[Seoul] Breakfast in Myeongdong: Milky White Ox-Bone Soup at Sinseon Seolleongtang (신선설농탕)

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What do Koreans typically eat for breakfast? A traditional Korean breakfast is just like any other meal during the day. Remember when I was young, a good friend of mine was Korean and I would stayed over at her place over the weekends. Her mom would prepare a table full of rice, kimchi, roasted seaweed, steamed egg and pan-fried mackerel for us in the morning. Eating rice is a common practice in Korean families, but not so much for Chinese. I usually enjoy a lighter breakfast that involves a bowl of warm soup or porridge.

When we stayed in Myeongdong this summer, I found a great breakfast place that offers delicious seolleongtang (ox-bone soup). Perfect for anyone who is looking for a Korean way to start the day!


Sinseon Seolleongtang (신선설농탕) is a chain restaurant with branches all over Korea, specializing in seolleongtang. Its especially rich and sweet broth is what made it gain rapid popularity. The Myeongdong branch is particularly famous and most sought-after by Japanese tourists.

What’s so special about seolleongtang?  It is made by simmering ox bones, intestines and shank for several hours until the broth becomes rich and creamy white. When it is eaten together with rice and other side dishes, oooh it is soooo nourishing and satisfying! Extremely nice during cold winter months. No wonder it is a staple in Korean households!

The menu features a variety of different types of seolleongtang. Besides the classic seolleongtang (설농탕, 7000 won), there are also mandu seolleongtang (만두설렁탕, 8000 won) that comes with dumplings, or tteokguk seolleongtang (떡국설렁탕, 7500 won) that is served with rice cake.

Kev and I each ordered a bowl of the most popular dish – the seolleongtang. Ta-da!!



Look at that milky off-white, cloudy appearance! The broth drew out all the yummy flavors from the bones. Simmered together with garlic and green onions, the broth took on an aromatic, sweet taste. A pile of good quality, soft brisket meat could be found at the very bottom of the bowl. OMG, it was so mouth-watering!!

Came along with the soup was a bowl of steamed rice. At the side of the table were buckets of kimchi and pickled radish, which you could use the scissors to cut into smaller pieces and eat separately as a side dish. Or, you could dump the rice and kimchi into the soup to flavor it up!


On a side note – just like most restaurants in Korea, everything is self-service here. You can find utensils hidden at the side of the table.


The soup tasted rich and creamy, but you might need some extra seasonings to take everything to the ultimate level of taste. On the table, salt, black pepper and red chili pepper are available for your use 🙂


Look out for Sinseon Seolleongtang next time when you’re in Seoul and are in a mood for a comforting Korean meal! The restaurant is open 24 hours. No matter it’s morning, noon, or evening, you will have seolleongtang readily available for you all day long 🙂

About Sinseon Seolleongtang (신선설농탕) – Myeongdong branch (명동점)

Address:  2-23, Myeongdong 2(i)-ga ,Junggu, Seoul (서울특별시 중구 명동2가 2-23)
Hours: 24 hours
Tel: 02-777-4531
Website: http://www.kood.co.kr/koodci/shinsun/brand.html

How to get to Sinseon Seolleongtang – Myeongdong branch?

Get off at subway line 4 Myeongdong station, exit 6. Walk straight until you see Woori Bank on your right. Turn right and walk past the intersection.

Sinseon Seolleongtang will be on your right.



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