Myeongdong Night Market | Best Street Food In Myeongdong
Myeongdong (Myeong-dong) is the hot spot of Seoul for tourists. It is a vibrant area of Seoul which is filled with hotels, skin care shops, restaurants and cafes. It is the perfect area to stay in and use as a base to discover the rest of Seoul. In the late afternoon, the food stalls start to open up, perfect for an late afternoon snack. Read on to find out more about Myeongdong night market and the best street food to eat in the area.
NOTE: Since 2020 Myeongdong Night Market is not what it used to be anymore. There are way less vendors and visitors. It’s still nice to walk around but doesn’t have the same vibe as back in 2019.
- Things To Know When Visiting Myeongdong
- Myeongdong Night Market
- Best Street Food In Myeongdong Night Market
- 1. Tteokbokki
- 2. Hotteok
- 3. Tornado Potato
- 4. Takoyaki
- 5. Korean Fried Chicken
- 6. Grilled Abalone
- 7. Sundae
- 8. Mochi With Strawberry And Red Bean
- 9. Egg Bread
- 10. Ppopgi
- 11. Grilled Cheese Lobster
- 12. Korean Soft-Serve Ice Cream
- 13. Gimbap
- 14. Freshly Squeezed Juice
- 15. Sweet Potatoes
- 16. Korean Pancakes
- 17. Odeng
- 18. Dumplings
- 19. Grilled Cheese
- Other Myeongdong Market Vendors
- Myeongdong Market Map & Location
- Frequently Asked Questions
Things To Know When Visiting Myeongdong
- Best restaurants: not only does Myeongdong have a lot of yummy street food, it also has some amazing restaurants. The best restaurants in Myeongdong include both foreign and Korean food.
- What To Do: apart from shopping and eating, there are lots of things to do Myeongdong. Check Klook or Trazy for the best deals. If you have the Discover Seoul Pass, you can get loads of discounts when shopping in Myeongdong.
- What To Wear: this obviously depends on the season you’ll be visiting Myeongdong. In summer, bring light clothes and in winter make sure to layer up. Check the best Korea packing list here.
- Tipping In Korea: there is a no tipping culture in Korea, except for taxi drivers and tour guides that work together with foreigners.
- Getting To Myeongdong: getting from Incheon airport to Myeongdong, as well as from Hongdae, Gangnam, Dongdaemun, etc is quite straight forward. There are 4 options including train, bus, subway and taxi.
- Traveling In Seoul: When traveling around Seoul, you need a T Money Transport card for using public transport.
Myeongdong Night Market
Before the Japanese occupation, Myeongdong used to be a residential area, but this quickly changed to a shopping district during the occupation. After the war the fashion and cosmetic stores skyrocketed. Now the district is filled with great hotels, restaurants and cafes. In the late afternoon, the street stalls start to open up. With over 200 vendors, Myeongdong night market is one of the biggest street food markets in Seoul.
Apart from finding street food vendors in Myeongdong, you’ll also find clothing stores that sell socks or accessories and vendors with the latest trends like Bubble Fidget Sensory Toys.
1. Opening Times
The outdoor street market starts at 4 pm on Monday to Friday, during the weekend and on Korean holidays the market starts around 2 pm (times might change). Usually the street food market finishes around 11 pm, but this again depends on the vendors. Some might close earlier or later.
NOTE: since 2020 there are no fixed times for the vendors to be at Myeongdong Night Market. It depends on individual stalls.
The night market is free to enter, just pay for the snacks you want to eat. Most snacks are quite cheap, ranging between 2000 krw and 6000 krw. Make sure to have cash as most stands won’t accept card.
3. Food Tours In Myeongdong
Want to find the more local stalls in Myeongdong? Then why not take a food tour of the area. It is a great way to sample different dishes and get to know the local history of Myeongdong and Namdaemun market.
4. Cooking Class
Why not learn to make some of these delicious snacks yourself during a Korean cooking class. At the Myeongdong cooking school you’ll learn to make dishes like tteokbokki and kimchi. More info here.
Best Street Food In Myeongdong Night Market
When visiting Myeongdong night market, you’ll have a wide array of street food options to pick from. Listed below are some of the best dishes to try at the street food market.
The street food night market takes place in the two main streets of central Myeongdong (Myeongdong-gil and Myeongdong-8-gil). It starts at Myeongdong station and goes all the way to Lotte department store. It is a car free zone, but bikes are allowed to go through, so watch out where you are walking.
Tteokbokki is a must try Korean dish, especially in one of the many markets, like Myeongdong night market. It is made with fish cakes, boiled eggs, scallions and a spicy red sauce.
Hotteok is quite different from what it sounds like. It is not like a western hot dog, far from. It is a kind of Korean pancake which can be filled with a variety of things. Most commonly it is filled with sugar, honey, nuts and cinnamon, but this obviously depends on the vendor. For only 2000 krw you can get a yummy snack, perfect for late afternoon.
