Those of you who actively seek out cheap eats in Seoul are most likely already familiar with Mapo Mandu. For the rest of you, I know what you’re thinking—”You had me at galbi dumplings. Now just shut up and tell me where it is!” (Spoiler: It’s a chain restaurant with multiple locations, I go to the branch right out of Exit 1 at Sinchon Station.) If for some unfathomable reason you’re still not convinced, here’s the kicker: It’s only 3,000 won.

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Galbi. Mandu. 3,000 won. What other reason do you need?

If you’ve never heard of Mapo Mandu, you’ve probably never had galbi dumplings either. There’s a reason for that—Mapo Mandu’s galbi dumplings are so good they went ahead and patented their dish. For the price of half a coffee in Seoul, you get ten pieces of mouth-watering dumplings stuffed with minced, marinated beef that you can’t get anywhere else.

You can sit down in the restaurant or take the food to go. Either way, you get your food in a matter of minutes (Check out this ajumma‘s skill in offloading dumplings to go!).

Mapo Mandu is a bunsikjip (분식집), or “snack restaurant,” which means it serves other inexpensive Korean dishes like gimbap, tteokbokki, and sundae (collectively referred to as bunsik).

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In addition to mandu, you can get other bunsik foods like odeng, tteokbokki, and sundae.

I personally can’t vouch for the taste of the other bunsik, as each of the four times I went to the restaurant, I ended up ordering the galbi mandu instead. Yeah, it’s that good. I’m sure the other items are tasty as well, but they’re no galbi mandu. If you’re famished, one order of the dumplings will probably not suffice, so feel free in that case to supplement it with another dish. Or, you know, you could get another order of the galbi dumplings. Have I mentioned the galbi dumplings yet?

Mapo Mandu. Sh*t’s so good it’s patented. (Mapo Mandu, feel free to use my slogan. I accept cash, dumplings, and all credit cards except Discover.)

Info (for the main branch):

Main Branch in Hapjeong
Phone: 02) 333-9842
Address: 393-1, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul
Hours: 24 Hours

Directions:

Right next to Hapjeong Station, Lines 2 and 6. Go out Exit 2 and make a U-turn. Take your first right down the street and Mapo Mandu will be to your left.

Other Locations:

Mapo Mandu is a chain and has restaurants all over Seoul. Here are directions to a few, you can find many more on this map.

Sinchon Station, Line 2: Exit 1, Take a right on the first street and Mapo Mandu will be to your right.
Yeouido Station, Lines 5 and 9: Exit 3, Take your first right and Mapo Mandu will be on your right.
Maebong Station, Line 3: Exit 4, Across the first street corner.
Seoul National University of Education Station, Lines 2 and 3: Exit 14, will be on your right.


Like Cheap Eats in Seoul? Check out other affordable meals at places like Cafe Travel Maker, with delicious American breakfast combo meals around 10,000 won.