Exploring Korea: The ultimate guide to visiting Tongbok Traditional Market in Pyeongtaek

Photos by ChiHon Kim
Photos by ChiHon Kim

Exploring Korea: The ultimate guide to visiting Tongbok Traditional Market in Pyeongtaek

by ChiHon Kim
Stripes Korea

Tongbok Traditional Market is one of the biggest in southern Gyeonggi-do and is the place to go for cheap eats and local culture. Fortunately, this grand market in South Korea is only a short 10-minute-walk from Pyeongtaek Station.

I enjoy heading to the market for the ambiance and the many street foods I can try without breaking the bank. No idea what or where to eat? Check out some of my favorites below!


Address: [Tongbok market public parking lot] 경기 평택시 통복시장로 23 통복시장 공영주차장, NAVER MAP
How to get there: Take bus #20 at the bus stop near the Camp Humphreys Walk-in gate and get off at Tongbok Market. (25min). 
Parking fee: Short term parking: The market parking lot offers free parking for 1.5 hours to support local businesses, 500 won (2 hours), 1,000 won (2.5 hrs.), 300 won (per 10 min after the initial 2.5 hours.), Long term parking: 8,000 won (daily rate)


Yennal Wangmandu

If you are looking for delicious dumplings in this market, your first stop should be Yennal Wangmandu (나완석 옛날 왕만두). This dumpling spot located right across Nonghyup Bank is a well-known place to get your dumpling fix at a pocket-friendly price!

What makes Yennal Wangmandu different from other dumpling places is its pleasantly chewy wrappers made of the perfect combination of wheat flour and glutinous rice flour.

Try the Gogi Wangmandu, a dumpling filled with steaming hot, sweet, and savory pork or their fried shrimp dumplings. Most of the dumplings come five to six to an order, and range in price from 4,000 won ($3.45) to 5,000 won. They also offer twisted sweet rice bread, savory croquette, and fermented bread. No matter what you grab, you can’t go wrong at this spot.

Address: 52, Tongbok-ro, Pyeongtaek-si (ENG), 경기 평택시 통복로 52 (KOR), NAVER MAP
Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Closed randomly without notice - biweekly) Visit during the week to avoid the weekend lines.
Phone: 010-8481-9595


Mom’s Noodles

If you love Korean food but are on a budget, then Mom’s Noodles (아줌마 칼국수) is the place for you. Kalguksu (knife-cut noodle soup) is the specialty at this joint, but their bibimbap at a cool 4,000 won is also worth a try. You don’t have to pay a lot or travel to Jeonju for some quality bibimbap because Mom’s has you covered.

This spot also has cheonggukjang, kongguksu, red bean kalguksu, and patjuk on their seasonal menu. Bring cash because they do not take electronic payments.

Address: 경기 평택시 통복시장로21번길 29, NAVER MAP
Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Closed on Sunday)


Pho Vietnam

After an appearance on a Korean TV show, Pho Vietnam (40호 베트남 쌀국수) has quickly become famous in the neighborhood’s Vietnamese food scene. Always bustling with people, diners here are greeted with menus and a hoisin sauce on the table, as it’s practically a given that you’ll be ordering their famous hot noodles.

For only 5,000 won a bowl, you get generous portions of meat, vegetables, and noodles swimming in perfectly seasoned broth. Another great thing about this place: Nothing on the menu costs more than 7,000 won.

Address: 경기 평택시 통복시장2로9번길 7, NAVER MAP
Hours: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Closed every Tuesday)



Located near a spicy food alley, YNhi (이니) is another good place for Vietnamese food lovers. Compared to other Vietnamese food spots in this market, menu items here are a little pricier, but the authentic food is worth it. With so many great options, you’ll want to avoid tough decisions. If you’re looking for something other than classic pho, try the bun bo hue, a spicy Vietnamese beef noodle soup, or bun thit nuong, Vietnamese rice noodles with grilled meat.

YNhi’s bo lui, a clay-pot chicken bobbing with quail eggs, and bo la lot, grilled beef wrapped in betel leaf, are also great choices. Across from this restaurant, TRAM PHO (짬베트남 쌀국수) serves up a mean bun rieu, a crab noodle soup, or bahn xeo, a Vietnamese crepe, if you’re in the mood for something different.

Address: 경기 평택시 통복로 67, NAVER MAP
Hours: (Closed every Tuesday)


Giunne Kimbap

Try kkoma kimbap, a beloved seaweed-wrapped rice roll filled with a variety of delicious fillings at Giunne Kimbap (기운네 김밥), a place that’s been doing it for over 40 years. You’ll find this spot near the parking lot.

Kkoma kimbap (or “kid kimbap” or “mini kimbap”) is a small version of a regular kimbap. It’s smaller in size, so you can enjoy them in one bite, which is why the roll is loved by Koreans. Kimbap here is made-to-order, with regular fillings including carrots, spinaches, pickled radish, and eggs. Though the tiny rice rolls might look ordinary, don’t let looks fool you — there is a melody of flavor made by the sesame oil and fresh ingredients in every bite.

Address: 경기 평택시 통복시장로13번길 19-1, NAVER MAP
Hours: Weekday 4 a.m. to 8 p.m., Weekends 2 a.m. to 8 p.m. (Last order 7:30 p.m., Closed on Monday)


Yennal Dakgangjeong

Whenever I visit this market, I make sure to grab some dakgangjeong, delicious sweet and sour chicken. There are two dakgangjeong places in this market and Yennal Dakgangjeong (옛날 닭강정) is one of them. The thin batter here is made of rice not wheat, so the texture of the sweet chicken is crisp on the outside.

They have three flavor options: sweet, spicy, and sweet soy sauce. Choose a small size (7,000 won) if you’re saving space for other foods at the market. You’ll want to grab a medium-size (12,000 won) if you’re not eating by yourself. The large size (15,000 won) is perfect for sharing with a small family or group of friends. 

Address: 경기 평택시 통복시장2로 9, NAVER MAP
Hours: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.


Ddookddak Gangjung

Head to the center of the market for another great sweet and sour chicken spot, Ddookddak Gangjung (뚝닥뚝닭 강정). They offer different flavors like spicy, sweet and sesame. Unlike Yennal Dakgangjeong, their to-go box has two options. The big size costs you 15,000 won, and if you want to just sample them, choose a small order for 7,000 won.

What makes this place different from Yennal Dakgangjeong is its batter. Ddookddak’s chicken batter is a little bit thicker and has a more cushiony texture. Many compare these two chicken places, but personally, I lean more to the Ddookddak’s chicken. Grab the best of both worlds and order a half spicy- half sweet order for an extra 1,000 won.

Address: 경기 평택시 통복로 50-2, NAVER MAP
Hours: (Open year-round)


Ddangs Budaejjigae

Love hot boiling spicy sausage stew (or army base stew)? Ddangs Budaejjigae, just a few steps away from Ddookddak Gangjung, offers a great packet of ingredients to make budaejjigae. From bacon, tofu, stocks and greens, to a slice of cheese, sausage and sauce, Ddangs Budaejjigae (땅스 부대찌개) is a famous food chain store that provides everything you need to cook army stew at home.

For a mere 9,900 won, grab your budaejjigae kit and have plenty for leftovers or to share with two or three people. Upgrade your stew with extras they offer like bacon, noodles, and dumplings at a reasonable price.

Address: 경기 평택시 통복시장2로 4-1, NAVER MAP
Hours: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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