Across the nation, delicious wonders abound

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Across the nation, delicious wonders abound

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Dakgalbi at Umi Dakgalbi in Chuncheon, home to chicken cuisine [JoongAng Ilbo]

The weekend section of the JoongAng Ilbo marked its 10th anniversary last month. To celebrate, we looked through all the matjip (delicious restaurants) that we have introduced over the past 10 years. We excluded Seoul and the Gyeonggi areas, but there were still more than 700 restaurants from other regions. We also looked at 150 matjip that we have considered introducing.

After deliberating for more than a month, the JoongAng Ilbo picked 100 of its favorite matjip, and the Korea JoongAng Daily picked its top 50.



Hyundai Group founder Chung Ju-Yung was known to frequent a buckwheat noodle restaurant in Gangwon.

Gangwon province is known for its beautiful mountains and pure water, but also for its delicious food. The mountains are covered with appetizing edible plants, and the nearby East Sea provides a steady supply of fresh seafood. With delicious ingredients readily available, it’s no wonder that the province is home to so many restaurants. Every region has its own specialties. Chuncheon is known for its spicy grilled chicken and its buckwheat noodles, Pyeongchang for its trout and its Korean beef, Gangneung for its soft tofu and Sokcho for its North Korean dishes.

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1. Bongpo Hwaleo Hoe Center
Goseong County, 033-633-1699, two portions of assorted sashimi, 50,000 won ($ 44.42)
People come all the way from Gangneung to eat the fresh sashimi offered in this restaurant run by the fishermen of Bongpo harbor.

2. 88 Saengseongui
Sokcho, 033-633-8892, roasted fish, 12,000 won
A large variety of dishes are offered at this traditional roasted fish restaurant.

3. Dancheon Sikdang
Sokcho, 033-632-7828, naengmyun noodles with raw pollack, 5,000 won
Located in Sokcho’s Abai Village, the Hamhung-style sashimi naengmyun noodles offered here have spanned three generations.

4. Bisugumi Minbak
Hwacheon County, 033-442-0145, hanjeongsik (Korean table), 10,000 won
Located in the tiny village of Bisugumi, this restaurant offers a feast of country-style menu items. The taste of their delicious soybean paste still lingers in our mouths.

5. Sangolnadeuli
Inje County, 033-461-9643, bibimbap with wild herbs and vegetables, 10,000 won. Rice ball with herbs, 8,000 won.
This restaurant is run by residents of Gombaeryeong, using the wild greens for which the area is famous.

6. Donghae Hoetjip
Yangyang County, 033-672-3739, four portions of assorted sashimi, 80,000 won
As the owner serves whatever he catches each day, there is no set menu at this restaurant.

7. Umi Dakgalbi
Chuncheon, 033-257-4705, one set of dakgalbi (spicy grilled chicken), 10,000 won
Koreans know that Chuncheon is the place to go when you’re craving some spicy grilled chicken, and this restaurant is known by the locals as the place that does it best.

8. Silbi Makguksu
Chuncheon, 033-254-2472, one set of makguksu (buckwheat noodles), 6,000 won
Ever since it opened in 1967, this place has continuously served makguksu. Orders must come in before they begin to knead the dough, ensuring the fresh taste of the noodles.

9. Ko Bun-ok Halmeoni Sundubu
Gangneung, 033-652-1897, one set of sundubu (spicy soft tofu stew), 7,000 won
Simply the best of the sundubu restaurants in Gangneung. At 84, Ko Bun-ok Halmeoni has been running this restaurant for 64 years.

10. Songjeong Haebyeon Makguksu
Gangneung, 033-652-2611, one set of makguksu, 6,000 won
This is the buckwheat noodles restaurant that the late Hyundai founder Chung Ju-yung is said to have frequented.

11. Hyundae Makguksu
Pyeongchang County, 033-335-0314, one set of makguksu, 6,000 won. One set of mixed makguksu, 7,000 won.
Located in a long alley in the marketplace, this restaurant is the only one that boasts a long line.

12. Daegwallyeong Hanwoo Town
Pyeongchang County, 033-336-2150, 100 grams of beef ribs, 11,000 won
The largest Korean BBQ restaurant in Daegwallyeong, only 1++ grade Korean beef is used.

13. Napjak Sikdang
Pyeongchang County, 033-335-5477, two portions of osam bulgogi, 24,000 won
Boasting 40 years of experience, this restaurant specializes in osam bulgogi.

