광장시장 (Gwangjang market) is a prime location in Seoul for eating various Korean foods. Do not expect to find strict hygiene standards or to seat on a nice chair; you will, however, be surprised by the food offerings in the market. From 육회 (shredded raw beef) to 빈대떡 (mungbean pancake), 광장시장 does not disappoint. This post lists the most popular foods to eat in 광장시장 Gwangjang market, as well as some tips to have the best experience while navigating the numerous stalls and restaurants.
Accessing 광장시장 Gwangjang Market
Many buses stop in the vicinity of the market; you can use the following address: 서울특별시 종로구 종로32길 2, or this Naver Map link to find the best bus itinerary from your location. Learn about the different types of buses in Seoul before heading to 광장시장.
By subway: 종로5가역 (Jongno 5-ga Station) (line 1) exits 7 or 9
While several websites including Wikipedia list 을지로4가역 (lines 2 and 5) as a station close to 광장시장, 을지로4가역 is very far from the food part of the market. Prefer exiting at 종로5가역 (line 1) exits 7 or 9 (exit 9 does not show up on Google Maps as it corresponds to an exit within the underground mall; signs in the station will guide you there). Learn about Korean subways.
Tell your taxi driver to drop you off at 종로5가 사거리 (Jongno 5-ga intersection) or give the following address: 서울특별시 종로구 종로32길 2 (front of one of the entrances to the food part of the market). It is usually easy to get a taxi around the market.
- Ahjummas and grandmas will do whatever it takes to get more customers. Do not interact with them unless you want to eat at their stalls.
- The number of people waiting or eating at a food stall or a restaurant is nowhere indicative of food quality. Some places with huge lines are passable, some okay food stalls may have a couple of people there because the owner is a savvy rhetorician, and some great food stalls may be empty because you came at the touristy hours (midday) instead of when the regulars show up (mornings, evenings).
- For the reason outlined in the previous bullet point, prefer going in the morning (around 11 am) or later in the evening (after 8 pm).