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Gyeongju Restaurants & Dining

Where and What to Eat in Gyeongju

Gyeongju is a beautiful coastal city in the North Gyeongsang province in South Korea. From numerous cultural and historical sites to various activities, not to mention a plethora of restaurants where you can enjoy the cuisine of your choice, Gyeongju has a lot to offer visitors.

The city is famous for a number of signature dishes including hwangnam-ppang, also known as Gyeongju bread which is a specialty here.

The cuisine at Gyeongju is salty and spicy; and one of the most popular local specialties here is ssambap. Ssambap is a rice dish served with a number of small side dishes known as banchan, and condiments such as ssamjang or gochujang, with vegetable leaves to wrap them all together.

There are a number of specialist restaurants in Gyeongju that you should visit if you want to experience the real taste of the place.

Some of the other popular dishes available here are Haejangguk, a soup meant to cure hangovers and Muk, a traditional Korean dish. Owing to their popularity among the locals, these dishes are served by most of the restaurants in an around the city.

And finally, Gyeongju is also popular for its coffee and tea houses that make for great places where you can spend some time relaxing and hanging out with your friends.

Let's now move on to the some of the most recommended restaurants, coffee houses, and teahouses in Gyeongju.

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Ah Sa Ga Teahouse

Teahouses are a specialty in Gyeongju, and if you are a tea connoisseur, you should definitely not miss out on the Traditional Korean Tea experience. Ah Sa Ga Teahouse is a popular place located on the Bonhwang-ro Culture street. Apart from exquisite varieties of teas, Ah Sa Ga sells tea sets as well.

The building is in traditional hanok style, and their rooms have a rustic touch due to being decorated with handmade paper, wood crafts, or calligraphy. Visitors here love the Malcha powdered green tea and the Ujeon green tea the most.

  • Location: Bonhwang-ro, Gyeongju-si Gyeongsangbuk-do
  • Cuisine: Korean
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Baru Vegetarian Restaurant

There are not a lot of options for vegetarians in Korea but Baru restaurant specializes in the traditional vegetarian Korean cuisine known as sachal umshik, which has long been associated with Buddhist temples.

  • Opening Hours: 12.00 - 21.00 closed on Fridays
  • Location: 874-3 Seoak-dong, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
  • Cuisine: Korean (Vegetarian)
  • Price Range: 10,000 - 15,000 won
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Beak Nyeon Cha Jip

The Beak Nyeon Cha Jip, also known as the 100 Years Teahouse, is situated on the ridge of Mt. Tohamsan, which is a 30-minute drive from the heart of the city. This is a great place to stop over on your way to King Munmu’s underwater tomb. The teahouse has an almost magical setting with lanterns, a koi pond, and bonsais and the interior is warm and welcoming.

You can even purchase tea cups and pots here. Make sure you try out their unusual collection of teas such as maeshil cha and ujeon green tea.

  • Location: on Mt. Tohamsan, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do, South Korea
  • Cuisine: Korean
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Cheonghakdong BBQ Duck Restaurant

Cheonghakdong BBQ Duck restaurant is another must-visit restaurant in Gyeongju that offers a number of dishes, including a two-course set of BBQ duck and pumpkin rice. This is a great place to visit if you want to enjoy non-spicy yet tasty food in Gyeongju.

  • Location: 69-1 Seobu-dong, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
  • Cuisine: Korean
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Chocolat Coffee Shop

Coffee Shops are quite popular in Gyeongju, and are the perfect place to relax after sightseeing or shopping. Chocolat Coffee Shop stands true to that purpose with its warm and welcoming interiors coupled with great coffee and homemade boutique chocolate. The homemade chocolate available here is absolutely mind blowing and makes a perfect gift.

  • Location: Near Top Mart, Hwangseong-dong, Gyeongsangbuk-do
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Dosol Maeul

The Dosol Maeul is one of the very few unassuming yet popular restaurants among tourists in Gyeongju. Dosol Maeul is situated in a beautiful traditional hanok-style home; and you are sure to get a feeling of having traveled back in time as you step into this restaurant. If you visit the restaurant during summer, you can even choose to dine outdoors.

Do not miss out the tasty banchans and the different soups available here.

  • Address: 71-2 Hwangnam-dong, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
  • Cuisine: Korean
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Kuro Ssambap Shikdang

Kuro Ssambap Shikdang restaurant is most popular for its ssambap -- and it had better be as this is the only thing available on the menu here! But don't worry, because not only is the ssambap here delicious, it also offers a variety of banchans to choose from, which means it's effectively more like a group of dishes rather than a single one.

The place is crowded -- even more so on the weekends -- with ssambap connoisseurs who have come to enjoy their ssambap with the large variety of banchans.

  • Opening Hours: 11:00 - 21:00
  • Address: 106-3, Hwangnam-dong, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
  • Cuisine: Korean

McDonald’s

Okay, we know this isn't quite the thing a tourist would look forward to when they're visiting a distant and exotic foreign land. However, just think about how many times you've wanted to grab a quick familiar snack in the middle of an excursion and were disappointed? If you're on a long trip to Gyeongju, and are tired of eating spicy -- for the Westerners at least -- Korean dishes, McDonald's will take you right back home for a few pleasant minutes. Try the shrimp burger -- it's quite popular and highly recommended.

McDonald’s is situated in the heart of downtown Gyeongju and is open 24 hours a day.

  • Opening Hours: 24 hours
  • Location: Downtown Gyeongju
  • Cuisine: American (Fast Food)
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Pranzo Italian Restaurant

Pranzo is the perfect place to visit if you are not in the mood for Korean cuisine. This Italian restaurant is quite popular amongst the western community in Gyeongju. The menu is available in Italian, Korean, and English and the interior of this restaurant is trendy and chic. You can choose from dishes such as smoked salmon salad; sepia risotto; pasta; or risotto served with olive oil sauce, tomato, or crème; carbonara pasta; and much more. A must-visit if you want a change and fancy Italian food in Gyeongju.

  • Address: 139-13 Nodong-dong, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
  • Cuisine: Italian
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Usujeong Ssambap Hanjeongshik

Another popular ssambap restaurant, Usujeong Ssambap Hanjeongshik is a casual spot best suited for those who enjoy al fresco dining. The menu is limited and the restaurant serves only a few delicious traditional dishes.

The ssambap and the rice wine, also known as dongdongju are a must-try here. Another dish that you cannot afford to miss on your visit to Usujeong Ssambap Hanjeongshik is the seafood green onion pancake known as haemul pajeon.

  • Opening Hours: 10:00 - 22:00
  • Address: 193-6 Ma-dong, Gyeongju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do
  • Cuisine: Korean
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