Today, I visited a traditional Korean market called Tongin Market. Located in Seoul near the Gyeongbokgung Palace, the market was full of tourists and natives trying to get a glimpse of what life was like before modernization.
Another reason that draws people to Tongin Market is the Dosirak Cafe. Here, you pay 5,000 Won (roughly $5) and you receive a plastic tray and 10 coins. Then, you walk around the market and trade your coins at different vendors for food! A serving of vegetables or smaller side dish will cost one coin and meat or other protein will cost two.
I had a hard time picking what I wanted to eat because there was so much to choose from and they all looked so delicious! In the end, I got a potato pancake, a skewer of pan fried fish, japchae (Korean sweet potato noodles with vegetables), greens, fried chicken, and Girim Ddeokbokki. Girim Ddeokbokki can only be found at the Tongin Market. It is rice cakes fried in oil and red pepper flakes.
Bonus Round: Dessert
After stuffing my face with all of the food from the Dosirak Cafe, I walked around the area and found a little shop that sells egg tarts. The smells coming from the shop made me salivate even though I was full. I decided that I had room for one egg tart and treated myself to one. Now, I haven’t had many egg tarts before, but this one was definitely one of the best tarts I’ve ever had.
I would definitely recommend Tongin Market and the Dosirak Cafe to anyone who wants to try a variety of food and experience a Korean traditional market!
Also, get an egg tart because it is delicious.