Insadong has some of the tastiest food vendors in all of Seoul. One of the main attractions in the area is the ‘Kings Dessert’ or the ‘Dragons Beard Candy’, 16,000 strings of honey wrapped multiple times with a flavoring of either almond, peanut or chocolate on the inside. Another popular street food is the corn cookie, which isn’t actually a cookie but a twisty ice cream cone with sweet fillings. There are also gooey pancakes and spicy Korean dumplings to sample.
The Shin Old Tea House is tucked away in an alleyway, away from the main hustle and bustle of the area. It’s small and only provides floor seating like a traditional Korean tea house. The lighting is dim and provides a very relaxing aura, while the tea list is extensive and boasts some fantastic regional specialities.
Beautiful Tea Museum is a tea shop and a tea museum all rolled into one. It’s located inside of a hanok building, which is a traditional Korean house. They exhibit a variety of tea from China, Korea, Japan, Sri Lanka and India to name just a few, while ceramic artworks and displays chronicling the history of tea drinking also appear.
Beautiful Tea Museum, Seoul South Korea, +82 2-732-6427
At the Insadong Tourist Information Center you can try on a hanbok for a small price. A hanbok is traditional Korean piece of clothing worn since the Joseon era. They have a variety of colors and styles of hanboks for men, women and children. Even though this was clothing worn by Koreans throughout history, actual hanboks now cost upwards of $500!
Tourist Information Center, 130-4 Gwanhun-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, +82 2-734-0222
Korean BBQ places are a popular option for eating out in Korea. Not only do they serve delicious food but are spots for meeting, chatting and drinking. Insadong is home to many such places, given its traditional past. One popular restaurant is Cha Iyagi, which literally means ‘tea story’. The interior looks like the inside of a hanok (a traditional Korean house) and the food is delicious.
Cha Iyagi, Insadong 5-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea, +82 2-735-8552
Along with Korean BBQ, Insadong has some restaurants that serve royal Korean cuisine. Royal meals contain about twenty different courses of traditional Korean delicacies. JinJinBara is one of the few places that gives the royal dining experiences in Insadong, and comes highly recommended.