Back to the days when I was consuming 20,000 won soups in the form of ggori gomtang (oxtail soup) until I found the right one. Eunho Sikdang and Jinju Jip in Namdaemun Market served some recommendable versions, but the nod goes to this 70-year-old institution called Youngchun Ok in Jongro.
First off, you’ll notice the darker than usual broth, which is deep and flavorful, like a cross between galbitang and seolleongtang and pre-seasoned. The meat, although smaller than the aforementioned places, is more tender and juicy; plus, you absolutely won’t have to gnaw at the bone. Korean soups are only as good as the banchan served, here they serve kimchi and kkakdugi that match perfectly with their soups. Lastly, the matriarch owner was very friendly and attentive, even allowing me to park my bike inside the restaurant despite it being cramped and busy with elderly patrons. Delicious food, nice ambiance, and friendly service….what’s not to love about this place?
In short, this place is my personal recommendation for this underrated and often overlooked soup. Other items on the menu are supposed to be equally as impressive, this according to the owner, so I look forward to trying them in the near future. Youngchun Ok can be reached out of Jongro-3ga, Exit 2.
Food: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
Service: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Ambiance: ★★★★out of 5 stars
Value: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
Youngchun Ok 영춘옥
Donui-dong 131-1, Jongro-gu (서울 종로구 돈의동 131-1)
Hours: Open 24 hours every day