No matter how skilled the interior designer is, it is no easy task to create the traces that slowly deposited over time. In Jeju, you can find small and quaint joints with their own stories that are easy to pass unnoticed. From the talk of the town on social media to places that welcome solo visitors, here are some vintage eateries of Jeju. (Article by Visit Jeju)
Yangga Hyeongje: “Authentic” Hand-made from Start to Finish
The owners fell in love with Jeju, and established themselves in Cheongsu-ri when they looked for a place to create a new hamburger brand. The building served as a village hall in Cheongsu-ri’s Pyeonghwa-dong, constructed by government and villagers’ united financial effort. Before the hamburger joint started, it was a valuable place where the residents gathered to carry out various village matters. The owners thought this process resembled hamburgers, that anyone from anywhere in the world can enjoy together, and maintained the exterior design as well as the flooring, front sign, and the signboard with names of everyone who pitched in to build the town hall.
Their belief in creating everything from scratch is embodied in the patties and the buns they grill and bake every day. Aside from a few that aren’t available on the island, all the ingredients are sourced within Jeju. From the burgers to side dishes, everything on the menu is hand-made: their signature Yang Burger, the typical BLT Gyeong Burger, Sick (Cheese) Burger that pairs well with beer, and Giljong Burger including avocado are sold daily with the limit of 200 per day.
[Address] 3, Cheongsu-dong 8-gil, Hangyeong-myeon, Jeju-si, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province
[Operation] Closed every Thursday, Break 15:00 ~ 16:00 (Last order at 18:30)
Jeju Acupuncture Soba (Aurora Foods): Unique Sign and Incredible Flavor
If you walk by without paying attention, you might not notice this soba shop. Mesmerized by the special vibe at “Jeju Acupuncture,” a legacy in Ido-dong, the owners persuaded the acupuncturist for five years to open this shop. The owner chef, who used to cook Japanese cuisine in Seoul for a long time, realized that Jeju lacked a specialty shop that only sold soba. They developed and sell their own Korean-style soba broth that maximizes the flavor of soba.
As simple as the interior atmosphere, their menu is limited to soba and inari sushi. Wasabi, daikon, and prawn tempura go well with the mild broth, and sweetish inari fills up the stomach with modest ingredients. Starting in late October, warm soba and crispy assortment of tempura are sold in the cold weather. The composition of tempura changes depending on the freshness of ingredients at the time, including prawns, perilla leaves, shishito peppers, and winter squash.
[Address] 12 Dongwang-ro, Jeju-si, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province
Jongdal-ri Mama specializes in Japanese home cuisine, at an old butcher chop on a remote, quiet road of Jongdal-ri. Operated by a daughter, who came from Cheongju and established herself with a late-night restaurant in Jongdal-ri first, and a mother who followed with her own “Mama-style” joint. Unlike the aged look on the outside, the interior is decorated with care by the daughter, with warm white walls and flowery wallpaper.
Their menus include steak donburi, red-banded lobster curry, mentaiko donburi, as well as karaage and potato croquettes as side dishes. Jeju’s traditional drink swindari, along with ramune soda and fruity soda from the owner’s hometown are also offered. They have special set for solo visitors as well. Touched by the owner’s heartwarming hospitality that reminds the guests of their mothers, the visitors filled the entrance with thank you notes.
[Address] 15 Jongdal-ro 7-gil, Gujwa-eup, Jeju-si, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province
Buja Sikdang: Perfect for Solo Diners without a Car
Buja Sikdang is great for something special or eating alone. Located in a residential area five minutes by walk from Jeju Intercity Bus Terminal, it’s easy to access for solo travelers on foot. They worked with an old lady who used to sell cutlassfish set meal for thirty years to keep the sign and the name. The interior of the shop boasts Korean nacre lacquerware created by many artists, exhibiting the beauty of Jeju’s traditional art.
They have three items on the menu: hamburg steak, whole calamari over rice, and meat ball udon. You can also add Hallabong orange ade or grapefruit ade. The skilled owner chef creates everything on the menu daily from scratch and sells on the same day. Their signature hamburg steak is enjoyed across generations, from children to the elderly. Garlic slices and stem garnish in the sauce mitigate the greasy flavor.
[Address] 9, Seogwang-ro 50gil, Jeju-si, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province
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