Finding Comfort Foods in Seoul

There were many nights spent lying awake in my hostel simply thinking about cheese. Cheese and salad, although that may be weird for some people. I, however, am a big fan of salad. So it wasn’t particularly hard finding food I missed having from home and I think it could even be argued that a lot of Seoulites (people from Seoul) probably eat these foods in their daily life as well. It does seem that Korean people have quite the palate for foreign food and are always out eating it, so I was so happy to find some places I really liked literally only a few blocks away from my hostel. Many of these weren’t very expensive either which is a plus!

Unsurprisingly, what I wanted to find first was pizza. Not good true Italian style pizza either, but the greasy and thick American pizza that I lay awake thinking about for many nights. I remember several people being weirded out that I would crave “lower quality” pizza like that, but as someone with a sweet tooth I really like how American fast food pizza is on the sweeter side in terms of the bread. It’s thicker and it does the job, which is what I really wanted after not having it for a few months. I was lucky enough to stumble upon a chain called “Pizza School” one night and I properly fell in love. It’s crazy because I prefer Pizza School than any other fast food pizza chain that I would order take-out from back home. I think it’s because the consistency of the pizza making is really great and the number of different topping combinations are all equally new to me and delicious. Also, the price of their pizza is less than the typical price of pizza back in Philly. So, I went back two days after eating it for the first time and I plan to go back again! ALSO, you can add cheese crust just for two extra dollars (!!!!). I think I will sob over my Pizza School loss when I’m back in the states.

I really don’t know many people who like salad to the point of craving it, but I do! So I often crave some type of salad or wrap during the day and usually the typical caesar wrap would do the trick. I initially had my doubts that I’d be able to find one, but apparently Seoul really does have every food you can think of if you look hard enough. A friend from my hostel introduced me to a salad/wrap chain a few blocks from our residence, called Salady, and it does the job and is also affordable! They do have mostly American-Korean fusion wraps and salads, but they thankfully have a basic Caesar wrap and salad as well. The only unfortunate thing that the Caesar dressing is sweeter than I am used to, but I think it was very minor in the grand scheme of things! After having my first wrap, I went back and got a different one the next day.

A Chicken Caesar Wrap from Salady

Something I honestly didn’t expect myself to go looking for was a good burger. It’s not even like I don’t like burgers, but I don’t go crazy over them to the point of going on a crazed search. However, I did happen across some burger chains. Surprisingly to me, they have Shake Shack here in Seoul. I really didn’t realize how globalized some of the usual fast food chains we have back home are. After having a meal at Shake Shack I realized that I was so underwhelmed by it, oddly, and I think it had to do with already knowing the taste. However, it’s not like the meal was bad! I think I just expect things to just taste different most of the time over here. I also had a burger at a Korean chain of American style burgers (Bas Burger) and it was a similar experience. One thing’s for sure: you’ll definitely find a typical American burger here in Seoul, them being even relatively easy to find.

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