The Best Pizza in ALL of Korea!!!!

Yesterday I went to the Seoul Immigration Office to get my visa renewed, and so, I’m proud to announce that I’ll legally be in the country for 3 more years until I need to renew my visa again.  The first time I renewed my visa two years ago, it took 3 seconds.  This time, the person kept asking me questions about when my father became a U.S. citizen because I guess if it was after I was born, I’d be a Korean citizen, and thus eligible for military service.  So it took about 3 minutes this time.  I explained in Korean about my situation, and she basically waived it through.  And that’s how people should work in these government agencies.  Be as thorough as necessary, but get the job done quickly.  In other government offices, I’ve been told to go to this floor and talk to this department, then after that they tell me to go to a different office, whereupon the person in that office tells me to go back to the first.  I’ve heard other people complain about their troubles at the immigration office, but for me, it’s been relatively painless. After renewing the visa I decided to take the missus out for pizza, as we were close to the best pizza place in all of Korea.

Mmmm, Pizza! (No, that's not ME! It's not the missus either. It's some picture I found on the internet!)

They have this place in America and other countries too.  It’s relatively cheap, made fresh, and is mega-delicious.  Sometimes they put too much cheese on it, but that’s not too much of a problem, because cheese is also quite delicious.  In addition to pizza, they also have a lot of other things to eat too, such as hot dogs, clam chowder and some calzone like things that they call chicken bake and bulgogi bake.  (I’m not really sure how to describe it.)

I wouldn’t reccomend going there every day, because after a month you’d have gained 10 pounds.  (I think, I’ve been here so long that I wanted to say 5 kilos, but 11.02 pounds doesn’t flow off the tongue as nicely as 10 pounds.)

Great for pizza. Not so great for ambiance.

So where is this wonderful place in Korea that we can all go to to get some good pizza?

COSTCO!

Wait a second, COSTCO?  Really?  COSTCO?!?!?!??!! BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

No no, wait a second, let me explain!

COSTCO's pizza is HUGE! One slice can usually satisfy a portly tuba player. With a whole pizza you might be able to feed the entire brass section.

You see, when I lived in the U.S., I never even thought I’d even think of eating anything at COSTCO.  And why should I?  We’ve got plenty of other places to get good pizza.  I can name a few right off the top of my head that you can easily find in almost any American city.  Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Papa Johns, Pizza Movers… heck, I even worked a pizza shop part time when I was younger and even though I eventually became sick of their pizza, I probably would opt to eat there rather than at COSTCO.  You see, COSTCO is where you go to buy things in bulk.  And it definitely lacks any kind of atmosphere for eating.  I’d argue that even McDonald’s is romantic compared to COSTCO.

You’re telling us why COSTCO is so terrible, why do you go there for pizza, especially when all those chains you mentioned actually have stores in Korea?

Okay, you got me there. It’s true, we do have Pizza Hut, Papa Johns, and Domino’s here.  But.. they’re just.. different.

Come on, they are chains, how could they be different?

Okay see there’s where you’re wrong.  Certainly the names are chains in the U.S., but I am pretty sure that in Korea they aren’t operated by the same company.  Basically some Korean food company buys the name and sells their product under that name.  Either that, or they are run by the same company, but have a local office determine their menu for local tastes….  COSTCO seems to not take that approach and just serve the same thing as they do in the U.S. The pizza chains are just… not the same…

So how are they not the same?

Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce to you, the sweet potato.  In America we eat the sweet potato in a pie as a desert in thanksgiving. I can’t really remember any other time I’ve eaten it before coming to Korea.  Well, ladies and gentlemen, believe it or not, sweet potato is Korea’s pepperoni.  What I mean is that in America, pepperoni is iconic as a pizza condiment.  In Korea, the sweet potato is, even moreso than pepperoni.  I personally don’t like it, and it’s okay if that’s what other people want, but it’s not for me.  I now direct you to pizza hut’s menu.  Take a look and see for yourself what kinds of toppings they offer on pizza.  Cream Chicken, coconut shrimp, bulgogi onion, bbq chicken, bacon potato. I see they’ve added a pepperoni pizza so that’s reassuring, but it wasn’t there before.

