Gwangjang Market and Dongdaemun Design Plaza
Gwangjang Market (광장시장)
We recently experienced a new street market called Gwangjang Market with some friends. We walked around taking in all the hustle and bustle. It was so crowded! The most popular part of this market is that people come here for the food. The middle of the streets were lined with possibly hundreds of small kitchens back to back, each cooking some variation of fried foods, noodles, fishcake, soups and other popular Korean street snacks.
After we snagged a few pictures, we went into an actual restaurant on the side and ordered a variety platter of jeon (Korean pancakes) which contained vegetables, meat, kimchi, seafood, etc. They are delicious! We also tried a new dish called Sannakji (산낙지), which is…live octopus…and it moves. Ahh! I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job trying new foods while abroad, and although I’ve seen it numerous times, I never envisioned myself actually trying this one. Alas, I ended up trying it and it tasted pretty good! The texture however was exactly what I expected, and not at all something I enjoyed. It was very chewy and it kind of suctioned to my tooth which totally freaked me out! I had one piece and decided that was enough. But I did it! In addition to these dishes, we shared a bottle of makgeolli, Korean rice wine. Makgeolli is almost always paired with jeon, rightly so, because they are delicious together!
After the restaurant, we walked around some more and chose a food stall to eat at. (Yes, eat again). We squeezed into a side bench so we were out of the walking path and ate a little bit of everything - japchae, fishcake, mandu, and tteokbokki! Sometimes, the best meals are just a ton of different street food. Satisfies all your tastes and it’s super cheap!
Dongdaemun Design Plaza
We actually finished eating this time, and walked about 15 minutes over to Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP)! I’m not sure how we’ve never been there before, but at night especially, it was really cool to walk around and see different lights and artsy structures. Mostly, we walked around in the cold and took a ton of pictures until we couldn’t stand it anymore but there was quite a bit to see! Eventually, we gave in and found a nearby cafe where we warmed up before heading home.