Myeongdong: 80 Years Of History At Hadongkwan
While the majority of visitors to the hopping shopping district of Myeongdong are there looking for the newest shiniest thing from apparel to cosmetics, there is more to Myeongdong than meets the eye.
Hadongkwan is a restaurant with more than 80 years of history having opened up in the 1930s and it’s smack dab in the middle of all of those new gadgets and fast fashion shops. While the original shop which sat along the Cheonggyecheon Stream was demolished during the redevelopment of the area many years ago, the owner kept the original wooden tables and the front door which can still be seen welcoming customers in today.
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Hadongkwan is so good at what they do, they only serve two dishes, gomtang (beef bone soup) and suyuk (boiled beef soup). Tip: one way to know that a restaurant is on point and good at what they do in Korea; they only offer one or two dishes on the menu.
Gomtang is a traditional Korean soup that is made by boiling beef and radish for a number of hours. The soup is said to help replenish you if you’re feeling mentally or physically exhausted. But, you can also just eat it any old time because it’ll surely hit the spot. When it arrives at the table, the soup is simply presented in a brass dish with a slightly cloudy broth, strips of beef and rice. On the table are salt and green onions to top off the soup with if you feel so inclined. With no artificial flavors or additives, this is one of the healthiest dishes you’ll find in the area that can go a bit over the top with some of the other offerings. (There’s a coffee shop that serves up drinks with cotton candy clouds in the area.) There are two kimchi dishes to go along with the soup: kkakdugi (radish kimchi) and kimchi (spicy fermented cabbage).
If you’ll be visiting Seoul and want to stay in the popular Myeongdong shopping district, check out the Myeongdong TMark Hotel or the Grand Ambassador Seoul for a great stay in a great location.
Hadongkwan only uses Korean beef and has been using the same beef provider for over 60 years. They found quality and stuck with it. Another point that they are proud to make is that they never re-heat their soups. Once the soup for the day is gone, it’s gone and they shut the doors. Get there before 3:00pm at the latest because they often close up shop by 4:00pm having filled the bellies of very happy patrons earlier in the day.80
10-4 Myeongdong 1-ga Jung-gu, Seoul, Korea
서울특별시 중구 명동9길 12 (명동1가)
Directions: Go out of Euljiro 1-ga Subway Station, exit 5 and walk straight. Turn right on the second street and Hadongkwan will be on your left.
Days: Closed 1st and 3rd Sundays of the month
Hours: 7:00am ~ 4:00pm