What to Eat at Local Markets Across Korea

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Seoul – Tongin Market

18, Jahamun-ro 15-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul

Tongin Market is most famous for Gi-reum Tteokbokki, which translates to “Oil Tteokbokki.” Unlike regular tteokbokki, the kind available at Tongin Market looks simple without broth or additional toppings like fish cakes. After pan-fried in a large steel pan, Oil Tteokbokki turns sweet, spicy, and crispy. A non-spicy option is available as well!

 

Seoul – Gwangjang Market

88, Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul

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Hundreds of delectable food are available at this market centrally located in Seoul, but the highlights definitely go to Yukhoe and Mayak Kimbap. Yukhoe, which is basically a Korean version of beef tartare, is available as a bibimbap as well. Mayak Kimbap, which literally translates to “drug kimbap,” is named after its addictiveness.

 

Incheon – Sinpo Market

11-5, Uhyeon-ro 49beon-gil, Jung-gu, Incheon

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If you like sweet and spicy Korean-style fried chicken, you will fall in love with Dakgangjeong available at Incheon’s Sinpo International Market. As verified by the long line in front of the store, their Dakgangjeong is confidently the best in the country, perfectly crispy and irresistibly spicy.

 

Sokcho – Joongang Market

16, Jungang-ro 147beon-gil, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do

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Joongang Market’s Dakgangjeong is as famed as that of Sinpo Market. However, if you want to try something that’s available only at this market near Korea’s East Sea, try freshly steamed red snow crab. Steamed crabs here are served with crab shells filled with rice mixed well with the inner parts of the shell, which tastes rich and savory.

 

Busan – Gukje Market

28, Gukjesijang 2-gil, Jung-gu, Busan

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There are several markets in Busan, but Gukje Market is most well known for its variety of food showing regional specialties. Hotteok filled with seeds and nuts are one of the representative items here, and Spicy Fish Cake is worth a try as well.

 

By Heewon Kim