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Get Your Appetite Back with the Taste of Seoul

Published Date : Aug 17, 2022 / Edited Date : Oct 18, 2022
Get Your Appetite Back with the Taste of Seoul

In Korea, there's a saying that goes, “In mid-summer, even a grain of cooked rice on the lips feels heavy.” It refers to the fact that people get exhausted easily, and putting up with even the smallest things, like a grain of rice, becomes arduous. This is why Koreans are eager to eat various energy-boosting foods in the summer: to regain vigor and strength. The rejuvenating dishes vary in the type of ingredients, from different meats and seafood, to cooking methods, whether it's a simple noodle dish or a steaming hot soup.

If you have lost your appetite or feel a bit lethargic due to the increasing summer heat, make sure you peruse through some of the tasty options below. Today, we introduce Seoul’s four flavors of summer that will help you beat the heat, bring back your appetite, and boost your energy.

Nampo Myeonok, the True Taste of Pyeongyang Naengmyeon

It wasn’t anything special at first. I couldn’t figure out what was so good about these bland-tasting noodles. The next day, though, that "bland taste" came to mind, and I found myself going back for seconds, thirds, and more. I couldn't get enough of Pyeongyang naengmyeon (cold buckwheat noodles done in the Pyeongyang tradition). It was no longer a bland dish. Those who love Pyeongyang naengmyeon often say they became huge fans of the dish for its perfect balance between the light, clean meat broth and buckwheat noodles.

The streets of Eulji-ro, Seoul, are always busy with a constant stream of foot traffic coming from densely packed office buildings and Myeong-dong, the shopping district of the capital. Nampo Myeonok is a traditional North Korean-style eatery that serves Pyeongyang naengmyeon. The hand-stained signboard and the beautiful hanok interior spell out how long the restaurant has remained in place. The fact that it has made it on to the Michelin Guide for six consecutive years, along with the many signatures left by former presidents, prove how celebrated the place is.

The most distinctive feature of the Pyeongyang naengmyeon served at Nampo Myeonok lies in the meat broth, which presents a refreshing taste by adding dongchimi (radish water kimchi) to the typical meat broth. At Nampo Myeonok, dongchimi is made every day and is closely monitored by the date of pickling. No wonder it is the greatest pride of Nampo Myeonok! Back during the Joseon Dynasty, Pyeongyang naengmyeon broth was different by season: pheasant broth in the summer and dongchimi broth in winter. The neatly-placed noodles simply garnished at the center of the clean and clear broth portray the traditional beauty of Korea.

Nampo Myeonok offers not only Pyeongyang naengmyeon, but other menu items, including mandu (dumplings), galbitang (short rib soup), and eobok jaengban (a sort of platter with boiled slices of meat). As the season climbs toward the height of summer, there are times when we are worn out by the heat that even eating feels tiresome. That moment is the perfect time for a bowl of one of the great delicacy's of the summer season, naengmyeon. Try it once, and you might find yourself hooked before you know it.

  • Address 24, Eulji-ro 3-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul
  • Phone +82-2-777-3131
  • Operation Hours Mon - Fri 11:30 – 22:00 / Sat - Sun 11:30 - 21:00

Rafre Fruit, the Perfect Place for Summer Desserts

The pile of finely-shaved ice seems like a snow-covered mountain, with sweetened red beans running down from the top like magma from an active volcano and the chapssal tteok (sweet rice cake) decorates the rim of the bowl like small rocks and pebbles. The picture painted here describes patbingsu (shaved ice with sweetened red beans and other toppings), one of Korea's most beloved summer treats and desserts.

In Korea, bingsu (shaved ice) is a popular summer delight found in almost any place, from street stalls in open markets and franchise cafés, to dessert shops and even top-ranking hotels. There are plenty of varieties: the signature patbingsu; injeolmi bingsu, which is ice flakes topped with Korean traditional rice cakes; oreo bingsu, sprinkled with the famous chocolate sandwich cookie; tiramisu bingsu; and green tea bingsu. Among the different varieties, the most popular is bingsu topped with fruits, including mango, peaches, shine muscat, strawberries, and more. The combination of the shaved ice and refreshing fruits is mouthwatering - the taste of summer, indeed.

If you want to taste summer in Korea, stop by Rafre Fruit in Seongsu-dong, a dessert place that uses seasonal premium fruits as its base ingredient. At Rafre Fruit, frozen fruit and fruit syrup are not an option, and sugar cane is used instead of plain sugar. Plenty of lovely fruit desserts are available, from fruit bingsu, fruit cakes, and fruit smoothies, to fruit tarts, all made with fresh seasonal fruits. Mango bingsu, the signature menu made of Jeju-grown apple mangos, is also available in individual cups for patrons who find it too much to consume an entire bowl alone. Bingsu and cakes topped with peaches full of sweet juice are also available as a seasonal menu item in the summer.