14. Songeoeui Jip
Pyeongchang County, 033-332-0505, 1 kilogram of songeohoe (raw trout), 30,000 won
This restaurant uses year-old female trout from its own trout farm for its sashimi.

15. BadaHoetjip
Samcheok, 033-574-3543, gomchiguk (moray eel soup), 12,000 won
This gomchi restaurant boasts the longest queue of customers.



Ulleung is worth visiting for its squid organ-meat soup.

Gyeongsang has many restaurants offering delicacies, including Andong and Gyeongju, two North Gyeongsang cities known as the historical bases of aristocrats. Ulleung Island is another haven of delicious food in North Gyeongsang. Jinju and Tongyeong are two delicacy destinations in South Gyeongsang. If you go to Mount Jiri, you should try the corbicula soup in Seomjingang in Hadong.

16. Hyangwuchon
Ulleung County, 054-791-8383, charcoal-grilled beef (150 grams), 20,000 won
Former President Lee Myung-bak once visited this beef restaurant on Ulleung Island.

17. Deungdae Hoetjip (lighthouse raw fish restaurant)
Uljin County, 054-788-2556, abalone porridge, 14,000 won
This restaurant has sold abalone porridge for over 30 years at Hupo Port. The owner used to be a haenyeo (female shellfish diver).

18. Busuk Hanjeongsik
Andong, 054-855-8898, hanjeongsik (Korean tables), 15,000 won
You can taste Joseon aristocrats’ traditional cuisines at cheap prices.

19. Hongseong Sikyuk Sikdang
Sangju, 054-535-6608, beef ribs (150 grams), 15,000 won
Hanwoo beef of Sangju, which was offered to the Joseon kings, is this restaurant’s specialty.

20. Hwarimsan Garden
Yeongdeok County, 054-734-1077, raw sweetfish, 30,000 won. Roasted sweetfish, 25,000 won.
Sweetfish caught in nearby Osip Stream is provided raw. It is most delicious in summer.

21. Hwanyeo Hoetjip
Pohang, 054-251-8847, mulhoe (spicy raw fish soup), 12,000 won
This is Pohang’s luxury raw fish restaurant. Fruits are added to the meat broth.

22. Yoseokgung
Gyeongju, 054-772-3347, hanjeongsik, 33,000 won-99,000 won
This is a high-class traditional cuisine restaurant.

23. Jinju Naengmyeon
Jinju, 055-756-2525, naengmyeon (cold noodle soup), 8,000 won
Cook Hwang Deok-i, 84, has run this restaurant for over six decades.

24. Yujeong Jangeo
Jinju, 055-746-9235, broiled, salted eel 18,000 won. Naengmyeon, 5,000 won.
This restaurant boasts a 40-year-old recipe for eel cuisine.

25. Yeoyeo Sikdang
Hadong County, 055-884-0080, corbicula soup, 8,000 won
Poet Park Nam-joon, who lives near Mount Jiri, recommended this restaurant.

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They have overturned Welsh-onion pancakes for over 80 years. They will surely do it for another 80 years.

Busan, a vacation mecca, offers a variety of delicacies. Many foods that were introduced here during the 1950-53 Korean War have spread across the country.

26. Dongnae Halmae Pajeon
Dongnae District, 051-552-0792, dongnaepajeon (a Welsh-onion pancake that originated in the Dongna area), 20,000 won ($17.77)
Among the many restaurants that sell dongnaepajeon, this one, with its history of more than 80 years, is a legend. Pajeon sold here are as thick as steamed rice cakes.

27. Gaya Milmyeon
Jin District, 051-891-2483, milmyeon (wheat noodle soup), 5,000 won
Milmyeon is a representative Busan cuisine and this is the region’s most well-known milmyeon restaurant.

28. Ssangdungi Dwaejigukbap
Nam District, 051-628-7020, dwaejigukbap (boiled-rice soup with pork), 5,500 won
Many locals will take you here if you don’t know about Busan dwaejigukbap.

29. Sujeonggung Hoetjip
Suyeong District, 051-753-2811, suhyang luncheon 30,000 won. Sujeonggung dinner, 90,000 won.
One of the hoetjip alongside Gwangalli Beach, this stands out as a high-end hoetjip.

30. Gijang Gomjangeo
Gijang, 051-721-2934, straw-roasted eel, 50,000 won
This restaurant has been run by the same family since the 1920s.



Korea’s best hanjeongsik is in Gangjin.

Jeolla province is the No.1 destination for genuine Korean food. In Jeolla, people spend more time deciding what to eat than where to go, as there are so many places from which to choose.

