tteokbokki gimbap sundae and fried tempura meal

Cheolgil Tteokbokki (철길떡볶이)

Even at first glance, you’d never mistake Cheolgil Tteokbokki for a run-of-the-mill restaurant. The windows are foggy even though the air is clear, and decades of Seoul’s humid summers and frigid winters have warped the planks that cover the building. Inside, the tteokbokki sauce bubbles in its oversized pans and fills the entire restaurant with the signature, mouth-watering gochujang scent.

The menu is sweet and simple. There’s tteokbokki (떡볶이), sundae (순대), fish cake skewers (어묵 꼬치), gimbap (김밥), fried foods (튀김), eggs and ramen. The tteokbokki is the clear star of the show as proven by crowd of people eagerly waiting to get their orders. The recipe is an older one, not as sweet as the ones you might find in a pojangmacha, but the serving size is more than generous for the ₩3,500 price tag.

The fried dishes were delicious with the 못난이 being a clear favorite, but the gimmari (김마리) doesn’t disappoint either. They’re served in the tteokbokki sauce which gives everything a lightly spicy taste. And the sundae was perfectly steamed with the noodles bursting out of each cut.

A full serving for two came out to ₩14,500 (~$11) which is exactly how much we’d expect to pay for a meal for two. On our way out, we pass the line of families and couples waiting on worn plastic seats for tables to become available.

There are plenty of places to get good tteokbokki in Seoul, but Cheolgil Tteokbokki is an authentic throwback to old-school bunsik (traditional Korean snack food). The view of the train tracks and trains passing by is certainly novel, but the food on order is perfect. It’s a time capsule of food from the 1970’s and it does not disappoint.

  • Hours
    • 11:00am ~ 8:00pm
    • Closed Saturdays
  • Address
    • 서울특별시 서대문구 충정로 35-6
    • 143-2, Chungjeongno 3-ga, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul
  • Phone
    • 02-364-3440

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