Only 4 Dishes Are Served At Michelin-Approved Myeongdong Kyoja

Myeongdeong is one of Seoul's hottest commercial districts and home to some of South Korea's most popular department stores and restaurants. With its abundance of dining options, it would be easy to overlook one restaurant with its limited selection of menu items — except for the fact that it is recognized as a Michelin Bib Gourmand, per Michelin.

Myeongdong Kyoja, which first opened its doors in 1966, is known for its "kalguksu" or knife-cut noodles, which have been a part of Korea's culinary landscape for more than a thousand years. MasterClass says these noodles, made with a dough of wheat and eggs, were only enjoyed by the wealthy for centuries until Korea suffered a rice shortage in the 1960s. Myeongdong Kyoja says that's when noodles took off in popularity because the government called on people to swap carbs — and they were asked to consume noodles instead of rice twice a week. Noodles today are now so popular in Korea that Michelin says 40% of restaurants that sit under its Bib Gourmand category serve different types of noodles.

Myeongdeong Kyoja is famous for knife-cut noodles

Myeongdeong Kyoja became known for its chicken broth-based kalguksu, because it says it was the first time the dish would be served commercially. The restaurant would also become known for its homemade kimchi, made fresh from an original recipe.

Other than that, the restaurant also serves mandu — a traditional Korean meat dumpling made with either wheat or buckwheat dough, stuffed with pork, and molded into a shape reminiscent of "a small cabbage." Completing Myeongdong Kyoja's limited menu offer: Bibimguksu — a noodle dish that brings together soy sauce, red peppers, and sesame oil, then topped with cooling cucumber, and Kongguksu, a summery dish that sees special handmade noodles rising above a cold soy milk soup base and topped with shaved cucumber. The restaurant's limited menu is by no means unusual — as blogger Girl Eat World points out, most restaurants in Korea serve up just one or two dishes.

As with all Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurants, a meal at this acclaimed Korean noodle spot won't set you back by very much — Girl Eat World says that as of June of 2022, a meal for two at lunch costs $23. That's well within the budget of $38 that Michelin has set for restaurants recognized with a Bib Gourmand seal in Korea.