Where to eat Mandu in Seoul | Best Korean Food

I’d like to introduce a traditional Korean dish, “Mandu”. I hope this will be helpful for those interested in where to eat traditional mandu during their visit to Korea and what dishes to order at mandu restaurants. Since there are plenty of resources online providing detailed information about mandu’s ingredients and nutrition, I’ll focus on sharing my experiences with popular mandu restaurants in Seoul.


Mandu Specialty Restaurants

In Korea, you can easily enjoy mandu at almost any Korean restaurant. However, the perception of mandu is often that of a side dish or a simple snack rather than a main course. Despite this, I visited a mandu specialty restaurant where mandu is served as the main dish. Traditional Korean mandu dishes can vary, including steamed mandu(찐만두), fried mandu(군만두), mandu soup(mandu-guk, 만두국), and mandu hot pot(Mandu-jeongol, 만두 전골), but the restaurant I visited offered only steamed mandu and mandu hot pot.

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Meat Mandu and Kimchi Mandu

I ordered steamed mandu, and there were two types of mandu available: meat mandu filled with pork and kimchi mandu filled with napa cabbage kimchi. The meal consisted of a total of 6 mandu, with 3 meat mandu and 3 kimchi mandu.

The filling of the meat mandu was made by grinding pork and mixing it with vegetables and glass noodles. It had a savory and juicy flavor, which was excellent.

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meat mandu


The kimchi mandu also contained meat and vegetables, but the main ingredient was kimchi. The thin mandu skin(만두피) with the red filling enhanced the flavor. While it had a slightly spicy taste along with the crunchy texture of cabbage kimchi, it was not too spicy as it was steamed.

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Kimchi mandu


Differences Between Bibigo Mandu and Gaeseong Mandu

Bibigo mandu, a convenient frozen food exported overseas, typically features a small and elongated shape.

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On the other hand, traditional Korean mandu has a round shape, slightly smaller than an adult male fist. Unlike factory-produced ones, these are handcrafted daily by restaurant owners who prepare fresh ingredients and fill them into thin mandu skins, offering a harmonious blend of flavors and various textures. Moreover, they are generously filled, making them suitable even as a meal on their own. In Korea, this style of mandu is commonly referred to as ‘Gaeseong Mandu.’ While ‘Gaeseong’ refers to a location in North Korea, Gae Sung Mandu is now a popular dish enjoyed in South Korea.


Soy Sauce Dip

The soy sauce used as a dipping sauce for mandu is different from the soy sauce used in Korean cuisine for seasoning. It’s specially made for mandu, with a tangy and sweet flavor. Some people also like to add chili pepper paste according to their preference.

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Half and Half

In Korea, when ordering food, there’s an option called ‘Half and half,’ similar to the mandu menu I ordered. The ‘Half and half’ menu alleviates the difficulty of choosing between two desired dishes by offering both options in small portions, creating one meal.

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The ‘half and half’ mandu I ordered


For example, when you visit a Korean chicken restaurant, you may choose between crispy fried chicken or sweet and spicy Yangnyeom Chicken. However, if you want to enjoy both, you can opt for the ‘Half and half’ menu, which includes half of each flavor. Similarly, at a Chinese restaurant, you might find ‘Jjam-Jja-Myeon(짬짜면),’ a dish combining half Jajangmyeon(자장면) and half Jjamppong (짬뽕). In a Korean restaurant, you may encounter a menu offering half Bulgogi (불고기) and half Jeyuk Bokkeum (제육복음), providing a variety of flavors in one order. It’s a convenient option for those who can’t decide between two great choices.


Where to eat Mandu in Seoul

“개성 손 만두 요리 전문점”

The restaurant I visited is called ‘개성 손 만두 요리 전문점.’ Although I visited it in Incheon, a city next to Seoul, it’s a well-known franchise, so it’s easily accessible in Seoul, frequented by foreign tourists. As it’s not heavily advertised to tourists but rather popular among locals for authentic Korean cuisine, finding an officially translated English name was challenging. However, for easy search on maps, you can simply copy and paste ‘개성 손 만두 요리 전문점.’ It’s searchable on Google Maps, Apple Maps, or even Korea’s Naver Maps.

< “개성 손 만두 요리 전문점” on Google maps >

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mandu on Google maps


< “개성 손 만두 요리 전문점” on Naver maps >

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mandu on Naver maps


< “개성 손 만두 요리 전문점” on Apple maps >

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mandu on Apple maps


Today, I introduced you to Gaesung handmade mandu Specialty Restaurant where I tried. Next time, I’ll share my review of mandu hot pot(Mandu-jeongol, 만두 전골), where you can enjoy delicious mandu soaked in a piping hot broth and wrap up with Kalguksu noodles(칼국수). Thank you!


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