Tongin Market is a traditional market that is located just west of Gyeongbokgung Palace. It is a popular spot for tteokbokki, a chewy and spicy snack. The market was established in June 1941 for Japanese residents. The Japanese occupied Korea from 1910–1945.
The population of Seoul increased exponentially after the war. Naturally, consumption and demand also increased. Koreans street vendors and stores moved into and started selling their own products and goods at the once Japanese market.
Shoppers today can find over 75 stores and stalls off a main walkway. These stalls include restaurants, grocery stores, street food, and manufactured goods such as clothes and shoes.
A popular street food and snack enjoyed here is tteokbokki. Tteokbokki is rice cake that is usually boiled first, but at Tongin Market the snack is fried first and then added to a spicy sauce. This makes the snack nice and crispy on the outside while soft on the inside.