Don’t get me wrong, they had pepperoni, but you could only get it if you agreed to 4 other toppings that you didn’t want, and never in combinations that they don’t have in their menu.

Why don’t you just call them and ask them to make you a pizza how you want it?

Pizza Hut's "Rich Gold" Pizza: Cheese Crust, some kind of white seasoning, a ring of sweet potato, ham, pepers, fruit and other stuff in the center...

Sigh.  See that’s the problem.  If I were to call and ask for a pizza with pepperoni and onions and olives on it, they would reply that they don’t have that.  I’ve literally had this conversation before:

Pizza Hut: Hello Pizza Hut, how may I help you?

Me:  Yes, I’d like to order a pizza please.

PH:  Okay what’s your address?

Me:  It’s XX-Gu XX-Dong, XX-block, XX building, XX apartment.

PH: Okay and what kind of pizza would you like

Me:  Well, I’d like a pepperoni and onion pizza, half with olives, half without. (so far it’s normal, right?  Read on..)

PH: Huh, what?  That’s not on the menu sir.

Me:  Yea, I noticed, but can’t you just make it that way?

PH:  Well what do you mean?

Me:  You know, just make it, make a pizza, then put those things on it, then cook it.

PH:  But, that’s not how we do it.

Me:  What do you mean?

PH:  Well, there’s just what we have on the menu and we can make that.

Me:  Okay, well if you can make that, can’t you make this too?

PH: No because that’s not how it comes.

Me:  Well you have cheese pizza right?

PH:  Yes.

Me:  Well can you make that, but put extra toppings on there?

PH:  Hmm, I never thought of it that way.. let me ask my manager.

wait wait wait

PH:  No, I’m sorry sir, we can only serve pizzas that are on the menu.

Me:  Well can you give me something close to what I want?

PH:  Well, onions are on the veggie pizza, and pepperoni is on the pepperoni sweet potato shrimp pizza, and we don’t have olives.  Which would you like?

Me:  Um, what are the veggies on the veggie pizza.

PH: Asparagus, Broccoli, lettuce, onions and green peppers.

Me:  Ur, yes, can I just have a cheese pizza please?

PH:  So, what kind of sauce did you want on that?

Me:  HUH?!??!!?!

I’m guessing then that the store that heats and delivers the pizza must be different from the store that assembles it.  That can probably be the only reason why a customer can’t choose something that isn’t on the menu.

Hmm, and COSTCO?

Well, COSTCO has pizza that is just… normal.  Okay I have to admit, my idea of pizza is what I have grown up eating in the U.S.  I acknowledge that this American style pizza is probably not very authentic to pizza you can eat in Italy.  I’ve actually never been to Italy to tell you the truth.  So, in essence I could be complaining that my bastardization of pizza is better than someone else’s bastardization of pizza.  I realize that this is 100% my own opinion, and there may actually be millions of people who like mayonnaise yogurt asparagus pizza.

And so my followers, all over the world, I’d like to know what kinds of things they put on pizza where you are.  I know for a fact from living in Japan that the Japanese too have strange toppings on pizza, such as oysters on the half shell, spam, and furikake.  I can’t imagine it getting much worse than what I see here, but I’ll probably be going to COSTCO whenever I really crave pizza unless someone can show me a Korean pizza shop that matches my tastes.  So far, I haven’t found it.  I think I’ll make this a reader mission, so anyone who reads, please tell me what you like or don’t like about pizza where you are.

Speaking of COSTCO, besides the eatery, everything seems to be a bit overpriced.  After the KOR-US FTA, gets passed, it’s very possible that almost everything in COSTCO will become affordable.

