If you are a noodle fan, you’d definitely have to pay Myeongdong Kyoja (명동교자) a visit while in Seoul. This noodle stall started in 1964 as Jangsugang Restaurant, but later changed its name to Myeongdong Kalguksu, and finally, to Myeongdong Kyoja in 1978. Apparently, this was to differentiate itself as the original stall as many ‘copycats’ started using the same name following its success! Now, it only operates one stall in Myeongdong, Seoul, and you can easily identify it by the long queue forming outside its restaurant during meal times.
Like many well-known and established restaurants, Myeongdong Kyoja focuses a lot on the quality of its food, and is an absolutely no-frills restaurant. The ambience is simple, and the restaurant specialises in just four main dishes, which are clearly displayed at its entrance.
Myeongdong Kyoja is best known for its Kalguksu 칼국수, or Korean hand-made, knife-cut wheat floor noodles, which it first commercialised in 1966. It comes in a large bowl with broth and mandu (만두 dumplings), and is lightly garnished with minced meat and some vegetables. We ordered a bowl of this and wolfed it down in minutes! True enough, it did not disappoint. The chicken broth was rich and tasty, owing to the hours of boiling.
We also ordered a bowl of Bibimguksu 비빔국수 (Spicy noodles). It was served cold, with Myeongdong Kyoja’s special blended sauce made of sesame oil and spicy pepper paste. The noodles were topped with a generous serving of sliced cucumber.
We mixed everything together and started eating. The noodles were refreshing and extremely appetising. We dare say this was the best Bibimguksu we’d ever tasted! The sauce got a little too spicy towards the end, but that was neutralised by the Boricha 보리차 (Roasted barley tea) we had. The noodles were also served with a separate bowl of chicken broth. This bowl of cold noodles is definitely a great choice to beat the summer heat! We strongly recommend this tasty find 😀
The restaurant was very crowded, but the turnover rate was very high. Orders were taken promptly and payment was collected before the noodles arrived. We finished our entire meal in about 30 minutes, and spent 16000 won on our meal.
This place is popular with both locals and tourists alike, so be sure to beat the crowd by heading there early and getting yourself a seat! 🙂
Myeongdong Kyoja 명동교자
Add: 25-2 Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Tel: +82 2-776-5348
Directions: Take the subway to Myeongdong Station (Line 4), Exit 8. Upon exiting the station, turn left onto Myeongdong 10-gil. Walk straight for about 200m and Myeongdong Kyoja will be on your right.
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