There are a couple of neighborhoods in the city with concentrations of restaurants specializing in certain dishes. There is Oritang (Duck Soup) Street on Yudong Street, which is the alley next to the Hyundai Department Store. Most restaurants are open daily 9am to 10pm (a few stay open into the wee hours). A whole duck costs around W28,000, or W20,000 for a half portion. Grilled duck (seasoned with salt and sesame oil) goes for about W32,000.
In Jisan-dong, there is a street called "The Street of Traditional Food" where there are dozens of restaurants specializing in bolibap (barley rice bowl). Located in the Jisan Resort near the Mudeungsanjang, the restaurants here serve bowls of barley rice with seasonal vegetables, spicy chile paste, and a spoonful of sesame oil. Supposedly health food, it's also quite tasty and will cost you only about W5,000 for a bowl. Many restaurants in the area are open 24 hours.
If you're into fresh seafood, look no further than Hwae Town (Raw Fish Town) at the Daein Market. Over a dozen raw-fish restaurants are lined up between the Gwangju Dongmun Bridge and the market in Gyelim-dong. The Living Fish Center is open 24 hours, but the restaurants are open daily from 10am to midnight. You can get your fill of raw fish for about W30,000 to W80,000.
For the beef lovers among us, look no further than the area in front of the Gwangsan-gu Office in Songjeong-dong. Your nose will lead you to the collection of ddeok galbi joints in the alley there. Ddeok galbi, supposedly invented by a halmuhni (grandma) in Jeonju, is made by mincing beef rib and other beef parts, shaping it into a square like a Korean rice cake (ddeok), and roasting it on charcoal. An order of the delicious beef costs about W7,000, and all of the places on this street are excellent.
If you're tired of Korean food and don't mind splurging a bit, stop in at Pariparamong, 120-2 Shinan-dong, Buk-gu, Gwangju-si (tel. 062/528-2251). They specialize in high-end European cuisine. Although the food may not be "authentic," you'll get great service if you want a break from rice and noodles. Meat-course meals start at W38,000 and the house-special full course is W80,000.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.