My friend Alice and I have been slowly working our way through a fantastic Facebook group called Busan Food. Busan Food is a collection of reviews/posts about various restaurants in Busan. I had started doing something like this with my friends at home, calling it our Friendly Supper Club. The idea was that we got together once a month and tried a new restaurant. Well I feel as if I’m doing the same thing but sort of in a quicker way. We see a post about a place, decide if we want to go, and then try to go on a weekend. Thankfully we both have the weekends off, and soon enough I’ll be having the evenings off, which means we can try at least a few places a month. I love trying new places, but I also love going back to places I like so they stay open! In Korea things change A LOT, and quickly. Since moving here 9 months ago, I’ve seen many places open and close. If people don’t go, the places close, so if there’s a small business you like, (anywhere not just Korea) you should go as much as you can.
Our first Busan Food adventure was going to James’ Kitchen. There were multiple reviews on Busan Food, and it looked delicious. But that did not go well… Fortunately at that time I got to go back to Papa’s Tacos. Papa’s Tacos is a new tex-mex place in PNU. The prices are really good and you get delicious food. Every time my friends go to PNU they go there, I have no reason not to go and it’s the best tex-mex place I’ve had in Korea (aside from my beloved, Taco Bell). I love the Frito pie at Papa’s, I could eat a big order myself.. And the Korean BBQ Steak taco is my favourite. Good flavours and fresh ingredients. I just want to note that the first time Alice and I went to James’ Kitchen, it was sold out of food at 7pm on a Saturday, when they close at 8pm. So we tried again this past weekend and they were CLOSED. At 6pm on a Saturday, they were closed. No sign, no nothing. So I have given up on James’ Kitchen. I will not try to force it to give me delicious food, there are many other places in Busan that are ready and willing to give me delicious foodstuffs in exchange for my money.
The second adventure may have been my favourite. We made our way to a brand new New York style pizza place called Slice of Life. Now, I’ve only been to NYC once and I didn’t have pizza, I know THE HORROR, but this pizza was the BEST pizza I’ve had in Korea, and maybe EVER. It was just perfect. Good combination of toppings, flavours were spot on.. Ahh, it was just wonderful. Alice and I enjoyed it so much we ate and then came back for more the same day. The portions were good and cheap, and the staff was just so friendly. We each tried the White Pie slice, a pizza with garlic sauce, and four kinds of cheese, and Alice had a pepperoni slice and I had a margarita slice. I loved the margarita, it was so fresh and delicious. I want another piece now just thinking about it… I can’t praise this place enough. I want to go there every day of my life. No, not really, but it is fantastic. If you’re in the Kyungsung University Area (KSU) head there for a slice! And explore around KSU a bit, it’s a nice place.
Our next adventure took us to Gumbo House. I had recently befriended the Facebook page and I was surprised when the owner greeted me by name. Alice had thought I’d been there before, but no, after chatting with the owner she said she recognized me from my picture. She and her husband had lived in America for a bit and now they opened a Louisiana Style eatery. Gumbo House is a beautiful restaurant with a homey feel. It is also super close to Gwangalli beach, a bonus in Busan. I have been back twice now, and each time it’s been wonderful. My first time with Alice I had the American style breakfast. Gumbo House has American style breakfasts and Louisiana Specialties like Gumbo and fresh seafood. The price is really good too, both times I’ve went I’ve been stuffed for under $10. The breakfast I had was delicious and had nice crisp bacon. The second time, I had a sampler. I split the mac and cheese, and it was AMAZING. It was gone in less than five minutes, much to my dismay. I also split an order of french toast, a steal at $3. I could have easily ate 3 portions. And the main thing I ate was the Slammich. It was a typical breakfast sandwich with scrambled eggs, two kinds of cheese, a sweet maple syrup spread, and ham. I would willingly go back to Gumbo House any time I’m in Gwangan. You’ll probably find me there whenever the next foreigner market is.
The next two places do have reviews on Busan Food but they weren’t really top choices for me to go, more of places of convenience. I’m not disappointed with them, but I probably won’t be rushing back to them. The first would be Valance Burgers. This is a cheap burger place off the main area of PNU. I’ve spent a few weekends in PNU now and I really enjoy that neighbourhood. Alice and I headed to Valance after our second disappointing visit to JK (I don’t even want to say the full name again, it shall now be theplacethatshallnotbenamed). We both had a Chili fry set, with Valance Burgers. They weren’t the most appetizing looking burgers, but they tasted good enough going down. Typical Korean floppy bacon, too much lettuce, and a soggy tomato. The chili fries were the main attraction and I’d go back just for them. I’m just going to be forever disappointed in burgers from PNU until I can to go theplacethatshallnotbenamed. The best part of Valance was that the food was cheap. You don’t pay more than $10 for almost every set. I’d go back, but I’m not rushing out to PNU just to go there.
Fuzzy navel is pretty popular in Busan. They have two locations (I think) one in Seomyeon, and one on the beach strip in Gwangan. We had settled for Fuzzy Navel in Seomyeon after wanting to get out of the rain and being unable to pick anywhere else. The four of us ordered our food together, but we all had our food served to us at staggered times. I got my nachos and finished them, Milli got her burrito and finished it, I got my taco and finished it, Gillian and Kate got their fries and finished them, and then after waiting far too long they got their chimchanga. The timing of our meals alone made me never want to go back. The food was decent enough but I don’t like places with poor service. Most places in Korea are pretty courteous and quick when serving food but Fuzzy Navel was not great. It was a slow Sunday evening, we were the only table eating really and it took over an hour for us to get all our food. If I want tacos, I’ll be going to Papa’s from now on.
So there are some short reviews and pictures from a few of the places I’ve tried recently in Busan. I also had an amazing Reuben made by Wendy of The Wendy House guest house in Gwangan, easily the best sandwich I’ve had in Korea since arriving.
Here are the next places on my list from Busan food:
Piewang – I had a pie from her at the first market I went to, but I want to try her other stuff!
Rock n Roll Bar, Seomyeon – A reuben on the menu, ’nuff said.
Tora Tora – An American style sandwich place in KSU.
Sharky’s – A super popular foreigner bar in Busan, my friends have had and loved their food, but I have yet to try it!
Bay 101 – Best fish and chip place in Busan apparently!
That’s all for now, recently I’ve just been hanging out in Busan. I haven’t done anything too fun and exciting so I hope you don’t mind this! I’ll be heading to Japan next week, so excited for Tokyo and some time off, however little it may be. August is going to be great! I have two visitors coming! I’m so excited for the next few weeks.
As always, thanks for reading!
Until next time,