Located at the entrance of Seoul Forest, Rafre Fruit offers a green outlook of the Forest through all of its glass windows. The outdoor terrace seats present a feeling of a mid-forest getaway, and furry friends are also welcomed. Take a walk in the leafy Seoul Forest to cool yourself from the scorching summer sun, then enjoy a sweet dessert with fresh, mouthwatering fruits. The cozy ambiance and sweet desserts only available at Rafre Fruit will comfort your weariness in the sweltering summer heat.

  • Address 8-8, Seoulsup 2-gil, Seongdong-gu, Seoul (2F)
  • Phone +82-507-1383-7415
  • Operation Hours 13:00 – 19:00 (Closed Mondays & Tuesdays)
  • Instagram @rafre_fruit

3(Sam)dae Samgyejangin, the Ultimate Summer Rejuvenator

In Korea, the dog days of heat are referred to as bok-nal, and are broken into the three periods of cho-bok (beginning), jung-bok (middle), and mal-bok (end). It has been a long-standing tradition for Koreans to head to valleys, rivers, or the oceans to escape the heat and enjoy some special nourishment to replenish their heat-exhausted bodies on these scorching days. Even today, Koreans display a quite a lot of diligence when it comes to eating healthy foods to get through the summer.

Samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup) is a traditional food made by sufficiently boiling a young chicken stuffed with glutinous rice and medicinal ingredients, including ginseng, jujube, and chesnuts. Start by deboning and eating the chicken, gulp down the warm soup, then enjoy the soft and sticky porridge-like rice one spoon at a time to the last drop. You'll feel invigorated. Today, we introduce a must-eat place for samgyetang, the classic summer energy booster to replenish your body.

Since opening in Seocho Market in 1973, 3(Sam)dae Samgyejangin has been serving samgyetang for over three generations. It is also considered a must-eat place in Seoul that has been officially certified as a baeknyeon-gage (lit. 100-year store), which is awarded to businesses that have been in operation for more than three decades and are remain successful.

Three varieties of samgyetang are available at 3(Sam)dae Samgyejangin: pine nut, mung bean, and mugwort. Another popular menu among the younger crowds is the sous vide dak bokkeum tang (spicy braised chicken). Unlike other samgyetang places that stuff the glutinous rice in the whole chicken, the rice is served separately. At about halfway through the dish, plunge the separately served glutenous rice into the soup to enjoy the rest of the bowl as sweet, chewy rice porridge. As a heads up, you should expect long waits on special days, including during the bok-nal period.

If you’re feeling worn out by the summer heat, get yourself a bowl of samgyetang, one of the most popular energy boosters in Korea. Gobble down an entire bowl at 3(Sam)dae Samgyejangin and you'll be recharged, ready to go!

  • Address 56-3, Banpo-daero 28-gil, Seocho-gu, Seoul (1F)
  • Phone +82-2-522-2270
  • Operation Hours Open Daily 10:30 – 21:40 (Break Time 15:30 – 16:30)
  • Instagram @cangweon9366
  • Tip 1-hour free parking

Yonggeumok, a Place for an Exceptionally Healthy Dish

If you’re not a meat-eater or want to taste more of a unique type of energy-giving food, pay a visit to ‘Yonggeumok’ famous for chueotang (loach soup). Located in Jongno-gu, Yonggeumok is a long-standing restaurant that has continued to serve chueotang since opening in 1932. Having been listed on the Michelin Bib Gourmand multiple times, Yonggeumok is already a well-known eatery in Seoul.

Traces of time are evident at the entrance of Yonggeumok. Once stepping into the restaurant, you will feel comforted by the elegance and coziness of hanoks. Patrons can choose between either floor seating or tables, whichever fits best to enjoy your meal to the fullest.

Two types of chueotang are available at Yonggeumok: the “Seoul-style whole" chueotang, where loaches in their entirety are boiled into something more like fish soup; and the “Namdo-style" chueotang that boils pureed or ground loaches for a soft and savory flavor. Unlike the common chueotang, the Seoul-style version offers a fresh yet rich flavor. Another delicacy to recommend is deep-fried loaches, where whole loaches are fried and crisply-served to your table.

Enjoy a bowl of energy-boosting chueotang prepared with high-quality ingredients and a caring heart at Yonggeumok, where they keep to their tradition of tasty recipes. Just one bowl will be enough to help get you through the rest of summer.

