If you are tired of crowded Hongdae and Yeonam, there is this district called Mangwon which is relatively quiet, but there are a variety of things to enjoy and it’s just one stop away from Hapjeong (the metro line number 6). This place has become popular for a couple of years, but still, it’s not as busy as Hongdae district.
What I like the most about Mangwon is that there are small places and each of them has its own unique identity. Lovely decorated, friendly owners and reasonably priced fascinating fusion cuisine. The World-cup Market and Mangridangil, where loads of fashionable cafes restaurants and shops are located, are worth visiting.
Mangwon Market is a must-visit place in the district especially you are a foodie or have a passion for Korean street food. There are croquettes with different favors, Kalguksu (noodles), donut, fried chicken, etc. and I would highly recommend eating Kalguksu, made of handmade noodles, at a price tag of below 4 dollars. If you happen to visit in winter, having the noodles with warm soup will warm you up nicely as well as getting you full.
As a dessert, don’t miss Korean style croquettes with stands located at the back entrance of the market. Always full of people queuing to buy as it’s so cheap (more or less 50 cents a croquette depending on flavor). You might be disappointed if you expect a high-end meal, but it’s pretty authentic to try.
Other than the main market of the area there is this street called Mangridangil which is especially a hot spot for young adults as there are places to eat, drink and shop.
70 Mangwon-ro, Mangwon-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
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A tiny cozy place to eat Yubuchobap (fried bean curd with rice). There are 8 different flavors on the menu with raw beef, spawn of a Pollak, smoked salmon and beef loin being the most popular. Each piece costs around 3 dollars. So I would recommend trying at least 2 pieces a person. It comes with a bowl of hot soup and a small dessert on a well-presented plate.
109 Huiujeong-ro, Mangwon-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Nicely decorated interior with cute objects and flowers will capture your eyes and you will fall in love with the atmosphere rapidly. They have excellent selections of mousse such as raspberry, cherry and all are lovely plated. They also do afternoon tea set with the selections of cakes for up to 4 people, but reservation in advance is required.
45-10 World cup-ro 29-gil, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Run by an owner with an exquisite taste of interior design, this place is both a café and a furniture shop. Trendy lights designed by the owner, special items collected during the owner’s numerous travels. “Vacant milk tea” served in a fancy bottle and “Espresso Black cream” topped by earl grey cream are their signature drinks.