Located in a small alley around Yeonsan 8 police station, Cha Aejeon Halmae Kalguksu has become a favorite for kalguksu lovers in Busan for around 35 years.
This family-run restaurant used to be known as Halmae Kalguksu, but they changed the signs years ago putting the actual halmae‘s name, Cha Aejeon (halmae means grandma in Busan dialect) as they wanted to distinguish themselves as there are too many Halmae Kalguksu restaurants in Korea.
Around twenty years ago when I was first introduced to this place, I did not really like the unique sauce — the soup and noodles tasted different from kalguksu I normally knew. Nevertheless, I found myself longing for the special taste one day, and now I still go there at least four times a year and the kalguksu is always the same.
If you are a noodle lover, this kalguksu is a must.
Since I cannot go more often, I order jung (for you to guess the size, I put floss next to it in the photo above). People usually order so, the small size for 5,000 won, and dae, or large, is 6,000 won..
The onion-based sauce and the seemingly fried flour for kalguksu is a unique signature of this place as is the plentiful amount they offer.
There are also bibim kalguksu between 6,000 won to 6,500 won, as well a kong kalguksu, a ground soybean cold soup for 6,000 won in the summer.
For 35 years, they have kept their original way to cook noodles and soup, and the inside including the kitchen is quite clean despite the age of the building.
The restaurant also offers two more locations around the city — one in Dongnae and the other in Goejeong.
At the Yeonsan-dong location, they have one more restaurant roughly facing each other with the same sign, but there are still lines during lunch and it is hard to find spots for parking, often till 2 p.m.
Reservations are not available. Parking is not available, but you can park in front of or around the restaurant while dining.
Cha Aejeong Halmae Kalguksu (차애전할매칼국수)
Open: 9:30 – 21:00 daily except the first and third Sundays (it somestimes closes earlier)
(need to check for Seollal and Chuseok holidays)
Address: Gwajeong-ro 191Beaongagil 70, Yeonje-gu, Busan