  • Address 41-2, Jahamun-ro, Jongno-gu, Seoul
  • Phone +82-2-777-4749
  • Operation Hours 11:30 – 21:30 (Break Time 15:00 – 17:00 | Closed Sundays)
  • Website

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※ This article is dated August 2022. Business operations and business hours may change according to government quarantine guidelines. Please check before visiting.


# Rafre Fruit # korean summer food #3dae Samgyejangin #Nampo Myeonok #seoul korean restaurants # Yonggeumok

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  • ご希望の日付及びコースに活動可能な解説士がいない場合、予約はキャンセルされることがあります。
  • 予約を確認するため、徒歩観光事務局(02-6925-0777)で確認のための連絡が行われます。
  • 解説を進行する時に発生する安全事故に対し、徒歩観光事務局とソウル文化観光解説士は
  • PM 2.5(ピーエムにてんご)の非常低減措置発令及びその他の気象悪化(猛暑、台風、暴雨など)によって
  • 观光日基准最少3日前方可进行预约。
  • 最多可以预约3个人。
  • 在已登记的预约团体中,只接待不超过预约人数的团体,可在前一天17时前追加预约。
  • 下个月的预约可从前一月15日开始。
  • 参加徒步观光解说活动时必须佩戴口罩。
  • 如有发热或呼吸道症状(发烧、咳嗽、痰液、肌肉痛、鼻塞、咽喉痛等),请避免参与解说活动。
  • 活动开始前将进行体温测试,超过37.5度者将被限制参与解说活动。
  • 无保护者随同的未满14岁儿童游客,会在现场取消解说活动。
  • 因发布微尘紧急低减措施及其他气象恶化(暴热、台风、暴雨等)无法运营徒步观光解说活动时,所有预约会批量取消。(观光前日基准)
  • 对于解说活动中发生的安全事故,首尔徒步解说旅游事务局和首尔文化观光解说社不予负责。
  • 观光日基准最少1日前方可进行预约。
  • 本线路是为了行动不便者(行动不便的高龄者、残疾人、婴儿车利用者等)的路线。
  • 无辅助人员(或同行人)伴随时,不可利用。
    ※ 步行不便者1名至少需要1名以上的辅助人员陪同。
    ※ 电动辅助器具(电动轮椅、电动独轮车等)使用者时,每一位辅助人员最多可陪同 4名步行不便者。
  • 希望观光的日期及线路上无解说员时,预约有可能被取消。
  • 为了确认预约,徒步观光事务局(02-6925-0777)会致电进行确认。
    (最少5日~一个月前) 3次以上无法连接时,预约将被取消。
  • 进行解说时,对于有可能发生的安全事故,徒步观光事务局和首尔文化观光解说员概不负责。
  • 因发布微尘紧急低减措施及其他气象恶化(暴热、台风、暴雨等),无法运营 徒步观光时,所有预约会批量取消。
  • 最晚請於預約日期3天前完成預約。
  • 最多可以预约3个人。
  • 已完成預約的團體若人數超過限制,可於前一天下午5點前追加預約。
  • 每月15日將開放下個月的預約。
  • 參與解說觀光時請務必佩戴口罩。
  • 若有發燒或呼吸道症狀(發燒、咳嗽、咳痰、肌肉酸痛、鼻塞、喉嚨痛),請避免參與本活動。
  • 活動開始前將進行體溫測量。若體溫超過37.5度,將無法參與本活動。
  • 未有保護者同行的未滿14歲兒童遊客,會在現場取消參與資格。
  • 因發布微塵緊急降低措施及其他天氣惡化(暴熱、台風、豪雨等),無法進行徒步觀光時,所有預約將取消。(預約日期前日基準)
  • 進行解說時,對於有可能發生的安全事故,首爾徒步解說觀光事務局和首爾文化觀光解說員概不負責。
  • 觀光日基準最少1日前方可進行預約。
  • 本線路是為了行動不便者(行動不便的高齡者、殘疾人、嬰兒車利用者等)的路線。
  • 無輔助人員(或同行人)伴隨時,不可利用。
    ※ 步行不便者1名至少需要1名以上的輔助人員陪同。
    ※ 電動輔助器具(電動輪椅、電動獨輪車等)使用者時,每壹位輔助人員最多可陪同 4名步行不便者。
  • 希望觀光的日期及線路上無解說員時,預約有可能被取消。
  • 為了確認預約,徒步觀光事務局(02-6925-0777)會致電進行確認。
    (最少5日~壹個月前) 3次以上無法連接時,預約將被取消。
  • 進行解說時,對於有可能發生的安全事故,徒步觀光事務局和首爾文化觀光 解說員概不負責。
  • 因發布微塵緊急低減措施及其他氣象惡化(暴熱、臺風、暴雨等),無法運營 徒步觀光時,所有預約會批量取消。 (觀光前日基準)