31. Ilhaeok
Gunsan, 063-443-0999, boiled rice in bean sprout soup, 5,000 won
This restaurant has sold boiled rice in bean sprout soup, its one and only menu item, for nearly 20 years. People line up to have this.

32. Gajok Hoegwan
Jeonju, 063-284-8964, Jeonju bibimbap, 12,000 won
The owner of the restaurant is Kim Nyeon-im, 76, who has been designated as a first food master in Jeonju.

33. Saejip Chueotang
Namwon, 063-625-2443, chueotang (loach soup), 8,000 won. Chueosukhoe (raw loach served in the whole body), 30,000 won.
This restaurant is home to chueosukhoe, a delicacy now enjoyed across the country.

34. Hongeo Ilbeonji
Naju, 061-332-7444, hongeo course, 30,000 won
An Guk-hyeon, 56, the first hongeo (skate) food master in Korea, runs this restaurant.

35. Naju Gomtang Hayanjip
Naju, 061-333-4292, gomtang (beef-bone soup), 7,000 won
People think of this place when they want to taste gomtang. The owners have run it for three generations.

36. Haetae Sikdang
Gangjin, 061-434-2486, hanjeongsik, 25,000 won
Yoo Hong-jun, former director of the Cultural Heritage Administration, endorsed this as one of the three best hanjeongsik restaurants in Korea.

37. Gukil Sikdang
Boseong County, 061-857-0588, kkomakjeongsik (cockle with rice bowl and side dishes), 15,000 won
Kkomak is a well-known specialty and this restaurant has sold it for over 40 years.

38. Jogyesan Boribapjip
Suncheon, 061-754-3756, boribap (boiled barley rice), 6,000 won
You can eat this after a two-hour-long hike from Songgwang Buddhist Temple.

39. Ssamokssamok Haeparang
Suncheon, 061-742-3939, hanjeongsik, 35,000 won
Suncheon city designated this restaurant as the first representative of Suncheon restaurants.

40. Gyeongdo Punggyeong Hoetjip
Yeosu, 061-666-7766, pike eel shabu-shabu, 70,000 won
Head chef Jo Seong-yeol has demonstrated his eel-cutting skills on several TV programs.



One yet-to-be discovered delicacy is at Pyoseon Harbor.

Jeju has many delicacies. Here, we introduce five of the island’s best restaurants.

41. Samdae Guksu Hoegwan
Jeju, 064-759-6644, gogiguksu (meat noodles), 6,000 won
The owners of this restaurant have cooked meat noodles, a Jeju delicacy, for three generations.

42. Namgyeongmirak
Seogwipo, 064-794-0055, dageumbarihoe (raw saw-edged perch) [1 kilogram], 220,000 won
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has eaten here.

43. Namokdo Sikdang
Seogwipo, 064-787-1202, pork meat, 20,000 won
Late photographer Kim Yeong-gap said this is Jeju’s tastiest meat restaurant.

44. Chunja Myeolchi Guksu
Seogwipo, 064-787-3124, myeolchiguksu (anchovy noodles), 3,000 won
Jeju Olle trail hikers recommend this restaurant.

45. Pyoseon Eochon Sikdang
Seogwipo, 064-787-0175, pot-stewed tilefish 10,000 won. Mulhoe, 10,000 won.
The JoongAng Ilbo recommends this yet-to-be discovered pearl.

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One famous mukjip that sells muk (acorn jello) is on the way to Sudeok Buddhist Temple.

Here are five of the best restaurants in Chungcheong.

46. Wonpung Sikdang
Taean County, 041-672-5057, baksokmilguknakjitang (octopus stew), 12,000 won
Baksokmilguknakjitang originates from Taean and this is one of the best restaurants serving it.

47. Todamjip
Taean, 041-674-4561, kkotgyejang (seasoned raw blue crab), 23,000 won
Many people come from Seoul over the weekend to taste this.

48. Sintoburi Mukjip
Yesan County, 041-337-5576, stir-fried muk dish, 13,000 won
This restaurant on the way to Sudeok Temple is always full of customers.

49. Soyeong Hoetjip
Boryeong, 041-933-2990, seasoned ganjaemi (stingray), 40,000 won
Ganjaemi, a delicacy of the West Sea, tastes great in this restaurant.

50. Gaseon Sikdang
Yeongdong County, 043-743-8665, fish porridge, 5,000 won
Pond smelt is served fried and seasoned with hot pepper paste.


BY SON MIN-HO, BAEK JONG-HYEON, HONG JI-YEON [joe@joongang.co.kr]
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