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Cheonan Eats: Byeongcheon Sundaeguk
Oct 10, 2019

Sundaeguk (순대국) is a popular Korean dish that dates back all the way to the Goryeo period (918-1392) and there’s perhaps no better place to get it than in Cheonans famous Byeongcheon Sundae Street.

Byeongcheon became famous for sundae after it’s residents began selling it at the Aunae (Byeongcheon) five-day market, named so because it is formed every five days from the start of each month. This type of market is one of the most traditional forms of markets in Korea and this particular market has been going on for over 300 years.

However, if you are not fortunate enough to visit Byeongcheon on a market day, don’t fret because there are still dozens of sundaeguk restaurants lining the streets of Byeongcheon that remain open every day.

This article will cover two of these restaurants: Cheonghwa house( 청화집) and Bubusundae(부부순대).

I was lucky enough to be joined by two Korean friends of mine, one of who was actually born in Byeongcheon, and they both helped out a lot with where to go and what to order.

The first place we ate at, Cheonghwa house, is considered to be not only one of the most popular places in Byeongcheon, but also some of the best sundaeguk in all of Korea. Cheonghwa house is a family run institution boasting over 100 years of service. It used to be open only on market days but changed due to its popularity and can now be enjoyed seven days a week.

As with most specialized restaurants in Korea, Cheonghwa house has a very simple menu offering only two main dishes: sundae (12,000won) and sundaeguk (7,000won).

 

Although I am a huge fan of sundaeguk and was dying to taste what made the Cheonghwa house so famous, we ordered just the sundae platter as I had heard the sundae here was also incredible and I wanted to save my appetite for other endeavors. I was not disappointed. The sundae was fresh and the casing not at all rubbery. Paired with a small piece of saeu-jeot (새우젓) and I was in heaven. The kimchi was well ripened and I even received some 사골국물(sundaeguk broth) as service.
Because we wanted to channel our inner ahjussi, we enjoyed the sundae with a bottle of dongdongju (동동주), a traditional rice liquor similar to magkeoli (막걸리) but with a cleaner taste.

My next destination was Bubusundae- a place known for a spicy variation of sundaeguk.
Again the menu was quite simple, consisting of only guk and the intestine platter. We ordered two different sundaeguk; one spicy and one mild, and a bottle of magkeoli. Everyone dove right into the spicy guk. It was made to perfection. The broth had lots of flavor but at the same time wasn’t too salty. It was loaded with green onions, meat, and lots of sundae. The sundae soaked up the flavors well and the magkeoli paired well with the spice. It was gone in a few minutes, and we moved onto the mild one. It was very good as well but since we are all fans of spicy food, we added our own pepper paste and other spices to try and make it more similar to the spicy version.

Because of the overwhelming number of sundaeguk spots to choose from, picking the right one may feel impossible.  But with a street full of restaurants that have withstood the test of time, you’re guaranteed to be served your new favorite bowl… well at least until your next visit.

How to get there: Buses 400, 401 and 500