Meanwhile consumers in the US will have better options when buying high end electronics and automobiles, as Korea excels in manufacture of those products..

25 Responses to “The Best Pizza in ALL of Korea!!!!”

  1. For some strange reason I also Love Costco pizza, actually had pizza (from costco) last week while watching the Mexico Vs France match😀

    Here in Mexico obviously they put chilli in many pizzas for Domino’s Pizza their menu includes “Mexican pizza” with meat balls, chilli, corn and chese. There’s also the “Pizza al pastor” this is hard to explain the meat “al pastor” is a mexican style to cook beef meat to prepare Tacos (very propular street food) but made it into a pizza wich for me is not any good :s (http://www.dominos.com.mx/ingredientes.php) those are the ingredients and you can find the Menu there also and as you can see,,,Chilli is there and it’s important for our pizzas.
    They also include a red sauce (because we love sauce with everything lol) and a few years ago they tried to implement the “chimichurri” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chimichurri) as another aside sauce, I liked it but many people thought it was weird ….

    • The Seoul Searcher Says:

      That’s interesting. In America they added the garlic cheese sauce and nobody really flinched, but I can imagine Italians being angered by that.

  2. Danielle A Says:

    Ah yes, I remember the first time I had pizza in Korea. I told my cousins that it was not real pizza, what the heck is sweet potato doing here, and what’s that yellow sauce gunking up the tomato flavor. They kept trying to tell me it was pizza. I think that’s the first thing I need to do whenever my cousins come visit me. Take them to a few pizza places, including a high end fancy restaurant that does gourmet pizzas, and point out how NONE of them have sweet potato on it.

    Though, I have a feeling that pizza turns out to be a comfort food where what matters most in taste is how you grew up with it.

    I am really surprised that there are Costcos in Korea though. Would you mind enlightening us (specifically me) what the KOR-US FTA is?

  3. preach, it, bro-ham! Costco pizzas are bomb. they almost shouldn’t be, but they are. go figure. congrats on being legal :p

  4. The Rich Gold pizza you uploaded looks so delicious.. I miss it.. I’m starving now…!!! haha
    I ordered Canadian pizza (that might be the name of the pizza.) yesterday from Domino Pizza, but I don’t remember what special ingredients there are..! Just I remember it was so nice^^*

  5. Jerrell Macia Says:

    I heard that in Korea when you buy pizza they give you sweet pickles to eat with it. Is that true?

    • The Seoul Searcher Says:

      Yea, I guess I forgot to mention that. Most pizza places will give you some garlic sauce and some pickles when you order a pizza. I don’t usually eat the pickles so they usually end up in the trash. What a waste.

  6. LOL actually I like the Korean pizza. My Korean taste buds really likes the taste of the sweet potato.

    Well, in Malaysia they have the normal pizza. Like with pepperoni and cheese, hawaiian chicken….

    One type of pizza I really miss is the Tomato pizza they had in pizza hut :S

  7. In Malaysia they put anchovies……………………on the top

  8. i agree – why eat american pizza at all when there is the korean version. I love it so much! It is one of the things I miss most about korean food when i go back to sweden every once in a while.
    And macolli ofcourse – especially when it’s raining:)

  9. i didn’t know that americans don’t eat sweet potatoes as much as koreans do. it was very intersting😀

  10. Jon Stewart is an anti-Israel Jew. Does that even make sense?

  11. […] The very idea is preposterous because Korean pizza is so terrible, remember when I wrote about that? […]

  12. onions and olives? disgusting!

  13. […] like Pizza, you can see another article about that. Well recently I’ve been using Domino’s Pizza Korea’s website to order […]

  14. […] when presented with bizarre appropriations elsewhere. During my yearlong residence in South Korea, sweet potato pizza was prevalent, while some other varieties included potato chips, shrimp, fried eggs, and kimchi. Canned corn and […]

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