Lunchbox is a common name for many while the Koreans name it as Dosirak(도시락).
Personally, I couldn’t resist myself from NOT eating any Dosirak whenever I’m in Korea. Despite the fact that the content in a Dosirak might be really simple(filled with rice, kimchi, anchovies, pickles, anchovies, egg & spam); it’s funny that you will be full to the brim after eating it.
At the same time, those nostalgic feeling of your childhood would be lingering around and it’s always a sharing session with the peeps eating that meal with you. ^^
That’s the entrance of Tong-in market.
The front entrance of the market looks like any usual traditional market though..
Traditional tteok! my liking! 😀
Walked up a little more(about 50m?) and you will see this cafe entrance on your right.
A notice on how this Dosirak cafe works(click image to enlarge)
Just a quick snap on the overview of this mini cafe
There’s free drink available for you too!
But if you wish to purchase coffee/other beverages, additional charges do occurs; but there would be a discount of 500won for diners as well! ^^
Here you go. Exchange these bunch of gold coins(10 pieces) for a cost of 5,000won which comes with a Dosirak plate too
Gather your gold coins and plate, it’s time for you to have a buffet style ‘shopping’ for your meal!
If you’re unsure which are the participating stores, look out on these signboard. 🙂
Price range :
Banchan(side-dishes) cost around 500won~1,000won
Main dish: 1,000won & above
Saw a little queue and being kaypo~ ㅋㅋㅋ
*I got excited once I saw the eggroll and jeon! hahahahaha~*
I told you I couldn’t resist Spam.. 😛
Andy’s getting his tonkatsu(pork) cutlet.
If you’re wondering what’s the specialty in Tong-in market, do try Gireum tteokbokki from this halmeoni(할머니)
Instead of the usual tteokbokki being cooked in thick red pepper sauce, Gireum tteokbokki is a pan-fried version in either sesame oil or red pepper sauce.
After some walking, these are the items I had decided on:
Japchae(잡채), Sondae(순대), mini sausages, tteobokki, eggroll w cheese, spam
along with a bowl of kimchi soup(1,000won)
**Rice and soup can be purchase back at the cafe at 1,000won each.
(To be honest, I couldn’t finish my meal because it’s too filling!!! >,<)
I heard that Tong-in market was sooo closed to being shut down due to the lack of patrons; but I’m glad that they came out with this Dosirak concept and managed to salvage this historical market.
It might look a little rundown from outside to many, I believed that it does hold sentimental values to the locals though.
I would strongly recommend this cafe if you’re on a budget as well! Something different yet a unique experience to savour the different types of the local traditional market yummies. 😀
Remember to mark down this place on your itinerary on your next visit to Korea! ^^
Tongin Market (통인시장) – Website (Only in korean, Click to go in)
3, Pirundae-ro 6-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
서울특별시 종로구 필운대로6길 3 (통인동)
Weekday: 10am ~ 4pm
Saturday: 9am ~ 6pm
Closed on Sundays
PS: Cafe is on the 2nd floor.
Gyeongbokgung Station (Line 3 – Orange) Exit 2.
Walk straight for 700m and the market is on your left with a small sheltered entrance.
Walk in the market for about 50m, you will be able to see the entrance (level 1) of the Dosirak Cafe on your right. (see photo above)