Test article – SEO content

Wriggling live octopus. The freshest sashimi you’ve ever eaten. Kimchi. Korean BBQ. Get your tastebuds ready, your Instagram filters on, and make some time to sample Seoul’s delights. 

With our guide to street food in Seoul you’ll arrive knowing which night markets to serve the best after-hours treats, where to find traditional markets for classic cuisine, and the hippest spots for the cool kids in Korea. Chopsticks ready, we’re going in.


What to eat in Seoul

MOUTH-WATERING KOREAN DELICACICIES

Just like anywhere in Asia, street food is big business in Seoul. Yes, you’ve probably sampled Korean BBQ back at home in Australia, but when you hit Seoul it’s time to throw yourself into the street food scene. We’re talking Korean dumplings, noodle soup, fish cakes, grilled chicken skewers, kimchi, and more.  

A captivating scene of a man in a bustling Seoul food market stall skillfully preparing Korean dumplings.

7 street food markets you must try

Fill up at these sublime street food spots:

A minimalist map highlighting the locations for delicious street food in Seoul.

1

Gwangjang Market

THE CITY’S BEST STREET FOOD

Here you’ll find arguably the best street food in Seoul. It opened in 1905 and is the city’s oldest food market. It’s also a great opportunity to throw yourself into the soul (or should we say Seoul?) of the city. As many as 65,000 people visit it every day.

And most importantly, it’s where you can get your hands on authentic Korean street snacks. We love the bindae-tteok – it’s the thing to eat here. Yes, you’ll find the savoury mung bean pancake all over Korea, but nowhere is it as good as Gwanjang. Also check out the kalguksu – Korean knife noodles served in a broth – as well as mandu – Korean dumplings with meat, seafood, kimchi, or vegetables in the middle and seasoned with sesame oil, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. To finish don’t miss the hodo kwaja – these sweet walnut cakes are delicious.  

Aim to spend around two hours in the market to make sure you can sample as many street food options as possible. The busiest time is between 12pm and 2pm on weekdays for the lunchtime rush. Weekends are always busy, and you will have to queue for food – but it’s the most fun time to visit.

A shot inside of a busy street food market. On the picture is some text that reads "most menus will be in Korean. Point and traders will know what you want."

2

Common Ground

HIPSTER HANGOUT

A  close-up of Korean street food, featuring two iced coffees and a plate adorned with noodles, eggs, and a colorful array of vegetables.

Now this is cool: Common Ground is the largest shipping container mall in the world. It’s made up of 200 shipping containers and is split into two sections – the Street Market and Market Hall. Stroll through the containers and you’ll find top brands like Nike and Adidas Originals, as well as plenty of homegrown Korean brands too.  

But what about the food? Make your way up to the third floor and the rooftop terrace for restaurants serving world cuisine, whether Indonesian or Italian. When it comes to street food, the terrace is the place to be. Vendors seem to change regularly but expect Korean classics like kimchi and chicken wings as well as American fried chicken, burgers and more.

As you’d expect it’s one of the hippest hangouts in Korea.


3

Tongin Market

SMALL PLATES AND SMALL BITES

Just near Gyeongbokgung Palace and a 10-minute walk from Gyeongbokgung subway station, Tongin Market is a street food haven. Load up on small plates and small bites of Korean street food delicacies. Try fried fish, spicy vegetables, broiled meat and more.

A woman in a cozy cafe, seated by a window with a small table of food and drinks. She captures the view from the window on her phone.

The real highlight here is the tteokbokki – which is fried rice cakes in spicy sauce. Here they stir fry it in oil for a unique twist – you can have it just fried in oil or with the spicy sauce too. It’s one not to be missed.


4

Dongdaemun Night Market

EARLY HOURS EATING

Open from 8pm until 3am, Dongdaemun Night Market is the perfect place to sample street food in the early hours. Dongdaemun is one of the most fashionable spots in Seoul – visitors flock here for the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) and the shopping malls. It’s also been a venue for Seoul Fashion Week. No surprise then that the market is all about clothes – great if you’re looking to barter for a bargain. 

