The lively district of Myeongdong in Seoul

Myeongdong is one of the neighborhoods you absolutely must visit when in Seoul. Mostly a shopping district, the area is young and vibrant and has a ton of fun stores, plus weird -but delicious- street food. Spend an afternoon of people-watching, window-shopping and munching on fun (and sometimes cute!) snacks and it’ll be obvious why Myeongdong is such an awesome district to hang out in.

Here’s my tour of the neighborhood in photos.

Myeongdong

Myeongdong

There are tons of quirky little shops, from big brands to more independent ones. The district is a South Korean girl’s heaven since there are so many skincare stores – Koreans are obsessed with skin products!

Myeongdong

Myeongdong is the perfect place to get your ice cream fix. There are ice cream parlors at every corner.

Myeongdong

Myeongdong

These gigantic ice cream cones can be found at a few kiosks: about a foot of ice cream fitting in a tiny cone. Yes please!

Myeongdong

Even crazier: these twirling yellow things are actually ice cream cones, waiting to be filled with ice cream. Hurray!

Myeongdong

Apart from ice cream, there are plenty of street food options that can be found everywhere in Myeongdong. This is Gimbap, one of Seoul’s most popular street food. Like a sushi without fish, and with sesame seeds spread on it. 4-5 bites cost 1500 (about 1.70$CDN). Ask nicely and you might get 6! (I asked nicely.)

Myeongdong

Weirder street food finds include Korean french fry hot dogs (spot them in the back), and all things sausage. Ice cream and sausage seem to be Seoulites’ obsessions.

Myeongdong

But we still gotta try it, right? So we did. I stuck with gimbap, but this guy seemed happy to snack on meat on a stick. To be honest, I thought Seoul’s street food would we a bit healthier. Don’t get me wrong, I’m one of the worst sugar-addicts you’ll encounter on this planet, so I’m not really a good health advocate. However, I was surprised to see so much fried street food that, frankly, didn’t look very tasty. I stayed away from those tteokbokki (떡볶이), a sort of pasty rice cake that looks like a finger, drowned in the reddest, spiciest sauce. I guess these very literal egg buns exist to absorb the spicy sweats caused by tteokbokki?

Myeongdong

Myeongdong

Deep-fried dough is not really my thing, but donuts are. Especially when they’re sold in such cute spaces, with even cuter artwork. Also: Seoul’s donuts seem a lot friendlier than that mean-looking burger, don’t you think?

Myeongdong

Myeongdong

But Myeongdong’s highlight in terms of street food has got to be ice cream. South Koreans really go out of their way to impress us ice cream fanatics. Actually, it’s not even ice cream, it’s ice milk. Softree is a chain that has a few outlets around Seoul. They have top-notch design, but most importantly, they have vanilla softserve ice milk with honeycombs. Yuuuummm.

Myeongdong

If the ice cream and the twirling cones and the fry and the donuts and the bubble bath don’t convince you to hang out in this really cool district, then I don’t know what will!

To get to Myeongdong, take the subway’s Line 4 (pale blue) to Myeong-dong station, or Line 2 (green) to Euljiro 1-ga.

 

Coming up on the blog, more posts about my short time in Seoul: art, design and tons of cute coffee shops!

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8 Comments

  • Reply May 6, 2015

    Ryan Biddulph

    Those ice cream cones look WAY cool! So neat, this district, and South Korea in general seems to be a lively, fascinating place rich with culture, and some real oddities too lol. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Ryan

    • Reply May 6, 2015

      Catherine

      Hey Ryan, thanks so much for stopping by! Seoul was awesome. I haven’t been to other places in the country, but you’re right, SK really is rich with culture. And weird food 😉

  • I absolutely adore 명동! It is certainly one of my favorite neighborhoods in all of Seoul ^_^

    • Reply August 24, 2015

      Catherine

      Aaw, so glad you like it too! It was so much fun! 😀

  • Reply August 22, 2015

    Terumi

    We are thinking of traveling to Seoul next year. Those ice cream cones look amazing!

    • Reply August 24, 2015

      Catherine

      They were crazy! Seoul is definitely a cool city to wander in, there is so much to see and do. Hope your travel plans fall through 🙂

  • Reply August 29, 2015

    anil_traveller

    Nice post. Totally missed a lot of the street food you’ve mentioned here the last time I was in Seoul.

    • Reply September 2, 2015

      Catherine

      Thanks! That means you have to go back 🙂

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