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Many foreigners say Myeongdong to the question about the most representative attraction of Korea.
Myeongdong streets are always full of foreign tourists. Despite the increasing number of foreign tourists, there aren't that many good restaurants.
Most of the Korean people do not make an appointment in Myeongdong because there are too many tourists.
In fact, many restaurants spend a lot in marketing and advertisement, and these restaurants are only popular among foreign tourists.
Korean people usually don't go to these restaurants.
So today, I will share this hand-picked list of good restaurants where have many Korean regulars.
(I visited all of the restaurants on foot and tasted every meal on this list. I did not receive any monetary reward for writing this review)
Before reading this article, you can also read these posts
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Travel Korea：Myeongdong Restaurants— 1. Gobong Samegyetang
Address：서울 중구 명동7길 21
Samgyetang is a signature Korean dish. Also, it is a representative invigorating food. It's not spicy and does not have an exotic fragrance. This dish is especially loved by foreigners. Recently, some Samgyetang places put on a lot of advertisements to attract foreign tourists. However, good Samgye restaurants do not advertise.
Gobong Samgyetang is famous among Koreans making their Samgyetang with nutritious soup, healthy chicken and fresh ingredients. This restaurant has been the Korean locals' favorite restaurant in Myeongdong for a long time. Inside the whole chicken, you can find tasty rice and Korean herbs. Gobong Samgyetang uses a variety of Korean herbs and has deeper taste than other Samgyetang restaurants.
Korean people usually eat Samgyetang on a hot summer day (they also eat it in winter too). Koreans believe eating Samgyetang made with Korean herbs can boost the immune system and invigorates the body. Samgyetang makes people fight off the heat. The famous South Korean adverb "Ee-yeol-chi-yeol" originated from this culture.
In Gobong Samgyetang, you can find a variety of ingredients: mushrooms, vegetables, mung beans, and other Korean herbs. The chef heats the broth for hours and hours to make a thick, tasty Chicken soup.
Many people go to Myeongdong for shopping. To shop, you need energy. I think Samgyetang will be a good choice for boosting your stamina before the shopping spree. This restaurant is super busy during the peak hours, so I would recommend you to visit this restaurant between the lunch and dinner time on weekdays.
Travel Korea：Myeongdong Restaurants— 2. Miseongok
Address：서울특별시 중구 명동1가 54-5
It's tough to recommend one korean dish for foreigners. Many Korean dishes are salty and spicy.
Many of my foreign friends really liked Seolleongtang (설렁탕)! Seolleongtang has thin slices of tender beef, beef bone soup, and vegetables.
Many people eat Seolleongtang because it invigorates the body with healthy nutrition. The thick milky soup can be obtained after boiling the beef bones for more than a day. Recently, some restaurants started to use milk powder to shorten the cooking time.
The thick milky soup uses almost all parts of beef bones, including the head, leg bones, and internal organs. Seolleongtang contains beef, noodles, and rice. There are many soup dishes in Korea that come with rice. If the Seolleongtang is cooked right, the soup should display a natural transparent grayish white color. If the soup shows artificial white color, perhaps the restaurant might have added milk or milk powder to the soup.
When I go out to eat Seolleongtang, I usually avoid the places that have artificially colored soup. Miseongok only sells authentic Seolleongtang with fresh ingredients. I simply love Seolleongtang and I trust the quality of this restaurant which stood for 50 years at the heart of Myeongdong. Seolleongtang is mainly beef stew, but there is almost no meat smell. Many Korean office workers come to this restaurant for lunch. For those of you who want to try authentic Seolleongtang, I would definitely recommend this restaurant.
Travel Korea：Myeongdong Restaurants—— 3. Amiso
Address：서울 명동2가 53-1 원스토리빌딩5층
Many Myeongdong gourmet restaurants offer Korean dishes. Myeongdong restaurant Amiso is well known for its delicious and high-end traditional Korean course meal. Many Korean guests have left satisfied comments on the store review. Although the price is a bit high compared to other Myeongdong restaurants, Amiso offers a quality meal and is a good value for money. You can taste char-grilled meat and traditional Korean dishes in one place.
When Koreans dine in at Amiso, they almost always order a stone pot rice as a side. After finished the softly cooked rice, the hardened part of the rice can be eaten as Soongnyung (숭늉). When you pour hot water into the hardened rice, it will get softer and eventually becomes a tasty tea. If you want to try this tea, I would definitely go to Amigo for it.
Amiso is also famous for its "salty yellow dried fish" meal (20,000 won). If you visit this restaurant with a group of two or more, you can choose one of the three levels of Korean course meal (25,000 won, 38,000 won, 58,000 won, respectively). If you don't have enough budget, you can also order for a la carte. The Chicken soup (13,000 Won) and Naengmyeon (Cold Noodles) are also very popular among Koreans (8,000 won).
