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By Way of Korea

South Korea   |   New York

A Korean food blog and travelogue inspired by

an epicurious New Yorker's journey around South Korea


By Way of Korea: Where to Eat Around the "Hoenggye Rotary" (Pyeongchang, Gangwon Province)

Updated: May 15, 2019

The quaint, rural town of Hoenggye, a hub for those visiting Alpensia Ski Resort or Yongpyong Ski Resort, hosts an incredible variety of small restaurants that offers a great showcase of Pyeongchang's signature dishes prepared with staple ingredients of the local diet. If you're driving through Hoenggye, you'll most likely pass through the rotary around which most of these restaurants lie. Whether in town to enjoy the slopes or simply passing through on your way to another city, I hope that you'll remember to stop to enjoy the unique regional cuisine, which allows the flavors of the ingredients to speak for themselves.

Featured below, in no particular order, are some of my favorite restaurants around the rotary, their specialty dishes, and brief descriptions of my experiences or impressions. I've also provided links to other posts I dedicated to a particular dish or restaurant that I thought might be helpful. The list is also a work-in-progress that I will continue to build with future discoveries, and I'm open to recommendations!

1. Gohyang Iyagi (고향 이야기)


9, Nunmaeul-gil, Daegwallyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do

(강원도 평창군 대관령면 눈마을길 9)


hanwoo, gondeurae (Korean thistle) rice, pine mushroom rice, potato rice

A 200g serving of unmarinated hanwoo sirloin will set you back about 30,000 won, but the banchan spread offers an wonderfully consoling sampling of locally harvested vegetables, mountainous herbs, and housemade sauces. Just as impressive as the banchan and entrees is the stone pot rice, which is made-to-order*. Your choice of three locally harvested ingredients - gondeure, pine mushroom, or potato - is cooked into the rice to infuse each spoonful with a earthy fragrance unique to what was used. (CLICK HERE to learn more about Gohyang Iyagi, hanwoo, and how to enjoy the stone pot rice)

Made-to-order means your rice begins to cook once the kitchen receives your order. You can expect to wait quite some time for the rice, so I'd avoid waiting until you're halfway through your meal to order it.

2. Dangoljip (단골집)

Specialty: osam bulgogi, bossam


91 Daegwallyeong-ro, Daegwallyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do

(강원도 평창군 대관령면 대관령로 91)

After being forced to vacate their restaurant to accommodate the Olympic Park, the family behind 'Jeonju-jip,' a local favorite for bossam and baekban, found a new space by the Hoenggye Rotary to open a new restaurant with a new menu to continue serving its "dangols" (regular patrons). Although bossam still remains one of the star dishes, osam bulgogi was added to the menu and has been well-received by the community, winning over new dangols like me! (CLICK HERE to learn more about osam bulgogi and Dangol-jip)

* Because street extending from the rotary was ordained the "Osam Bulgogi Street" ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics as part of the county's efforts to highlight regional cuisine, you will find osam bulgogi on the menus of many of the restaurants.

3. Halmae Gamjatang (할매 감자탕)

Address: 39, Nunmaeul-gil, Daegwallyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do

(강원도 평창군 대관령면 눈마을길 39)

Specialty: gamja-tang, dakbokkeum-tang

A pot of potatoes, cabbage, and meaty, fist-sized pork bones in a clean broth restores the warmth and energy that escapes you on a relentlessly cold day in Pyeongchang. Halmae Gamjatang served this very purpose for us during the Winter Olympic season. But even as the temperatures warmed up in the spring, the gamjatang never lost its appeal. And something about this place - perhaps having to sit on the floor or the crew of emos that runs the show - makes you feel like you never left your living room.

The standard table setting includes kimchi, kkakdugi, an assortment of raw vegetables, and dipping sauce for the pork meat. Rice, udon, or ramyun can be ordered to be cooked in the leftover broth, which goes easy on the spice. If you prefer something packing more heat, the dakbokkeum-tang (spicy chicken stew) is a popular alternative.

* If you're a party of four or more, call and secure a spot in advance to avoid being turned away.

4. Guksiwa Jeon (국시와 전)

Address: 25, Nunmaeul-gil, Daegwallyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do

(강원도 평창군 대관령면 눈마을길 25)

Specialty: gamja jeon (potato pancake), hwangtae jang-kalguksu ("knife noodles" made with dried pollack, gochujang and dwenjang-based broth), memil wang-mandoo (buckwheat dumplings), and memil-kkot dongdongju (sweet, rice-based spirit similar to makgeolli made with buckwheat flower).

