Black tofu restaurants can be found littered throughout the Korean countryside and the Damyang area is no exception. Unfortunately I wouldn’t recommend the two I’ve visited in Damyang (the one across from Sosaewon and the one across from Sanggyo both received a thumbs down) and instead will point you in the direction of the DalMatJi Black Tofu Restaurants.
The two I know of, have been to, and would recommend, are in Gwangju (신창동) and Hwansun. The Hwansun branch is of particulary importance because it’s on road 817 which is a road frequently used by cyclists. The “beast route” and the route I use to Wolchulsan National Park both use this road. There is tons of good food along this road, and oddly enough, a plethora of Damyang style galbi restaurants!
The traditional hanok style restaurant is easily visible from the road and will be on your right if you’re headed toward Gwangju. The decor inside maintains the traditional theme and has seating for groups of just about any size, although it’s limited to floor seating.
No surprises on the menu; it offers a variety of tofu dishes as well as bossam (pork) and jeon. I’ve only eaten the beosut jeonguel (버섯전골), but made sure to make everyone else in the restaurant uncomfortable by staring at their menu choices. It all looked delicious.
The banchan was small and boring by Jeolla-Do standards, but refill requests were gladly granted.
The mushroom stew (버섯전골), however, was impressive and plentiful. It only takes a few minutes for the veggies to cook down before it’s ready to eat and if it cooks down too much you can simply ask for more broth (called 육수).
It’s not the cheapest lunch option around, but well worth the price for the quality and quantity that you’re given. Not to mention it’s a beautiful restaurant and a fun place to take visitors or stop by while you’re out exploring the countryside. Enjoy!
Looking for a bit more meat in your diet? Plenty of other restaurant suggestions can be found here.