Killer Korean Mandu Dumplings in Insadong!

By Mark Wiens 20 Comments
Korean Mandu Dumplings
Korean Mandu Dumplings

Insadong is a very touristy area in Seoul, yet there’s also loads of local Korean business professionals that flock to the area for lunch.

One tiny little restaurant down a small alleyway off Insadong’s walking street gets more than its share of customers, a line of hungry people willing to wait for their mandu dumplings.

Since I sometimes judge a restaurant by the people eating there, and this time I knew it would be a great idea to join the line and get a taste for myself.

Waiting for my dumplings in Insadong
Waiting for my dumplings in Insadong

Let me tell you: The wait was worth it.

Their menu was simple, a few dishes and soups, but it appeared the majority came to eat nothing other than their wondrous Korean mandu dumplings.

The kitchen was set half inside and half spilling onto the walkway where porky fumes of steam were released.

The mandu mixed platter!
The mandu mixed platter!

With just about all South Korean food in Seoul, tantalizing food photographs of the items on their menu were plastered all over the walls of the eatery, making it simple to point and choose what to order.

Not being able to make the decision between deep fried or steamed dumplings, I was pleased to find the mixed mandu platter on their menu.

Cutting up the dumplings with my scissors!
Cutting up the dumplings with my scissors!

While some menus with arousing food photos of their dishes can be deceiving, at this Insadong mandu joint, the food was even more attractive in reality than in the photo-shopped images on the menu!

Within seconds, my plate of dumplings arrived at the bar-like communal table I was sitting at. The dumplings were huge, almost croissant sized.

Price for the platter: 7,000 Won

Steamed Korean Mandu
Steamed Korean Mandu

Each and every dumpling appeared to be flawlessly made, it was indeed obvious the ladies forming the mandu knew a few things about sealing a dumpling!

How to get there:

I’m not sure of the name of this place, but here’s how to get there.

First get to Insadong’s walking street by taking the subway to Anguk Station, Exit #6.

Somewhere in the middle of the walking street, turn down the alley at Insadong 9-gil. You’ll see the mandu restaurant about 20 meters down the alleyway.

Arrive at lunch for the best meal!


View Migrationology World Map in a larger map

20 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Yuna

    3 years ago

    This sounds really worth trying. Should try it when I arrive in Seoul. 🙂 *drooling*

  • Wendy

    4 years ago

    Hi Mark
    In 2013, We ate Mandu here just because of the look of joy on your face when you ate it. You were dead on the recommendation, mandu was incredible! We have talked about it for 2 years. We are headed back to Seoul Sept 2015 and Bukchon Mandu Is one of the first places we will go. Love your website.

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Hey Wendy, thank you very much, and so glad to hear you tried this mandu. That makes me really want to eat it as well! Hope you have a good upcoming trip.

  • Bainun

    4 years ago

    Hi Mark,

    I will go to Korea for student exchange at Sejong University for one years. Just afraid about how to survive in Korea..Do you have any tips to start survive in this country?

    Thanks and adios!

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Hey Bainun, good to hear you’ll be going to South Korea. It’s a great country, and I think living there is quite convenient, I don’t think you’ll have any problem. Just make sure you eat lots of delicious food. You’re going to be fine!

  • John Willoughby

    4 years ago

    Kudos to you Mark for recommending this restaurant. Just got back from a trip to Korea with my wife… we went to both this mandoo house and another on the opposite side of the walking street and back toward the train station… Both are outstanding! Just watching you eat made my mouth start watering so bad that I called my wife and told her not to unpack her bags!

    • Mark Wiens

      4 years ago

      Haha, thanks for sharing John. Glad you enjoyed the food and your time in Seoul!

  • Ayngelina

    7 years ago

    I prefer a really small menu, even places that only sell one thing. I say make what you are best at and stop there. I don’t need choices that aren’t as good.

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      I agree Ayngelina, better to have a small menu with perfected dishes than a large mediocre menu… also it’s just easier to choose what to eat!

  • Maria

    7 years ago

    Why do I read your posts? WHY!?! They always make me salivate.

    Keep it up!

    Sincerely, You’re Pavlovian dog

    PS: The map is a fantastic addition to the post

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      Thank you Maria! I appreciate you checking out my articles and glad to know that the maps are a great addition!

  • Rachel

    7 years ago

    Oh man, I’m totally going here immediately! Thanks, Mark!

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      Great Rachel, let me know what you think about it!

      • Rachel

        7 years ago

        Ok, the place is called Bukchon Son (Handmade) Mandu – the script on the sign is really stylized so it was hard to tell! Anyway, it was tasty! The mandu are huge there! I really loved the fried ones. Next time you’re in Seoul you should try JSP Wangmandu which is right outside of Jongno-3-ga exit 5. I think their steamed dumplings are just a bit better.

        • Mark Wiens

          7 years ago

          Cool, awesome to hear you went Rachel. I think I actually saw that other place for mandu right out the Jongno-3-ga exit and I took a photo, but didn’t eat there. I was very tempted though – hopefully next time. Thanks for sharing!

  • Lauren, Ephemerratic

    7 years ago

    Yum. You are making me want to head back to South Korea. Or at least to the towns south of San Francisco, where we have good enough Korean food to provide a fix!

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      Thanks for checking this out Lauren. Yah, I know there’s some authentic and delicious Korean food in California too!

  • Jeff

    7 years ago

    I’m definitely going to try this place out. The best mandu I’ve found in Korea so far is only a couple blocks from this place!

    • Mark Wiens

      7 years ago

      Ah cool, let me know how you like this place!