Samgyetang: Korean-style Chicken Soup for the Soul – Seoulistic

Recently, I had a cold that wasn’t going away. So I decided to take seek out one of the best Korean foods to eat when sick and headed to one of my favorite old restaurants in Myeongdong, Seoul. Right in the heart of the busy downtown area is a restaurant that’s been around for 43 years, and they serve only one dish: Korean-style chicken soup, samgyetang (삼계탕).

Baekjae Samgyetang (백제 삼계탕)


One of the best samgyetang restaurants in Seoul is this veteran establishment. The average life span of restaurants in Seoul doesn’t pass 6 months, so to have a restaurant in the middle of expensive Myeongdong, Baekjae Samgyetang is doing something right. Their specality is the Black Chicken Samgyetang, which uses high quality and natural chicken raised domestically. They also have an option for the rare and highly sought after wild Korean ginseng, which has been sought in Asia for centuries for its healing properties. Here, you can choose between regular chicken vs black chicken and wild ginseng vs farm ginseng. All of the dishes use this restaurant’s recipe of traditional Korean medicinal herbs. Also, each order comes with a shot of ginseng alcohol, meant to raise a person’s body temperature.

Tip: Their specialty is the black chicken with wild ginseng (25,000 won).

Baekjae Samgyetang (백제 삼계탕)
Address: Seoul, Jung-gu, Myeongdong-2-ga 50-11 (서울 중구 명동2가 50-11) – Click for Google Maps
Price: 15,000 won to 25,000 won per dish
Phone number: 02-776-3267

Health Effects of Samgyetang

For those who are familiar with the Ying-Yang concept f0r foods, Samgyetang is a “heaty” food, which raises the body temperature. Many Koreans eat this when sick (because it’s chicken soup!), but they also eat it to prevent sickness as well. We recommend this dish for travelers that are sick, tired from shopping or jet lagged. Of course, if you’re perfectly fine, you can still enjoy this dish 🙂

Check out some other Korean foods you should eat when sick.


Culture Behind the Food

Korean’s eat Samgyetang on the three hottest days of the year, boknal (삼복), usually falling some time between July and August (July 18, 2014; July 28, 2014; August 7th, 2014). On those days, you will see long lines at samgyetang restaurants across the country. Koreans believe eating this dish will revitalize a person from the hot summer days.

This is only one of our best recommendations for Myeongdong.
Click here to see our favorite places to eat, shop and play in Myeongdong!

Keith Kim is a Korean-American who has been living in Korea for almost a decade. Being in a unique position as both a Korean and a non-Korean, he's put all his experience and knowledge for surviving in Korea in Survival Korean . Read it to learn how you can survive in Korea. Follow him on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram.


  1. Ken says:

    You should do more of these videos! Enjoyed this one alot~~~ =D

  2. Judy says:

    I really want to try it .. I think Korean food is really delicious ..

  3. CIK TOM says:

    i had also ate it but at muree restaurant in itaewon…

  4. Michael says:

    Thank you for your suggestion! I flew to Seoul for 3 nights last week and made this place a must-enjoy and thank YOU for a truly wonderful experience!!! I had such a wonderful time in Seoul and once again I will return in October for a longer visit. Thank you for being so helpful!

  5. Jess says:

    hi, may i now how to reach this place by using their subway? eg: which line and which exit. Thanks 🙂

  6. Quordle says:

    Great content and a great design. Your website deserves all the good comments it’s getting

  7. If you’re pressed for time, a pressure cooker will cut cooking times in half.

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