Travel Korea：Myeongdong Restaurants — 4. Hadongkwan
Address：서울 중구 명동9길 12
The turnout rate of Myeong-dong restaurants is extremely high. However, there is a restaurant has been keeping the same place for more than 70 years in Myeongdong. Hadongkwan has become one of the favorite restaurants for Koreans who love Korean food. Many foreign visitors come to Myeong-dong to taste Hadongkwan's famous Galbitang. Hadongkwan only uses quality Korean beef and bones when cooking the broth for their Galbitang, and the soup is cooked for a long time. The radish kimchi that comes with the beef bone soup (Galbitang) is very tasty. You must try this dish before you leave Myeongdong!
Hadongkwan uses three types of beef for its Galbitang: namely the "bovine breast", "lean meat" and "cattle viscera." When you order an ordinary beef Galbitang (12,000 won), you can choose one of these meats. If you order a special Galbitang (15,000 won), you can choose one or two kinds of meat. Usually, the ordinary Galbitang contains lean meat, while the special Galbitang contains lean meat and beef viscera. If you do not want to eat internal organs, you can indicate your request at the time of ordering.
Koreans love to add a few spoonfuls of Hadongkwan's famous radish kimchi soup to Galbitang. At Hadongkwan, you can taste Galbitang differently with Kimchi. You can even invent a new way of eating Galbitang. You can request for fresh eggs and add them to your Galbitang. I would like to remind you that Hadongkwan opens from 7 am to 4 pm on weekdays. The restaurant closes on Sundays in every first and third week of the month.
Travel Korea：Myeongdong Restaurants — 5. Gangnam Myeonok Myeongdong
Address：명동1가 48-2 미래빌딩 5층
Gangnam Myeonok is a great restaurant for foreign tourists who want to try authentic Korean cuisine and Koreans visitors who want to enjoy a full set of Korean healthy meal.
This restaurant became famous after Seo Jun and Seo Eon from the popular TV show "Superman Returns" visited this restaurant and ate Galbijjim (갈비찜).
The two signature dishes of Gangnam Myeonok are Galbijjim (갈비찜) and Hamheungnaengmyeun (함흥냉면).
Gangnam Myeonok Galbijjim does not contain artificial additives, MSGs, White Sugar or corn syrup. Instead, they use organic honey to maximize the sweet taste.
This Galbijjim is not spicy, so is perfect for foreigners who are not used to spicy food.
After eating all the galbi (beef ribs), you can eat the rice with remaining soup. When I tried this bokkeumbop, I thought the taste was a bit mediocre.
I would recommend you to concentrate on eating the ribs.
I also tried Hamheung Naengmyeon (함흥냉면). It was tasty but did not meet my expectation. The price was Naengmyeon was 9,000 Won, and I am not sure if the quality of Naengmyeon is good enough for the price.
I would just go for Galbijjim if I visit this restaurant again.
Travel Korea：Myeongdong Restaurants — 6. Myeongdong Kyoja
Address：서울 중구 명동10길 29
Myeongdong Kyoja is a famous restaurant in Myeongdong. Many Koreans and tourists go to this place when they come to Myeongdong. Many Koreans would automatically think of this restaurant when they think of Myeongdong. Since its opening in 1966, Myeongdong Kyoja has been keeping a consistant taste of fresh noodle soups and dumplings.
Myeongdong Kyoja dumplings were on the list of Seoul Michelin Guide as a clean, hygiene restaurant with a moderate price range.
Handmade dumplings (10,000 won) and delicate noodle soup (8,000 won) are a perfect match to each other. However, I would like to recommend you to try Myeongdong Kyoja Kimchi noodle soup with dumplings. It's a bit spicy and hot, but I really like this combination.
If you order noodle soup, you can add more. If you feel like the portion is not big, you can ask the waitress for more noodles or order more dumplings. If you visit this restaurant during the weekend or weekday lunch or dinner hours, you may have to wait in the line for some time. I would recommend you to avoid visiting this restaurant during the peak hours.
Travel Korea: Myeongdong Restaurants— 7. Mom and Mackerel
Address：서울 중구 마른내로2길 29-1
Mackerel is one of the most commonly eaten fish in Korea. Myeongdong Mom and Mackerel is a restaurant where you can taste a home-style grilled Mackerel. Although this place is a bit distant from Myeongdong, and it is rather closer to Chungmuro. I recommend this restaurant for those who want to eat an inexpensive, homestyle meal. Whenever I visit this restaurant, I always feel like I am back in my hometown.
I still remember my last time I visited this store. As soon as I entered the store, the grandmother who has been operating this Myeongdong gourmet restaurant for more than 30 years greeted me. There were only three dishes on the menu, so I ordered the signature menu: the grilled Mackerel.
Almost all customers order the grilled Mackerel (6,000 won) and frozen pollack stew (6,000 won). A grilled Mackerel and a slightly spicy pollack stew come with big portions. The side dishes of the restaurant are made with Korean traditional ingredients, which always remind me of my mom's cooking at home.
Today, Creatrip editors shared our exclusive list of the 7 best restaurants in Myeongdong.
Have a shopping spree in Korea's must-visit shopping district, Myeongdong,
and enjoy your meal at one of the restaurants we recommended to you.
If you have any questions regarding this post or Korea in general, please let us know. If you leave us your question as a comment, we will get back to you as soon as possible.
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