Guksiwa Jeon boasts a comprehensive menu of Pyeongchang's signature dishes for those of you interested in exploring the local cuisine. Staple ingredients of the region's diet, such as memil (buckwheat), hwangtae (dried pollack), and gamja (potatoes), are extensively utilized in most of the fare.

Gamja-jeon (potato pancake): Guksiwa Jeon's gamja-jeon achieves the perfect textural combination of crispiness and chewiness, and is one of the restaurant's most beloved dishes. Pair it with some buckwheat flower dongdongju to enjoy the meal in true Pyeongchang fashion.

Using the natural starch extracted from the potatoes during the cooking process eliminates the need for flour, so it is entirely possible to go flourless with this dish! Depending purely on the amazing natural properties of potatoes and with little help from salt and oil, gamja-jeon demonstrates the beauty of simplicity in cooking and celebrates the bounties of the earth.

Memil wang-mandu (buckwheat dumpling): The dumpling skin owes its brownish tinge to the use of buckwheat flour, a product of the seeds cultivated from the buckwheat plant which grows abundantly throughout the Gangwon Province. Buckwheat flour, gluten-free and rich in protein and fiber, is a great substitute for white flour in your cooking if you can appreciate its earthy, nutty flavor!

5. Sohpoong (소풍)

Speciality: soondae-gopchang jeongol

Address: 98 Daegwallyeong-ro, Daegwallyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do

(강원도 평창군 대관령면 대관령로 98)

Upon first glance, Sopoong looks more like a cafe than a place for stews and brews. In fact, the words "AUTHENTIC BAKERY" mark the woodwork above the counter and menu boards that resemble those of a Korean bakery and cafe. But neither coffee nor pastries are served here. Contrary to what its appearance suggests, Sopoong is a gukbap and jeongol restaurant. The soondae-gopchang jeongol ㅡ a wide pot loaded with generous helpings of soondae, gopchang, mushrooms, and glass noodles in a rich broth ㅡ is a popular choice of stew for the customers who eat to drink.

6. Geum Cheon Hwe Gwan (금천회관)

Address: 92 Daegwallyeong-ro, Daegwallyeong-myeon, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do

(강원도 평창군 대관령면 대관령로 92)

Specialty: mul galbi (물갈비)

Galbi still on the bone rests at the bottom of a wide pan filled halfway to the brim with a dark, soy sauce-based broth. Once the broth reaches a fast boil, the meat is freed from the bone and cut into bite-sized pieces. Eat the noodles first, while you allow the tender galbi to soak in the flavor of the sweet, soy sauce broth (the broth is perfect for rice to be fried into later). You can make ssam with the meat or just enjoy it with rice. On a separate note: I have a particular bias for the gyeranmari (egg roll), but each of the banchan served here warrants multiple refills.

Almost two years ago, I noticed words "물갈비" as part of a menu listed in big font on the windows of Geum Cheon Hwe Gwan (금천회관) in Hoenggye. It was something completely unfamiliar to me at the time, but it's long since become one of my favorite things to eat. I recently I discovered that it is a dish indigenous to Jeonju and, naturally, found myself on a KTX headed there. Jeonju-style mul-galbi was noticeably different from the one I first had in Hoenggye; it was spicy and served with a heap of soybean sprouts. (CLICK HERE to read more about Jeonju-style mul-galbi)



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"If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel - as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them - wherever you go."

Anthony Bourdain's unmatched relish for adventure and humble approach to food, cultures, and humanity left an indelible impression on my younger self. Imparting on me the courage to veer into the unknown, he inspired me to embrace my vulnerabilities and seek adventures and growth beyond the comforts of home.


In July of 2017, I boarded a one-way flight to Seoul, South Korea. Within the first week of arrival, I signed a lease for an apartment and by the end of August, I had accepted a job offer that relocated me to Pyeongchang and Gangneung, where the Winter Olympics were soon to be held. From there, I had the rare opportunity to explore much of the greater Gangwon Province's beautiful mountainous and coastal regions and their distinctive foods. Once or twice a month, I'd return to Seoul or travel to an unfamiliar region to poke around alleyways, markets, and mountains in search of more good eats and adventures.


By Way of Korea is a storytelling project inspired by the food, places, and faces I encountered throughout Korea. By sharing my fondest memories, notes, and images of Korea, I simply hope to play a small part in piquing greater curiosity about Korean food and culture in my readers.  My content will heavily spotlight, but not be limited to Korean food and culture. 

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