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The Long-Lasting Restaurants of Jeonju: Sungmidang and Nulchaeum

Despite our surrounding tend to change really fast these days, there are the spaces that stick around and become dear to us. The Ministry of SMEs (small and medium enterprises) and Startups has been designating the long-lasting businesses that are more than 30 years old ‘baek-nyun ga-gae’ (One-Hundred Year Store). I’m going to introduce two such venues in Jeonju.

Sungmidang

Sungmidang, a restaurant specializing in Jeonju bibimbap, was chosen a Hundred Year Store in 2019. The restaurant is famous for having been visited by the former Presidents. Three generations of owners have been running the venue since it opened in 1965.

The main store is located on an alleyway of the old downtown. Parking and takeout are available. Although I visited during early hours, the venue was crowded, including visitors from the overseas.

I ordered bibimbap and pajeon (green onion pancake with seafood pieces). Sungmidang still prepares the ingredients of bibimbap traditional way. For example, gochujang (red chilli paste sauce), decisive for the taste of bibimbap, is homemade using traditional methods.

The pajeon we ordered had plenty of squid pieces, making it savory enough. Two bibimbaps and one pajeon were probably too much for two people. Me and my friend had to takeout the leftover.

 

Sungmidang

Address: Jeollagamyoung 5gil 19-9, Wansangu, Jeonju

Contact: 063-287-8800

Opening hours: weekdays 11:00~20:30 (closed on Mondays) / break time 16:00~17:00

 

Nulchaeum

The next Hundred-Year Store is Nulchaeum, located near Jeonbuk National University. The venue was selected a Hundred-Year Store in 2018.

Nulchaeum is a restaurant that offers a variety of delicious and reasonably priced traditional Korean dishes. The meals are usually served with a hot stone-pot rice. On the menu are grilled eel, grilled short-rib patties, grilled fish, kimchi hot pot, and more. All dishes are prepared upon receiving the order.

I ordered one of the jungsik (table d’hote) menus. Hot stone pot rice was served first. I was tole to open the lid in three minutes. I loved the firm but moist texture and the flavour typical of the stone pot rice.

I also liked the different shapes of the dishes. The kimchi hot pot and short-rib patties were heated throughout the meal. I was impressed at such considerate touch.

 

Nulchaeum

Address: Deokjinyeonmot 3gil 6, Deokjingu, Jeonju

Contact: 063-272-5737

Opening hours: every day 11:30~21:00 (closed on Thursdays) / last order 20:30

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  • Jared Sandler

    I wonder why Jeonju City’s Ministry of Small & Medium Enterprise Startups have designated (regarded) 30-year-old businesses as ‘baek-nyun ga-gae’ (One-Hundred Year Stores). On the surface, it is a nice gesture to restaurants like Nulchaeum and Sungmidang ; however, it is misleading and will lead to misunderstandings from Korean first-time visitors and foreigners. Jeonju has a rich history, so perhaps it is unnecessary to give a designation of ‘baek-nyun ga-gae’ to a business unless it truly has reached one-hundred years old.

  • Ever Enrique Castillo Osorio

    This restaurants are on my list to visit them in my next trip to Jeonju.

  • Steve Joe

    If you go on a trip to Jeonju, you must go!