Talk about Samgyetang (Korean Ginseng Chicken Soup) in Seoul and many will point you to Tosokchon.
There are often arguments about how Tosokchon is touristy/ meant for tourists, but there is no denying that this institution serves one of the best Samgyetang renditions in Seoul. And it is actually pretty reasonably priced!
If you haven’t already tried it, here’s what you are missing out on.
Tosokchon is a stone’s throw from Gyeongbokgung Station, making it a common pit stop after a visit to Seoul’s most famous Imperial Palace. The restaurant is said to be frequented by Korean’s late President Roh Moo-hyun.
Queues are not uncommon at Tosokchon but the wait is not long; the Hanok-style restaurant has a seating capacity of approximately 400, hence the relatively easy waiting time. We also love the traditional seating style on wooden floors and eating on old-school wooden tables.
On the menu, go straight for the signature Korean ginseng chicken soup and do not bother about anything else. Both Tosokchon Korean ginseng chicken soup (W15,000) and Tosokchon Korean Black Chicken Ginseng Soup (W22,000) are fantastic; we’ve had them on numerous occasions over the last few years and never once had they disappointed us.
A whole chicken stuffed with glutinous rice sits in a bowl of milky broth that is also filled with garlic, dates and ginseng shreds; the chicken is so tender that the flesh falls off the bone with just a tug.
You can also opt to add wild ginseng roots to enhance your soup for an additional W6,000. To be honest, we thought that it did not make a big difference to the taste of the soup.
If you are one who fancies your food strong-flavoured, there is a jar of salt where you can help yourself to. They serve really good kimchi that you can eat all you can, too.
Really, guys. Don’t be too bothered by what people say about Tosokchon being touristy. You have to try it to believe how good it is. Tosokchon has the best Samgyetang in Seoul.
5 Jahamun-ro 5-gil, Sajik-dong
Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Tel: +82 2 737 7444
Daily: 10am – 10pm
Nearest Station: Gyeongbokgung
For more recommendations on the best places to visit in Seoul, read our Seoul’s food and travel guides.