dish here. In particular, large groups of customers tend to visit because of the spacious yards available, where they can play volleyball, foot volleyball and sports.
- Price : Dak-baeksuk 55,000-70,000 won (1 chicken)
- Nearby Tourist Attractions : Namhansanseong Provincial Park
Incheon Chinatown came about after 1883, when Incheon Port was opened, where many Chinese immigrants settled, and kept their unique culture alive. The most representative food to come out of this region is jajang-myeon, a dish of noodles mixed with chunjang (sweet bean sauce) eaten late at night by the port laborers and immigrants from the Shantung region in China. What is now called Incheon Jajang-myeon Street came about in the 1920’s, with the opening of the Chinese restaurant Gonghwachun and the subsequent Chinese restaurants that followed until the modern-day image. In addition to this unique Chinese-Korean food, the restaurants also serve a variety of Chinese foods like mandu (dumplings), gonggal-ppang (hollow baked bread), and the popular wolbyeong (moon cake).
This page was last updated on August 22, 2016, and therefore information may differ from what is presented here.