A mouthwatering close-up of BBQ skewers sizzling on a street market stall. The image also features a tip box with the note, 'Much of the market is wholesale only—purchase 3 or more items.'

The street food on offer here is classic Korean, but most of the vendors sell similar food at the same prices, so it’s not really about sampling small dishes.


5

Myeong-dong Street Food Alley

TAKE A BREAK FROM SHOPPING

Myeong-dong is the bustling hub of Seoul. Expect crowds, bright lights, and a hum of activity. You’ll find shopping galore and plenty of street food. And yes, there is a night market here, but you can sample street food in the day too.

Head to the street food alley – you guessed it, it’s an alley packed with street food vendors – to get your foodie fix. Expect kimbap (rice rolls), mandu (dumplings), odeng (fish cakes), dakkochi (grilled chicken on skewers), hotteok (sweet pancakes), and more.

A tempting close-up of a Korean street food dish. The shot showcases a bowl filled with a delightful combination of an egg, seasoned meat, and vibrant green veggies.

6

Sindang-dong Tteokbokki Town

TREAT YOURSELF TO TTEOKBOKKI

We mentioned tteokbokki before, but you can try it with a unique twist at Tongin Market, but if you want the classic dish, make your way to Sindang-dong Tteokbokki Town.
The area started to become known for its fried rice cakes in the 1970s and has grown from strength to strength ever since. It has several specialist eateries and even hosts the annual tteokbokki festival.

A close-up of sushi rolls

7

Namdaemun Market

OLD SCHOOL AND TRADITIONAL

This is the largest traditional market in Korea and has been going since 1964. You’ll find a huge variety of shops selling various goods, and lots of locals shopping, eating, and catching up. 

But we know you’re here for the street food, and there’s plenty to go around. Head to Foodie Alley for tteokbokki, dakkochi and delicious cobs of sweet corn.  

A close-up of a table adorned with a variety of Korean street food dishes, offering a feast of flavors and colors.
Crowds at Namdaemun Market

Be sure to also check out Galchi Jorim Alley for a selection of vendors selling this pungent fish stew, and Kalgustu Alley for delectable noodle broth.

Just like Gwangjang Market, it gets packed during the lunchtime rush but it’s super fun to throw yourself into the local life.

Insider tip:

If you’re feeling adventurous and really want to eat like a local, try jokbal – pigs feet eaten out of the bag they’re served in. They’re not for the faint-hearted. 


Enjoy a unique foodie experience at Noryangjin fish market

This is a Korean foodie experience like no other. At Noryangjin fish market, it’s all about selecting your fish, choosing your restaurant, and enjoying the finest Korean cuisine.

A  close-up of vibrant red lobster claws arranged on a sleek black plate.

Unlike fish markets in other parts of Asia like Tokyo, Noryangjin fish market isn’t just a morning thing where it’s a scramble to buy the catch of the day – although there is a 3am fish auction. Here the fish are kept in aquariums, so you can choose your fish at any time of day. You’ll also find the new indoor location is like a shopping mall for fish – it doesn’t have that overpowering fishy smell like some of the more traditional fish markets. 

If you want to eat in one of the restaurants, it works like this: 

  • Pick your fish and pay the vendor.
  • Try a little bargaining – it’s expected but not always encouraged. The vendors may state a starting price that’s a little higher so you can bargain them down.
  • Take your fish to a restaurant on the second floor or basement level – the vendors will be making their way around the market and will probably find you first.
  • They’ll take your catch to the restaurant for you.
  • Or if you want it sashimi style, they will gut, skin, and slice it up for you on the spot. You’ll get pickled onion, raw wasabi, green chilli, and fermented bean paste for dipping, plus lettuce leaves to wrap it up.
  • If you eat in at a restaurant and have their in-house chef cook your fish, you’ll need to settle the service charge with the restaurant separately.

Now you know where to sample street food and live like a local in Seoul, check out where to stay, how to get around and where to get your K-Beauty fix

Thinking of travelling to Seoul? Skyscanner can help you find the best flights, hotels and car hire deals for your next trip.

Quickly scan all your favourite travel sites