The original budae jjigae can be experienced up north in Uijeongbu, but for those who don’t have time to travel outside of Seoul, here’s a noteworthy place near City Hall that’s been packing it in daily for over 35 years.
The place is called Woorim Jung — and they are outstanding. Besides serving one of the most unique and beloved stews, they take an extra step by offering another signature dish in the form of bulgogi called ddadak bulgogi. Thin slices of marinated pork are perfectly grilled over charcoal briquettes to impart smokiness and caramelization. When combined with the hearty stew that includes a little bit of everything, it’s really a match made in heaven. The real kicker, though, is the price point. The budae jjigae is only 8,000 won per person and a serving of bulgogi goes for 8,000 won — which means you can eat like a king for under 25,000 won. Mindblowing!
After such a memorable dining experience, it was mandatory to ask if the owner was around to pick his brains about the food and the restaurant’s history. Thankfully, he was gracious enough to answer some of my questions, which reaffirmed why the restaurant garners so much respect from
“This area used to be filled with budae jjigae (army stew) restaurants back in the day but most of them disappeared over time. Even the large and powerful franchise Nolboo came and went. We’re one of the last restaurants still standing thanks to our loyal customers, who have been coming back again and again for our comforting Uijeongbu-style budae jjigae and hand-grilled bulgogi. We are still going strong even after 35 years of business and hope to continue that tradition for years to come.”
Food: ★★★★½ out of 5 stars
Service: ★★★★ out of 5 stars
Ambiance: ★★★½ out of 5 stars
Value: ★★★★★ out of 5 stars
Woorim Jung 우림정
Seosomun-dong 120-29, Jung-gu (서울 중구 서소문동 120-29)
Hours: Open every day 10:00 am ~ 11:00 pm except national holidays
Click here for an interactive map: http://naver.me/5WlTTGKV