I’ve been visiting the Junggok Market for years because my friend lives just around the corner from it. The market is always so clean and organised, and of course, the prices are great. The market isn’t too big or small, and is comprised of three main alleyways, so it is easy to navigate. Since my friend is a regular customer, I can see how she is treated like a friend when she visits. The market staff are extremely friendly with their regular customers and visitors.
I would say the market is focused more for local residents rather than a “tourist” market, but they do have some items here that make this market unique. Most noticeably was the man selling live bees in a bag with part of the hive included. I learned that these bees can be used by people who would like to start their own hive. Urban beekeeping is becoming more popular these days, so it’s great that this is available for those wishing to become involved. I just hope it isn’t harmful for the bees to be kept in a bag.
This market has everything – fruits, vegetables, meat, seafood, plants, clothing, snacks, nuts, oils, baked goods, traditional snacks, bedding, and household goods. The produce changes seasonally, so you can be ensured that the products are quite fresh.
Sesame oil is also a freshly made speciality that can be purchased in several shops.
There are many shops selling dried herbs and roots for use in traditional medicine.
Something I regret not trying was the freshly roasted seaweed. I really love seaweed so this is something I will definitely try on my next visit.
Something I was really surprised to see available was quinoa! I’ve never seen it sold in a market, and only in the past few years has it been available in some of the bigger supermarkets here in Korea. The price was quite reasonable as well. Only 10,000 won for 500 grams which is cheaper than the price in supermarkets. I bought a bag but have yet to taste it. It looks a little more golden than the type I typically purchase, so I’m curious if the taste is different.
There are a few vendors here that sell pre-made side dishes for purchase in any quantity. This is a great option for people who are too busy or tired to prepare dinner. We bought several to try. The japchae (잡채) was very delicious as was the zucchini dish. The roasted chickens are also a popular item, but I didn’t try it as I am a vegetarian. All the dishes we bought made a super delicious dinner.
There is one tteokboki (떡볶이) shop that is super popular. It is not too spicy and comes with lots of shredded cabbage on top. I really enjoyed this dish. The shop can be found on the left hand side near of the entrances. The name of the shop is “콩이네”. You can check out the map to find the location.
The market is easy to find from Junggok subway station (중곡역) on line number 7. From the station, take exit 2 and walk straight until you see a church on your right hand side. You can turn right on the street after the church, the market will be on your left. If you are coming by car, there is also parking available right next to the market.