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Seoul-food

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Born in Seoul, have I got an appreciation for the food from my mother's side of the family... From sidewalk snack-stalls to noodle-shops, chains and everything in between, you're never far from a tasty (or scary) bite in this huge city...
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South Korea, 서울특별시 Jongno-gu, Gahoe-dong, 계동길 37
On my first evening back in Seoul, on my first visit in almost twenty years, I could hardly believe I was in the middle of a metropolitan area of over twenty million people. I was staying in the Buk-chon neighborhood, in a 'hanok'--one of the...
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18 Insadong 4-gil, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
"Yeot...what?" The closest approximation in English for one of Korea's favorite street-sweets might be "taffy." It ranges from sticky-soft all the way to jaw-breaker-hard. Traditional vendors announce their confectionery presence by loudly and...
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84-13 Gwanhun-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
First-time visitors to Korea might get the impression that every meal consists of nothing but spicy red pepper–laced everything. And, while kimchi is practically unavoidable, (and deliciously so!), heat is not the only culinary sensation. In an...
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Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
"Oh-deng" is a street-food classic found on the streets of Seoul. It's kind of hard to describe: formed crab-cakes, or white fish sausage (sounds weird, tastes great!). Late one night in Seoul's Myongdong district (think Times Square meets the...
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88 Changgyeonggung-ro, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
For over a century, Seoul's Gwangjang Market has been a destination for snack-seekers. The labyrinthine passageways are covered, and you can find anything from knock-off shoes ("fira" instead of "Fila," for example) to chili powder and embroidered...
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Chungmuro 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Seoul is full of street food, and open-air markets and sidewalk stalls abound. But wander the avenues at night, and warm light from under tarps beckons; it's the poh-jahng-mah-chah. Literally meaning "covered/tented wagon," these are an...
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Chungmuro 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Myeongdong is a dizzying shopping mecca where every major Korean cosmetic and fashion brand has a store—or several. The Korea Tourism Organization estimates that more than 1 million visitors pass through the area every day. Anchored by the...
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18 Insadong 4-gil, Nakwon-dong, Jongno-gu, 서울특별시 South Korea
On a sidewalk in Seoul's Insa-dong district, a husband-and-wife team demonstrate the traditional way to make "tteok," chewy-sticky rice-cakes. Pounding the sweet rice in the giant stone mortar with a wooden pestle turns it into a flour which is...
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Seoul, South Korea
Seoul has to be Asia's most caffeinated mega-city. There is plenty of tea to be had, but coffee rules in Korea's capital. Along with an abundance of multi-storied Starbucks, every street seems to have sprouted a home-grown café: from the...
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78 Namdaemun-ro, Myeongdong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
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In the Korean capital's Myeongdong district, you're not limited to 'Seoul-food;' you can also taste distinctive dishes from Jeonju city, in the country's fertile Southwest. Go to "Go-gung" (pronounce: goh-goong) restaurant. The restaurant's...
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Ujeongguk-ro, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
You don't need to go to back alleys or historic markets (although those are great!) to sample traditional snacks in Korea; almost all the major boulevards in the center sprout mini-kitchens, set up on the sidewalk even across from chic...
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Euljiro 6(yuk)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Dongdaemun, the old East Gate of Seoul, has been the site of a market for generations. Today, the double-roofed stone arch no longer marks entry into the city, but the capital's residents still come here to haggle over everything from shoes to...
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21 Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Namchang-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Among the biggest and most chaotic markets in Korea, Seoul's Namdaemun Market is the capital's oldest, dating to the 1400s. Today you can find ANYthing here, if you're willing to brave the crowded alleyways tucked in behind skyscrapers:...
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Deoksugung-gil, Sogong-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Bukchon, the historic neighborhood between Gyeongbok-gung and Changdeok-gung palaces in the heart of Seoul, is the home of buk-chon son mandu, which translates as "handmade dumplings." Even though this is a Seoul chain restaurant, the namesake...
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Euljiro 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Arguably Seoul's most memorable and most exotic street snack, buhn-deh-ghee (silkworm larvae) are pure protein. If you've ever had boiled peanuts, they're quite similar! They're a snacking ritual in the Korean capital, so sooner or later, if you...
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Seoul, South Korea
Spelling Korean food in English is notoriously difficult: gimbab, kimbop, kimbab, kimbap, gimbob--all are different renderings of the seaweed-wrapped rice-veggie-and-meat-rolls that make up Seoul's most convenient quick meal. The streetside stalls...
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182-21 Gwanghuidong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
As ubiquitous as "mandu" (dumplings) may be in Korea, when in Seoul, seek out their Mongolian lamb-filled 'ancestors.' One theory says that meat-filled dumplings were introduced to the Korean peninsula during the Mongol invasions of the 14th...
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Ujeongguk-ro, Jongno 1(il).2(i).3(sam).4(sa), Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
In the Samcheong-dong neighborhood, I saw this whimsical mural on the side of a bakery—perfect for a Francophile Korean sweet tooth. I became a lover of macarons (not to be confused with macaroons) when I lived in Paris. I had no idea that the...
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12, Palpan-gil, Jongno-gu, 서울특별시 South Korea
Seoul's summers can be incredibly muggy; fortunately, the South Korean capital is full of sweet treats to cool you off. A recent trend has been "soft ice cream"—but get the taste of fast-food dubious-dairy 'soft-serve' out of your mind. Organic...
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272 Gonghang-ro, Jung-gu, Incheon, South Korea
Postcards from abroad just aren't as evocative if they don't have the foreign stamp and postmark...So, before our departure from Korea, my wife wanted to make sure to send a few from the airport post office. We went up to the fourth floor in the...
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South Korea, Seoul, Gwanhun-dong, 48, insadong 14-gil
Near Anguk subway station, "Amandier" is a perfect place for a morning café au lait and a croissant before exploring the Joseon-dynasty royal palaces--it's halfway between Gyeongbokgung and Changdeokgung Palaces, and on the edge of the traditional...