Haeundae Market was a fantastic accidental find. It was right under our noses during our stay in Busan, being located literally blocks from the love motels, but due to the storm we totally missed it our first time around. It’s quite easy to locate as it’s a straight shot from the Haeundae subway station. Take exit 3 or 5, then head towards the beach…maybe a three minute walk; the market is there on your left, about one block up from the water. When you see this place, it is time to turn left.
It has a gateway arch over the start of it so you can tell you are there (that I failed to get a picture of) though just one look down the alley and you know you’re in the right place.
The market consists of mostly food for purchase, though there is the occasional cheap (read: crappy) clothing or tchotchke shop. The food options range from dried goods like beans, rice, candy, rice puff snacks and fish to fresh goods such as fish, seaweed, tofu, vegetables, and kimchee, as well as restaurants and street food.
Some of the dried goods and snacks:
There are a bunch of restaurants with outdoor fish tanks lining the street:
Some seaweed vendors:
We turned down a little side alley to find some fish, vegetable, and kimchee stands:
One of the fish vendors saw us looking inquisitively at the sea squirts, so he grabbed some live ones from the bucket, cleaned them, and handed them to us to eat. They tasted like the sea, of course. All briney and fresh and just delicious.
We went back outside to start digging in to some street food. First up, black eggs. I don’t know what they were, so if anyone wants to lend a hand, it would be much appreciated. They don’t seem to be eggs braised in soy sauce, which does darkens the color of the egg, but the shell is first removed. I thought maybe they were “sauna eggs,” or eggs that are cooked using the steam from hot springs, but pictures of those show a decidedly brown shell.
There are quite a few mandu stands scattered about. Mikey purchased a steamed bun with a red bean paste filling that was a bit of a disappointment. The bean paste was bland and didn’t stand out from the flavor of the dough.
We found this restaurant with indoor seating/service, as well as an outdoor counter selling street food snacks.
The tteokbokki was calling me, but we ended up passing on it
So that we could try the tempura and the sundae (blood sausage). The sundae was disappointingly bland.
We finished up with this heavenly pastry, the hottteok. I had read they were particularly delicious in Busan and I was not let down. They are savory, slightly sweet, hot flat cakes with a cinnamon (and nut?) filling and this amazing cinammonny syrup. They are heavenly. If you make your way to Busan, GET ONE OF THESE!!!
And if you dig on food, do not miss this market. It’s big fun.