Must-try Korean Street Foods in Namdaemun Market - IVisitKorea
korean street foods in namdaemun market

Must-try Korean Street Foods in Namdaemun Market

When visiting Seoul, the Namdaemun market is always at the top of visitors’ lists. It is one of the most visited traditional markets and is well-known for its food. There are many delicious foods here, so sometimes it’s hard to choose which one to try. So, in this article, we will bring you a list of the most classic and must-try Korean street foods in Namdaemun market to ensure you won’t miss any yummy bite. Let’s go!

About Namdaemun Market

namdaemun korean market

Namdaemun market is Korea’s largest and oldest traditional market, with shops offering various products. All products are sold at reasonable prices, and the shops in this area also serve as wholesale markets. The majority of items are produced directly by the store owners. 

In Namdaemun Market, the stores are arranged into zones. Most of the time, each building sells a different product; for instance, the textile and garment districts are separated and located in distinct zones. There’s also a street food alley, accessory alley, jagalchi alley, and more.

  • Address: 21 Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
  • Open hours:  0:00 – 23:00 | Closed on Sundays (please note that all stores operate according to their schedules).
  • How to get there: The most simple way to get to Namdaemun market is by subway. Just take the Subway Line 4 to Hoehyeon Station, Exit 5 or 6, and you’ll be in front of the market.

Hotteok 

The first must-try Korean street food in Namdaemun is Hotteok, a popular snack in South Korea, especially in winter. This Korean-style pancake is usually stuffed with sweet fillings such as brown sugar and nuts. But in the Namdaemun market, you have more flavor options than that. The Japchae hotteok, a hotteok packed with japchae, is another well-liked choice in this area. Japchae is a typical Korean dish consisting of vegetables and glass noodles. We highly suggest you visit Namdaemun Market to sample this intriguing hotteok flavor, which you can probably only find there!

Tteokbokki (spicy rice cake)

tteokbokki

This is undoubtedly the most iconic Korean street food. Tteokbokki is made from chewy rice cakes smothered in a sweet and spicy gochujang (red chili paste) sauce. It has a sweet, salty, and spicy flavor, giving you a perfect warm-up for a lovely night exploring the Namdaemun market. Tteokbokki is frequently served with a selection of side dishes, including fish cakes, boiled eggs, and fried vegetables.

Gimbap (rice rolled in seaweed)

gimbap

Gimbap is another iconic Korean dish that is a popular street food option. Like sushi, gimbap consists of rice and various ingredients such as vegetables, meat, and pickled radish rolled in seaweed. It’s a perfect pair with tteokbokki. Recently, a famous spot appeared in a variety show with comedian Lee Young-ja named Tong Tong Kimbap. The kimbap served here has less rice and a ton of filling.

Mandu (dumplings)

Korean street food, Jjingbbang in Namdaemun market

This is absolutely one of the must-try foods in the Namdaemun market. Mandu is dumplings filled with various savory ingredients, from meat and vegetables to sweet fillings. They can be steamed, boiled, or pan-fried, offering diverse flavors and textures.

The two most popular flavors are kimchi dumplings and meat dumplings. You can find many stores selling delicious mandu within the Namdaemun market, but we highly recommend Hyoja Son Wang Mandu (효자손왕만두) and Ka Ma Gol Wang Mandu (가마골 왕만두). You can find these stores when walking along the market. The price ranges from 1,500 to 7,000 won (1.0 to 5.4 USD).

Fried Cutlassfish

If you like seafood, try the fried cutlassfish in Namdaemun Market! It comes in two ways: fried or marinated in a soy sauce base. The marinated cutlassfish tastes delicious, and the seasoning is slightly spicy but sweet. You can mix the sauce with rice and eat it with the tender fish.

Namdaemun market food alley specialized for grilled fish

If you don’t enjoy spicy food, we recommend the fried cutlassfish instead! The fried fish is precisely seasoned, not oily, crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside. You also get a lot of side dishes like rice and steamed eggs. These dishes paired great with the fish! The price will range from 12,000 won (9.32 USD) per dish.