Tip: most halal friendly stands have some kind of sign or certificate on their stands. This hotteok snack is halal friendly.
3. Tornado Potato
Hweori Gamja or tornado potato is a very popular South Korean street food. It is a deep fried spiral cut potato, which is then dipped in all kinds of toppings. These can include cheesy, red pepper, honey or even sugar. The tornado potato is easy to eat and the perfect snack to try at Myeongdong night market.
This one is not a typical Korean snack, but it can be found at almost every street food market in Korea. It is a Japanese ball shaped snack which is made from a flour-base batter filled with meat or fish. The takoyaki is made is a special round shaped mold.
5. Korean Fried Chicken
Korean fried chicken is like no other chicken in the world. There are lots of different types of Korean fried chicken and many different flavours. At the Myeongdong night market you’ll have the option to pick from the following flavours: sweet, spicy, soy and garlic sauces.
6. Grilled Abalone
Koreans absolutely love abalone, you’ll find many different types of this street food. At Myeongdong street food market, they grill the abalone in a butter mixture and serve it on a stick. Yummy.
No, this is not an ice cream! It is a Korean style blood sausage, filled with glass noodles. It is a very popular street food in the whole of Korea. Depending on the vendor, the blood sausage can be stuffed with all kinds of vegetables.
8. Mochi With Strawberry And Red Bean
This is especially delicious in Seoul in spring as that’s the best season to try the Korean strawberries. A full strawberry is covered with red bean pasted and wrapped in pink rice flour. This Myeongdong food is super refreshing in spring and summer.
9. Egg Bread
Korean egg bread or gyeran-ppang is another popular dish to buy at Myeongdong street market, especially delicious in the cold winter months. It tastes quite similar to an egg muffin, both sweet and savory.
This is an old fashioned sugar candy, mostly sold and made by the older Korean generation. This ppopgi candy only has 2 ingredients, baking soda and sugar, but timing and technique are key to making the perfect ppopgi. Each ppopgi has a different shape pattern, back in the days if the kids could eat around the pattern without braking it, they would get a free ppopgi from the vendor. Try it, it is harder than it looks like.
Ppopgi or dalgona became really popular due to Squidgame. You’ll find dalgona kits to make your own everywhere!
11. Grilled Cheese Lobster
Not only will you find the cheap usual Korean street food, Myeongdong has much more to offer. Grilled cheese lobster is a high end street food and it is absolutely delicious. For only 15 000 krw, you can get a whole grilled lobster, topped with melted cheese. Indulge yourself.
12. Korean Soft-Serve Ice Cream
Every must have heard of the massive Korean soft ice cream! They are huge. At Myeongdong night market, you can get a dual flavour soft-serve. Flavours include, green tea, chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.
Gimbap is a must try in Korea. You can not only find it at street food stalls, but also in many Korean lunch restaurants. At the night market, you’ll mostly find the small gimbap rolls. The seaweed and rice can be filled with all kinds of vegetables.
14. Freshly Squeezed Juice
Korea is not really the country of fresh juicy fruit, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try a delicious juice. The most common juice you’ll find is the grapefruit one. Other juices include orange and pomegranate.
15. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potato or goguma is THE Korean street food snack, you’ll find it any festival or street market. Mostly it is a roasted sweet potato, but you can also find it in form of latte, cake and candy. During the cold winter months, there is nothing better than eating a hot roasted goguma.
16. Korean Pancakes
Jeon or Korean pancake, is a dish typically eaten on rainy days. The base of the pancake is made with mixing and frying wheat flour and eggs. Other ingredients depend on the vendor, but can include spring onion, meat, fish, seafood and other vegetables.
Fish cakes or odeng can be found everywhere in Korea, like at markets or even in the subway stations. Many Koreans eat fish cakes after a long day of work, as a snack on the way home. Fishcakes are mostly served on a stick and with a cup of soup.
Try yummy steamed dumplings at Myeongdong food street market. The filling inside the mandu or dumpling can be made of kimchi, meat, fish or other vegetables.
19. Grilled Cheese
Grilled cheese at Myeongdong market is served on a stick and the mozzarella alternates with pieces of rice cake. It is a filling snack that became a more popular street food over the years.
Other Myeongdong Market Vendors
Apart from food and drinks there are other vendors at the Myeongdong night market. You’ll find vendors that sell K-pop merchandise, phone case and other phone accessories, Korean souvenirs, children’s clothes, sweaters and much more.
NOTE: Many Kpop products can also be purchase in one of the many online Kpop stores.
Myeongdong Market Map & Location
Most of the stalls can be found in the main streets of Myeongdong. This is a pedestrian only street, but motorcycles can go through as well, so be careful when crossing the street.
Frequently Asked Questions
There isn’t a fixed time when the night market as this depends from vendor to vendor but after 9PM, you’ll see less and less vendors that are open.
Yes! Seoul has a lot of night markets and one of the most popular street food markets is in Myeongdong and Gwangjang Market.