If you’re planning on visiting Seoul and you love markets, food, and the hustle & bustle of everyday life, then you need to check out this video.
I’ve been going to some of these markets since the 80’s and 90’s with my Korean relatives, so these places hold sentimental value for me. Besides being just great markets, they’re also loaded with tons of food!
Below are my personal picks for the Top 5 Best Food Markets in Seoul!
TONGIN MARKET (통인시장)
ADDRESS: 8, Jahamun-ro 15-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 종로구 자하문로15길 18 (통인동)
GOOGLE MAPS: https://goo.gl/maps/85FRAxuoLs42
HOURS: Market is open weekdays 09:00 to 18:00, Saturdays 09:00 to 13:00. Closed on Sundays & holidays.
The Doshirak Cafe closes at 16:00.
Tongin Market was built in 1941 for the Japanese residents that lived around there during the Japanese occupation of Korea. Now it’s a small traditional market, with a unique way to experience the market: using Yeobjeon, the traditional brass coins, to fill up your Doshirak lunch tray.
A bundle of 10 coins goes for 5,000 Won. Most dishes cost 2 coins, some small items are only 1 coin. The vendors will have the cost of items listed at their shops.
When you’re ready to eat, go to the 2nd and 3rd floors of the Doshirak Cafe, located in the center of the market. They provide free utensils, water, and napkins. You can also buy a bowl of rice and/or soup, for 2 coins each.
GYEONGDONG MARKET (경동시장)
ADDRESS:147, Wangsan-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 동대문구 왕산로 147 (제기동)
GOOGLE MAPS: https://goo.gl/maps/5MmSBTctPqP2
HOURS: Herbal Medicine Market 09:00-19:00
Traditional Market 04:00-19:00 (varies by store)
This market is one of the largest markets in Seoul, dating back to right after the Korean War when many of the countryside farmers would gather in the city to sell their produce.
This place is huge and is equivalent to the size of 5 World Cup soccer stadiums.
You can buy any type of food here: vegetables, fruits, all types of meats, seafood, etc. This place is great for grocery shopping for cheap!
There’s also the Herbal Medicine Market, which is the largest herbal market in all of South Korea. You can find all types of “Hankyak” (한약), which is traditional Korean medicine, here.
GWANGJANG MARKET (광장시장)
ADDRESS: 88, Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 종로구 창경궁로 88 (예지동)
GOOGLE MAPS: https://goo.gl/maps/gtgoCVW8A5D2
HOURS: General stores 08:30-18:00, Restaurants 08:30-23:00.
Most of the market is closed on Sundays, but lots of the street food vendors will still be open.
Gwangjang Market is a textiles and fabric market, and it just so happens to house one of the largest traditional Korean street food areas in the city. You can fulfill all of your traditional Korean street food fantasies here: tons of tteokbokki, bibimbap, the famous “narcotic kimbap”, bindaetteok, fried foods, etc.
The market is also famous for “Yukhoe” (육회), which is essentially Korean raw beef tartare. It’s strips of fresh beef, mixed with egg yolk, sesame oil, on top a bed of sliced Asian pears. Mix it all together and enjoy!
NAMDAEMUN MARKET (남대문시장)
ADDRESS: 21, Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 중구 남대문시장4길 21 (남창동)
GOOGLE MAPS: https://goo.gl/maps/4GzGiF61pTT2
HOURS: Everyday, with a short break between 5pm ~ 10pm for the overnight vendors. I recommend mid-morning or early-afternoon.
Namdaemun Market is the largest traditional Korean market still in operation in the entire country! There are over 10,000 individual vendors!
Make sure to visit the “Noodle Alley” and “Hairtail fish Alley” and you MUST TRY the yachae hotteok or ggul hotteok snacks at Gate 2 on the north side of the market. At the time of filming, they were only 2,000 Won each.
MAJANG MEAT MARKET (마장 축산물시장)
ADDRESS: 40, Majang-ro 31-gil, Seongdong-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 성동구 마장로31길 40 (마장동)
GOOGLE MAPS: https://goo.gl/maps/fJZuivkHeHH2
HOURS: Weekdays 03:00-23:00, closed every first and third Sunday of the month.
Majang Meat Market is the best place to buy Hanwoo beef, as well as other types of meats. It’s roughly 30% cheaper here than anywhere else!
It’s the largest meat market in the entire country. It’s also very strict about sanitation standards, so much so that the Korean Medical Association took notice of this and gave them their approval.
If you’re going to this market to eat Korean BBQ, make sure to eat at the BBQ alley at the north entrance (click map link to see that entrance location).
I hope that you found this list of the Top 5 Best Food Markets in Seoul very helpful! If you did, leave a comment, subscribe, and thanks for watching!
Comments by Mika