Namdaemun market food alley specialized for grilled fish

Bindaetteok (mung bean pancakes)

bindaetteok korean street foods

Bindaetteok is a favorite Korean street snack with mung beans, veggies, and eggs. These savory pancakes offer a mix of nutty flavor from the beans, a satisfying crunch from the veggies, and a rich taste from the eggs. They’re cooked to perfection and usually served with a delicious dipping sauce that adds a touch of saltiness and spice. If you want a quick and delicious taste of Korean street food, Bindaetteok is the way to go!

Kkwabaegi (Korean-style donuts)

Korean street food, Kkwabaegi, 꽉배기 in Namdaemun market

If you love fried bread, try these donuts. These are deep-fried, twisted dough pastries that are often coated in sugar. They also have the round-shaped ones. Compared to the donuts you may have had back home, these are slightly different. They have a light, chewy texture because the flour has sticky rice inside. The filling is usually the red bean, but you can try the no-filling donuts if you’re not a fan. The price is around 3,000 KRW (2.3 USD) for four pieces. 

Bungeoppang (Korean Fish Shaped Pastry)

Korean street food, Bungeobbang, 붕어빵 in Namdaemun market

If you’re a fan of K-drama, you might see this cake in many movies. This is a popular sweet pastry shaped like a fish. The dough is formed into the shape of a fish and then usually filled with red bean paste, custard, cheese, and chocolate. After that, the bungeoppang is baked until golden brown. It’s a delightful and filling snack ideal for any time of day. The price is about 3 for 2,000 won (1.55 USD).

Tornado Potato

Korean street food, Potato Tornado 회오리감자  in Namdaemun market

Tornado potato is most likely a classic snack. It is made with a spiral-cut potato that is deep-fried until golden brown. The potato is then seasoned with various spices, including salt, pepper, and chili powder. It is a delightful and tempting snack suitable for any time of day.

Sweet and Warm Egg bun

Korean street food, Egg bun 계란빵 in Namdaemun market

Sweet and hearty egg bun is a street food snack made from a dough filled with an egg and baked till golden brown. The bread is soft and crispy, and the sunny-side-up egg gives the cake a unique texture. Try it when visiting this market; you won’t be disappointed! 

Eomuk (Korean fish cake)

Eomuk, a processed fish product, graces the stalls in various forms – skewered, in soup, or served on its own. Its chewy texture and ability to absorb flavors make it a versatile and delightful addition to the street food scene.

Korean street food, Sotteok Sotteok 
 소떡소떡 in Namdaemun market

The two most popular versions are the traditional one and the hotbar. The traditional version comes with a steaming hot broth and some dipping sauces. It’s a perfect snack for a chilly night or cold winter day. The hotbar is the fried version of fish cake, often containing rice cake, sausages, and various ingredients.

Korean-Style Noodles

Many types of Korean-style noodles can be found in the Namdaemun Market. One of my favorites is the Kalguksu, a Korean knife-cut noodle soup made from wheat flour noodles, veggies, and a warm broth. The broth is usually made with an anchovy or soft shell broth base, and the noodles are thick and chewy. This is a wonderful and filling dish that is ideal for a cold day.

Namdaemun market food alley specialized for noodle

Another great Korean-style noodle is Jjanchi Guksoo. The skinny and easy-to-eat warm noodles have various toppings to compliment the simple noodle taste. It is served with kimchi; you can ask to take out the spicy sauce. The warm broth has an anchovy base so it is not heavy and not greasy.

Namdaemun market food alley specialized for grilled fish

Fresh fruits

Korean street food, fruits skewer in Namdaemun market

While not unique to Namdaemun Market, fresh fruits are often sold as a refreshing and healthy option. You might find vendors offering a variety of seasonal fruits such as watermelon, melon, strawberry, grapes, and other seasonal grapes. This is just a perfect dessert to end your food journey in Namdaemun market. 

The Korean street foods listed above are our picks for must-try items in Namdaemun Market. So, get ready to explore the food here with an empty stomach. Enjoy your journey!

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