Eating Toasted Octopus Chips At The Ssamziegil Market
Buried in the heart of Seoul's cultural village of Insadong is the striking postmodern structure of Ssamziegil Market, an open-air shopping plaza housing the best of both modern and traditional South Korea. It's a local haunt for the most part, meaning this complex boasts a rooftop tea house and garden instead of a Starbucks--although there are plenty other Starbucks in Seoul--and thrives on locally-grown, seasonal goods.
From the traditional pajon, a seafood pancake eaten during rainy weather, to toasted octopus chips to fish-shaped sweet bean pastries called bungeoppang, Ssamziegil offers a capsule of unique Korean flavors guaranteed to help you reach your gastronomic goals.
Lately, Ssamziegil has been overrun with Seoulites desperate to test out their new SLR cameras as the hobby of photography takes on legendary trend status. Places which were once a simple piece of their everyday lives are being re-examined through macro lenses, meaning that furious picture taking is very welcome here. As an emerging center of creative inspiration and one of Seoul's best places for sampling a little bit of everything, Ssamziegil Market is experiencing a mini cultural renaissance.
Insider Tip: Finding the market on your own can be an adventure in itself, but telling a taxi to take you to Insadong, which has one main street, is step number one. At each end of the street are little booths with free visitor maps of the area, and from there it's only a few winding alleys away.
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