SeoulCinecore Sachoom Theater
286[Restaurants next the Performance Venue] Jongno Cinecore Sachoom Theater
Finding restaurants that are as impressive as today’s performance
Cincore Sachoom Theater, the venue dedicated for “Sachoom” (“Dance, If You Love”) is in the Jongno 2(i)-ga neighborhood, the street of the youth. Jongno is one of the most historic areas in Seoul, the capital of Korea. It is the same story for the restaurants there, which includes Byeokje Galbi in Sikgaekchon of Gran Seoul near Jonggak Station, the Beautiful Tea Museum, a place in Insa-dong to experience culture and tea, and Daeryeonjip which is located in the alley beside Cincore Sachoom Theater and serves delicious bone broth noodle soup.
Restaurants next to Cinecore 3
1. Byeokje Galbi for sweet, juicy grilled marinated ribs with a delicious smell
When you walk down Jongno 2(i)-ga street to Gwanghwamun, you will pass the Bosingak Pavilion, and then you can see a red sign that says Cheongjin Sangjeomga on your right. There are nine restaurants grouped in Sikgaekchon and others in Gran Seoul. Byeokje Galbi, which was introduced in Sikgaek, a popular Korean cartoon series that explores the best restaurants in Korea, is one of these restaurants. There are many people who love the grilled ribs and cold buckwheat noodles of Byeokje Galbi. In particular, the grilled marinated ribs, scored and soaked in savory seasonings, are cooked over hardwood charcoal produced in Gangwon-do, and are perfect in their aroma and taste. Ox knee joint soup made with 100% cartilage of ox knees is also rich and tasty.
Tip for foreign travelers
As there are many offices in this area, it’s best to avoid lunch time when office workers go out. If you want to take some time to enjoy your meal, visit after 1:00 p.m. on weekdays or go on the weekend.
● Directions (starting from Cinecore): From the front gate of Cinecore, go about 100 m to the Jongno 2(i)-ga intersection and keep going about 500 m toward Jonggak. If you get off at Jonggak Station, leave from Exit 2 and go about 100 m toward Gwanghwamun to arrive at Grand Seoul Building.
● Address: 2F Gran Seoul, 33, Jong-ro, Jongno-gu (free parking for 2 hours)
● Main menu: Grilled marinated ribs 200 g KRW 48,000, Ox knee joint soup KRW 25,000, Bongpiyang cold buckwheat noodles KRW 13,000
● Opening Hours: 10:00-22:00, closed on holidays
● Inquiries: 02-2158-7972
● For foreigners: Menu with English descriptions, Western-style tables and chairs
2. Daeryeonjib for crunchy cabbage wraps and rich bone broth noodle soup
Walking down the back alleys of Jonggak and Jongno 3(sam)-ga, you will find many humble but generous restaurants. At the end of Jongno alley is 30-year-old Daeryeonjip, where many people are willing to wait in line during lunch to eat its popular dish, bone broth noodle soup. Once you step through the narrow entrance, you will see the old traces of this aged restaurant at a glance. The restaurant is one of a few Hanok-style buildings left in Jongno alley, and visitors can enjoy the warm and friendly atmosphere there.
Fresh cabbage wraps are served together with thickly sliced boiled pork slices. The chewy texture and taste are just great. The fresh yellow cabbage is topped with a slice of pork, spicy radish salad and a mixed chili and soybean paste, then wrapped and eaten. The rich bone broth noodle soup is more delicious with fermented sour kimchi.
Tip for foreign travelers
One plate of fresh cabbage wraps with pork and one bowl of bone broth noodle soup will be enough for two. If you are a group of three, you can add a seafood and green onion pancake. Actually, the more, the better.
● Directions (starting from Cinecore): From the front gate of Cinecore, go about 50 m to Geumseong Supermarket on your left (Samil-daero). Go straight for about 100 m to the right side from the supermarket to arrive at Daeryeonjip.
