Tucked in an alleyway behind some of Dongdaemun's busiest shopping malls and just a stone's throw away from the hyper-futuristic Dongdaemun Design Plaza lies an ordinary-looking office building called Geumho Tower. However, a closer look at the signage in front of the building and you'll notice it's not written in Korean, but rather in the Cyrillic alphabet. This is Mongolia Town, a ten-floor building filled with various businesses and restaurants catering to Seoul's large, but often overlooked, Mongolian community.
Mongolia Town starting taking shape in the late 1990's, as traders descended on Dongdaemun for cheap fabrics and clothes to sell back in Mongolia. Since then, the number of not only traders, but Mongolian students, factory workers, and professionals, has rapidly increased, putting the Mongolian population in Seoul at around 45,000 people. That's more than the fourth-largest city in Mongolia. Mongolia Town is now filled with businesses ranging from import-export to cell phone shops to hair salons, as well as a few restaurants serving Mongolian cuisine at a very affordable price.
The two main restaurants in Mongolia Town are Zaluus Restaurant and Ulaanbaatar Restaurant, which also functions as a small grocery store. Both restaurants don't have English-speaking staff, but Ulaanbaatar Restaurant does have English descriptions of the food on their menu, and both restaurants have staff that speak Korean as well as Korean-language menus. Lamb is the quintessential part of Mongolian cuisine, so there's plenty of lamb on the menu, as well as various beef dishes and some vegetable and noodle soups.
There's really not many places to find Mongolian food and experience Mongolian culture so easily outside its borders, so if you're looking for a completely different experience while in Korea, or looking to get an insight into how the various immigrant communities in Korea function, definitely check out Mongolia Town.
|Company Name||Mongolia Town (몽골타운)|
|Category||Food, Drink & Nightlife Shopping Services|
12 Eulji-ro 44-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea 12
Take Lines 2, 4, or 5 to Dongdaemun History & Culture Park and go out Exit 8. -> Walk straight and turn left at the Starbucks, then walk straight about 40 meters to the end of the alley. New Geumho Tower, aka Mongol Town, will be in front of you.