Last week, I wrote about the savory aspects of what has quickly become my favorite place in Songjeong. In case you missed it, here is a link to said post.
While the savory offerings at the 1913 송정역시장 (1913 Seongjeong-yeok Shijang), it should be noted that there’s so much that goes beyond fried goodies and meat on a stick. Though this post will be a little shorter by comparison, I thought it would be cool to cover the sweeter aspects of this traditionally hip street while also bringing some focus to some of the lesser known shops.
Though I was quite full from my savory journey, my sweet tooth began acting upon noticing the many dessert and drink options that were scattered throughout the street. My friend and I were mildly devastated to see that the 호떡 (hotteok) place had closed for the night, especially after she had told me how amazing it was. Considering how amazing 호떡 is in general, I could only imagine how good it was here. I’m planning to return soon to try one (or three) once the weather gets cooler.
As we walked along, I noticed a long line outside of a small bakery named 또아식빵 (Ttoasik Ppang). After a bit of research that came in the form of me bugging my friend for answers, I learned that this bakery was quite famous for its fresh bread that was only offered in limited portions. From what the signs said, they only bake around 50 loaves at a time (once every few hours) and are limited to one per customer. To get around this, entire families were sitting together for what would easily be a forty minute wait. From what I could tell, the bread came in flavors like Cheese, Chestnut, Pizza, and Chocolate. Had there not been a large crowd already in line, I probably would have waited to see what the hype was about. Unfortunately, there was no way I was going to get any bread within the next two hours, so I opted to move on.
After a bit of walking, we ended up at 쑥’s 초코파이 (Ssook’s Choco Pie). As someone who grew up eating the packaged and processed version that’s pretty much the Korean answer to Moon Pie, the idea of having a version of it made from scratch left me curious. To make things extra interesting, the pies were offered in different flavors like Original, Blueberry, Banana, Mango, and even Strawberry. I ended up trying the 쑥 (Ssook) flavor, which translates to Wormwood and is the stuff that’s used to make green rice cakes. As I bit into my purchase, I was reminded of a simpler time, but without the awkward processed aftertaste. The texture was a little more cake-like than I remembered, but it was still pleasant. I was also quite happy that the sweetness wasn’t overpowering, as it made it possible to enjoy the whole thing in a few bites without feeling overwhelmed.
As we continued walking, I grabbed a 미숫가루 (misutgaru) drink, which is basically like a thick shake made with mixed grains, and browsed through sweets ranging from bagels, coffee, rice cakes, to even shaved ice. As I looked around, it was also fun to see places selling local ingredients like noodles, different types of rice, dried fish, produce, and even meat. Outside of food, there were also old fashioned stores that offered toys, blankets, and even Gwangju-themed stationery.
Eventually, our evening came to an end. As we left, we made one last stop at a handmade dessert shop to grab a couple of adorable popsicles. While I unfortunately don’t remember the name of the place, it had a number of delicious looking candy and sweets that would dangerous for any diet. The milky icy treats we got were delicious, but they melted pretty fast, forcing us to chomp down while trying not to make a mess (I failed).
At the end of the night, I walked away from the 1913 송정역시장 with a full stomach and happy mood. The entire trip was as fun as it was delicious, and it was clear that everyone else walking out with me was feeling the same. I would definitely recommend this place as a necessity for anyone coming through Gwangju, especially for visitors from out of town who might not be feeling brave enough to take on some of the more traditional markets in the city.
Address: 광주 광산구 송정로8번길 13 (across the street from the Seongjeong KTX Station)
Average Price Range: Varies