● Address: 37, Jongno 16-gil, Jongno-gu
● Main menu: Bone broth noodle soup KRW 7,000, Fresh cabbage wraps with pork KRW 15,000 (small), Green onion pancake KRW 9,000
● Opening Hours: 11:00-21:00, closed on Sundays
● Inquiries: 02-2265-5349
● No English menu, Both Korean- and Western-style tables and chairs available
3. The Beautiful Tea Museum, a place to enjoy tea and relax
As the center of the city is more bustling, people tend to be drawn to quiet places. There is one such place in an alley of Insa-dong intersection. It is the Beautiful Tea Museum, a place where you would want to go in secret. Stepping into this building, you will find a beautiful renovated Hanok house whose original frame was retained and a wide courtyard. The house was originally used as a tea museum, but today, most of the building is a café. In this specialized tea café, visitors can try a variety of delicious teas. In particular, there is green tea from Hadong, Gyeongsangnam-do, yellow tea from Jeju, and flower tea from Andong, Gyeongsangbuk-do. The aromatic green tea is the best-selling item here. Many regular customers come for the café’s shaved ice with green tea, which is available throughout the year. The homemade rice cakes that you can enjoy with your tea are also delicious.
Tip for foreign travelers
Takeout is not available. The Beautiful Tea Museum is in a beautiful Hanok building. It is recommended to take some time to relax and enjoy a cup of tea in this traditional Korean house.
● Directions (starting from Cinecore): At the front gate of Cinecore, turn left to pass the Jongno 2(i)-ga intersection and cross the road toward the Kumkang Jongno Branch. Go about 300 m to the Korean Traditional Craft Shop. Then walk 60 m in the alley on the left side to arrive at the Beautiful Tea Museum.
● Address: 19-11, Insadong-gil, Jongno-gu
● Main menu: Ujeon (leaf tea) KRW 10,000, Shaved ice with green tea KRW 15,000, Green tea flavored rice cakes KRW 7,000
● Opening Hours: 10:30-21:50, closed on Lunar New Year’s Day and Chuseok Holiday
● Inquiries: 02-735-6678
● Menu in English, Japanese, and Korean available, both Korean- and Western-style tables and chairs available
Alley Tour near Sachoom Theater
Even though the memories of Pimatgol are disappearing, its taste remains in Le Meilleur Jongno Town and Gran Seoul
Pimatgol was an alley that was filled with the joys and sorrows of ordinary people during the Joseon period. People of the lower classes had to hide in the alley every time a nobleman passed, usually on horseback. The name of the alley means “horse-avoiding alley.” People of the lower classes could have a bowl of rice soup and a glass of makgeolli (rice wine) in the alley. Unfortunately, the 600-year-old alley disappeared into history after an urban redevelopment project began in 2009. The alley’s restaurants, which are at least 30 years to 80 years old, were relocated to Le Meilleur Jongno Town. Among them include Seorin Nakji, a restaurant that carries on the long reputation of Mugyo-dong Octopus Alley, Cheongjinok, a restaurant that has served Seoul-style hangover soup for three generations, and Mijin, a restaurant for Korean-style buckwheat noodles.
Tip for foreign travelers
Le Meilleur Jongno Town is connected to the Gran Seoul building. On the first and second floors of Gran Seoul, there are nine well-known restaurants grouped under the title Jongno Sikgaekchon, which were also introduced in Sikgaek, a Korean cartoon series. Other than these restaurants, such as Byeokje Galbi, Busanpo Eomuk, Hanyukgam, etc., where you can have a first-hand experience of their popular menus, there are many other choices to satisfy your gastronomic needs.
● Directions (starting from Cinecore): Walk about 100 m on the right side of Cinecore and go about 500 m toward Jonggak from the Jongno 2(i)-ga intersection. From the subway, take Exit 2 and walk about 100 m toward Gwanghwamun to arrive at the Gran Seoul building. Passing the building leads to Le Meilleur Jongno Town (Pimatgol).
● Address: Le Meilleur Jongno Town, 19, Jong-ro, Jongno-gu
Written and photos by: Min Hye-gyeong (travel writer)