Local vs Tourists -Seoul Restaurants-

Updated: Apr 10, 2018

Often we see local restaurants with full of tourists. Then they start to become tourists’ restaurants. Ironically tourists want to visit local restaurant that is only famous among locals.

So here’s comparison of Local Vs. Tourist in restaurant.

First menu is 간장게장 Ganjang gejang [Soy sauce marinated crab]

>Local’s Choice – 진미식당 Jinmi sikdang

>Tourist’s Choice – 프로간장게장 Pro ganjang gejang

Ganjang gejang is pretty expensive meal. Despite its high price, it is extremely popular among Japanese and Chinese tourists. Pro ganjang gejang is one of the biggest ganjang gejang restaurants in Seoul. Location is easy to find. Plus you don’t have to make a reservation to dine here. But taste is not so great and price is expensive.

Local’s choice is Jinmi sikdang. It is a very small crab house located in the corner of mapo. And you must make a reservation especially in lunch time. Many mapo employee make reservations here to have ganjang gejang. Taste is great, side dishes are great, and also it is expensive.

Second menu is 삼계탕 Samgyetang [Korean Chicken Soup]

>Local’s Choice – 토속촌 tosokchon, Homemade or Nearest Samgyetang restaurant

>Tourist’s Choice – 토속촌 tosokchon, 진옥화할매원조닭한마리 Jinokhwa halmae wonjo

dakhanmari/Jinokhwa Samgyetang

We found a menu that is popular among both locals and tourists. Tosokchon is always crowded with its visitors. Located right next to Gyeongbokgung and famous for its Hanok(Korean Traditional house) style. Soup is very heavy and thick, not transparent because they boil it more than 12 hours. They use young chicken to mild the taste. Other than Tosokchon locals prefer to have samgyetang in their home. But for tourists, Jinokhwa halmae wonjo dakhanmari was pretty popular. It has totally different style of what tosokchon has. Clear soup and lighter taste, and you can get noodle after chicken soup.

Here’s more comparison between locals and tourists along with the menu.

설렁탕 Seolleongtang

Local’s Choice – 영동설렁탕Yeongdong Seolleongtang, 마포양지설렁탕Mapoyangji Seolleongtang, 이남장 Illamjang 등

Tourist’s Choice – 신선설렁탕 Sinseon Seolleongtang

Korean BBQ

Local’s Choice – 서초사리원 Seocho Sariwon, 버드나무집 Budnamujip, 우래옥 Woo Lae Ok

Tourist’s Choice – 서서갈비 SeoSeo galbi, 왕비집 Wangbijib

Overall, locals prefer restaurants that are focusing on the taste only, near their place. But some of them are harder to get found by tourists. Tourists’ favorite restaurants are located not far from major station or famous location. Some of the locals’ favorite restaurants are not prepared for tourists or serving people in different languages.

For those who want to have local-local food, why don’t you book oppa for a tour and ask for help to book where you want to go.