Pojangmacha 포장마차 (Jongro 3-ga, Seoul)

Here are some behind-the-scenes photos of my favorite pojangmacha (aka pocha) out of Jongro 3-ga Station. Although there is a line of these tented eateries full of locals, this one is run by a highly abrasive and intimidating emo who, after several visits, becomes your best friend when you keep the food and drinks flowing.

I’ve been to quite a few pochas over the years, but none compare to this emo’s stall where she consistently delivers on quality and taste of each anju dish. Despite having limited space to work with, she’s able to cook up some fantastic anju that compare to brick and mortar restaurants. In addition to the great food, it’s nice to have super cold beer and soju at your disposal.

Memory is a little hazy–which is completely normal since pojangmachas are usually visited as the last round of drinking–but pictured dishes are the jogi (pan-fried yellow corvina) and dakgochi (spicy chicken stir fry), both being delicious and aggressively seasoned to keep you thirsty. I enjoyed both dishes so much that those are the only things I order when visiting here. I’m confident her other dishes are just as excellent, which she reiterated when asked what her favorites are.

Her pocha doesn’t have a name nor number (maybe it does but couldn’t see it?), which means you’ll have to do some face detection with these pics as reference. she doesn’t come out every night due to deteriorating health, so if you’re one of the lucky ones to try out her food, know that you’re getting the best of the best all the while experiencing a true pojangmacha.

For newbies unfamiliar with pojangmachas, they are small tented eateries offering a wide range of popular street food and anju, the latter being served with ubiquitous green bottles of soju and maekju (beer). They were once hard to come by after being deemed illegal and unsanitary (also to clean up the city’s image) but with ease of restrictions and some emos just not giving a f*@k, they are making a rebound in different spots of Seoul, particularly this area of Jongro. The Seoul govt. can be fickle and unpredictable, so make sure to visit one before they get permanently banned.

Food: ★★★★ ½ out of 5 stars

Service: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Ambiance: ★★★★ out of 5 stars

Value: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars


Jongro 3-ga Pojangmacha 종로3가 포장마차

Address: 2 Donhwamun-ro 4-gil Jongro-gu (2 돈화문로 4-길 종로구)

Hours:  Open and closes whenever she wants but usually between 6:00 pm ~ 1:00 am every day

Click here for an interactive map:  http://naver.me/xOsP8Jaj

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