Daerim Market satisfies all of your food cravings from skewers, soup, and Chinese-style street food.
Do you have a hankering for some cumin-coated lamb skewers? ?Are you looking for a beef noodle soup restaurant that’s open 24 hours a day?Do you love Chinese-style street food? ?Then, head over to Daerim station (subway lines 2 and 7), located in southwestern Seoul, right away!
As soon as you walk out of Daerim station, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to China. ?Restaurant and store signs are written in Chinese, and you’ll hear Chinese being spoken amongst the shop owners and patrons. ?(If you don’t speak or read Chinese, don’t worry! ?Most of the people also speak Korean, and a few even speak a little English.) ?Although China is a close neighbor to South Korea, finding authentic Chinese ingredients and food in Seoul can prove to be difficult. ?Some restaurants around Seoul claim to be bona fide Chinese restaurants, but offer a Korean-twist on Chinese flavors, instead. ?Because the Daerim area is home to many Chinese immigrants, the grocery stores and restaurants are very authentic.
As you walk along Daerim’s main street, you’ll come across many carts selling a variety of China’s most popular street foods: scallion pancakes, steamed buns with savory and sweet fillings, roasted lamb skewers, and fruit skewers covered in a hardened sugar. ?Be careful not to sample ALL the street food, otherwise you’ll be too full to enjoy your meal in one of the many restaurants. ?Whether you want to sit down to a steaming bowl of beef noodles, or a variety of stir-fried dishes, or a plate of freshly made dumplings, Daerim will have what you’re looking for. ?There are even a few restaurants specializing in dog meat (just watch for the Chinese character for dog 狗 if you don’t want to walk into one of those restaurants).
There are quite a few grocery stores that sell Chinese products (cooking ingredients, spices, snacks). ?If you’re looking for something specific, and several of the stores don’t carry it, you’re probably out of luck. ?For whatever reason, certain types of Chinese products are not allowed to be imported into South Korea from China, and that may be the case when many stores don’t stock your item. ?Many of the grocery stores will have large bins full of Chinese snack favorites, such as roasted sunflower seeds and roasted, salted peanuts. ?These are sold by the kilo, and are great to munch on, when watching television or as a compliment to a cup of hot tea.
The grocery stores also sell essential vegetables and roots that are hard to find in traditional Korean stores, such as cilantro and ginger root. ?Of course, the stores also sell regular fruit and vegetables as well. ?There are butchers that sell an assortment of meats (including dog), as well as a few stalls that sell a variety of seafood.
Whether you want to try some authentic Chinese cuisine for the first time, or have been craving it for a while, make a trip to Daerim. ?You’ll find a variety of Chinese food stalls, grocery stores, and restaurants. ?Most importantly, your stomach and taste buds will be sure to thank you!