Oraegage Part 1 – Seochon’s Eateries
See & Do Tours
This past winter had been especially harsh and cold.
If you’ve spent the last few months cooped up in your house, it’s high time you start getting out more as the weather starts warming up. How about some Oraegage stores to jumpstart your trip outside?
Oraegage was a project that started from the hope that Seoul would have more stores that would endure over 100 – maybe even 1,000 – years. The term “Oraegage” was coined so endearingly by the citizens of Seoul, wishing for old stores to last a long time. Throughout the Jongno and Euljiro district, exactly 39 stores have been designated as Oraegage stores after passing strict requirements of either having been in business for over 30 years or having been passed down through at least two generations.
Start the trek outside by visiting Naeja Peanuts. The freshly baked, crispy snack draws in passing pedestrians with its sweet, alluring scent.
Famous for its senbei (Bukkumi), a type of Japanese snack, Naeja Peanuts starts the day early, opening its doors at 7am, tempting both salary men and students en route their morning commute.
Because it is a cottage industry, where snacks are produced using homemade methods, Naeja Peanuts is only able to produce 120 bags a day. From those seeking the nostalgic taste of senbei to those seeking alternative health snacks, this store continues to attract customers of all ages. Grab a bag of Naeja Peanuts before starting the journey through Seochon.
111-1 Sajik-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
After some appetizers at Naeja Peanuts, it’s time to move on to something a little more filling. Famous for its mayak gimbap, Seochon’s Sonmat Gimbap is the next place on our itinerary. Unlike other snack shacks (bunshik shops) that sell a wide range of food, visitors will see that Sonmat Gimbap has only one thing on its menu: its deliciously bite-sized, one-of-a-kind gimbap.
One roll of gimbap costs only 2,000 won. This cheap and tasty gimbap can also be bought with tokens from the Tongin Market. On Friday nights, over 1,000 customers can be seen stopping by this shop just to buy the delicious gimbap, which only goes to show just how extremely popular this shop is for their food.
18 Jahamun-ro 15-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
This bakery is famous for its long lines. Visitors passing by might have seen the line and wondered what it was for. So, exactly what’s so special about Hyoja Bakery?
Well, this bakery is full of bread you can't find anywhere else. Cornbread, Onion Soboro, Fig Sourdough, and Garlic Cream Bread are some of the popular ones that have made this bakery famous. Cheongwadae, the Blue House, has been ordering cake from this shop for the past 25 years too. If visiting Seochon, stopping by this bakery is a definite must! Be sure to grab a bunch of those delicious bread too!
54 Pirundae-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
After filling up your stomach, it’s time to walk it all off by having a look around the area.
Although Seochon is well known and popular among visitors, it wasn’t always so. Just a few years back, the empty streets and old buildings made it seem like the whole area was stuck in the past. Now, with all the new stores opening up in the neighborhood, this place has been drawing in even more visitors charmed by the how well the past and present merges together harmoniously in the area.
Riding the Green Bus No. 09 from the pavilion will take you directly to Suseongdong Valley. After getting off at Suseongdong Valley, visitors are recommended to come down the road, hitting most of the small galleries and workshops along its route.
Walking around a lot, eating good food, and experiencing many different things can be very replenishing for the soul. Due to how the 39 Oraegage stores are concentrated and within easy reach of all the major attractions, it’s highly recommended that visitors take the time this spring to leisurely explore these parts.
For more information about Oraegage: